Bazaar's bigger, bolder vision hits five years

Bazaar's bigger, bolder vision hits five years
Matt Weigand photo
Bazaar features everything from paintings to prints and body care products.

Bazaar 2018 is shaping up to be the biggest iteration of the annual arts and crafts marketplace yet. It will feature 95 Eastern Washington and North Idaho-based vendors, its most ever, and 40 of those vendors are new to the event.

Bazaar will have food trucks, photo booths, plenty of family-friendly activities and live DJ sets throughout the day, but the main draw continues to be all of the locally produced paintings, prints, clothes, jewelry, body care products, home goods and more. Most importantly, the art on display is meant to be affordable to all.

Spokane arts advocacy organization Terrain, host of an annual fall festival of the same name, created Bazaar in 2014 as a spin-off project with a simple, but ambitious, goal in mind. Bazaar's mission was to provide local art to everyone — regardless of economic status. To accomplish this, the vendors of Bazaar kept most of their products priced below $100, a tradition that still holds true today.

Ginger Ewing is the co-founder and executive director of Terrain, and believes that the commitment to affordable art is one of Bazaar's key attributes.

"The thinking behind that is that if you are young, just out of college, or just new to buying art and don't have a huge budget you can still discover artists that you love, create relationships with them, and at that point maybe buy a $50 print from them," Ewing says. "But then as you start to make money you still have that relationship with that artist and can afford a $500 or $5,000 painting by them down the road. It's about creating relationships between artists and art buyers."

Ewing views Bazaar as a market with three main positive effects: Bazaar helps artists develop their skills as vendors in order to make a living off of their passion, it helps connect consumers with affordable art and helps grow Spokane as a cultural capital of the Inland Northwest.

"Really as an organization we were interested in adding to our repertoire not only the celebration of our local artists, but the building of the infrastructure and the resources and the tools that they need in order to stay in Spokane," Ewing adds. "We also believe in the argument that our artists and makers are a really important part of our creative economy here."

Last year, Bazaar moved its location to downtown, which provided the market with the visibility needed to continue its yearly growth. It also allowed for the market to connect further with the Spokane community in the form of local businesses.

"We got a lot of really positive feedback last year from the surrounding businesses. Even in River Park Square several different businesses were asking like 'What's going on?' and 'Can we be a part of it?' and I think that's a good sign that Bazaar is a pretty impactful event," Ewing says.

Jackie Caro, the operations director for Terrain, also saw the move as a benefit to Bazaar.

"I think for us to be located in the heart of downtown is not only good for our event but also benefits the businesses located around there," Caro says.

A feature new to Bazaar this year is the appearance of the Pop Up Shop — Terrain's retail storefront — in the form of a retrofitted shipping container. The Pop Up Shop is normally located in Steam Plant Square but will appear as a mobile storefront the day of Bazaar. ♦

Bazaar • Sat, June 23 11 am-9 pm • Howard and Wall between Main and Riverside near Parkade Plaza, downtown Spokane •

Terrain Gallery Fundraiser @ Terrain Gallery

Fri., March 31, 5-8 p.m. and Sat., April 1, 12-7 p.m.
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