11:30am • Saturday, December 3, 2022 • Michigan Union, Pendleton Room
This weekend’s Women, Queer, & BIPOC Art Fair, hosted by What the F, was a fun and rewarding experience for all involved. What the F is a student organization centered around art and intersectional feminism which produces a magazine each semester, as well as a podcast, blog, and arts events like this one. The event took place in the lovely Pendleton Room on the second floor of the Union, where artists set up shop at small white-linened tables distributed market-style across the room. The space was a big step up from last year’s fair, which if I remember correctly was held in the Anderson room on the first floor. The Pendleton Room was grander and more immediately visible to guests, which lent the fair a more official and celebratory atmosphere.
As a vendor, I was present from the beginning to the end of the event, and I loved seeing how the fair served as a social, community-building space. Even with exams looming ahead, it was heartening to see how so many students gathered to celebrate one another’s art and connect with one another. From about 12pm onward, the fair was full of guests meeting up with friends, interacting with the artists, and exploring the room. As the event began to wrap up, What the F had to make an announcement to the still-very-full room that the fair was closing, and guests were still approaching artists as they packed up their work to make last-minute purchases.
A few of my favorite shops from the event included Michelle Knapp‘s table including work from her Etsy shop, MousemadeCo, and Sivan Ellman‘s table where she was selling some of her very cool collage prints. I also loved the adorable printed totes Maya Moufawad was selling at her table. One of the unique aspects of What the F’s fair is that the organization does not charge artists to participate, which creates a uniquely accessible opportunity for student artists to put their names out, when other fairs might charge upwards of $80 dollars to table. Because of this, artists are not pressured to sell work, but can use the art fair as an opportunity to exhibit the pieces they are most proud of without incurring extra costs.
I look forward to the return of the What the F Women, Queer, & BIPOC Art Fair next semester, an event which, with luck, will be longer with perhaps even more artists present.