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Spring Makers Fair draws out Ruston locals

April 14, 2016

STARLA GATSON

Staff Reporter | sjg021@latech.edu

 

Levi Rozelle gets his face painted by Lorrie Jassop. Photo by Brian Blakely

Levi Rozelle gets his face painted by Lorrie Jassop. Photo by Brian Blakely

 

Many of Louisiana’s artists and craftsmen met in downtown Ruston to share their creations with the community at the Spring Makers Fair.

 

 

The all-day event was April 9 and featured food, games and merchandise from 57 vendors, including Rosalynne Love, Southern Smith and Day Old Blues Records.

 

 

Joshua Mitchell, the Makers Fair coordinator and owner of Jodami Design, first started the event last fall to bring local artists and vendors together and give them the opportunity to share their products.

 

 

“The purpose of it is to bring the arts community together and to showcase the different styles of art in this area,” Mitchell said.

 

 

The makers sold items such as clothing, original artwork, woodwork and natural skin care products.

 

 

Liz Zanca, a Ruston-based oil painter, said both the fall and spring Makers Fair events have allowed her to share her pieces with a wide variety of people.

Judah and Remy Sharpton play Connect 4 at the kids booth. Photo by Brian Blakely

Judah and Remy Sharpton play Connect 4 at the kids booth. Photo by Brian Blakely

 

“I feel like last year did really well,” Zanca said. “I’ve gotten a lot of exposure, and I believe every maker here has.”

 

 

Zanca also said this event has brought a sense of community to the makers and customers.

 

 

“We really get to know who lives and works in Ruston,” she said. “Making those connections is really beneficial to me because I get to share my work with them. I really love the camaraderie that forms.”

 

 

Bethany Raybourn said this is the second time she has attended the Makers Fair, and she enjoys seeing the diversity among the artists.

 

 

“It’s fun to walk around and see what everybody’s doing,” she said. “I think since the last one, there’s a lot of new booths and more people interested in selling their work. There’s always new things to check out.”

 

 

Raybourn said she was most impressed by the woodworking and pottery booths.

 

 

Rebecca Gardner said the Makers Fair gave her the opportunity to share her organization’s mission and merchandise with Ruston residents.

 

 

“We’re based in Baton Rouge, and I heard about this from Rosalynne Love,” Gardner said. “We came in the fall and connected with all the local people, and it was awesome. The response we’ve gotten from the Ruston community has been great.”

 

 

Gardner is the founder of Hands Producing Hope, an organization dedicated to raising money for mission work, education and life-skill development in remote communities in Costa Rica and Rwanda.

 

Mitchell hopes the Makers Fair events continue to encourage artists to share their creations.

A tank top designed sold at the Mystic Moonrise booth. Photo by Brian Blakely

A tank top designed sold at the Mystic Moonrise booth. Photo by Brian Blakely

 

 

“There are a lot of talented people in this area, and I think a lot of them are shy about sharing their work,” Mitchell said. “I think events like this make you want to show your talents and make it easier. It’s a relaxed atmosphere, and everyone can just hang out and really show everyone what they can do.”

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