20 Wasatch Front holiday art markets offer locally made gifts and treats
Sarah May started weaving as a way to connect with her Indigenous roots.
Born in the United States after her family immigrated from El Salvador, she feels disconnected, having never set foot in her home country.
“I don’t know my people. I don’t know my language. I don’t know any of that stuff,” May said. “So that was why I started weaving; I felt a connection knowing that my ancestors in some way or another were weavers, were artists, and it was literally ingrained and woven into their lives.”
May’s shop, Cyanoweave, combines her cyanotype photography with her weaved mandala wall hangings, and it will be part of a holiday artist pop-up market at Finch Lane Gallery from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 14, in Salt Lake City.
Her cyanotypes look like watercolor paintings, with bright hues of blue contrasting with images in white, and often depict nature and foliage. Cyanotype is a form of alternative photography that uses light sensitive chemicals that can be applied to paper, wood and fabric. A light box can be used, but May uses the sun’s ultraviolet light to expose and bring images to the surface.
For May’s woven wall hangings, she starts with the shape of circles, which for her is symbolic of cycles and the earth. She also is drawn to bright colors of yarn, like oranges and yellows that remind her of mangoes and cream. She works by intuition, drawing inspiration from the color of the yarn she picks up at thrift stores and things she finds in nature, such as driftwood and branches.
In addition to the Finch Lane pop-up, May will be participating in Alta Community Enrichment (ACE) Holiday Art Market Dec. 9 to 11.
“These little local markets bring the arts to the people. I feel like art is something that people feel is really inaccessible, like it’s something that belongs in a museum,” said May. “But art is really a part of our way of life and our Indigenous communities. Not only Indigenous to the Americas, but across Europe and Africa, pretty much the whole world. People were creating art as a way of life and to process emotions and tell their stories.”
A new approach
When the Salt Lake City Arts Council created its first holiday craft market, it was trying to fill a need. Now, with so many art and craft markets opening during the season, its leaders decided to do things a little differently this year.
Instead of one central marketplace with several artists, there will be 12 different artists and craftspeople individually highlighted at the gallery on different days.
“Each artist can bring more work than they usually would, and people can interact with them about the process,” said Claire Taylor, visual arts coordinator for the Salt Lake City Arts Council. She deliberately chose artists from different mediums in order to highlight their craftsmanship. “Having the artist there,” she said, “makes it all the more possible for people to learn about what went into producing the artwork.”
The artisan Pop-Up Shops will take place Tuesdays through Saturdays, Dec. 4 to 21, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at The Finch Lane Gallery, 54 Finch Lane, Salt Lake City. A list of the artists and the days they will be featured can be found on at saltlakearts.org.
Concurrently with the holiday pop-up shops, the council is also partnering this year with the Utah Division of Arts and Museums to host the Statewide Annual Exhibit. This exhibition is an annual art show that rotates between different media, with this year’s media being craft, photography, video and digital art.
The show is usually held at Rio Grande Depot, but due to ongoing construction after the Salt Lake Valley’s 2020 earthquake, exhibitions have been postponed or moved elsewhere. There will be an opening reception for the exhibit on Dec. 3, tied in with the December gallery stroll from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and the first pop-up shop will follow the morning after, on Dec. 4 at 11 a.m. Masks are required for entry.
May will also have an art piece displayed in the statewide exhibition, a retablo, which means behind an altar, that incorporates one of her cyanotypes and is a representation of her family heritage and her journey exploring her identity.
“I’m hoping that the artists are able to make a lot of sales and also make connections. Often at markets, it’s not only the sales, but also creating a network that leads to other things,” said Taylor.
Taylor said that many artists were hit particularly hard during the pandemic. Many venues, including the Finch Lane Gallery, had to cancel their holiday markets last year, which meant the loss of art shows that are a way to bolster artists economically.
“And so I’m especially hoping with the artists we’re highlighting, each individual artist, it’ll lead to more beyond just the pop-up shop,” she said.
There are many local art markets to choose from this year. New ones are opening, such as a European-inspired Vintage & Craft Market complete with mulled wine and apple cider, to join recurring events like Craft Lake City’s third annual Holiday Market in Ogden and the Silly Holiday Bazaar in Park City and now in Sandy.
Ongoing markets now open
The Hive Market SLC • An artisans’ pop-up market provides locally made goods for the holidays. Trolley Square, 602 S. 700 East, Salt Lake City, and a new location in the Outlets Park City mall, 6699 N. Landmark Dr., Park City. Mondays-Saturdays 10 a.m.–9 pm. and Sundays 12-6 p.m. starting Black Friday weekend through Christmas. Free admission. Find details at The Hive Market’s Instagram page, @thehivemarketslc.
Neighborhood Hive Pop-Up Market • The Neighborhood Hive is based on a concept similar to Seattle’s Pike Place Market, with open shopping at owner-operated store fronts of small businesses such as Hello! Bulk Market and Olio Skin Care. The pop-up will be going through the holidays, every Saturday, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. in the parking lot of The Neighborhood Hive, 2065 E. 2100 South., Salt Lake City. More info at theneighborhoodhive.org
Salt & Honey Market Holiday Makers • This seven-week holiday pop-up will be full of handcrafted, one-of-a-kind, unique gifts from the best of Utah’s makers. At two locations, Salt & Honey Market, 926 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, and Fashion Place mall, 6191 S. State St., Murray. Going on now until Jan. 2. Hours vary by location. Visit their instagram page @saltandhoneymarket for the most up-to-date information.
Winter Farmers Market • The downtown indoor Winter Farmers Market will feature over 60 fresh food and craft vendors, selling locally grown produce, meat, eggs, cheese, baked goods, sauces, condiments, chocolate and unique holiday items. The Gateway, 400 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City; Saturdays, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. through April. Free admission. More info at slc farmers market.org.
Winterfest Art Jubilee • An assortment of affordable, unique, handmade items from artists and artisans from all over the state; with everything from watercolor and oil paintings to jewelry, pottery, fiber art pieces, and handmade books. Bountiful Davis Art Center, 90 N. Main St., Bountiful; Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m and Saturday noon–5 p.m., now through Dec. 23. Free admission. More info at bdac.org.
Opening in December
Christkindlmarkt SLC • Inspired by German Christmas markets, Christkindlmarkt SLC offers a unique holiday shopping and cultural experience, food and festive holiday entertainment outside in wooden vendor booths. This Is the Place Heritage Park, 2601 E. Sunnyside Ave. Dec. 1-4, 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Free admission. More info at christkindlmarkt-slc.com.
Simple Treasures Weber Holiday Boutique • Over 130 local crafters offer unique handcrafted gifts, holiday and home decor, trendy boutique fashion and accessories, jewelry and neighbor gifts. Golden Spike Event Center (Weber Fairgrounds), 1000 N. 1200 West, Ogden; Dec. 1-3, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. and Dec. 4, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Grand opening on Dec. 1, 8-10 a.m. $5 admission with treats and treasure hunts. General admission $1 at the door (12 and under free). More info at simpletreasures.boutique.
Utah Art Market • Connecting the community with local artists and artisans from all over Utah. Selling fine art, prints, jewelry, pottery, metal work, wood work and seasonal holiday gifts. 1400 S. Foothill Drive in Foothill Village (formerly Steinmart), Salt Lake City; Dec. 2-4 and Dec. 9-11, 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Free admission. Find more information on Instagram page @utahartmarket.
Craft Lake City Holiday Market • After a virtual marketplace last year, Craft Lake City will return to Ogden’s Nine Rails Creative District for a two-day, in-person event that will feature handmade…