Maker’s Market to showcase local artworks, build community


Courtesy of Lisa Degliantoni

A forum for artists and art-lovers alike, Evanston’s first Maker’s Market of the year will take place this Sunday.

Kim Jao, Reporter

Local artists will open their car trunks to sell original art, jewelry and more for this year’s first Maker’s Market on May 1. 

Vendors will set up shop on the fifth floor of the 1800 Maple Ave. parking garage from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. There will be two other Maker’s Markets this year, on Aug. 7 and Oct. 2.

Lisa Degliantoni said she founded the nonprofit organization Evanston Made eight years ago with the goal of creating a stronger sense of community between local artists. Four years later, she organized the first annual Maker’s Market event as a venue for the artists to build relationships with the public. 

Maker’s Market highlights the variety of art Evanston has to offer, Degliantoni said. 

“We’ve got kids who are nine who make bath bombs, we’ve got teenagers who make handbags, we have retired people who paint,” Degliantoni said. “The sheer diversity of the makers there makes it a really fun and interesting day.”

Degliantoni described the Maker’s Market network as a “micro community.” Preparing for each session strengthens the local artist network by bringing local artists together, she said, while providing them with an opportunity to sell their wares.

“The overall enthusiasm and mood is really really fun,” Degliantoni said. “People decorate their cars, bring music, snacks, and everyone goes and looks. It’s not competitive. It’s a celebration of community.”

Degliantoni said this sense of community starkly contrasts her experience with the Evanston art scene prior to Evanston Made. As a non-artist, Degliantoni said it was difficult for her to meet local artists when she moved to Evanston 10 years ago. That’s when she decided to form the organization that she felt would establish a community. 

Lisa Haskin, an artist and vendor for the upcoming Maker’s Market, also felt a sense of disconnect from fellow artists before joining Evanston Made. 

“Prior to being in Evanston Made …I didn’t know that many local artists,” Haskin said. “I think Lisa Degliantoni and Evanston Made in general have elevated the art scene 1000%.”

Haskin, a freelance graphic designer who sells collages and prints, said it was important for her to find others she could share her artistic worries with. She said she is often isolated as a creative person and that recognition is encouraging. 

“When you have somebody who shares similar interests or struggles, there’s a really good sense of feeling supported,” Haskin said. “Other artists can be cheerleaders for you.”

For vendors, spots in the market are reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis. Seventy of 100 vendor spots have been claimed so far. 

Vendors pay between $30 to $150 for a booth, based on the artist’s level of expertise, and beginners pay less.

“We want to make sure that artists have accessible and affordable opportunities to participate in our programs,” Degliantoni said. 

The market is partially supported by resident volunteers. One resident, Anne Laverick, has volunteered at multiple Maker’s Markets. While not an artist herself, Laverick said Evanston Made provided a space for her to interact with artists and the community at large.

“It’s a great way to work with the creatives that are members and to meet the people in the community that are showing up,” Laverick said. “I’m just happy to be part of it and to know that whatever I can do will make their presence known.”

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