July 2017

Art and design inspiration at SoWa

Boston is a city of summer charms. When the temperature starts to rise, a Sunday afternoon means kayaking on the Charles River, window shopping on Newbury Street, and sprawling out in the Public Garden for a picnic lunch.

However, for Boston’s local design community, the SoWa Open Market remains a summer staple. Every weekend from April 29 – October 29, people gather in the city’s South End in the SoWa Art and Design District. SoWa (derived from “south of Washington”), historically an area of abandoned warehouses, is now home to galleries, artisan shops, and the summer Open Market where 150 local artists, farmers, foodies, crafters, and musicians unite in one of the region’s most vibrant artisan scenes.

Taste from the bazaar of food trucks, sip craft brews and ciders in the Beer Garden, purchase fresh produce from the Farmer’s Market, and pick out beautiful pieces for your home – all while supporting local businesses and artists.

Pretty pieces for your home

This year’s market is curated with artists that showcase everything from handmade jewelry, clothing, and home décor to fragrances, gifts for men, and tourist swag.

Vicki Caira of VPV Photography hosted a booth featuring her and her husband’s beautiful photography taken around the world. The husband-and-wife team has been selling in Boston for four years and this summer, they opened a boutique in Rockport, MA.

According to the duo, their biggest success has come from turning their photography into fine art limited-edition coasters.

Moss & Blue, a Boston-based art studio run by painter Julianne Strom, was another hidden gem among the gathering of vendors.

“There is an interesting balance of new and old in Boston that allows many artists from different walks of life to find success,” Julianne said. “I love feeling like I’m making something new and refreshing that isn’t intimidating or a turn-off.”

You can also shop Julianne’s work on her Etsy page.

Tasty new treats

In addition to artists, there are many local food companies that attend SoWa each weekend. Brand representative of goodMix Foods, Andrew Mcclymont, told us his company originated in Australia and has only recently set up shop in Vermont. He comes to SoWa to share goodMix, a blend of 11 superfoods all chosen for their mineral content and nutritional value.

As for local eats, SoWa boasts a diverse selection of local farmers and produce vendors, as well as a whole area packed with food trucks, all offering a taste of Boston.

Those little things you didn’t know you needed

One of our favorite finds is a vendor after our own heart, a business called The Wander Truck. This mobile boutique run by Laura Sylvester carries home goods, accessories, and jewelry, all sourced from small makers around the U.S.

“I have always been really drawn to the idea of being able to bring the store to the customers, whether that be at a market like SoWa, or a music festival, or someone’s driveway for a party!” – Laura, The Wander Truck

There’s certainly something for everyone at SoWa. And if nothing else, it’s an invigorating place to soak up some of that summer sun and design inspiration.

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