Arts & Life, Events

Artists showcase their work at the Long Beach Patchwork Show

Local artists and vendors gathered together at Marine Stadium Launch Ramp in Long Beach to showcase and sell their homemade goods.

The event was organized by a company called Dear Handmade Life on Nov. 13 and 14 and lasted from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dozens of tents were set up with local vendors coming to sell all kinds of homemade goods such as paintings, jewels and clothing.

Nicole Spaulding, the director of operations for the event, described how the show was created by the owner of Dear Handmade Life, Nicole Stevenson.

“[Stevenson] started as a maker herself,” Spaulding said. “She started this market with her aunt, her business partner at the time, in this little parking lot in Santa Ana. Then it just started to grow.”

Spaulding said Stevenson’s company has been organizing events showcasing artists, crafters and designers for about 14 years now, rotating from several different cities across California twice a year. The company had plans to branch into areas such as Oceanside or Redlands, but the pandemic put that idea on hold.

Despite the setback, the Patchwork Show still continues to serve as a celebration for local artists.

“We believe that it’s an honor to buy handmade because people put their joy and all their things into making really cool stuff and bringing their art into the world,” Spaulding said.

Jorge Daniel Nuñez, an artist at the event and owner of JDN73 made celebrity sugar skull art, with some resembling David Bowie while others had Los Angeles-centric themes like sugar skulls wearing Dodger or UCLA hats.

“Since I was born and raised in LA, I want to do something that represents Los Angeles,” Nuñez said.

Nuñez has been designing these skulls for about 20 years now and has about 30 designs. He also says he likes drawing musicians or celebrities because they are what inspires him.

For Terri Jackson, inspiration came in the form of a wooden heart. The artist and owner of Vintage Rejuvenations, she has been designing her repurposed displays for around five years now.

Vintage Rejuvenations display of upcycled books by Terri Jackson.
Vintage Rejuvenations display upcycled books by Terri Jackson at the Patchwork Show. Photo credit: Christian Lopez

The art on display included old books or wood that she has carved designs into. She began her work as an artist by painting furniture, which she still enjoys as her hobby. Then one day, she walked into a hobby shop where she spotted a wooden heart. This project would eventually change her art style.

“I just took it home and painted it, put some flowering things, stencil, calligraphed a saying onto it and took it into an antique booth,” she said. “It sold immediately.”

Since then, Jackson has been sure to shake up her designs by including different decorations such as moss. She said the work is therapeutic.

Once the attendees began growing hungry from shopping after a few hours, beverages were provided right outside the tented area. Long lines wrapped around the several food trucks that were ready to serve burgers, breakfast pastries and Italian ice.

Future Patchwork Shows have already been planned by Dear Handmade Life. The next event will be on Nov. 20 and 21 in Santa Rosa, followed by a tour in San Francisco during Thanksgiving weekend. It is almost certain that the Patchwork Show will continue to grow as it travels around California, providing opportunities to a variety of talented artists.

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