This holiday season, shoppers can avoid the hectic last-minute Christmas shopping at crowded big-box stores as they make their way to the fourth annual Queen City Market this Saturday. This one-stop-shop art market will take place at its usual spot: Porter Hall of Karpeles Manuscript Museum. Attendees will once again be surrounded by Buffalo’s lively art community, with an array of locally made gift options. The event is free and runs from 11am to 5pm.
Over 50 vendors—including dozens of returning sellers and up to 25 new vendors—will display their creative vision through the items they have for sale. Food trucks including Amy’s, Llyod Taco and Rolling Joe Cafe will be stationed outside to provide shoppers with tasty delights and coffee beverages.
Shawn Peters, one of three founders of QCM, expressed excitement for the upcoming event.
“During the event, you look around and pause for a second; the room is completely filled with people who are chatting, shopping and having fun,” he said. “We want everyone to come down.”
Just about any local artist is eligible to participate in the market; however, there are a few simple rules: no brick-and-mortar businesses, and everything must be handmade or vintage.
“This is for people who do not have a store front and are just starting out and trying to get their name out there,” Peters said.
The interest to create a large scale art market came about four years ago, when Peters and other founders Amanda Ferreira and Amanda Beaulieu wanted to create an outlet for upcoming artists and vendors.
Peters said the trio wanted to establish an affordable market for creative folks to reach out to the public and sell their creations.
“We decided Queen City Market was the way to do it,” Peters said.
Not only is QCM an opportunity to gift friends and family with handmade gifts, but it also gives locals a chance to support Buffalo’s economy by putting money back into the community.
According to Peters, QCM is also a great way to support local artists and to make Buffalo a richer and better place—both culturally and financially.
Attendees can expect to see all sorts of items; from skull printed holiday ornaments by Devil Chicken Design, to glow in the dark Buffalo prints by Vintango, and hand-dyed yarn by 716knit, as well as wood accessories by Rusted Grain. These are items you will most likely not find at corporate run businesses.
At QCM, folks will see that anything can be made into a snazzy piece of jewelry. When maple wood is planed down to veneers, then laminated and compressed into a deck, one wouldn’t normally use the finished product to pizzazz their outfit, but first time participant, Katie McGinnis of Trebird Buffalo transforms recycled, broken, and old skateboards into wearable jewlery. The skateboards she uses are donated from local skaters and revamped into necklaces, rings, and even tie clips.
McGinnis began her journey in jewelry making two years ago. She started out experimenting with different materials and techniques until she decided to recycle skateboards.
“I’ll be bringing Tremont Necklaces, Allen St. Studs, Breckenridge Bangs, Richmond rings and more,” she said about the jewlery she names after streets in Buffalo.
You don’t have to be a jewelry lover to spot a must buy item. Beer lovers can purchase eco-friendly tall mugs which can be used as beer steins. This stoneware pottery, which is made in an old fashioned kick wheel by returning vendor, Karin Lorenc, stands out from other ceramics made by production potters because of her use of bright colors.
“Everything I make is one-of-a-kind, even if I make a bowl that is the same color more than once, every set will be unique,” Lorenc said.
Lorenc’s ceramics undergo a two week process that ends with her signature “colorful glaze.” Expect to see garlic grating dishes, brie bakers, bowls, coffee mugs and her newly introduced item: small succulent planters.
Screen printed and holiday themed kitchenware by Kitch Studios will be back for the fourth time. Erin Roberts, the artist behind these creations, has been screen printing for over 10 years. Roberts got her start in screen printing merchandise for her alternative rock band The Juliet Dagger—once signed to Robby Takac’s record label, Good Charamel.
Roberts will have a variety of gift options, including linen tableware, napkins, pillow covers, bleached and printed cotton towels, and pre-wrapped household gifts.
Use the Queen City Market as a reminder that this city is not only known for its underdog sports teams, chicken wings and treacherous winters, but its creative and ambitious individuals. It will be a day to become personally acquainted with local artists and give back to the community by showing your support. Even if you just want to window shop, QCM is a great opportunity to see the diversity and talent that keeps Buffalo’s community thriving.
The Queen City Market is will be accepting non-perishable food items for donation to the Food Bank of WNY. For a list on what to bring, please check out, Six Items You Should Give to the Food Bank of WNY Right Now.