This weekend, the Harvard Ed Portal hosted their very first Allston-Brighton Winter Market. The Winter Market showcased a variety of artists and makers exhibiting and selling their work in a welcoming environment, complemented by live music, a food truck and a beer garden.
Entering the venue, visitors were greeted by a friendly usher who directed them toward the market and outlined the highlights of the day’s events. Stepping inside from the bitter cold, the warmth and glow of the Harvard Ed Portal was certainly a pleasant change.
Despite the market’s debut being interrupted briefly by snowfall, the event attracted a large and hungry audience. The weather came at an opportune time for the market, working in tandem with the winter theme of the event.
“We couldn’t have gotten luckier with the weather. The first snow yesterday was sort of magical for the market. I felt like a winter market with the snow falling is really nice. It added to the ambiance,” Eva Rosenberg, the arts program manager at the Harvard Ed Portal, said.
The market vendors were an amalgamation of local artists who had either reached out during an open call or stood out to the curators in terms of talent and vending experience at other similar events. The intention of the market was to exhibit a diverse range of artists and makers, as well as an assortment of mediums, from woodworking to jewelry to printmaking to ceramics.
The market succeeded in its vision of displaying only the quirkiest, most original artists and makers. Somehow their distinct styles did not clash, as they were bound together in cohesion under the commonality of their Allston-Brighton origins.
Andrew Rogovin, a ceramicist specializing in faces and honeycomb design at Feet of Clay Pottery in Brookline, was one of many artists who displayed his eccentric work at this market.
“It’s really, really rewarding getting to see people enjoying my work. The actual expressions of joy people get when they’re like, ‘This is so cool, I’ve never seen anything like this,’ and knowing that they’re going to enjoy it everyday and use it. It’s part of their life now,” Rogovin said.
Chloe DuBois, a sculptor and multimedia artist from Allston, debuted her portable gallery space for the first time since she prototyped it in Nebraska. Entitled GPS, short for Gallery Possibility Space, the installation (about the size of a typical vendor space) housed the curated artwork of her peers.
“The whole thing can be taken down and packed into a duffel bag or put in a bike wagon, and we can take it anywhere and have pop-up shows,” DuBois said.
Eager to debut her creation and help support her artistic friends who had previously struggled to find a space to display their work, DuBois took the opportunity provided by the Allston-Brighton Winter Market.
“I lived in Allston Village for a bit and then I moved to Lower Allston, and an event like this really kind of pulls the community together. It’s really nice to see all different people come out and celebrate makers of this community,” Dubois said.
For Rosenberg, the most rewarding and enlightening part of the event was when she realized that one of the vendors had sold their work for the first time ever at the market. She said that moment opened her eyes to the opportunities that the market really had to offer for artists old and new alike.
“Really the reason we’re doing it, in addition to providing something for our community audience, is to help local artists make money, and so hearing that we’re able to do that is really fulfilling,” Rosenberg said.
The event, an undeniable hit with visitors from the neighborhood and beyond, proclaimed itself an annual event upon its opening.
Hopeful for the future of the Allston Brighton Winter Market, Rosenberg said, “It’s been really successful, and every event we have some sort of things we want to change about process or flow. We’ll do it again, more music, more art pop-ups, more food pop-ups. The same, but better.”