Photo Recap + Minutes…Handmade Philly’s April Meet Up

April 2, 2016

Individuals In attendance:

Kim Connerton, PhD – Installation Artist

Maryfrances Davis – Performance Artist & Writer

Leslie Manas – Craft Phila Liberty Bell Fairs

Amber Zaraza – PheaJean

Joyce Mercer – Jewelry and Wire Artist

Monique Mixon – Mix-On The Memories

Matt Baron – Artist and Entrepeneur

Lesley Haas – Paper Artist

Tamara Johnson – Liliglow Boutique

Lynda Schwechtje & Calvin Wimbish – Knitswithafist

Community Coordinator, Ruth Schanbacher, greeted everyone and called the meeting to order around 1:15.
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Monique Mixon – Mix-On The Memories

The meeting started with Lesley Haas giving her background as an artist. She has traveled and lived around the world and has exhibits in some of the galleries she most admires. While she enjoys being successfully exhibited, she would like a museum to promote her. Meanwhile, she’s having a show on May 20 at Jed Williams’ Gallery, which we know will be the next step toward reaching her goal.

Lesley recently acquired a stash of glass beads from a house sale, and has combined them with her paper art. She quickly demonstrated how she makes papier mache shapes and fashions them into pendants along with the beads and other findings. She supplied the group with materials to make pendants during the meeting.

Tamara Johnson has recently gone professional designer with her company, Liliglow Boutique! She shared her story with the group. Making a good living working with data at Temple University, she found herself unhappy and unsatisfied with the balance in her life. After reading the book, “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert, Tamara used her savings as an investment in herself, opened her brand, and hasn’t looked back since. Tamara designs and sells skirts and bags and has started a collective with other designers. She is working toward opening a space in Northern Liberties or Old City where people can design and sew projects together. She previously hosted an event recently at SAVERY Gallery called Hype & Lavender, which several members commented was very well-organized! Tamara is having a fashion show event on Wednesday, April 20 at  the RAW Philly event, taking place at the Trocadero. Her new line of fashion will be revealed at the event. Two tickets to the RAW Philly event were given as door prizes.

Leslie Manas suggested that Lesley Haas keep contacting museums and galleries using multiple methods of communication, such as mailing cards, sending e-mails, etc. and advised her not to give up.

Matt Baron mines the internet, researching trends on Google; then he provides people with products they don’t yet realize they want! He has been very successful with this marketing approach, and stays flexible with his strategies to fit the popular trends. At the moment, he is selling gluten-free flours produced by an Amish source.

Monique Mixon of Mix-On Memories is a licensed independent travel agent with Tara Crown Travels, which allows her to work from anywhere while also running her arts business. She, like Matt, remains flexible to the market, following trends and enjoying making products with paper and wood. She started out with scrap-booking and her business continues to evolve.

Maryfrancis Davis recently attended Ruth Schanbacher’s workshop and is making wearable art. She brought a project with her and worked on it at the meeting, using strips of tulle and ribbon, as well as other materials to embellish a framework. She shared a story with the group about working in the past as a clown with Bill Cosby.

Kim Connerton is an Art Educator and Installation Artist who has recently returned to Philadelphia and has recently been asked to write for Aesthetica online magazine. She is exploring Philly for opportunities and will decide whether to stay in the area, which she likes so far. (We hope she will stay).

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