Bustling Nighttime Bazaar

Nothing – not the Thursday night rush hour traffic, nor the lack of easy parking – deters adventurous shoppers, browsers and anyone looking for some evening fun, from flocking to Art & Flea. I arrive at the April market, Night in Paris, right at 5 p.m. when it opens and have a few minutes to look around before the throngs pour in.


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Andree Fallas holds up a bikini set she crocheted at her Ai Designs: Lifesymbols table.

My big lamentation anytime I return from travels abroad is the lack of evening community gatherings that I see so often in other countries. Well, Art & Flea fills the void. It’s open to all ages, keiki to adult, though it’s mostly a youthful crowd. Enter the zone, which is Fresh Cafe and its outdoor area, and 20-somethings are eating at the cafe, hamming it up in the photo booth or sitting at the picnic table etching their artwork or names onto the doodle canvas. Many more are visiting the more than 60 vendors showcasing their unique paraphernalia.

“Art & Flea is a monthly event in support of local artists, musicians, DJs and entrepreneurs,” says Andree Fallas, whose table sports a selection of her crocheted bikinis and handmade jewelry. “To be at Art & Flea, you need to be vintage or handcrafted here in Hawaii. We have fine artists and jewelry artists and some ‘flea,’ which is the vintage part. We have games and contests and an array of live bands, and DJs for KTUH.”

Live music starts up, the smell of food is in the air, announcers talk about an eating contest coming right up, and there’s an attractive array of items filling the space: knitted beanies, jewelry, clothing, mini plant gardens and the fiery stream of a blowtorch fashioning glass pipes. That’s just outside. Inside are lots more tables, some featuring lotion, soap and makeup, and there’s a loft upstairs showcasing artists and their paintings.

“We have unique artists,” says Fallas, “like a woman who makes jewelry and artwork with pieces of curled paper, and people who make cosmetics and powders from natural Hawaiian ingredients. You can find a bargain here because these are artists who usually work out of their home and don’t have a store or studio (with overhead costs). You can talk to the different artists and designers about their process.”

The theme changes each month, be it “ugly sweater” or “superhero,” and those dressed accordingly get $1 off of the $3 admission. The theme May 23 is Vintage Flight, so arrive in vintage flight attendant or pilot wear and enjoy the journey: Shop, eat and meet fellow lovers of homegrown talent.

the TICKET stub

When: May 23 and the fourth Thursday of each month, 5-10 p.m.
Where: Fresh Cafe (831 Queen St.)
Cost: $3
More Info: artandflea.com

Community Raku Kiln

You’ve seen it plenty at shops, galleries and outdoor markets around the island – that vitreous, mineral-colored luster on all manner of pottery known as raku. Folks can learn about the process, do it themselves or buy raku made by experts at the 37th annual Raku Ho’olaulea May 25 at Camp Mokuleia (68-729 Farrington Hwy., $5. Call 637-6241 or visit hawaiicraftsmen.org). The process involves placing ceramics into a red-hot kiln before transferring them to a cooling chamber. The 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. workshop-gathering is part of a four-day celebration of raku May 24-27, put on by Hawaii Craftsmen.

Related activities include a May 22 slide lecture at 6 p.m. and wet clay demonstration at 7 by juror and guest artist Jerome Heck at the UH-Manoa Art Department. Artwork created at the Raku Ho’olaulea will be on exhibit June 4-29 at the Arts at Marks Garage Gallery, with a June 6 artists’ reception from 5:30 to 8 p.m., that will include a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. On First Friday, June 7, from 6 to 9 p.m., the gallery will offer clay shaping demonstrations using wheel-thrown and hand-molded techniques.

Hawaii Craftsmen’s Ho’olaulea prospectus describes the 16th century origins of raku, which was made exclusively for tea ceremonies, noting: “The ideograph ‘raku,’ freely translated, means enjoyment, contentment, pleasure and happiness.”

Make raku and be happy!