The Burren hosts SLAM Holiday Artists Market in Davis Square

By Samantha Laine, Town Correspondent, December 20, 2012

During the first four Saturdays in December, the back room in The Burren in Somerville's Davis Square will be transformed from Irish pub to a festive display of art as it hosts the 3rd annual SLAM Holiday Artist Market.

Mary Keane—a graphic designer, painter and Somerville resident—started the local artist market three years ago. It has become an easy way for local artists to network and communicate directly with members of their community.

“Somerville is so full of artists, and so many of them go into [The Burren],” Keane said. “So [we figured] why not have them show their work too.”

About 18 artists will display their work during each of the next four Saturdays. Different artists exhibit their handmade wares each week. Viewers will be able to find jewelry, bookbindery, handmade soaps, paintings, photography, glass, textiles, ceramics, artisan foods and more.Joshua Porterfield—an artist and Somerville resident—plans to display some of his work this Saturday. He creates ink drawings painted with watercolors. His drawings range from cute, kid-friendly animals to strange, esoteric creations. He said that his work is great for anyone who likes art, animals or generally strange, weird, cute or funny things.

“There’s a wide variety,” Porterfield said. He thinks the SLAM Holiday Artist Market is a great place to buy holiday gifts.

“You’re going to get something much more unique. A lot of [the other artists] have amazing work, and you’re not likely to find stuff like this too many other places,” he said. “It also helps support small businesses and individual arts in the community. It keeps money much more local.”

Shelley Bialek-Hebert, a jewelry maker who will be displaying her work, agrees that local art makes a meaningful present. She and her husband, Gustave Hebert use mostly Argentium silver and natural gemstones in their jewelry, creating classy and elegant pieces that cannot be found elsewhere.

“I’m a believer in small businesses, instead of going someplace like Target or Walmart,” Bialek-Hebert said. “You’re really buying into something that has what I call ‘heart and soul,’ because people really put their passion into what they do. There’s a lot more put behind the product.”

The SLAM Holiday Artist Market will take place on the first four Saturdays in December, in the back room of The Burren. On market days, The Burren offers $5 lunch specials along with their regular menu.

A different group of artists will exhibit their work each week. If you would like to exhibit your work at SLAM email Mary Keane for more information.

The Washington Post
A crafts explosion in Somerville, Mass.

By Robin Soslow, December 20, 2012

.....Art is everywhere: A red wind sculpture whirs over a Tstop. Handcrafted benches and art-bombed switchboxes line the sidewalks. Davis Square’s Somerville Theatre houses a Museum of Bad Art.

Shopping’s a breeze: Ceramics, glass and artisan foods fill the SLAM (Saturday Local Artist Market) at the Burren, an Irish pub. Blue Cloud Gallery displays hand-blown glass doorknobs, handmade paper lampshades and photo tiles by local artists. My bag fills quickly with gifts, some for me.

Later, I spot an ad for a Taza bicycle-courier job. Tempting — except that the perks of working so closely with craft chocolate would soon become occupational hazards.


SLAM (Saturday Local Artist Market)
The Burren
247 Elm St., Davis Square

Displays a spectrum of impressive locally crafted goods, including sculptures and wearable art.