Third-Annual Holiday Market


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The Holiday Thieves’ Market will kick off this weekend featuring all kinds of artists from the Midwest and beyond.

The market, an event that is operated by University of Iowa students, will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday in the IMU. The event will continue at 10 a.m. Dec. 8; it is free and open to the public. This year will mark the third-annual wine tasting, which will be held at noon Saturday.

Artists participating in the event range in genre, including painting, ceramics, photography, woodworking, drawing, metal, glass, jewelry, and fiber.

Lauren Wallace, the marketing director of the Fine Arts Council and a member of the group since 2011, is in charge of advertising and promoting the Thieves’ Market. In preparation for the event, she has managed to keep herself busy by sending out press releases, contacting local media, and managing social media. 

Wallace said her favorite component is being able to walk from booth to booth to meet the artists and ask them about their work.

“Each artist comes from a unique and rich background, and their dedication and mastery of craft is evident in each piece they create,” Wallace said. “We love to see artists who have been coming to the show for years, along with new faces as well.”

Nancy Krahn, an Illinois-based jewelry artist who participated in the market for the first time last year, said patrons can expect a variety of unique fine art from a stylistic perspective.

Krahn crafts her pieces using hand-fabricating techniques, soldering, forging, and texturing her materials using hammers and chasing tools. She noted that the market truly has something for everyone.

“Collectively, it is just a really nice experience,” Krahn said. “The patrons are eager to be there; they’re appreciative as well as educated about fine art and craft. The venue is perfect, and the Fine Arts Council works really hard to make it a great experience for all of us.”

The event began in the 1970s, when a group of students from the university started the market for a means to sell their artistic works. The market expanded from there as artists from all over, the Midwest in particular, began to display their work in the event. Today, students receive a discounted rate for participating in the show.

Katy Beightol, a senior graphic-design major with an interest in artistic design who has attended the market for the past three years, said the event is different from anything the university puts on.

“The Thieves’ Market has a great range of artists that make it fun to just walk around,” she said. “I’ve never actually bought anything, but it’s nice to just look around at the artists’ work.”

Holiday Thieves’ Market
When: 10 a.m. Saturday and Dec. 8
Where: IMU
Admission: Free

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