The Indie South Fair returned to bring a weekend of art and music to Columbia on Sept. 23 and 24. This free event has its roots in Athens, Georgia, but travels all around the Southeast, hosting artists and designers that find passion in their work. Just a seven minute drive from the Horseshoe, the Indie South Fair housed music, awesome gifts and handmade trinkets of all sorts. Booths were set up all around the venue with various items such as jewelry, clothes, soaps and candles. Some of the vendors even had handmade items from recycled materials like pendants made from driftwood or lamps made from the head of a doll, a camera or bike tires.
Chris Jones, owner and creator of Happy Arsenal Jewelry from Greenville, uses the fair and selling his jewelry, including pendents made of driftwood, as a way to get away from his normal job.
“I actually own my own design firm, so this is really just a way for me to get out from behind the computer and use my hands instead of my head,” Jones said.
Aside from small independent vendors, there were also small companies that came out to the market. One of these companies was FASHIONable, and a USC student was working the stand.
Bailey Mason, a fourth-year accounting student, explained that Fashionable “creates jobs for women locally and globally.”
Mason said, “All of our jewelry is made by women who live in Nashville, and all of our leather products are made by women who live in Ethiopia.”
Even working a stand and not walking around, Bailey said she had a lot of fun.
There was a plethora of things to look at and buy, some useful, some creative and some that made you stop and stare. Jakob Nicholls, a fourth-year finance and real estate student, found the real necessities at Indie South Fair.
“I got some soaps today, I got a detox soap, and a couple others from the stand over there, and they all smell delicious and I was in dire need of soap so it worked out perfectly,” Nicholls said.
Brenagh Sanford, a graduate student studying higher education and student affairs, attended the fair last year and came back for round two.“It’s great Christmas gifts," she said. "I got some jelly for my dad, and I mean especially if you’re not from South Carolina, being able to get some things that are local, so that whenever you graduate you can take them with you, and it’s another [memento] for your time here.”
The fair is full of talented creators, all with their own unique abilities to make something that someone else will fall in love with. An illustrator and designer named Alison Brynn Ross took creativity to a whole new level creating taxidermy from wire.
Born and raised in Charleston, Ross said that her craft “was born of a love of nature and a love of art.”
“I love the reactions I get," she said. "People don’t look at things with wonder very often and so to have people come up and be like, ‘woah, it’s a unicorn, it’s a rhinoceros,’ that kind of stuff, it’s pretty cool.”
The wire sculptures are mounted on wood, and look exactly like 3-D line drawings of animals. From elephants to lions to dinosaurs, Indie South Fair allowed Alison to bring some of her intricate work to Columbia.
The Indie South Fair brought in various artists and vendors from around the surrounding areas who make imagination reality with their hands and minds, giving students the opportunity to take time off work and enjoy and buy a variety of art pieces.