• Market offers “feast’ for the eyes, as well as the stomach
By Christina Whiting
The opening of the Homer Farmers Market is an eagerly anticipated rite of spring. Every year, market coordinators put a call out for artwork. This year’s contest winners include Desiree Hagen, whose colorful paper cut The Gleaners will be included on posters and Kelsey Hardy-Place whose block print The Market will be showcased on t-shirts and sweatshirts.
“Both pieces were very unique and incorporated agricultural themes,” said Robbi Mixon, Market Manager. “Desiree’s is bright, beautiful and intricate and Kelsey’s is cute looks great on our apparel.”
Both artists are from Homer and have been involved with the market, working for vendors or as volunteers.
Desiree Hagen created The Gleaners with the Farmers Market in mind. The original paper cut piece is a 20 by 30 foot cut out design of a single sheet of black paper, with different colored sheets of paper layered behind it.
“I really like how tactile paper cutting is,” Hagen said. “You can create something without using a lot of money and it comes easy for me. It’s also therapeutic.”
To make a paper cut, Hagen draws an image on the backside of the paper, drawing the mirror image and uses an xacto knife to cut the design out. After the image is cut, she glues colored paper underneath.
Hagen used Van Gogh’s picture of the gleaners as her model.
Hagen likes to work with her hands and in a variety of mediums, including sculpture, metal, marine debris and creating posters. Her mixed media work has been showcased in Bunnell Street Art Center’s annual Wearable Arts show, including a metal dress made out of washers, a vegetable strainer chainmail piece and a disco ball helmet. Her paper cut of the KBBI building was auctioned off during last year’s anniversary. In 2013, she participated in the Homer Council on the Arts emerging artist’s show and she had a solo show at K Bay Caffe.
Hagen loves to create posters and her posters have been used by a various Homer nonprofits, including Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic and the Homer Cycling Club. This is the second poster she has designed for the Homer farmers market, the previous one being in 2011.
Hagen’s first job was as an apprentice furniture upholsterer and later, working in kitchens. Today, she works at Fritz Creek General Store.
Hagen sees the Homer Farmers Market as an example of why Homer is such a strong community. She was inspired to create The Gleaners by the hard work and devotion of summer harvesting and the do-it-yourself attitude of the market vendors.
She is currently working on a collaborative installation piece and wants to create a series of paper cuts that will showcase salmon.
Hagen loves the Farmers Market and is flattered to have her work chosen for this year’s poster.
“When your art is a poster, everyone has the potential to see your work because it’s not in a gallery, but on display all over town,” she said.
Kelsey Hardy-Place created The Market, a block print depicting what she thinks of when she thinks of the Homer Farmers Market – mountains, turnips, kale and carrots.
Her process includes carving a design in to a block on linoleum and rolling ink on to it.
In addition to block prints, Hardy-Place also likes to do watercolors and mail art, where she paints envelopes and packages that she sends to friends and family. She was inspired to try block printing when she saw another artists’ work and decided to try it for herself.
Hardy-Place has been involved with the Farmers Market since moving to Homer two years ago to work at market vendor Emily Garrity’s farm and booth, helping to run the coffee corner and serving on the market Board. Growing up, her parents always had gardens and she went to school to study environmental studies and sustainable agriculture.
“I’ve always liked working and being a part of the food that I’m consuming,” she said. “Farming is the best way to do that.”
Both Hagen and Hardy-Place’s designs will also be showcased as part of a series of four Farmers Market postcards, a new product at this year’s market.
Also chosen to be featured on the posters and postcards was a photograph of a purple cabbage by long-time market vendor and board member Emily Garrity and market manager Robbi Mixon’s photograph of peonies.
The 14th-annual Farmers Market opens May 24 with marimba band Shamwari and 40 full-season vendors selling art, crafts, vegetables, plants, food and more. Additional vendors will join on a week-by-week basis. Market hours are Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Beginning July 2, market hours will be Wednesdays, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information on the Homer Farmers Market, call 299-7540; visit homerfarmersmarket.org or their Facebook page.
Comments are closed