Art fair draws a crowd in Peterborough

Union Leader Correspondent
November 26. 2017 11:20PM
For artist Lauryn Welch of Peterborough interacting with customers at Broke: The Affordable Art Fair is a highlight of the show. (Meghan Pierce / Union Leader Correspondent)

PETERBOROUGH — Broke: The Affordable Arts Fair ended its 10th year Saturday with a huge holiday show at the Peterborough Town House.

Started a decade ago by Peterborough artist Mary Goldwaite, who also teaches art at ConVal High School, Broke was aimed at making being an artist in a small town more accessible. Broke also makes buying art more affordable for shoppers.

“The mix of artists is really amazing. I’ve never seen a craft show that is so well vended and so well put together and really eclectic. Usually I go to craft fairs and I will not spend any money. I can’t come here without spending $150,” said vendor Kristen Page of Concord, who was there selling her mom, baby and home items from her business Ripenstitch. “This is my fourth year that I’ve done it. … I sell extremely well here. I make the most money here. At this craft fair people really appreciate handmade goods and the artistry.”

The curated event features 50 artists.

“From the beginning we tried to make this affordable to artists,” Goldwaite said.

In turn, the artists are asked to bring affordable pieces, she said, under $50. This price limit challenges the artists at Broke and actually gives them a mindset for creating for different price points.

Artist Lauryn Welch of Peterborough was first a vendor at Broke as a high school student eight years ago.

Being a part of Broke has pushed Welch as an artist to create art on a smaller scale, she said. The painter brings prints and marker drawings that are portable, accessible and affordable for the fair patrons. Being at the fair also creates a local following for work, she said. Welch shows her painting in galleries and is represented by a gallery in Brattleboro, Vt.

“(Broke) makes being an artist and making a living as an artist more accessible,” Welch said. “You’re only going to sell a big painting once a month or maybe not at all. But this stuff is like a steady stream of income, especially having this local following, having events like this is really, really helpful.”

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