The space breathed with potential. Its indoor-outdoor ambiguity meant natural light illuminated every inch of its warehouse height. It was only the second week the Firehouse Art Collective was holding its Weekend ‘Buzzar’ in this canopied space when we visited, but it already carried the promise of a neighborhood fixture. Has Berkeley not always had a dedicated artist’s market? What took us so long?
It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon and the sun, like a spotlight, singles out the organic soul food stand in the back. A guitarist strums on a makeshift stage by the entrance, a table with kombucha beside it. The bazaar launched the same day as the Juneteenth Festival.
Bernard Brown finishes taking apart a seven-feet-tall lamp. His other lamps stand in formation around him, an army of battery- and solar-powered LED lamps that he’s re-purposed from older incandescent models and household objects (two of them were tall pepper mills in another life). Across from him, Moriah Hart, potter, folklorist and filmmaker, dotes over a collection of ceramics, bowls, cups and little creatures staring up from the shelves.
Julia Lazar, the assistant director of the Firehouse Art Collective and co-creator of the event, explains, “The intention is to create a space for artists of all disciplines to co-create community and culture. It is a place to congregate.” She laughs, “That sounds weird … congregate.” She shies away from the word’s religious baggage, but it’s appropriate for the project and the vision of a weekly artistic gathering place, a space for them to interact with each other and the rest of the community.
And because it’s closing soon, the place stands emptier than one would suspect it to, but you get the feeling it won’t stay that way for long.
The Weekend Buzzar is every Saturday in July and both Saturday and Sunday in Aug. from 12-6 at 3192 Adeline St.
Images source: Sophie Lee
Tags:art, Firehouse Art Collective, food, Juneteenth Festival, market, Weekend Buzzar
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