FARGO — Tucked away in a cozy corner of the Best Buy entrance inside West Acres is a little gem of a place called Aptitude Creative Arts Studios.
At any given time, artists and makers are on-site creating works ranging from ceramics to photography to jewelry. Open to the public every Saturday from noon to 6 p.m., Aptitude is a great place to see artists in their element and learn more about the creative process.
This holiday season will be particularly festive for the studio, as artists open up their spaces for celebration beginning with Small Business Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. During the event this Saturday, Nov. 27, they’ll sell their goods, demonstrate their crafts and offer make-and-take art for those who stop by.
It’s a win-win, because makers are able to work on their crafts and shoppers get a glimpse into the lives of a diverse community of artists.
Reasons to shop at Aptitude
Aside from finding unique gifts, holiday shopping at Aptitude has many benefits:
- No inventory or shipping concerns.
- Avoid long lines at large stores.
- Support local artists and their work.
Artists apply to become residents at Aptitude. Once accepted, they can move into their studios and pay a monthly rent fee to Aptitude collaborators, West Acres and The Arts Partnership.
“Aptitude is a space that brings people and artmaking together,” said Jen Nelson, owner of Jenny Sue Ceramics and an artist-in-residence at the collaborative. “I think often there is a disconnect to where the art in your life comes from. Being able to check out the open studio at Aptitude lets you see exactly how the art we make is produced.”
Currently, there are 12 artists-in-residence at Aptitude working in diverse disciplines ranging from hip-hop to hoop earrings. Here is a list of those who will be participating in this year’s holiday markets.
Jenny Sue Ceramics
Jen Nelson, ceramics and DIY kits
“My ceramics are bright, colorful and happy,” Jen Nelson said. She also makes regional magnets and ornaments that represent pride in where we live. Nelson will be selling regional magnets and ornaments, as well as holiday-themed ornaments and kits at the holiday markets.
Brown Bird Handmade
Lacey Hagensen: papercrafts, jewelry, bath
With one-of-a-kind items and an ever-changing inventory, Lacey Hagensen of Brown Bird Handmade has a large variety of styles and mediums. Hagenson will be selling jewelry, cards and knitted scarves at the holiday markets.
Contact: email@example.com or 701-793-4168
Linda Boyd Artworks
Linda Boyd, fine artwork
Linda Boyd specializes in acrylic still lifes and pet portraits. She is out of the studio until the spring but is currently taking commissions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 701-367-0838
Tara Fermoyle, ceramics
Tim Lamey Studios
Tim Lamey, photography and preservation framing
Bridget Solsaa, textiles
Yellow Chair Press
Jenny Junker, printmaking
Online: @yellowchairpress on Instagram
Nicole Nistler, handmade jewelry
Steph Norton, handmade chrome products
Online: @wandermadewitch on Instagram
Angie Mueller, home decor and accessories
Online: @amazballzdecor on Instagram
Free holiday events at Aptitude in West Acres
What: Small Business Saturday
When: noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27
Info: Meet artists and learn about their work; items will be available for purchase.
What: Aptitude Holiday Launch Party
When: noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 4
Info: Unique holiday shopping, artist demos, giveaways and make-and-take workshops.
What: Holiday Art Markets
When: noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays in December
This article is part of a content partnership with The Arts Partnership, a nonprofit organization cultivating the arts in Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo. For more information, visit http://theartspartnership.net.