The market. That wonderful regular, retail event selling everything from antiques and original art to silverbeet and lemons. Selling handfuls from small tables or a shop full from the back of a truck. Almost every town has one now. Almost every suburb of larger towns has one of these collections of vendors and products either outdoors or indoors, well organised or straggling a carpark.
There are some easily recognisable features of a market. They’re generally low-cost retail spaces providing creatives and small independent businesses a regular outlet, exhibition space and income. If they’re well run, interesting and have food and music they become an event. A tourism magnet. A double-sided economic activity.
Even with the ability of the internet to provide a creative with many retail outlets there’s nothing quite like that face to face contact and interaction with someone interested in your work, your talent, your plans and goals. This can be as affirming as the feel of cash in your fingers.
And something that may be overlooked or not known to venue custodian-territorial authorities; markets and market-goers develop and weave the fabric of social networks and individual emotional and practical support. Heavy stuff for a Sunday morning read.
Some of us seem to have markets in our DNA – who knows why or where it came from. But the same pleasure in packing the car with products and display stands and that important market box of emergency supplies as ancestors packing the trap, the handcart or the canoe. There’s something exhilarating setting up in the early morning chill.
ARTbop instigated the Affordable Art & Artisan Fair at The Black Sheep in Whakamarama. Anyone who has been to this place just off SH2-Tauranga West Road will know what an amazing market venue it provided with it’s sealed carpark, large indoor spaces and it’s outdoor courtyard and green.
Getting the AAAF going involved not only the generous support of the then owenrs and operators of the restaurant business, but a huge amount of actual time and energy and the practical contributions of a number of very creative and practical people. Who thinks about collecting recycled real estate signage to transform into roadside signs or the boring reality of the monthly display circuit when “…visions of sugar plums dancie in their heads….” The hours spent liaising with the stallholders or creating the unique promotional posters or entering the information in all those online event sites or the health and safety bureaucracy. Markets and fairs are rather like weddings – there’s an awful lot of time and work behind the scenes before you get to eat the cake.
The AAAF has changed its name and it’s venue but its purpose remains. And it is encouraging to see new markets developing. I call Edgecumbe further down the line of the Bay of Plenty “the little town that can”. This little rural village was devastated when it was overrun by the Rangitaiki River.
In 2019 in started a “Farmer’s Market”. Closed by lockdown it has reopened with both local produce and locally made art and crafts.
“Edgecumbe Farmers Market. every 2 weeks every Sunday until Thu Dec 31 2020. The Edgecumbe Farmers Market with ARTS & CRAFTS is held every second Sunday at the Rangitaiki Cosi Club car park if fine or inside the Club if wet- from 8am to 12pm. All weather market.”
It’s on now inside the Cosi Club – the weather here today in the Bay of Plenty is winter-spring with the wind roaring up from the East. Have a look at the Edgecumbe Farmers Market facebook page – who wouldn’t want fresh almond croissants or a coat for the dog?
Rosemary Balu. Rosemary Balu is the founding and current Managing Editor of ARTbop. Rosemary has arts and law degrees from the University of Auckland. She has been a working lawyer and has participated in a wide variety of community activities where information gathering, submission writing, community advocacy and education have been involved. Interested in all forms of the arts since childhood Rosemary is focused on further developing and expanding multi-media ARTbop as the magazine for all the creative arts in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Check out the recently published content on ARTbop: Chapter III of Nick Scott’s episodic novel “Temple’s Job”- crime in Christchurch; Part II of Busted: Auckland & Black Asterisk Rosemary’s trip to Auckland to visit Ponsonby gallery Black Asterisk; and Nick’s review of The Personal History of David Copperfield and don’t miss the archives of The Sunday Series.
IF YOU ENJOY CREATIVITY, BOUTIQUE SHOPPING, VINTAGE, RECYCLE, HOME DECOR, FAIRS & MARKETS, CAKE & JUST HAVING A LOOK YOU’LL ENJOY