Archive for Sunday, November 24, 2002

Dozens of artisans to hawk kooky wares at Bizarre Bazaar

November 24, 2002


The Bizarre Bazaar started with a collection of artists who weren't really "holiday arts center folks."

"We were a little more off-beat or a little bit weird," said Nancy Hubbel, one of the original artists who still shows in the bazaar every year.

The show and sale of kooky art started in 1989 at the home of Nan Renbarger. It outgrew her house and now convenes the Saturday after Thanksgiving at the Lawrence Arts Center.

Decorated mannequin legs, shrines and even magnets that bore nude drawings of plus-sized women have been sold in past bazaars, though Hubbel said the artwork had grown a little less strange in recent years.

Lawrence artist Kristi Berkey will display her unique hand-built and wheel-thrown ceramics for the first time at this year's bazaar.

More than 60 eclectic local artists will show and sell their wares at the annual Bizarre Bazaar from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H.The grassroots Lawrence tradition features original and unusual hand-crafted specialty items, such as fiber art, paper mache goods, ceramics, glass beading, jewelry, bath salts, canned goods, soft sculpture, bizarre clocks, mixed media assemblages, acrylic paintings, prints, furniture, clothing, wacky frames and more.There will be baked goods and two stages of live entertainment by local performers. Scheduled to appear are gospel singers, a bluegrass group, guitarists, a fiddle player, pianists, a bottle player and a Middle Eastern ethnic dance group.

She uses a variety of techniques to produce her work. One of her pieces combines hundreds of tiny hand-formed coils to form a pitcher.

"It takes hours," she said. "It's very time-consuming."

Berkey also will sell beaded necklaces, bracelets and rings at the bazaar.

"It's a really cool sale because the people that are in it, we're all kind of starving artists and so we're willing to bargain," she said. "It's very eclectic."

Bazaar organizer Jennifer Wingo agreed: "People just throw stuff together and just make this thing crazy."

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