The Moonlight Gypsy Market is no longer scheduling events…
Starting at Sundown, the “Moonlight Gypsy Market” comes alive with an eclectic mix of vendors, performers, and collectors of the unexpected. Originally inspired by the lack of diversity in other local arts and craft events, this dark/outsider/weirdo festival continues to foster an environment unlike any business minded retail experience… one of community, wonder, and wild inspiration.
Since 2010 the Moonlight Gypsy Market has been dedicated to bringing the Athens GA community a strange collection of creative minds with dark yet inspirational ideas and dreams that they let come out to dance at night! Vendors selling their handcrafted handiwork, vintage collector items, and fantastical odds-and-ends. Artists that paint, build, burn, glue, weld, melt, and create beautiful works of art that might fall into the category of a little strange, or even misunderstood. Bringing together any who appreciate all things far from “Ordinary” within an environment that celebrates the: Eccentric, Outsider, Weirdo, Macabre, Erotic, Odd, Gothic, Dark, Abstract… and especially the Otherworldly!
More information on any Moonlight Gypsy Market event available at our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/moonlightgypsymarket
[NOTE: Would you like to learn more about the modern day “Gypsy”, who they are, where they come from, and the horrible plight of a race of people with a long history of suffering human rights violations all over the world. If you would like to do more research start here: http://www.gypsyloresociety.org/additional-resources/gypsy-and-traveler-culture-in-america]
ATHENS NEWBIES MEETUP (Rob White)
Moonlight Gypsy Market Oct 29, 2016 · 7:00 PM @ Junkman’s Daughter’s Brother. It’s almost Halloween, which means it’s time to dress up, get spooked and hopefully score some candy. First up is the Moonlight Gypsy Market, a caravan of eclectic artists, entertainers and oddball types including yours truly, spooky local author Rob White at Junkman’s Daughter’s Brother at the corner of Broad Street and Hull. I’ll be chained (perhaps literally; it is Halloween) to my book launch table at the Market, so if someone would like to volunteer to coordinate the group for the parade at Live Wire I’d be very appreciative and will shower you with free spooky reading material. So come on down, y’all. Dress in your spine-tingling best and enjoy the Fall weather with your fellow Newbie friends and fiends.
FLAGPOLE 4-01-15 (Jessica Smith)
After five years celebrating Athens’ dark underbelly of outsider, macabre and erotic artists and performers, the Moonlight Gypsy Market has expanded into a biannual event. Presenting some most unusual and experimental acts, performers include vaudevillian troupe Mr. Blank’s Weird & Wandering Sideshow—think glass-walking, fire-eating, a bed of nails and a bearded lady—Xulu Prophet, Dux, In Sonitus Lux, The Psychedelic Wolf Folk Harmony and Genetic Outcast. An open-air market offering handmade, vintage and collector items will host at least 18 vendors, including Vintage Soirée, McShawns Gem Works, Mad House Mind Works, Papa Bugg, Juliet Sexton, Crispy Printz and Betwixt Steampunk. 8 p.m. FREE! 255 W. Washington St.
RED & BLACK 10-10-14 (Joe Youorski)
Arts and crafts festivals typically are not the place to find shocking and experimental works, but on Sept. 13, the Moonlight Gypsy Market will take over the Max Canada downtown for an array of artists who veer into all sorts of dark and unusual territory. “Gypsy is the theme, which in my mind is kind of like a darker version of art,” said Mux Blank, chief organizer of the event and a musician and artist himself. “It’s the do-it-yourselfers, the outsider artists, the weirdo artists and all that.”
The fair was started five years ago when one of Blank’s friends was discussing how she was struggling to find a venue for her art, which often featured risqué cartoon drawings. Blank saw her talent and knew there must be plenty of others in a similar situation, so he decided to make an accommodating fair to fill the gap typical arts and crafts expos left behind. “I developed this idea to be an arts and craft fair that carried the erotic, the macabre, dark and weirdo type of artists who don’t normally have a convention to go to and show their stuff,” Blank said.
Part of the festival’s design also came from Blank’s love of “Stardust” by dark fantasy author Neil Gaiman, in which a character is thrust into the bizarre world of a gypsy market. “In his description, as you’re walking through, you see the trinkets and the handmade items, but you also see a lady with a jar of eyeballs, fairies in little cages, all kinds of weird stuff,” Blank said. “To me, it was kind of like the Renaissance Festival, but with a different sort of twist to it. And I always wanted to start something like it ever since I read that.”
