Arlington, VA

This column is written and sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

The Arts are rooted in entrepreneurship. That’s why Arlington Arts has been a stalwart supporter of the GRUMP Holiday Art and Craft Show: an annual showcase featuring more than 50 vendors and the best in unique handmade gifts and treats!

Offered in partnership with the Crystal City BID, JBG Smith and Arlington Arts, it’s a great example of how Arlington County connects the business and creative sectors. In advance of this year’s event on Saturday, December 14, we chatted with co-creator Tina Henry-Barrus about the continued evolution of the nine-year-old seasonal show!

How did Grump come about?

Beth Baldwin and I became friends while selling our handmade stuff at various local arts and crafts shows. One show, Crafty Bastards, was in the early fall and I thought that the area needed a similar fair during the holidays. I called Beth and said, “Hey, wanna attempt a holiday show of our own?” You should always have a friend who will say yes to your weird ideas.

What’s with the name?

When I asked Beth if she wanted to put on a show with me, the word GRUMP popped into my head. She laughed when I said it, so I knew it would work. It wasn’t until the second year that we added the Yeti mascot. Kids started showing up to get their photo taken with the Yeti and would ask me “Where’s GRUMP?” So now GRUMP is both the name of our show and the name of our Yeti mascot.

How did the partnership with Arlington County take shape?

Beth Baldwin was an Artist in Residence at Artisphere and she worked with staff to move GRUMP there, where it blossomed over several years. Arlington Arts has been such a valuable cheerleader for us. We wouldn’t have made it to year 9 without them!

How do you describe GRUMP to a first-time attendee?

GRUMP isn’t your grandma’s craft show, but it also isn’t super hipster either. The indoor GRUMP show has 40-60 local vendors, 3 or 4 workshops to inspire you to make something, and many Yetis for photo ops. The Yeti is a really fun part of our event. Last year we had a Yeti Board Meeting that folks could watch. This year, the Yetis will judge an ornament-making contest, kind of like The Great British Baking Show.

How is it different than other holiday shopping opportunities?

Our show is highly curated to not only our tastes but to the tastes of our shoppers. Yes, we know who they are! We also try to make sure our vendors are all really kind and lovely and fun to meet. Add in the workshops and Yeti photo ops and you have a really fun day.

What’s the best reaction you’ve ever had from a patron?

The patrons’ reactions to the Yetis never get old, but honestly, I mostly love the patrons who become vendors. The idea that our little idea encouraged someone to get creative and make something is really meaningful to us.

Find out how you’ll react when you attend GRUMP Holiday Art and Craft Show, on Saturday, December 14 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. The event takes place at 2100-B Crystal Drive, Arlington VA 22202 (in the former TechShop venue). You can take the Metro to Crystal City and follow the signs to GRUMP, or drive and park in the garage for free.

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This column is written and sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Looking for one-of-a-kind gifts this holiday season? Arlington’s artists and creatives have the answer via two upcoming events to help you #shoplocal for unique treasures for holiday gift giving!

Lee Arts Center Fine Crafts Show and Sale
November 9-10
Saturday (10 a.m.-4 p.m.) and Sunday (12-4 p.m.)

Handmade ceramic vessels. Vibrant prints. Luminous jewelry… Undoubtedly the studio artists of Arlington’s Lee Arts Center have created something to delight those on your gift list, and it’s waiting for you to discover at their annual show and sale. Some of our regions finest artists work out of Arlington’s Lee Arts Center, a quaint 1920’s elementary school on Lee Highway that, when it was deemed too historic to demolish, but too impractical for continued school usage, was converted into a community cultural center by Arlington Arts.

Participating artists include:

Ceramics — Connie Bergere, Dana Lehrer Danze, Donna Downing, Susan Elliott, Laura Fall, Jan Filsinger, Mami Grignol, Jyotshna ‘J’ Herbert & Maddie Palmer, Helen Hensgen, Veronika Jenke, Scott Kaye, Klaudia Levin, Polina Miller, Hiromi Minemura, Catherine Satterlee, Victoria Truhn and Terry Young.

Prints — Sue Mason, Wes Muntain and Janis Sweeney

Prints and Ceramics — Janet Gohres

Ceramics and Jewelry — Marsha Lederman, Darlene Tsukamoto and Alanna Rivera

For information on the annual sale, call the Lee Arts Center at 703-228-0560 or click here.

Made In Arlington Pop Up Shops
Thursdays (11 a.m.-2 p.m.)
November 7-December 19 (excluding Thanksgiving Day)

Sponsored by Arlington Economic Development’s Creative Economy program, Made in Arlington returns just in time for the holiday season! Visit the Plaza Branch Library (in Courthouse Plaza lobby) for this pop-up retail market dedicated to unique things beautiful, wearable and edible from innovators and artisans in Arlington.

Find favorites like Livin the Pie Life and Kingsbury Chocolates and welcome new vendors like Tried and Truhn pottery and Artisan Confections. Click here for details.

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This column is written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Experience hands-on making and innovation…

Learn new skills, from papercutting, calligraphy and mask making, to weaving, pottery and more. Not an arts and crafts fair, the Make Your Mark! festival on Saturday, May 18 lets you immerse yourself in a multicultural coming together of artists and makers ready to ignite your creativity.

Working in fields ranging from food to crafts to technology, the emergence of these innovators marks a transformative time in history when creatives… make their mark!

