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Art Mart Gives The Term “Pop Art” a New Meaning

Let’s face it: The Lehigh Valley needs more cool independent retail opportunities, especially for those of us who are creative

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by Carrie Havranek

Allentown Art Mart is making a small but significant dent in that dearth of independent shopping—the kind that means you’ll find one-of-a-kind jewelry, artwork, and other unique, handcrafted items. Art Mart is popping up in response to the need for space for artists to sell their wares.

It started as one of those pop-up retail exercises whose sense of for-a-limited-time-only purchasing helps create a buzz. The first pop-up Art Mart took place earlier in July, and a second one, a couple weeks ago. But it quickly morphed into something else entirely, and now a bonafide storefront is born, at the Holiday Inn Center in downtown Allentown, on 9th and Hamilton.

Art Mart operates as a consignment art gallery and gift boutique but it also sells wares from local companies, such as Easton Salsa and bulk coffee from Fegley’s Coffee Works. But it’s more than that, of course—it’s about community building, too.

According to Art Mart pioneer Diane Teti, the biggest sellers have been jewelry and gently worn clothing by Caleigh’s Closet, which was formerly on Linden Street. However, the work of nearly two dozen local artists graces the walls—all for sale.

This Saturday, July 30, there’s an Art Mart Buy Local Fair, to which outside artists have been invited to sell their work, too; look for up to 50 vendors. It runs 11am-2pm, and will take place at Allentown’s Holiday Inn right in center city. Admission is free.

For more information, contact Diane Teti (tel. 215/704-9497; allentown.artmart@gmail.com).  Store hours: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 11am-5pm; Thursday & Friday 11am-6pm; and Saturdays 11am-7pm.

Carrie Havranek is a writer in Easton who doesn’t have a crafty bone in her body but admires the abilities of those who do.

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