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Always Inspired, Rachel Mckay Awaits the Market

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Local artist Rachel Mckay talks about her work and life as a Michigander.

The Market returns July 13th!

July 13 from 12 p.m.- 8 p.m., the sidewalks along S. Division between Fulton and Cherry will be vibrant and lively with an street style artist market, open gallery spaces and live entertainment. This event features local handmade goods, artists, entertainers and local businesses. Interested vendors can learn more by visiting the WEBSITE, joining on FACEBOOK or emailing [email protected]. Want to volunteer? Visit this link to sign up!

"I’m just always waiting for my next inspiration,” says Rachel Mckay of her life as an artist in the Grand Rapids area while musing about her upcoming plans to be a part of the Market presented by the Avenue for the Arts.

A native of the East Side of the state, she credits her love of the arts to her grandmother. She fondly remembers spending hours in her basement watching her grandmother work in a wide range of artistry. In Rachel’s words, “creating a life from her hands.” She used the skills she learned from her Grandmother’s basement sessions to propel her interest. Feeling that she had finally found a means to express exactly what she meant, Rachel moved to the Grand Rapids area to study at Grand Valley State University. Focusing early on knitting and photography she then realized she needed to switch to a medium that allowed her to produce on a larger scale. After reconsidering college and dropping out, she moved to the Eastown neighborhood and served a stint in Americorps which gave her the inspiration and time needed to discover that artistry could be a part of her daily life.

After her revelation, she banded together with her fellow crafty roommates Rose Beerhorst and Emily Helmus, who runs Bloom Ferments. They started participating at artisan markets throughout the area. Even winning the prize Best In Show at the UICA in 2011 and 2012 as the collective Weavebird. Her involvement in The Market started back around 2009 with her first attendance.

Rachel’s goods include everything from prints to re purposed journals to mini zines and even dabbling in painting. Her handcrafted pins and other distinctive items also spark a whimsical interest. Her current most prominent product is an impressive line of stamps of all assortments of creatures. In addition, she is working on creating personalized stamps for other artists so they can stamp their own creations, as a craftier “made in” marker. Stemming from her loyal michigan roots she describes her overall theme as woodsy and folklore inspired. Rachel also attests to the love she has for the Grand Rapids community. Praising it as a city for makers, and being “big on community so it is easy to create something and feel supported.”

When not playing the vendor at numerous artisan venues about town, her creations can be found in a number of fashions. Including her Etsy page, flickr and tumblr. Also, Rachel will be at this fall’s Lamplight festival.

When asked if she’d like to promote any upcoming events Rachel refers to her opening statement, warning us that she is always creating and is just excited to see what she will come up with next!

This Michigan girl and her inspired style, as well as countless other artists, can be found at the Market this July 13th.

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