December 16, 2018

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Heart's in the right place

Valentine's craft pop-up offers exquisite gift ideas, fundraiser for key city arts organization

Jewelry by Pebble and Dime</p>

Jewelry by Pebble and Dime

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 9/2/2018 (309 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and as every commercial on television suggests, we should all be on the hunt for the perfect token of love for our partners.

If the classic chocolate and flowers aren’t your spouse’s cup of tea, and you’d prefer to avoid the mall madness, the Lovecrafted Pop-Up Shop is presenting a different option for gifts this year; the event, held at Forth (171 McDermot Ave.), features eight Manitoban makers offering handmade products created with love, including candles by Charleston & Harlow, clothing by Sarah Sue Design and jewelry by Pebble & Dime, among others.

And, a portion of all purchases goes to support ArtsJunktion, a local non-profit creative-use depot.

“It’s a pop-up shop for Valentine’s Day that promotes local artists and shopping locally and 20 per cent of every sale goes to ArtsJunktion,” explains Julie Kettle, executive director of the depot.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 9/2/2018 (309 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and as every commercial on television suggests, we should all be on the hunt for the perfect token of love for our partners. 

If the classic chocolate and flowers aren’t your spouse’s cup of tea, and you’d prefer to avoid the mall madness, the Lovecrafted Pop-Up Shop is presenting a different option for gifts this year; the event, held at Forth (171 McDermot Ave.), features eight Manitoban makers offering handmade products created with love, including candles by Charleston & Harlow, clothing by Sarah Sue Design and jewelry by Pebble & Dime, among others.

CZE beard products by Tania Beauty </p>

CZE beard products by Tania Beauty

And, a portion of all purchases goes to support ArtsJunktion, a local non-profit creative-use depot.

"It’s a pop-up shop for Valentine’s Day that promotes local artists and shopping locally and 20 per cent of every sale goes to ArtsJunktion," explains Julie Kettle, executive director of the depot.

"There’s great crafters, it’s in a location that has great coffee and it’s for a great cause. I feel like it hits on all the important things," she says.

ArtsJunktion is both an environmental and artistic initiative that provides art supplies that are available on a take-what-you-need, pay-what-you-can basis. Kettle explains they get art supplies from businesses, manufacturing companies and individuals who donate them and they are then made available to anyone.

"Teachers, early childhood educators, street-involved folks, young artists, students, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, fringe festival, Children’s Museum — basically any sort of event or community organization or school in the city that has art supplies, I feel like something has crossed paths with ArtsJunktion somewhere along the way," says Kettle. 

"And kind of what we’re doing in that is divert what would be considered waste materials from the landfill, so we have contacts with upholstery companies to get fabric samples or foam or dead-end cutoffs of things, and we’re providing these supplies to over 350 schools, community groups and organizations throughout the city and province," she adds. 

"We have about 500 individuals into the depot every month, and we’re reclaiming and diverting more than 3,000 kilograms of materials every month."

ArtsJunktion also provides workshops and other programming free of charge, something Lovecrafted’s creator, Shreya Jhunjhunwala, wanted to find a way to support.

Jhunjhunwala, a PR major in creative communications at Red River College, started the Lovecrafted as her final project for one of her classes; she says she’s always been interested in how things are created, and worked as a designer in her hometown of Kolkata, India, where she completed her fashion degree.

Handmade candles by Charleston and Harlow</p>

Handmade candles by Charleston and Harlow

"I’ve always been interested in the creative side of things and makers and I’ve always been really interested in finding out how things are made, so that was the idea behind the project. Kind of showing people how much hard work goes into creating something and then trying to sell it and how much better in quality it actually is," says Jhunjhunwala, 31.

Since immigrating to Winnipeg three years ago, Jhunjhunwala has used ArtsJunktion’s services for her own DIY projects — the depot is right across the road from Red River College’s downtown campus on William Avenue — so it seemed like the perfect pairing for the pop-up. 

In addition to the shopping aspect of Lovecrafted, and in keeping with the theme of care and love, Jhunjhunwala wanted to make the event a true experience for anyone who takes the time to stop in, so MC College will be running the "Treat Yo Self Spa," offering free hand massages and there will be an arts-and-crafts station as well as a tasting station hosted by Flora and Farmer with cheeses, breads, jams and spreads. 

Admission to Lovecrafted is free, though a one-dollar donation at the door will earn you a ballot to win a prize-pack of Winnipeg Jets merchandise.

For Kettle, in addition to highlighting local makers and fundraising for her organization, events such as Lovecrafted are also a good reminder of the reach ArtsJunktion has had in Winnipeg’s art community. 

"One of the things we’ve heard is that many of Winnipeg’s makers kind of got their start at ArtsJunktion, either coming in getting embroidery tools or fabric or learning how work with clay for the first time... We’ve been able to provide supplies, and provide paint, and provide resources and provide making space for these artists who have then been able to launch careers and livelihoods off of the work that they’ve done, and I like that we’ve been able to be a part of that."

erin.lebar@freepress.mb.caTwitter: @NireRabel

Erin Lebar

Erin Lebar
Multimedia producer

Erin Lebar is a multimedia producer who spends most of her time writing music- and culture-related stories for the Arts & Life section. She also co-hosts the Winnipeg Free Press's weekly pop-culture podcast, Bury the Lede.

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