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Review: Summer Arts Market at St George’s Hall

Summer Arts Market
St George’s Hall
, 25 & 26 June 2016

St George’s Hall hailed in Summer with a standard setting Summer Arts Market. We sent Carol Emmas, an occasional exhibitor, and regular buyer, to see what the fuss was about. 

Words by Carol Emmas

The most difficult issue that both artists and craftspersons face is convincing someone to buy an item they don’t really ‘need’. We can all justify buying a round of drinks, a meal out, or a pair of expensive shoes. However, buying a decorative piece for the home, self, or someone else, is something else. People will always justify a reason not to; ‘perhaps next time’ or ‘when I have a bit more money’. So, in these times of economic austerity, it’s all power to any artist to create their work and actually move people to put their hands in their pockets and buy.

Within the elaborate neo-classical setting of St George’s Hall is the twice-yearly held Open Culture – Arts Market, which features over 130 artists, designers and makers, plus a vintage fair. The organisers really do their best to make variety the spice of Liverpool life here by bringing us the unusual, the different, the affordable and the highly imaginative, all with the objective of helping to promote independent creative businesses and the city’s local talent. While we all love the high street, apart from a few independents what you buy is generally mass-produced and safely predictable. Here, every last item is produced by the artist’s own hand and through a lot of hard work. Plus, there is such a contagious buzz in the hall from artists enjoying promoting their work, you can’t help but feel equally enthused.

When I went to check out what was on offer in order to write this review, I had no intention of considering any form of my own retail therapy. It was mid-season and the end of the month, I was spent up. However, when window shopping the ceramics, glassware, art, prints, woodcraft, jewellery and photography etc, which covered the hall wall-to-wall and top-to -bottom, I could feel myself becoming side-tracked and taking my eye off the job. As a result, I came out of the event significantly financially worse off because all of a sudden I realised I really ‘needed’ a taxidermy bird.

If you missed the Summer’s Arts Fair, the Christmas one will be hot on its heels. This too will present you with beautiful items you may not justifiably need, but then as if by magic, all of a sudden, you do.