Powered by estrogen, 'The Girlie Show' enters its seventh year of offering female artists a platform to sell their wares

The Girlie Show
7-11 p.m. Friday, noon-5 p.m. Saturday
OKC Farmers Public Market
311 S. Klein
$15-$20 Friday, $5 Saturday

'Tis the season for early bird Christmas shoppers to get a jump-start on their lists, and organizers of "The Girlie Show" hope to lure the first wave this weekend by injecting a party atmosphere into the seventh annual female-centric art expo.

Co-founder Dawn Harth said roughly 150 applicants are combed through each year to fill 40 spots in the juried event, which will feature DJs and food caterers on Friday, and live music on Saturday.

"We think the show has a unique niche in that it is not just fine art, but it's also not just a craft show. We fill this middle ground that opens an opportunity for a wide range of artists," Harth said.

Amy Baldwin, the Normanite behind Curly Q Mosaics, has participated in the show for five years straight. Her pieces feature elaborate, swirling designs on products such as guitars, purses and furniture. She utilizes tile, china, wallpaper, copper, board game pieces and whatever else she thinks will work "? items as unique as the ambience of "Girlie."

"It is different (from other shows) because everyone is excited and having a good time. They are there because they want to be," Baldwin said. "Unlike traditional shows that are oftentimes serious and very sterile, my work finds a happy place in this atmosphere. My work conveys what 'The Girlie Show' is: all things bright, eccentric and fun."

Baldwin will bring a range of pieces starting at $35; larger works, such as customized, vintage windows, are priced up to $700. That variety is key to keeping customers buying her products.

"I always push myself to think outside of the box and create something new and unexpected," she said. "That is why my clients continue to come back for more. They want to see what I am going to come up with, as I never know what crazy concoction I will dream up next."  

Jen Hogin will fly in from Montana to take part in her second "Girlie Show." Creating custom hats under the superjennylove label three years ago, she stumbled upon "Girlie" when trying to find venues for her work.

"In Montana, we don't really have big shows like this, because we don't have the population to support it, but I wanted to be a part of these shows," Hogin said. "I went last year, and it was phenomenal."

Priced between $7 and $60, her hats are handmade from repurposed or vintage fabric. She admitted it might be easier to just run to Walmart, buy cheap clothes and tear them apart to build hats, but she prefers discovering higher-end fabric with a more interesting providence.

"To put it bluntly, the material (at retail stores) is disgusting," Hogin said. "I don't want to use it. It smells bad, it feels bad. I like using fabric that has a history and an energy to it. Some of the fabric is vintage from the 1940s that's never been used. Some of it I get from mostly thrift stores, and sometimes from meeting old people and forming relationships and them giving me sewing materials."

Most of her hats are what she calls "modern-day newsgirl," but she has branched out to fedoras, cocktail hats and even a men's conductor hat. She plans on expanding into summer dresses, T-shirts and other wearables in the spring.

Promoting a diverse array of styles and media among "Girlie" vendors is part of why Harth thinks attendance grows each year. Based on previous installments, she expects 2,000 attendees on Friday and around 800 on Saturday, all drawn to the same basic formula the organizers birthed seven years ago.

"The concept hasn't ever changed. It has always been about creating a place to welcome artists who didn't necessarily have a venue before," Harth said. "It's continued to evolve and develop this life of its own. When we first saw this opportunity and sat down to plan it out, we never expected it get this big." "?Charles Martin

above Jen Hogin's hats and below Amy Baldwin's multimedia pieces can be found at "The Girlie Show."

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