Handmade in Lake City

Text by Elena Moody

Handmade in Lake City at MidTown Galleria is Pokhara's newest exclusively handmade market event for young local artisans and crafters. This thoughtfully curated platform is the perfect place to pick up affordable artwork by emerging talent, or to find that distinctive Nepali handcrafted gift with a point of difference. You will find a wide variety of contemporary and collectable prints, sketches, custom jewelry, fine art, dreamcatchers, cool stickers, beautifully crafted cards, wood carvings and more.

The Inspiration

This unique quarterly event was initiated by the team at MidTown Galleria and created in celebration of local art. They were motivated to provide an opportunity for the public to discover the art and culture within the local community. “There is so much hidden talent in Pokhara and we wanted to give them a platform to exhibit their work,” says Sonu Gurung, MidTown's Client Management and Relationship Officer. Sonu and MidTown's Assistant Ticketing, Sales, Client and Consumer Relationship Officer, Sushmita Gurung, were pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming support for the event and encouraged by the talent and strength of their community of like-minded stallholders. Sonu and Sushmita have been further inspired as the exposure provided by their event has lead to more sales for the featured young creatives through their own online stores.

Making an Impact

Held in May 2019, the second and most recent edition of the event was a great success and proudly raised money for the Himalayan Animal Trust (HART). The HART team provide veterinary and animal rescue services, and are well known and respected for their honorable animal welfare work throughout Nepal. The funds raised during the Handmade in Lake City: Session II, were used to print information leaflets that contain valuable tips on how to prevent dog bites, and education on rabies and responsible pet ownership. These educational flyers are distributed to school aged children during HART's Animal Welfare and Rabies Awareness Programme. The work done by HART and the success of the last event has inspired the creatives and organizers to continue to support local services and initiatives at subsequent events.

Meet the Artists

Rizon GC is a freelance artist from New Road and makes skillfully designed unique stone and pebble art. The beautiful Rasmila Shrestha, from Amarsingh, makes awesome impeccable handmade cards which reveal her great sense of humor. The exceptionally talented Jyotsna Udas from Tersapatti creates stunning mandalas and amazing portraits, and Leknath's Subina Gurung is well known for her dreamy dreamcatchers. Lakeside's Hiromi Lamichhane creates awesome paintings, sketches and origami inspired by her interest in anime, mangas, mysteries and horror. If you are a fan of the Avengers, you will love Ritesh Poudel's comic inspired sketches and paintings. Amrit Singh KC is a freelance artist who makes his skillful pieces in wood and Bishal builds bamboo and wood handicrafts with a beautiful selection of bamboo bracelets, rings and lockets. Ishwori Maya Thapa and Nunu Rana Magar, from Ranipuwa, sell gorgeous custom bead jewelry which go with both traditional and casual wear. Ishwori and Nunu also collaborate with women's groups and organizations and run workshops on jewelry making. Also featured are Sanjeeta Ghimire from Miyapatan, Monik Darlami from Shantideep, Pratima Gurung, Mahima Tamang, and Shantoshi Handicrafts from Lakeside.

For links to the artists' craft business social media accounts, visit Binti Gurung's lifestyle blog at furkiwrites.wordpress.com. Binti, also known as furki, is also one of the event's regular talented freelance artists who shares details about what’s happening. Furki also shares stories of her travels and teaches how to utilize 'bullet journaling' to track your daily habits and plan mindfully for the future to increase your productivity and live a more meaningful life with intention.

They're Crafty!

In just a short time, Handmade in Lake City has created a strong community of inspired creatives and provides consumers the opportunity to connect with the artists and discover truly unique works. If you are an artist yourself and interested in participating in the event's much anticipated third edition, stall holder enquiries are welcome at marketing@midtown.com.np. For those of you who wish to attend and support these events, they are held every 3 months at MidTown Galleria on New Road, Pokhara. Follow on Facebook to stay up to date with MidTown's upcoming events.