The fair has expanded greatly since its inception, and has now moved to The Max Canada from its original home of the Little Kings Shuffle Club. The bar will feature a myriad market as well as a multi-stage musical showcase with a set-up in the Max’s adjacent music venue and acoustic music outside.
While most craft fairs host tightly organized vendor booths with pre-determined spaces, Blank simply allows vendors to claim their own areas on the floor, provided they leave others reasonable room. This creates a long, winding path through the market space, matching the festival’s sense of chaos and revelry. “I think the second year was the best,” Blank said. “Everyone set up in some really weird spots, so it was all over the place. You had to walk through it really zig zagged, and it was just awesome.”
The vendor area will feature everything from tarot readings to jewelry to drawings. Jittery Joe’s Bakery will provide refreshments. The music showcase will take an experimental bent, with artists delving into strange and abstract territory, such as Danny the Looper’s performance with Spencer Rich…
The myriad musicians and artists at the fair possess incredible range from each other, but all are connected by their unorthodox ethics and attitudes. To Blank, filling the venue with as much peculiarity as possible is what makes the festival work. “I want this to be a sort of weirdo-fest, because to me, the word ‘weirdo’ isn’t a bad thing; it’s a good thing,” Blank said. “This is to give everybody an idea of what you’re not going to find at something ordinary.” The market will be free for all 18 and up, and music in the venue will cost $3.
FLAGPOLE MAGAZINE 9-10-14 (Gabe Vodicka)
The Serious Moonlight: On Saturday, Sept. 13, the Moonlight Gypsy Market takes over the patio at Max downtown with a vast collection of “outsider, weirdo, macabre, erotic, abstract artists, crafters, junk vendors and performers,” according to organizer Mux Blank. Live music for the evening will be provided by Rainy Taxi, The Honey Sliders, Polly Panic, Dendera Bloodbath, RoHit, Antlered Aunt Lord, KUSA87, PsyLents, Ken Squatt, Doug Aldridge, Mr. Blank, Sequestered Citrcuitry Aesthetics, The Steak Place and In Sonitus Lux. Whew doggie! Everything kicks off at 7 p.m.
ATHENS BANNER HERALD / ONLINE ATHENS 9-18-13 (Andre Gallant)
A crafty carnival 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Little Kings, 223 W. Hancock Ave. No shortage of craft events around these parts. But the fourth annual Moonlight Gypsy Market is sure to be nothing like the rest. If you go, expect outsider artists, weirdos and oddities. Vendors include Chris Hubbard, Wes Freed of Drive-By Truckers album art fame, Dain Marx, Mux Blank, Jill Kingsley and many others. But it’s not just craft vendors. Music and performance art is scheduled, too. See Boycycle, Carnivale of Black Hearts, Cortex Garza and lots of others. $5 for entertainment; market is free.
FLAGPOLE MAGAZINE 9-18-13 (Brittany Joyce) Link: http://flagpole.com/calendar-picks/2013/09/18/em-doubt-a-parable-em
The 4th annual Moonlight Gypsy Market boasts a collection of strange, erotic, macabre and outsider crafts, fashions and performances. Kicking off at sundown, the Little Kings patio will transform into a bazaar, hosting vendors such as Revelations Reiki and Crystals, tarot card reader Anni Paisley, Mr. Blank’s Odditorium of Endearing Items, Gumball Machine Records and Drive-By Truckers’ visual artist Wes Freed. Vaudeville troupe Carnivale of Black Hearts—featuring Madame Surayyah—will present acts by Preya, Sarah Runels, members of Secret City Burlesque and the Athens Burn Consortium. Other performances include Boycycle and The Great Impo’s magic show, and the night will culminate with a fiery finale by the Black Heart Burn Unit backed by DJs BeatmatchedHearts. The market highlights the dark underbelly of Athens culture, welcoming the chilly months ahead. Moonlight Gypsy Market begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free for the market and $5 for the show.
RED & BLACK 11-11-11 (Randy Schafer)
The Moonlight Gypsy Market is no one’s idea of normal. Created by the founder of the Carnival of Black Hearts, Mux Blank said that it caters to the “outsider, erotic, macabre, weird, dark, odd and all things far from the ordinary.” Between theatrical circus performances and macabre arts and crafts, Blank is pulling in entertainers and vendors from each dark corner he can find.
