Arts & CultureCampus & City

Wares & Trinkets: OddBird Art & Craft Fair

OddBird featured a wide range of styles and product types, all of impressive quality.

The brand new OddBird Art and Craft Fair at the Old Strathcona Art Centre is undeniably cool. With the retirement of the Royal Bison Art and Craft Fair, several of its vendors endeavoured to create a fresh and new revival, with the first Oddbird fair held from May 10 – 12. While I was expecting young and contemporary designs and creations, I didn’t expect the sheer quality and variety of work that I saw.

I’ve been to a minimal amount of arts and crafts fairs in my life. Usually I’ve left unimpressed. At OddBird though, I ended up walking through the entire fair at least half a dozen times. While OddBird isn’t a large fair, it more than makes up for this with its excellent selection. Even though many stalls sold similar items, such as ceramics or art prints, their distinct styles set them apart. I really just enjoyed appreciating the work of talented Canadian artists I otherwise likely never would have found.

One of my favourite stalls was Naked & Frayed. The vendor sells completed embroidery and embroidery kits. Naked & Frayed has several designs of iconic Edmonton landmarks, such as the Garneau Theatre, the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market, the Black Dog Freehouse, and the High Level Streetcar. This felt like a really unique way to honour some local landmarks. 

Linocut as an art form has existed since the 19th century but, I would argue it’s recently had a resurgence. Multiple vendors at OddBird sold linocut prints, including Snake Bite Creations. Snake Bite Creations sold hand-drawn and linocut prints, greeting cards, and wall hangings. I was impressed with the level of detail and ended up buying a print.

As previously mentioned, OddBird had a rich variety of goods. Jae Polgar sold sturdy ceramics with trendy designs. Proud Wednesday sold charming beaded earrings. Jaime Calayo sold really distinct art prints, many of which incorporated hockey. For someone who enjoys the sport but doesn’t want framed jerseys on their walls, Calayo’s art would be a nice alternative.

On the topic of price, OddBird may initially seem on the pricier side. But even just looking at a few stalls, it becomes apparent that vendors’ prices match the level of detail, quality, and skill that goes into their work. The prices are reasonable for the amount of hours they put into each piece and the years they spent developing as artists. 

Although most vendors had items on the pricier side, many also offered cheaper products. Angela E. Smyth sold genuinely adorable stickers for $4 each, or three for $10 and six for $20. I bought the bison, the fish, and the disco ball. Although Smyth sells her designs in the form of stickers, prints, and more, they also tattoo these designs. As tattoos are obviously expensive, I appreciated that I could enjoy the artwork without making such a large commitment. 

When OddBird returns for its Holiday Fair from November 29 – December 1 and December 6 – 8, I will definitely return. This time with a bigger bag, a longer shopping list, and the holiday spirit to justify both.

Dylana Twittey

Dylana Twittey is the 2024-25 Managing Editor at The Gateway. She previously served as the 2023-24 News Editor. She is a second-year student studying history. In her free time, she enjoys watching 90s Law and Order, cooking, and rereading her favourite books for the fifth time.

Related Articles

Back to top button