The annual Holiday Market event at Fulton Street Collective’s 3rd floor Hubbard St. loft on December 19th had an excellent turnout, in terms of both artists and patrons. So much so, a few of the artists had to set up in the hallway outside the main area. It was more packed than a farmer’s market on a sunny Saturday morning.
FSC’s own Martin Aspera ran deals on photo sessions all night. This led to, much to my delight, numerous amiable dogs attending the event with their human friends.
Fulton Street Collective’s Holiday Market proved an excellent solution for many last-minute Christmas shoppers. As usual, the event was packed with wonderful visual art, but there was much more than that.
In addition to beautiful paintings, crafts and sculptures, vendors sold baked goods, stickers, artisanal lotions, custom temporary tattoos, keychains, original poetry, and more. Empanada Bike, a local independent vendor, was parked outside our entrance selling fresh empanadas for those who were hungry, and the cash bar provided beer, wine, soda and bottled water for those who were thirsty.
Patrons supported the arts by purchasing pieces all night, while artists supported each other. Throughout the night, I saw artists chatting, laughing and exchanging cards. I heard discussions about working with different media, discussions about influences, marketing, and plenty of friendly talk not related to art as well. There was a station set up so patrons could draw and create mosaics if they felt so inclined.
If I hadn’t finished my Christmas shopping, I probably would’ve picked up some tasty treats from Little Grand Cakery, or maybe a sweet wine bottle stand crafted by Donzell Gorden.
But then, I suppose there’s always next year!
~ By: Matt Raebel 2017
Did you know that December 2nd is National Samba Day?
Last Saturday, December 2nd, Fulton Street Collective had the privilege of hosting the incredibly talented singer-actress Dill Costa, one of the foremost experts in samba in Chicago, as well as her equally superb band, on behalf of the Brazilian Cultural Center of Chicago. Together, they treated assembled guests to a two hour long set consisting of classic Samba songs from the past and present.
The band consisted of featured guest guitarist and singer João Poupard, John Beard on 7-string guitar, David Chelimsky on the cavaquinho (a Brazilian 4-stringed instrument), and Reed Flygt on percussion. Together, this ensemble blew away the audience with a mellow, up-beat sound that is not commonly found in the frozen recesses of the Windy City…the sound of Samba.
I had no idea what qualified as “Samba” before attending the concert, so I was giddy to enjoy the experience as educational as well as entertaining. First of all, over half the audience was on their feet the whole time. There were some who preferred to just groove their own way, but there were also skilled samba dancers attending as well; I don’t think I can recall a time I saw a person move their feet so quickly and smoothly that wasn’t in a Youtube video. It was definitely an event that encouraged audience participation, but expertise or even familiarity in this particular form of music was certainly not required.
The sound of samba I found to be surprisingly pleasant, in that it was upbeat, but in an easygoing way. I was familiar with South American music before through salsa and tango, so I expected a lot more “electricity”; Costa explained to the audience during an interlude that Samba’s main quality is positivity, but that it can be more mellow and easygoing than other South American styles. In this way, samba attempts to create a mellower, more complex flavor of sound, with a smooth curve of entry for newcomers.
From the start, the atmosphere was totally positive; Costa made quite an entrance, singing and dancing through the audience from the back of the room to the stage. Every one of her movements included a happy little bit of flair of some kind, from putting on her glasses to belting out longer notes. There wasn’t a moment she didn’t have a huge, warm smile on her face, and she wasn’t the only one. The rest of the band seemed to enjoy themselves just as much, as did the audience.
Fulton Street Collective thanks Dill Costa, João Poupard, John Beard, David Chelimsky, Reed Flygt, and the Brazilian Cultural Center of Chicago for entertaining us all night, and bringing a bit of South American sunshine to our cold winter streets. Saúde!
~ Matt Raebell, 2017