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Mob Market shows artwork motley

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Jocelyn Arceo
Editor in Chief

The Art Mob Market, a group of artisans, held a spring art sale featuring various works through the use of different mediums on Saturday at the Claremont UCC Church.

Since 1995, what was once formerly known as the GypsySisters’ Artisans Market, the now Art Mob Market features a large amount of diverse art like hand-crafted jewelry, ceramics, painting, prints and cards, hand-made soap, felt work and other crafts, over a three-day period twice a year.

With a large display of what looked to be vintage treasures, Sher Ofstedahl, owner of Antiques, Etc. in Upland, sells what she likes to call her orphans, or in other words antique, salvageable pieces of broken jewelry that she assembles.

“If someone has vintage jewelry from their grandmother or their mother and they want it made into something more contemporary, I’ll make them something still using the old pieces,” Ostedahl said.

“I believe in not throwing away anything, so I’ve kind of always adopted orphan pieces of other people’s jewelry… I’m really big on repurposing and reusing.”

Another artist, Kathy Spear, had jewelry, monoprints, cards and silk-dyed scarves on display for intrigued, possible customers.

She has been involved with the market for an upwards of 10 to 15 years, and claims that it is all about the community atmosphere.

“I love the people, it’s creative and it’s really a place for creative outlets and networking with other artists,” Spear said. “It’s like a family, some of the women here have been in this particular show for a lot of years.”

Mixed-media artist Toti O’Brien had her various sculptures on display, many of neutral toned colors.

The sculptures took the form of a human while still including elements of nature, something she said she gets much of her inspiration from.

“Sometimes, inspiration is just something you get in your mind, you see something, or you have a vision so-called, it’s like an impulse,” O’Brien said. “As you can see, I get a lot of inspiration from nature. Say I find a piece of driftwood– I will just know it’s going to become something.”

Having dabbled in art since before the age of 10, O’Brien has only been participating in the market for about 10 years. She described the show as great, with great people, something she mentioned is not always common.

“We are very supportive of each other, and when you do these kinds of markets for a job it’s a work in progress,” O’Brien said.

“You build your customers, your clients, so you need to stay many years in a place because if not, it doesn’t make sense.”

One artist, Laura Barnes, presented a display holding a large number of prints, all varying in size from work printed onto an empty greeting card to larger prints the size of an average frame.

The presentation seemed to have one central theme: cats.

Whether through black and white block print, or what looked like warmer toned water color, the prints were heavily inspired by the four-legged feline.

“I actually had never put cats in my artwork until I owned one. I’ve always liked watching animals, I have some pieces with crows and birds, things like that,” Barnes said. “It’s funny, because I’ve had dogs before and it’s just not same. Cats, watching them is just different.”

Barnes has been an artist for about 40 years, and has been participating in the market for at least nine of those.

She said that being persistent and open to trying new things is the key to a successful profession in the market.

“Keep trying different ideas and don’t be afraid to try something new, you never know where it’ll take you,” Barnes said.

“For me right now, the block printing I had decided about 10 years ago that was something I wanted to start doing, so I just dove in. Now I do more of that then actual painting, which is what I had trained at.”

The Art Mob Market is held every first weekend in May and December in Claremont, and will be returning at the end of the year.

Jocelyn Arceo can be reached at

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