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Meet Local Painter Ernesto Ybarra

Posted April 2, 2018

You’ve likely seen the bright, colorful and culturally diverse artwork of Ernesto Ybarra, one of the faces of our “Local, Seasonal, Personal” campaign. We’re diving a bit deeper to introduce you to Ernesto and what inspired him to become a painter.

In 2015, as a relatively new craftsperson, Ernesto Ybarra, started selling his paintings on-and-off at Pike Place Market. Last year, he decided to make the jump to sell in the crafts market consistently. As a young man, Ernesto tried to cultivate his artistic talent through photography but ultimately found his creative freedom limited behind the lens of his camera. In search of a medium in which he could fully express himself through, he decided to try his hand at painting and never looked back.

As a self-taught painter, Ernesto has developed his distinctively vibrant style over the past 18 years. Natural inspiration for his art include his Mexican-American culture—stating “there are no rules of color in Mexico, which can be seen in the overuse and clashing of colors in Mexican art”—but much more than a Mexican artist, Ernesto emphasizes other influences on his work, such as time spent living California and New Mexico, or things he’s learned about life and his role as a son, grandson, brother, father and colleague.

When asked what he wants people to know about the Pike Place Market, Ernesto had this to say:

“There’s more to the Market than what people first think of—there’s a whole world of hardworking people, expressing themselves through their work and literally putting themselves on display for people to look at. The artists here are incredible and inspiring. We support each other and encourage each other to grow. I encourage visitors to take time to appreciate the art and to learn about the artists.”

One of Ernesto’s favorite memories at the Market is when one day after he had set up his display of paintings, a couple walked up to his table. The wife looked over his pieces, pointed out one and said, “I like that!” When her husband asked why she liked it, she simply replied, “I just do,” and bought the painting without even asking the price.

You can find Ernesto and his paintings set up in the North Arcade or, when the weather starts to warm up, on the sidewalk just outside the North Arcade.

Meet the Artist: Wais Ali

Posted January 19, 2018

Meet Wais! Pike Place artist Wais Ali first became interested in visual arts while growing up in Djibouti, his home country in East Africa. Now a Seattleite, Wais has been selling original acrylic paintings and prints in the Market since 2015. Stop by his table in the North Arcade and meet the artist behind these stunning paintings!

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Holiday Buttons by Graig Anderson

Posted December 12, 2017

Sasquatch pulling a sleigh. Skiing snowman. Bubblefish playing the cello.

These are a just few of the fantastical scenes depicted over the years on Graig Anderson's Pike Place Market holiday buttons. He's been creating them since 1999, each year with a new holiday-themed design. Ask any craftsperson in the Market and they'll tell you: Graig's buttons are a cherished holiday tradition.

"It's fun for me," says Graig. "I've been drawing since I was a kid, and used to paint Christmas stuff on storefront windows. Each year I look back through my sketchbooks and have a big bank of images to choose from as a starting point."

From there, he discusses concepts with Pike Place Market PDA daystall staff and hones his design. "It goes from a drawing to an acrylic painting that I photograph and make final touches on the computer," explains Graig.

Although he cites artistic influences like Edward Gorey, Dr. Seuss, Francisco Goya, and classic Warner Bros. Cartoons as inspiration, its clear browsing Graig's craftstable that he's created a unique magical world of his own.

Shop the Crafts Market from now through the end of the year to receive your own 2017 limited edition Pike Place Market holiday button (while supplies last)!


Graig Anderson's buttons through the years:

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Meet the Craftsperson: Yarnarchy!

Posted October 6, 2016

Please join us in welcoming Yarnarchy! to the Pike Place crafts community! Jennie Goforth makes beautiful hand-spun, hand-painted yarn, all without electricity on her farm in Skagit County. "Radical yarn for radical living!"

Meet the Craftsperson: Aaron Murray

Posted September 1, 2016

A ceramic artist for more than 25 years, Aaron Murray creates porcelain figurines and earthenware that combine his love of folk art and animal forms with a dash of humor. At first glance his display appears to be an ancient artifacts exhibit, but upon closer examination you'll find a delightfully quirky menagerie of animals, robots and other objects, each handcrafted and imbued with its own distinct personality.

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Hip Threads for Tiny Humans

Posted August 10, 2016

Say hello to Beluga Baby, seamstress Haley Corriell's line of super cute, hip, handmade baby gear. Stroll, toddle and crawl to the North Arcade crafts market on Mondays and Thursdays (and some Sundays) to peep and purchase these precious products in person.

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