Monday, September 15, 2014

Hyattsville Arts Festival 2014

Take a stroll in Hyattsville; Image Source
A couple of months ago I signed up on the Prince George's County Volunteer website to find an organization in the area who needed some additional hands on deck. Lucky for me, the Brentwood Arts Exchange (BAE) called a couple weeks ago to see if I could help out at their booth for the Hyattsville Arts Festival, which took place this past weekend (September 13th from 11-5) in downtown Hyattsville. I toured the festival in the morning with Abdoulaye, Loretta (dear work friend) and her roommate before joining the BAE table in the afternoon. And even though it wasn't hot, I still got a key lime popsicle from Picnic Pops before getting a chai from Vigilante Coffee - what a treat!
Brentwood Arts Exchange; Image Source
The booths, which featured over 150 vendors, were fantastic and filled with local, Hyattsville-area artists and craftspeople.  My first purchase was for my mom for her birthday (shh, don't tell her!) from Bella Art Mosaics. I know you're reading, Mom, so I won't put up a picture or describe what awaits you but I think you're going to love it!
Jay Durrah painting the original of the print I purchased; Image Source
I loved standing at the BAE booth and chatting with strangers and familiar faces alike.  We've been in Hyattsville a year and I'm slowly starting to make neighbor friends/acquaintances, which makes our little city feel even smaller. The BAE booth was adjacent to Jay Durrah's booth and I absolutely loved his work. I debated getting one of his prints and finally called Abdoulaye to make sure it was OK before taking the (fabulous!) plunge. I hung it in our living room as soon as I got home and am already so thankful - the print is perfect.

Just a few booths down from Jay's booth was the Hope Honey Farm where I met Maggie who produces Certified Naturally Grown honey from her backyard in Hyattsville. As I purchased five bars of soap (lavender & lemon cake, frozen and pumpkin spice), we joked that her bees probably fed on my greenery and then I was coming back to buy the fruits of their labor! It was not only wonderful to make a great purchase (if I have self-control, I'll give most of them away as gifts and not hoard them!), but to also meet a neighbor. She even uses Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified palm oil; work would be proud!

My last purchase was from Karla's Mixed Media Studio - a gorgeous print of the silhouette of a woman in orange with a handwritten quote surrounding her body 'All I can do is all I can do and all I can do is enough.' As soon as I hung Jay's print, I found a frame for Karla's and hung it on the wall as well.

I was disappointed to miss the arts festival last year and even though it was a bit of a drizzy day this past Saturday, the festival was worth the year-long wait! I'm already looking forward to helping out at other events featuring BAE and going to the Hyattsville Arts Festival in 2015. If I plan better, I can stock up on gifts for the whole year in one go!

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