Philadelphia is no stranger to niche pop-up shops and artist markets, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room in the space for just one more.
This Small Business Saturday, Nov. 25, at PhilaMOCA, visitors will be treated to prints and products from a curated group of 20 local artists, designers, and printmakers. With products such as prints, pins, stickers, jewelry and clothing, the event is a must-stop for those looking to pick up unique gifts this holiday season.
Philly Views recently chatted with designers Steve DeCusatis, Mario Zucca, and Josh Carter on Facebook Messenger to learn more about their new event PhilaMRKT and get the inside scoop on how it all started. The full interview is below.
We’d like to know some background information about how PhilaMRKT became a reality. Can you tell us about how the three of you worked collaboratively to make it happen?
Mario: The three of us were all feeling inspired to organize some sort of creative event, but we didn’t really know what. Ideas ranged from a group art exhibit to a mini-conference sort of thing. Eventually, over a few beers and several emails back and forth, we landed on the idea to do the market.
Have any of you worked collaboratively together before?
Mario: I’ve worked with Steve before. We did a collaborative lecture and workshop last year at Tandem, a design conference at Jefferson University. We also occasionally work together on freelance design and illustration projects. However, this is my first time collaborating with Josh.
Steve: As Mario said, we’ve collaborated a bunch of times over the years (we’ve known each other since 1998 when we met at Tyler) ranging from design/illustration projects to lectures with themes of “self-generated work” and “collaboration”. Josh and I have also collaborated together on some design projects where he brought his animation (After Effects) skillset to some design work. This is our first event working together although he has helped me set up some design lectures in Philly.
How did Josh Carter get involved?
Steve: That’s what I’m always trying to ask myself … From what I remember, Josh initially talked about doing an exhibition for a while and I mentioned we should get Mario involved as we’ve talked off-and-on about doing an event/lecture/etc. together. Basically, we all knew each other would be interested in doing something; we just didn’t know what yet so we all met and brainstormed. After many ideas and a few meet-ups, we landed on a market. Then, the location, naming process, invites to curate the vendors, overall branding, social strategies, networking, etc.
Mario: Yeah! What Steve said!
How did PhilaMOCA get involved?
Mario: Let’s let Josh field that one.
Josh: Yeah basically I decided to just jump on to Steve’s event success. So we approched PhilaMOCA to see if they’d be interested in hosting our Market. PhilaMOCA is a cool venue in Philly that I had done some work with in the past. I had heard about the shows and different events they’ve hosted and really liked what they were doing. Eric Bresler who runs PhilaMOCA is awesome!
So how did you go about selecting the artists for the event?
Mario: We’ve been slowly revealing one artist at a time via brief profiles on social media. We’ll post the full list on Facebook and Instagram once we’ve posted everyone’s profile. Should be sometime the week leading up to the event.
Is there anything else you’d like to let people know about the event that might help encourage them to get out on the 25th to see the work?
Steve: LOTS of holiday shopping to be had – Prints, original art/paintings, toys, posters, apparel, stickers, buttons, affordable artist-made and designed products! Come on out! Getting press on some area event calendars, and more! All at a cool, artist space that’s easy to get to – free admission to come, hang, mingle, and shop!
Mario: Not sure if this was already mentioned, but the event takes place on Small Business Saturday, so we’re encouraging people to shop small! Come out and get unique gifts you won’t find at the big box stores.
Josh: Yeah pretty much what Steve and Mario said, and I’d also like to add that getting to see all the art at the event is a good snapshot of the current state of art and design in Philly right now.
PhilaMRKT takes place on Nov. 25 at PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th St, from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
More about the designers:
Steve Decusatis has 15 years of design and branding experience, delivering logos, websites, posters, brochures, apparel, icons, promotional materials, invites, announcements, packaging, advertising, signage, social media. and more.
Mario Zucca is a seasoned vet of the illustration game. He’s had the privilege of working for some pretty awesome clients across a number of markets and had a few honors thrown at him along the way. Contact him directly if you’d like to commission him.
Josh Carter is a designer and comedian working in Philadelphia. His personal work mixes his humorous personality with culturally pointed references into a unique blend of socially relevant commentary.