Art vs. Craft at Turner Ballroom, 2005
Event flyer designed by the Little Friends of Printmaking, 2013
Art vs. Craft (2005-2015)
Inspired by vending at the premier Chicago Renegade Craft Fair in 2003, Faythe Levine founded Art vs. Craft in Milwaukee WI. Aside from the first two years when AVC was bi-annual, the event occurred in early November, using the tagline "Buy Handmade for the Holidays." Urging the public to avoid mass-produced goods by purchasing items directly from the source was an extension of Levine's larger ethos, connected to her gallery Paper Boat and work with her documentary and book Handmade Nation. The event also encouraged many early conversations about material sourcing, labor and production as well as acting as a springboard for many independent makers and small businesses, allowing them to build their identity and brands.
Over its tenure in Milwaukee, AVC was held in four different venues; Turner Ballroom, Milwaukee School of Engineering Campus, The Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center and the Harley Davidson Museum. With endless community support, AVC annually drew in over 5000+ visitors through the doors at each event and hosted over 450 unique vendors from Wisconsin and Chicago, and as far away as New York, Florida, California and Seattle. Many were selling their work for the first time and have now moved on to have sustainable practices.
A special acknowledgement goes out to Kim Kisolek and Milwaukee's locals independent radio station WMSE 91.7FM who’s unwavering support and sponsorship made the event possible. Additionally, the design team THE LITTLE FRIENDS OF PRINTMAKING based in Milwaukee during these years designed the promotional materials, including limited edition silkscreen posters between 2007-2015. Their unique style and attention to detail helped create the lasting identity of AVC.
Additional history, archives and images available upon request.