British Columbia

Holiday market for 'weirdos' showcases alternative artists

Curator Rachel Zottenberg started the market to create a community for like-minded artists.

'A Holiday Market for those unsatisfied by the everyday gift'

The Vancouver Weirdos Christmas Market takes place Dec. 11-12 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at The Venables Hall in Vancouver. (Weirdos Market/Instagram)

Calling all weirdos looking for holiday gifts! 

The Weirdos Holiday Market will offer a selection of thousands of unique and eccentric items this weekend.

"It's oddities, it's scientific interests, it's passionate artists behind these products that make weird and wonderful stuff," said curator Rachel Zottenberg. 

Zottenberg started the project five years ago when she noticed that Christmas markets were all selling similar items. 

"I had all these wonderful artist friends that were creating interesting, strange, and alternative art, and didn't have the means to show how incredibly awesome and talented they all were," said Zottenberg. 

Zottenberg said 2,000 people showed up in the market's first year. 

This year's market features over 25 vendors. (Weirdos Market/Instagram)

Each year, Zottenberg and a core group of artists take time to go through applications and curate the market. 

Their main criteria? It has to be strange and it has to be something they have never seen. 

"No leggings. There's not going to be a legging anywhere ... There's not going to be a yoga stand," said Zottenberg. 

One of the most popular artists at her market repurposes vintage dolls parts by putting plants into them. 

The market  takes place Dec. 11-12 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at The Venables Hall in Vancouver. 

"A Holiday Market for those unsatisfied by the everyday gift," reads a promotional poster. 

A tough city for new artists 

Zottenberg started the Weirdos Market to create a community for new and alternative artists. She said there are not a lot of opportunities for artists to get seen in the city. 

"Vancouver is a tough city for artists generally. Especially for new indie artists, alternative artists, people who don't fit into the regular cookie cutter ways in which art is shown."

Zottenberg, who owns several art galleries and has been a curator for years, said watching people come together has made the project worth it. 

"These people get to create a community and work together and really show what they're passionate about … they are masters of their strange craft," said Zottenberg.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michelle Gomez is a CBC writer in Vancouver. You can contact her at michelle.gomez@cbc.ca.

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