A crafty affair

Queen’s Campus Craft Fair provides opportunity for artists to sell

Art prints for sale at organizer Krishna Patel’s booth.

The Queen’s Campus Craft Fair has returned to campus for its second year to exhibit beautiful handmade crafts fashioned by Queen’s students and local Kingstonians.

Walking through McLaughlin Hall, visitors could find anything from handmade, illustrated holiday cards to extravagant jewellery to baked goods. 

Krishna Patel’s artwork, which appeared at the fair on Tuesday, includes beautifully intricate and colourful pieces featuring animals, patterns and various other abstract objects. Patel, ArtSci ’16, became involved in the craft fair during its inaugural year in 2014-15 and stepped up to organize it this year.

Patel said the craft fair is an “alternative to Free and For Sale” — referring to the Facebook group for Queen’s students — and allows students to display their work in a comfortable setting. 

Patel, a political studies major, said her focus is politics, but she creates art as a stress reliever and a side hobby. 

“I don’t want there to be that pressure if I don’t make a piece, I might not be able to pay rent,” she said. 

“I want to be able to make pieces and love it. And then if that happens to bring in some extra spending money then that’s great, but if not, I still get to make my artwork.” 

Aside from her own artwork, Patel said the craft fair is important for bridging the gap between student’s artistic endeavours and larger-scale community craft fairs.

“There’s a lot of students that haven’t been able to break into the local markets. This is a stepping stone up to that,” Patel said.

The success of the fair has provided students such as Courtney Lang, ArtSci ’16, an opportunity to showcase and sell their artwork and creative projects. 

Lang crafts beautiful and dainty jewellery out of high-end supplies. 

“I’ve always loved jewellery and most jewellery you buy in stores is cheap quality and never really lasts long,” Lang said. “I wanted to make my own.”

This year’s Campus Craft Fair was the first time she’s sold her jewellery after she began crafting it this past spring. 

The Queen’s Campus Craft Fair was founded by recent graduate Laura Stemp, ArtSci ’15, in her final year at Queen’s.

“My idea for the Campus Craft Fair began in first year when I started crocheting custom order holiday gifts for family and friends,” Stemp said. 

After looking into other craft fairs and artist markets around Kingston, Stemp says she was disgruntled by high costs to rent booths and their extensive requirements for artists, including signage, professional tags and even reference letters from other craft fairs.

Stemp’s dream came to fruition last year after weeks of planning.

“I noticed that a lot of other students had cool crafty hobbies,” she said. “So, I started asking around [about the craft fair] and other students seemed interested”. 

Many of the vendors, including Patel’s artwork brand Westridge Art, will be making their second appearance at the next Queen’s Campus Craft Fair in February.

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