Artists share works of love at Indie South Valentine’s Day Festival

On February 12, 2017, Indie South Fair hosted a popup arts market at Athens Cotton Press in Athens, Georgia.  In attendance were over 40 independent vendors, all selling original creations forged from the artists’ own hands.  From stamped metal jewelry to colorful fired ceramics, the market displayed row after row of diverse collections to tempt buyers.  While the range of art was expansive, all pieces had one thing in common: love.  As artists prepared for the Valentine’s-themed market, they created pieces that would not only show the love they have for their work, but also for the people who arrived to support the local artists of the Athens community.

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Artists eagerly placed the final touches on their displays before doors opened at 11 a.m.  Natural light beamed in through the high skylights of the Athens Cotton Press, helping vendors to showcase their pieces. (Photo/Rachel Gadra)
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While most pieces represented the sweet side of Valentine’s Day, this artist chose to speak to the market of jaded lovers and sassy sweethearts.  “I’ve been getting orders for custom made pillows,” said the artist. (Photo/Rachel Gadra)
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Tiny succulents were planted with care by artist Sonia McCall, as she represented her business, RoseGrown.  Each handmade ceramic pot measures about the size of quarter.  Baby succulents came complete with a guide on “how to love” your new plant and a tiny dropper for watering. (Photo/Rachel Gadra)
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Quela Weathers welcomes shoppers to her table of hand-poured, soy, wood wick candles.  (Photo/Rachel Gadra)
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“Crafts because they keep me sane and love because that’s what I try to bring to all things, my art included,” says artist Courtney Weil, as she explains the name of her business, Crafts & Love.  “It’s nice to come to smaller markets like this and see people face-to-face. It’s fun!” (Photo/Rachel Gadra)
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Among tables of art businesses, the non-profit Acceptance Recovery Center brought baked goods and original Valentine’s from the residents of their shelter. Dedicated to educating, housing, and rehabilitating members of addicted populations, the ARC was collecting donations for the handmade art of their residents. (Photo/Rachel Gadra)
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Artist Megan Sullivan was represented by her husband Kevin Stipek, as he sold her original pieces of pottery. (Photo/Rachel Gadra)
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“These pieces will not only help our friends care for an orphan, but will serve as beautiful conversation starters to share the love of the Father for His children,” read a sign on Lindsey Warren’s display of hand-stamped jewelry.  She intended to use the proceeds to help fund her friends wish to adopt. (Photo/Rachel Gadra)
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“I want to tell people’s stories,” explained jewelry maker Lindsey Warren.  “I want to make things so personal that when people asked about a piece it would lead to meaningful conversation.” (Photo/Rachel Gadra)
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Softly illuminated by the romantic glow of string lights, a display of old photographs depicts couples in loving embraces. 

The fair concluded at 6 p.m. and shoppers returned home with arms full of handmade treasures and hearts full of love.

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