From trash to treasure

Art Star to host second annual Crap Bazaar featuring local artists to benefit ACLU, Planned Parenthood and Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory

The back gallery space in Art Star in Northern Liberties will be the site for finding treasures at the business’ second annual Crap Bazaar. PHOTO: CHRIS KENDIG

By Melissa Komar

Despite its name, expect to find some unique treasures at the upcoming Art Star Crap Bazaar.
Megan Brewster and Erin Waxman, owners of the Northern Liberties business, will hold the “seconds” sale for the second consecutive year.
What started as an inside joke parodying their annual Art Star Craft Bazaar, “If we just chose all bad stuff,” turned into an actual event last January.
“It’s kind of our annual fundraiser and an opportunity for our artists to get rid of stuff that has been sitting in their studio, seconds, samples, stuff they can’t sell in their normal Craft Bazaar booths,” Brewster said. “And they’ll be offering them at really, really good deals. People came in last year saying, ‘But, what’s wrong with this.’”
Some pieces might have slight imperfections, but many items are ones the artists “just want to move,” according to Brewster.
Twenty-five percent of the profits from the sale will be donated to the ACLU of Pennsylvania, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory.
Last year, Art Star donated $2,000 to the ACLU and hopes to raise more money with 10 additional artists participating this year.
“The reason why we chose the ACLU last year was because of everything that happened with the election. We were both feeling really freaked out about what was going to happen when Trump took office and we just said, ‘We need to do something.’ So, naturally, the ACLU seemed a good place to give to,” Brewster said.
This year, the owners wanted to donate to a more local organization, too.
Enter Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory.
“We feel like it ties into what we do here,” Brewster said. “They take kids from the city who might not have the same opportunities and put them to work building boats. I really believe that seeing and creating something from start to finish and building something with your hands can give kids a self-esteem boost. And, of course, Planned Parenthood, the same reason as the ACLU.”
Located in the Globe Dye Works building in Frankford, the Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory’s mission “is to engage urban teens in hands-on boat building and on-water programming to nurture the problem solving, communication, and collaboration skills needed to become confident capable adults,” according to Nicole Lam, program administrator at the nonprofit.
Each year, the nonprofit serves approximately 100 students in its after-school and summer programs.
“Having the opportunity to be recognized by local businesses means a lot since we are a local organization, which makes the contribution that more meaningful. The feeling is similar to a neighbor helping a neighbor and it is also exciting for more people in the area to learn about the boat factory,” Lam said. “We will use the donation toward our after-school programming for materials and other items needed.”
Featured artists for the event are ones Art Star has worked with for years, with the intention of creating a wide variety of items for purchase.
While Art Star is manning the event, don’t expect all the bells and whistles associated with the annual Craft Bazaar.
“The artists drop stuff off to us and we do a no-frills setup in our back gallery space, we get some tables out, we lay everything out. It’s almost like a rummage sale,” Brewster said. “It’s also the thrill of digging for a treasure.”
Ultimately, one person’s “crap” is benefitting a larger cause.
“It’s getting some money in our local artists’ pockets and supporting some really awesome causes.”

The 2nd annual Art Star Crap Bazaar will take place on Saturday, Jan. 27, at 11 a.m. and Sunday, Jan. 28, at noon at Art Star, 623 N. 2nd St. Participating artists include Ameraucana Handmade, Box Robot Army, BirdQueen Designs, CusterMade, Carolyn Keys, Florance & Leah, Half and a Third, Hero Heads, Janell Wysock, Kasie Lyn Jewelry, Le Puppet Regime, MasonMade, On3Designs, Phea Jean, The Pink Lapel, Popped Stitches, Prayer Monkey, Rider Designs, Stanley Chester & Albert, Squirrel Tacos, The 50/50 Company and Wrong World Ceramics.