On November 22 and 23, Memphis College of Art will be hosting its 69th and final Holiday Bazaar. A staple in the local arts community, the Holiday Bazaar has been a Memphis tradition since 1950 when it was initially founded as the Christmas Bazaar. Although the name has changed over the years, the heart of the event has always remained the same: to support local artists and students in the creative community while raising funds for Memphis College of Art as an institution.
Each year over 100 artists come together to participate in selling their wares and collectively transform Rust Hall’s gallery into a mecca for creatives and makers. Carefully curated art can be found hanging floor to ceiling, which gives shoppers exposure to talent and skill that is reflective of the soul and creativity only found in the Bluff City. The Bazaar prides itself on being a one-stop-shop for holiday shopping.
Locally made gifts such as cutting boards, candles, jewelry, prints, and more can be found to impress even the most difficult-to-shop-for friend or family member. Although Memphis College of Art’s biggest fundraiser exists first and foremost to support the participating artists with 70% of sales going directly back to the artist, the remaining 30% of the proceeds benefit the school and their teach-out. “I think at the end of the day it all goes back to our students. I personally have seen some of our students work the Bazaar as volunteers and now they’re returning to fill out an application because they want to sell their work. I love the full-circle nature of it,” comments Memphis College of Art’s Coordinator of External Engagement, Olivia Wall.
Shoppers who want first dibs on purchasing artwork can buy a ticket to the Preview and Purchase Party hosted the evening of Friday, November 22 from 5-10pm. Tickets include a red-carpet entrance, festive music, food and drinks, and the chance to shop for and purchase the paintings and other items you want before the general public has an opportunity. Those who cannot make it on Friday can attend the Bazaar for free on Saturday, November 23 from 10am-5pm.
The event is almost entirely volunteer run by students, staff, alumni, and supporters. Serving at the Bazaar gives back to the community, and also allows volunteers to take part in what has been a tradition and trademark of the college for decades. This year’s crew looks forward to welcoming shoppers from far and wide to celebrate and support this final Bazaar. Wall hopes that “guests have the chance to appreciate the incredible artists that are coming together to sell their work, and leave having been introduced to a handful of creatives and makers who they will love and will keep going to over and over again.”
To learn more about Memphis College of Art’s Holiday Bazaar or to buy tickets for the Preview and Purchase Party, visit their website at mca.edu.
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