South of Washington Street (SoWa) Open Market got off to a great start this weekend. The market hosts a nice variety of vendors. We found plenty of original art from painters, sculptors, and photographers. There were artisans of hand-crafted jewelry, clothing, and handbags. Sprinkled amongst all of the creative types were also a few florists, bakers, and local farmers with fresh produce and tasty treats! The weather was perfect all weekend and the shoppers responded by packing the market on both days.
The organizers of SoWa know how difficult it can be to park in the city, which is why they have arranged for free parking at two large open lots close to the market. It completely eliminated the parking hassle. The personal nature of open market offers the opportunity to meet the artists, vendors, and those behind the work. It is fast becoming part of the South End’s well-known artist’s community.
One of the artist we met was Robert Rossel of Symmetry Tile Works. STW kilns are fired by propane to a temperature of 2300ºF. The intense heat and flames, as well as their special glazes, are responsible for the brilliant colors and unique variations in the tiles. We, and apparently plenty of others, were pulled in by the tiles’ amazing colors and nature-inspired designs. They were also heavily discounted. The pieces for sale at SoWa were reminders from various projects and customer orders. They are perfect for small projects such as a backsplash or as accents. We picked up three of the small 3″x3″ tiles for the RainyDayKitchen. Not exactly sure how we’ll use them, but we will figure out something! They were just too amazing to pass up.
The SoWa Open Market is surrounded by lots of interesting businesses and galleries. One of them is the Bromfield Gallery on Harrison Ave. The wall of tubes which caught our eye reminded us briefly of dots and dashes of Morse Code. We then thought maybe they were some kind of horizontal wind chimes. Upon closer inspection, we saw the tubes had patterns and etched markings reminiscent of those used in print making.
The work on display at the Bromfield Gallery were 3-D creations by local artist Randy Garber. The common theme of these works is communication: sound, print, etc… Her efforts were inspired by theories of evolutionary language development and neuro-biological linguistics. These pieces will be at the Bromfield Gallery until the end of the month. The gallery is open during the week from Wed to Sat between the hours of 12-5.
The SoWa area of Boston has undergone quite a bit of change since we last visited. The SoWa Open Market is not your typical outdoor vendor-fest. Don’t go expecting to find the usual wares at this Summer open markets. After you have spent an hour or two wandering round, there are plenty of inviting cafes just a few steps away serving iced-coffee or double espresso. Word is spreading. So hop on your Vespa and scoot down and check out the SoWa Open Market before things get totally out of control.