Makers In Manayunk Where to find creative pieces in creative places. By Leksey Maltzman Photography by Alexa Nahas Photography (alexanahas.com)
Every year for the past 30 years, hundreds of thousands of people flock to Main Street for a weekend at the Manayunk Arts Festival, but that’s not the only time of year when you can find unique and beautiful artwork in this neighborhood. All year long, local artwork can be found in many of Manayunk’s small businesses. From jewelry to woodwork, from ceramics to greeting cards, there is no shortage of art available in Manayunk.
Iluminé Gallery - 4386 Main Street
The Little Apple - 4361 Main Street
Iluminé Gallery is a unique gallery that features a variety of affordable fine jewelry, as well as paintings and sculptures. Owner and operator Lynda Berdin has been in the jewelry and art industry for over 30 years. Even though Lynda has relationships with jewelers and artists from all across the world, she still makes a point to incorporate local artists and jewelers in Iluminé. “I like to support local artists because supporting them is investing in my community,” Lynda said. “It also empowers the individual artist and creates a whirlpool effect on the community to support one another.” Local jewelry designer and crafter Bopbe is a staple at Iluminé. This husband and wife team create necklaces and earrings with natural stones, gems, and shells while still achieving a clean and modern look. Look for Bopbe at the 30th Annual Manayunk Arts Festival this June. There are many artists from out of town featured in the Manayunk Arts Festival, so it is especially nice when small businesses in Manayunk form relationships with artists and carry their work all year round. Iluminé sells work from both Kristiana Parn and Cindy Kaiser, two artists you can find at the festival this year. This will be Kristiana Parn’s second year at the festival. Her whimsical illustrations feature adorable woodland animals in a variety of natural and urban settings. Cindy Kaiser is new to the Manayunk Arts Festival and is excited to showcase her delicate gold jewelry inspired by her childhood in Europe and Zimbabwe. Cindy’s booth will be right outside of Iluminé on June 22 and 23. Lynda also showcases her own abstract mixed media artwork at Iluminé. She enjoys using vibrant colors to inspire joy and bring the earth and spiritual worlds together.
The Little Apple is known for having unique, sassy, and fun gifts, many of which are made by local artists and craftsmen. One local artist who was at the past two Manayunk Arts Festivals, Pepper Pop Paper, can always be found on the greeting card wall at The Little Apple. Every individual card has hand cut and assembled shapes that “pop” off the page! “You can see how much love and care the artists put into their pieces,” said Brandy Deieso, owner of The Little Apple. “They’re not just mass-produced in some factory — there is attention paid to every detail.” Sarah Brett Ceramics is new to both The Little Apple and the Manayunk Arts Festival. Her quirky animal hiney wall art and butt buds succulent vases have both been flying off the shelves since they arrived at The Little Apple earlier this year. You can find Sarah Brett Ceramics in the Emerging Artist tent at the festival or in The Little Apple all year long. This year’s Arts Festival poster artist, Samantha Carell, also has her work available in Brandy’s store. Her paintings combine fluid acrylic paint with scientific methods to create a fascinating and colorful end result. While you can purchase her prints online, The Little Apple stocks coaster versions of her popular pieces. Brandy enjoys keeping a close relationship with the local artists she features in her store and has been thrilled to see many of their artistic endeavours flourish. “One of the best parts about working with local artists is getting to watch their careers start — sometimes as a small side project then grow into their full-time job as they become more and more successful,” said Brandy, “which is just so cool and exciting to see!”
manayunk.com | Summer 2019