But to fully understand what this event encompasses, it’s imperative to comprehend who Mux Blank is. Growing up in Lawrenceville, he worked with his father, who owned a business fixing motors, which is where Blank’s business and do-it-yourself mind-set came into fruition. He started the Black Hearts in Athens six years ago, with the intention of finding like-minded people to perform 1930s freakshow-esque entertainment. “We’re all playing characters in that,” Blank said. “Like I’m playing Mr. Blank, that’s me. Mr. Blank’s becoming me more and more and living in a school bus, I fit the part.” Blank garnered much of his inspiration from the HBO series, “Carnivále,” which featured a traveling circus during the Dust Bowl. “Starting the carnival, I wanted to bring that stuff back,” he said. “I’m watching that show and I was thinking, ‘I could do this.’”
In researching freak shows, he also became infatuated with the concept of people that are societally branded as “freaks” and “outcasts” getting a taste of normalcy and belonging. “That’s kind of a part of my show and I try to incorporate that into it,” he said. “I’m not going for evil and although I wear a skull-face when I perform, I just like the whole Day of the Dead theme.” Along the same theme, Blank encouraged his brother — who’s bound to a wheelchair — to perform a dark, hip-hop styled poetry in the same freak show fashion for a couple of shows. Referring to his brother as “Half-Dead Boy,” Blank designed pants that looked as if his brother had crawled out of a grave and painted his legs to appear decayed and rotting. “So he wheeled up there and I introduced him: ‘Our next act I must warn you, because this act may disgust you, you’re going to be grossed out by this,’” Blank said. “And then I’d say, ‘Now introducing, Half-Dead Boy.’” His evangelistic sideshow introduction appeared to be cruel in nature — but appearances are deceiving. “And he’d wheel out there all silent and open this big book and just recite poetry,” Blank said. “Then he closes it and he wheels off and everybody just stood there in awe. Then it just went insane with applause and that was probably one of the most applauded acts we’ve done.” After the show, his brother described it as one of the most amazing experiences he’s had — and that’s just an example of Blank’s exaggerated cartoon perspective of his carnival.
Blank’s right-hand man, so to speak, Susan St. Charles — or Madame Surayyah — has been a part of the carnival since its birth and helps construct the market. She likes the idea of the “olden-days” market place that used to be a social gathering, but adds a little twist. “It’s all in the same vein of the gypsy scene that’s kind of turned macabre,” St. Charles said. “Since we’re in the Halloween season, it definitely has a darker edge.” Just as Blank is immersed in theatrics, the belly dancer and co-promoter feels at home in the mysterious and enigmatic scene — and hopes others will as well. “It’s all things that mesmerize or intrigue and pull you in,” St. Charles said. “It’s the perfect marriage for us of the dark arts that we practice and the darker and more macabre things that people collect and make.” And in harmony with this motif is the Greenville-based band, Din of Thieves. Playing into the same theatrics as the Black Hearts, the band is vocally driven, telling vivid stories, and lead singer Caleb Riley describes its music as “theatrical goth-rock, cabaret and pirate-jazz.” Along the same lines of the weird and experimental is artist and vendor Rakan Smith. Some of his work is abstract or representational, bordering the erotic.
Including additional erotic and abstract pieces of art, Blank and St. Charles will also be performing, adding an even more poignant edge.
And in keeping with Blank’s experimental vision, he offers perspective through a different lens. “I love storytelling … and that’s a huge part of this … and I’m living a story in front of you,” he said. “It’s my way of giving people something they don’t see everyday, you know, they’re brought into a whole new world.”
2nd ANNUAL MOONLIGHT GYPSY MARKET
Where: Little Kings
When: 6 p.m.
Performing: Mr. Blanks Weird and Wandering Sideshow: Shocking physical tricks such as his “human blockhead” and snorting BB’s, popping them out of his eye socket, as well as other tests of his body’s limits in theatrical style. Captain & The Fatal Farmers: Fire performances, including poi fire tossing and more. Triangle Fire: Local punk, ska and rockabilly band that crosses multiple punk genres and is playing its second live show. The Subliminator: Atlanta poet, performing psychedelic spoken word.
Vendors: Rachel Cabaniss & Deanna Maxwell: Rachel is a painter and embroiderer who models old country music stars as her subjects. Deanna uses found and recycled items to make “outsider art” and makes handbags and jewelry. Cynthia Pendley: Illustrator and designer that features her own comic book-style of nude and scantily clad women in her art. Crystal McElhannon: Psychic and tarot card reader, McElhannon has been reading tarot cards for 16 years and professionally giving readings for 10 of them. Mux Blank: Makes candle lanterns out of used food cans and has his own line of stuffed animals, paintings and sculptures.