Get to know our newest team member, W. Tanner Young. You may already know him from around arts community events or the photo program at the University of Akron, but here's a little something to dive deeper into his strange, strange world!

"Community — a word that defines my passion and philosophical approach to the arts. After graduating with a BFA in Photography from The University of Akron, I moved to Chicago to explore the options my degree afforded me. Throughout my years in Chicago working in arts administration, I networked and discovered new opportunities in galleries and arts organizations. I found a passion and intrigue for the organic nature of this path — how we connect with different circles, connect the circles to each other, and how these connections expanded and grew the diverse communities and their participants —  and how they grew me as an individual. I spent 8 years in the field, learning through experience and opportunities as they emerged. Now, I’d like to bring that experience back to the hometown that I love, set new goals, and explore new opportunities with other like-minded, yet diverse professionals in the arts. Northeast Ohio has a rich history in all forms of the arts. It’s where I was born and raised, and no matter where I live, it will always be a part of me. Since leaving, I’ve watched with much excitement as the area evolved. I know the people here, and am excited to connect with the new participants in this resurgence.

I am thrilled to be running social media with the amazing, talented, and dedicated folks at Crafty Mart so quickly after moving back. You can trust that I will bring that same dedication to the table to help support all the amazing artists and human beings that make this area so great. Please feel free to reach out to me at any time at with new projects, info, or ideas, and I will do my best to shout it high atop the mountains!"

-W. Tanner Young



Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving!

I have a story for you this Thanksgiving.

When I started working for Crafty Mart a few months ago, I didn't know much about our local arts.  I was a full-time business student without much free time, and last semester I would have laughed at the idea of going to an art show.  When the EXL center contacted me, I hadn't even been to Akron's famous Art Museum despite having lived a few minutes away from it for 3 years.  And yet, over the summer I found myself severely overdressed at a job interview for Crafty Mart.

A few weeks alter I was talking to our vendors at the Akron Ale Fest.  It was purely business, of course, as I was a business student.  The usual formalities; collecting photos for instagram, exchanging contact information, asking about their day, and the like.  But as I drifted from vendor two vendor, there were two qualities I noticed in each one.

First, I noticed the passion in every vendor I communicated with.  This was a job for me, an activity I attended to further my career.  But this was not a job for them; it was their life.  I worked to live, while the artists I talked to lived to work.  

The second underlying quality amongst our vendors was selflessness.  From the artist who painted wondrous canvases with great skill to all of our candlemakers, our vendors weren't doing this because they thought it was a profitable business model, but rather, that they were using their art to brighten the lives around them.  It reminds me of a quote from Dead Poets Society; "Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for".

Though my time at Crafty Mart may be over, I want you all to know that I have taken away something incredible from this internship.  And this Thanksgiving, I am grateful for you; both for the artists who spend their lives contributing to our culture, and for everyone who comes to our shows to support them.

Thank you for your time reading this post on Thanksgiving, and I hope to see you at our 9th Annual show this Saturday.

Dylan Lubinsky, Crafty Mart's Social Media Intern


How to Get the Most out of Your Trip to Crafty Mart


How to Get the Most out of Your Trip to Crafty Mart

Hi, friends. We are so thankful for you, truly, we are!  And we are pumped about our biggest, raddest event of the year!  In gratitude, we offer you a list of ways to take full advantage of the 9th Annual Crafty Mart.  It is happening THIS SATURDAY, November 25th, from 11-6 pm.   And away we go.......


This year, we are offering early bird access tickets! For a $7 ticket, you can beat the crowd and get in at 10 am.  You’re also guaranteed a Small Business Saturday canvas shopping bag courtesy of American Express full of swag, and a raffle ticket for the chance to win one of our Crafty Baskets.   Bonus, you’ll get a free cup of coffee or a mimosa from the Crafty Mart bar.  Redeem your ticket on the 3rd floor of the Summit Artspace and you’ll be on your way.

You can purchase tickets here, and there will be a limited amount available at the door if they don’t sell out first!


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Crafty Mart is once again taking place at three different venues: Musica, the Akron Art Museum, and Summit Artspace-- all within three blocks downtown!  

While you are doing your shopping, make sure to stop inside some of the artists' studios that are housed inside Summit Artspace.  April Couch is a sometimes Crafty Vendor who now has her own studio called Totally Tangled Creations. Check out her big and beautiful studio, there is something for everyone that walks through her door.  

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If you pick up one of our Holiday Passports inside Summit Artspace, you can follow the trail to win a prize at the end of your handmade holiday shopping journey. 

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You can also try your luck at our Raffle Table on the 3rd floor of Summit Artspace.  Baskets are made up with goodies given to us by all of our Crafty Vendors;  you could win a light like this from the Whiskertin guys!

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In the DIY spirit of Crafty Mart, why not make a holiday gift for a loved one? If you aren't already signed up to take a workshop, there are a few still available, including one of smARTStudio's famous portrait-painting parties, and a kid-friendly craft area….. where you can DROP YOUR KIDS OFF WHILE YOU SHOP. It’s a gift for both parents and kids!

Click here to see all the classes still available.

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5. SHOP!

One of the coolest things about shopping at Crafty Mart is that you can purchase items directly from the people who make them. Here is a complete list of our vendors and which venue you can find them in so that you can make your list.

6. EAT!

Urban Eats at Musica will be serving up their famous pizzas, soups and sandwiches throughout the event.

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At the Akron Art Museum, the Q Cafe serves snacks, sandwiches, coffee and a fine selection of local craft beers on draft.  

