Bizarre and Bazaar(er)

Add more queer love to your holidays with this craft fair

Design by Jared Maire for Queer Bizarre, Dec. 6, 2018. Courtesy Queer Bizarre.
Design by Jared Maire, courtesy Queer Bizarre

As people who frequent the State Fair’s International Bazaar know (or people who happen to know words of shopping terminology), a bazaar is commonly understood as a busy marketplace where one can find all sorts of treasures for all tastes. However, Betty Jäger and Meg Brown’s bazaar on Dec. 6 at Insight Brewing is spelled bizarre, and its full name is the Queer Bizarre—Homo for the Holigays.

“There’s all sorts of different communities that we all belong to, and it’s pretty cool to get the queer, art lovers, and makers community all together,” Jäger says.

This is the second year that Queer Bizarre is taking place (although four years ago, Brown did a craft fair under a different name at Lush), and the two are filling their space with as many artisans they could fit. (Hint: The answer is more than 15). Among this curated selection, you’ll find queer and trans artists who make zines, ceramics, jewelry, apparel, illustrations, harnesses, leather pieces and more at all price points.

One of the artists taking part in the craft fair is Jared Maire, who also designed the craft fair’s poster. Maire grew up finding solace and solidarity in what they call “radical ephemera,” like protest posters, event fliers, and screen prints. Oftentimes you can find those themes running through their work; for instance, at this show, Maire is deviating from his psychedelic pop graphics a bit and bringing along some new four-color separation screen prints of archived photos of 1950s and ‘60s drag performers.

“I want to cultivate a practice that can reach and communicate to people all over the world that queerness is not only okay, but that queer is powerful, beautiful, and radical!” Maire says.

Jäger and Brown have been doing shows together as much as they can—Jäger is a goldsmith, Brown is a ceramicist, and they’re studio mates. They met before that, though, before Brown even became an artist. As Jäger tells it, she and Brown met at a Pride festival, Jäger decided she had to be friends with them, and “Meg Brown remembered my name.”

Listening to Jäger say such a simple but profound statement makes the community goal of Queer Bizarre crystal clear.

“It’s not so much about buy, buy, buy capitalism, but a place, a safe space for artists,” Jäger says. “It’s really nice to show that sense of community. As a person who makes things and sells things and is hustling year round, it’s feeling the support of the community.”

Event Info

What: Queer Bizarre
When: Dec. 6, 5-10 p.m.
Where: Insight Brewing, 2821 E Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
More Info: facebook.com

When you visit Queer Bizarre, Jäger and Brown invite you to donate to this year’s door collection for SWOP-Minneapolis, a small, peer-based collective of volunteers that support the sex working community in the Twin Cities area.

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