By JESSICA KIM COHEN
One of around 85 participants at this year’s Hyde Park Community Art Fair (CAF), artist Jackie Gray will sell bags she creates with upholstery fabric.
“My bags are one-of-a-kind,” Gray said. “I like to say unless there’s someone else, in Albuquerque or somewhere, with the exact same idea, and with the exact same kind of fabric, this is something you won’t see anywhere else.”
CAF, a program of Hyde Park’s Artisans 21, runs concurrently with the separate 57th Street Art Fair. It will take place on June 7 and June 8, at the nearby Bixler Playlot, 5641 S. Kenwood Ave.
Gray got her start at CAF a few years ago, after forming a relationship with the Artisans 21 Gallery.
“The people who run the fair go out of their way to get a nice broad selection of different artwork, and to get beautiful, one-of-a-kind items that are reasonably priced,” Gray said. “There are always new vendors, and even the vendors like myself who have been there for a few years have new things.”
To maintain difference, there are 17 styles of purses that Gray designs. However, Gray’s primary concern is utility.
“Because they’re made of upholstery fabric, they’re not the kind of thing you would usually see on a bag,” Gray said. “But this makes them really durable. I also feature pockets that I’ll sew into the lining, so it’s unique and practical.”
In addition to textile purses, Gray also makes wine gift bags. These are made of cotton fabric, rather than upholstery.
“It’s just a nice, fun thing with a gift of wine,” Gray said. “And whoever you give it to can go ahead and give it to someone else, so you’re not wasting paper. Also, I’ve found art fair patrons and wine tend to go together!”