The Maker Movement is a community of millions of people who are taking the entrepreneurial leap to start their own small businesses dedicated to creating and selling self-made products. The movement is a feverishly creative intersection of technology and the arts, bringing together the most advanced computer innovations, with artistic skill as ancient as mankind.

Just in time for #BusinessAppreciationMonth, Make Your Mark! is presented by Arlington Arts, in partnership with Arlington Public Library, The Washington DC Modern Quilt Guild and New District Brewery.

Event Sponsorship is provided by ServiceSource-Arlington Weaves, Etc., Palette 22, Food. Art. Fun. and their Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program.

Modern technology allows the individual to create and distribute unique items, skipping the middlemen like manufacturers. This entrepreneurial mother and daughter are just two examples of the entrepreneurial spirit that will inspire you at Make Your Mark!:

During her 20+ years in corporate America, Tracy Wilkerson raised an entrepreneurial daughter who learned early how to market her own artistic talents. But Tracy’s own creativity didn’t kick in until 2006, when she began making hand-made greeting cards that continue to be sold in retail stores, online and at vendor shows.

In 2008, she expanded to working in 2D and 3D mixed media artwork utilizing anything that might otherwise end up in a landfill, including VCR tape, CD’s, floppy discs and circuit boards.

Meanwhile, her youngster Tamara Wilkerson got a head-start on mom, started to make jewelry in 2003. In 2006, she realized the potential of her hobby, earning enough money to pay her own way on international travel. Through high school and college, she focused on designing and improving the quality of materials to launch a fun small business, also incorporating her love of graphic design, marketing and dance.

Today, her company WiRealm is the result of a natural creator and entrepreneur who creates wearable art while staying true to her style and passion.

Make Your Mark! is fun for your whole family (…including those with four legs).

Join us on Saturday, May 18 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., at 3700 South Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22206. Admission is FREE.

For info call 703-228-1850, or visit www.arlingtonarts.org.

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Local nonprofit Project Knitwell will celebrate World Wide Knit in Public Day this Saturday (June 9) with an event in the “The Loop” at Market Common Clarendon.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., community members can join Project Knitwell volunteers to learn how to knit, enter a raffle and experience the wellness benefits of knitting in person.

“We want to spread the word that working with your hands and knitting and making something can have health benefits,” Project Knitwell Executive Director Michelle Maynard told ARLnow. “The science is starting to catch up with what knitters and other crafters already know.”

World Wide Knit in Public Day launched in 2005 with 25 events around the world, according to its website. Last year, “there were at least a thousand, if not more of these events in 54 different countries,” Maynard said.

This event is Project Knitwell’s first in recognition of World Wide Knit in Public Day, and it joins a long list of programs the nonprofit has offered since its founding in 2010. Volunteers have taught knitting to patients and families at the Virginia Hospital Center, in after-school programs for at-risk youth and through summer programs for children and young adults with cancer.

Project Knitwell communicated with businesses located at Market Common and beyond to help put together a raffle basket and several prize bundles, Maynard said. The basket and bundles consist of items for knitters and non-knitters alike, including a $50 gift certificate to the Cheesecake Factory, hand-crafted needle point protectors and a number of yarns.

Raffle tickets will be $10 each or four for $20. The first 24 attendees will also receive a free cupcake from Williams-Sonoma, Maynard said. The event’s Facebook page recommends that attendees take the Metro to avoid road closures due to the Armed Forces Cycling Classic.

For first-time knitters, Maynard said she hopes the event demonstrates that knitting is fun.

“It’s something that is a great way to pass the time, whether you’re on public transportation or in a hospital waiting room,” Maynard said, “It’s a great alternative to [being on] your screen, and [instead] doing something with your hands that involves a rhythmic almost meditative aspect to it.”

File photo

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Gingerbread man (photo via CPRO)(Updated at 4:00 p.m.) A “Holiday Bazaar and Crafts Fair” will be held at the new Wakefield High School (1325 S. Dinwiddie Street) this weekend.

The event is being held from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14. More than 50 vendors, many of them local and regional artisans, will be selling their wares at the fair. International food and delicacies will be served.

The free event will also feature live music from the Wakefield High School Chorus and Orchestra and from jazz musician Charles Wood, as well as a traditional Mexican dance performance and a jewelry making demonstration.

The fair is being organized by the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization.

Photo via CPRO

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Morning Notes

Sunset from the 14th Street Bridge (Flickr photo by Eschweik)

Projected Subsidy Soars for Aquatics Center — The planned Long Bridge Park Aquatics Center could require more than $4 million per year in subsidies from the county government, according to new projections. That’s up from projections as low at $1 million per year. “Certainly there are other priorities that arguably should come before building a luxury pools facility,” said local fiscal watchdog Wayne Kubicki. Construction contracts for the aquatics center are expected to be awarded early next year. [Sun Gazette]

County May Allow Less Office Parking, For a Fee — Arlington County is considering a system that would allow office developers to build less than the currently-required amount of parking, in exchange for a per-parking-space fee. The fee would then be used for public improvements in the area around the building, or for Transportation Demand Management Services for the building’s tenants. [Greater Greater Washington]

Memorial Bridge Could Have Looked Like Tower Bridge — The Arlington Memorial Bridge was originally proposed as a memorial to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, complete with a series of “medieval”-looking towers and turrets. [Ghosts of DC]

Arlington Carpenter’s Intricately-Carved Birds — Arlington carpenter Jeff Jacobs, 59, carves intricate wooden hummingbirds out of a single block of wood. He sells the birds at Eastern Market and the Clarendon farmers market. [Washington Post]

Flickr photo by Eschweik

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