Of the more than 170 vendors at this year’s Alaska-Juneau Public Market, which begins Friday at noon at Centennial Hall, about 25 percent are new, according to organizer Peter Metcalfe. But if you extend the definition of “new” to include artists who are debuting creative work Juneauites have never seen, the percentage would be much higher, likely approaching 100 percent.
Local artist Sherri McDonald, for example, has had a booth at the market in the past, featuring her torn paper landscape collages and handmade books. But at this year’s market, she’ll also be showing her encaustic wax paintings, an art form she will be offering for the first time.
Jewelry artist Leah Sturgis, a former local now based in Alexandra, Va., is also a familiar face at the market, and has become well known for her original jewelry. This year, in addition to her established designs, she’ll be showing new work created from mandolin and guitar strings -- a material she has in steady supply through her husband, musician Frank Solivan.
Also brand new this year will be work from a trio of artists sharing a booth in the lobby: Rico Worl, Christy NaMee Eriksen and Shaadootlaa Tinaa’Yeil. Worl, owner of Trickster Company, will be launching his first set of Northwest Coast style longboards, a follow-up to his popular skateboard designs released in 2012. He’ll also have playing cards, prints and jewelry. Eriksen’s Kindred Design Co. will show its first collection of prints, t-shirts and sweatshirts. And Tináa Yèil will be offering accessories made of seal and salmon skin, such as beaded-edge cuff bracelets and collars.
Returning vendor Tanna Peters, of TP Alaska Designs, will debut her new line of hand-knit scarves and hats, an exclusive local offering.
And brand new vendor Catherine Young, a Haida weaver from Petersburg, will show a selection of her baskets.
The mix of familiar and new is one of the strengths of the Public Market, first held at Centennial Hall in 1983. This year, vendors have arrived from 21 Alaskan communities and nine cities down south. Handmade products at the market this year include seaweed baskets, traditional Tlingit artwork, photography, ceramics, paintings and prints, clothing, leather products, soap, driftwood mobiles, food items, books and jewelry.
Hours for the Public Market at Centennial Hall and the Public Market Annex at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center are Friday, Nov. 29, noon to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission to the market at Centennial Hall is $7, and is good for all three days. Children under 12 get in free. Admission to the Annex at the JACC is free.
Santa arrives at 11 a.m. Sunday at Centennial Hall and will meet with children until 2 p.m. Every child who speaks with Santa will get a present, courtesy of Public Market vendors.
There will also be an hourly drawing for door and cash prizes at the Annex, with cash prizes ranging from $50 to $250.
For more information, visit www.juneaupublicmarket.com.