By Nicole Hennessy
Christmas in July may be a joke of a “holiday,” but for local artists it’s when preparing for December begins.
In addition to creating all the crafts and artworks that are purchased as gifts, now is when applications open for the popular Screw Factory Last Minute Market, which takes place each year on Dec. 20.
Kathy Patton, the Screw Factory’s event coordinator, says applications became available beginning July 15.
There is a vetting process, and the ultimate decision on who will be included in the market is determined by an internal selection committee, so not all applicants will be guaranteed a spot.
But those who do make the cut are almost always likely to have a successful day.
Out of about 200 applications that are received, along with a $15 fee that goes mostly to paying for the software necessary to make the application available online, about 100 get chosen, Patton said.
For those chosen there is a booth fee, which varies, but starts at about $80.
“There’s some sadness, of course,” she awkwardly laughed, in reference to the application process. “It’s a really hard job because so many people are very good, and it’s awful.”
Artists who are included are selected based on things like previous experience selling at markets and the quality of their work, as well as the quality of the photos of their work required as part of the application process.
Other qualifiers include limiting the inclusion of too many of the same products.
A painter and jewelry maker herself, Patton has had a studio at the Screw Factory for almost five years now.
The increasing popularity of the Last Minute Market, she said, really does show how many more people are becoming aware of the Screw Factory and the artists who keep studios there.
In addition to encouraging applicants, Patton also encourages shoppers to not only come, but to buy something they like right away, as the items at the market tend to go quickly. Markets in the past have had to close down early, due to items selling out.
“(And) you can’t necessarily make another one before Christmas,” Patton laughed.
The application form, which can be found at www.lastminutemarket. blogspot.com, will be available through Aug. 31.
The market will also be accepting donations of cash and food items the day of the event on behalf of the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland, which has been a beneficiary the past few years.
More information on the application process can be obtained by contacting Eileen@ClevelandHandmade.com or going to lastminutemarket.blogspot.com.