On the 3rd floor of the Summit Artspace, we have our Crafty Cafe, featured earlier on our blog.  There will also be beautifully frosted cookies by Bake @ 350, Jingle Berry Jam by none other than Jimmy's Jam, salty noshes offered up by Savory Snackage and a host of other foodie vendors.  Fill your belly AND your holiday stocking here!  We will also be serving craft beer and mimosas!

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While you are downtown, there are plenty of restaurants to choose from!  Some of our favorites are CraveThe Lockview and Blu Plate.  


Why not spend the whole day enjoying our beautiful downtown?

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If you need a break from shopping, go see a film! Right in the Crafty Mart footprint is Akron's only indie cinema, The Nightlight. They are located on High Street, just two doors down UnCorked Wine Bar and the High Street Hop House. There's only 50 seats in the theater, so you might want to buy tickets ahead of time!  

The Welcome Santa Parade starts at 11am at Lock 3 Park on Saturday, or you can plan to enjoy Ice Skating at Lock 3 after visiting Crafty Mart!

And get this....Musica has Raekwon from the Wu Tang Clan that evening!  If you are so inclined, grab a ticket to the show and stick around.  See?  Plenty to see and do in Downtown Akron this Saturday!  We told you!

We can't wait to see everyone this weekend! For more information, check out our Facebook event and make sure to RSVP! 

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A Look at the Summit Artspace


A Look at the Summit Artspace

With a goal of fostering creativity, community, and collaboration, the Summit Artspace was created in 1991, then known as the Akron Area Arts Alliance.  Currently occupying the historic building at 140 E Market st., the Artspace boasts an impressive breadth of studios, offices, and a gallery , as well as a pillar of the community and a host of our 9th Annual Crafty Mart.

While the Artspace’s history may not be as impressive as the Art Museum’s in our previous history, what is impressive is the seven galleries the Artspace oversees; the Summit Artspace Gallery, the NextUP Gallery, The Box Gallery, Gallery A, Transition Gallery, Nine Muses Art Gallery, and Summit Artspace on Tusc.  While it may not be the most important service that the Gallery provides from a humanitarian standpoint, managing art shows and tours for local artists amongst these galleries is my favorite of the Artspace’s contributions.

If you’d like to attend an Artspace event, there’s currently a free exhibit running every night in Barberton called “Murals of Light and Darkness” by Ron White.  Featuring White’s large and memorable murals, you can see details of the event here.

And if all this has made you want to support the Artspace, and by proxy your local arts, I would recommend monitoring their class schedule.  While the Artspace does not have any classes right now, they will be back soon, and classes offer a great way to get personal value while supporting the Artspace.  Once classes come back, you will also be able to buy gift certificates for classes, which might just be the perfect holiday present for the artist in your life!  Finally, directly donating to the Artspace is always an option, and can be done through this link if interested.

The Summit Artspace is one of the hosts of our 9th Annual Crafty Mart this Saturday, and I hope to see all of you there!


8 Jewelry Artists You Will Find at the 9th Annual Crafty Mart


8 Jewelry Artists You Will Find at the 9th Annual Crafty Mart

Handmade jewelry is always a great gift for friends and family, and also yourself! Who doesn't love being able to carry around a small piece of art as an accessory? It's a great way to support local artists and express yourself daily. So here is a brief look at the jewelry vendors the 9th Annual Crafty Mart will have to offer. 

Starting with who you’ll find at Summit Art Space, we have:

1.       Cynde H Designs, Instagram -  @cyndehujarski



Combining jewelry and photography, you will find elements of recycled film negatives alongside patterned enameled works.


2.       Wonder lust concepts, Instagram- @wonderlustconcepts



Drawing inspiration from a bohemian theme, this jewelry consisting of necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, leather cuffs, anklets, and hair accessories is made with natural stones, crystals and up-cycled leather.


3. Kristin Ellis Jewelry, Instagram- @kristinkre8s


Using a blend of metalsmithing, lost wax casting, lapidary, and enameling techniques, Kristin makes each piece by hand, down to the jump rings and ear wires.


Moving on to the Akron Art Museum, you will find:

4.       Pierce Jewelry, Instagram - @piercejewelry

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The signature leaf shape and hammer texture creates a strong nature theme which carries across the whole line of everyday wearables.


5.       Wildfoot studios, Instagram- @wildfootstudio


Raw + recycled metals, hand selected gemstones and genuine leather are used for this jewelry. Giving off strong Boho vibes with the use of large jewelry and lots of turquoise


Finishing up with Musica:

6.       Circuit Breaker Labs, Instagram- @circuitbreakerlabs


Jewelry, accessories, and gift items made from recycled circuit boards and resin will be on display at this booth, drawing you in with bright colors and the unique transformation of technology.


7.       My Beverly Jewelry, Instagram- @mybeverlyjewelry


Visiting this booth will bring you back to summer with vintage inspired pressed flower jewelry using local flowers.


8.       Studio Lené , Instagram- @studio_ lené


Modern jewelry made with silver, gold, and various stones with a strong North East Ohio working class theme.

Besides jewelry, you'll find handmade holiday gifts for everyone on your list at the 9th Annual Crafty Mart is November 25th, from 11am to 6pm at Summit Art Space, The Akron Art Museum, and Musica in Downtown Akron.

Check out our complete list of vendors, or get your early bird access ticket here!

Don't forget to visit our Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with what's happening with Crafty Mart, and we hope to see you there!