Pensacola, Florida
Sunday December 17th 2017

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A Flea Market Like No Other

By Shelby Nalepa

Catering to the punk and DIY scene, Pensacola’s first Punk Rock Flea Market (PRFM) at chizuko will feature 50 vendors selling one-of-a-kind wares your typical flea market wouldn’t carry.

Bari Kyle, PRFM chapter organizer and owner of vintage clothing store Nearly Dead Threads, said that the idea for the Pensacola market came when she was planning to sign up as a vendor for the Fifth Annual Punk Rock Flea Market at her old stomping ground in Knoxville.

“It dawned on me there should just be one here,” she said. “I contacted Ashley, the brains behind the Knoxville branch, and she was beyond helpful and encouraging. So many cities have them from Portland to Birmingham. The one in Trenton, New Jersey is what I would love to see ours develop into.”

One of the largest chapters, the Trenton PRFM is a weekend-long event with over 200 vendors from across the country featuring food trucks, live music and celebrity appearances. Kyle said that she hopes Pensacola’s PRFM can become an annual event, growing into a block party of sorts.

“We are right at 50 vendors, but that includes a donated space to SouthBARK Animal Rescue and the 309 Punk House Project,” Kyle said. “We have everything from vintage clothing to vegan cupcakes; punk-inspired Christmas ornaments to pop icon prayer candles; X-rated needlepoint to comic books.”

Kyle said that she and volunteer Katelyn Bailey tried not to duplicate vendor types so that the market would have variety.

“It was about diversity and reducing the likelihood of repetition,” she said. “The idea is to wander the flea, then migrate indoors for more music, food and drinks.”

Kyle said that she hopes this event will connect artists in the community and give them a place to showcase their work.

“I’m a free thinker and love to connect the different sub-culture communities and give them a place to mingle, whether it’s nerds or goth or hippies or crust punk,” she said. “I wanted a single event for anyone who doesn’t quite fit in the parameters of mainstream society to not feel judged or out of place. Even if you wear a suit and tie to work but somehow relate to any of it, this is your place too.”

For Kyle, her niche is collecting and rehabbing vintage clothing.

“I love everything about finding pieces that have been disregarded as trash and bringing it back to life again for just the right person to appreciate and love—hence the shop name Nearly Dead Threads,” she said.

Kyle said that the best part of organizing the flea market has been watching so many young artists, who have a side gig but were maybe ignoring the potential they have.

“So they’ve sort of blossomed into learning about having a name or a logo and about branding themselves and taking it more seriously,” she said. “That has easily been the most rewarding part of this so far.”

The market will also feature outdoor acoustic performances from local scene staples Earl’s Killer Squirrels and Kent Stanton, live artists and an acro yoga display.

“It’s more of a place for artists who don’t fit into a neat and tidy ‘sell art to go over your sofa at the mall’ atmosphere,” Kyle said. “There’s a place for that, but it leaves very little room for wildly creative artists to really be seen. Having an event like this means you can feel good knowing both vendors and shoppers are on the same wavelength, even if that’s off the beaten path.”

PRFM vendor Megan Willis of Soot Sprite Shoppe makes unique jewelry, using insects and Ouija board imagery in her pieces.

“I’ve done some local markets and did the Milton Art Festival and none of those even come close to the excitement of doing this flea market,” Willis said. “Sometimes doing stuff in a super religious town, the Ouijas don’t always go well, so it’s nice to know I can get to meet a bunch of like-minded people who will truly appreciate my art. I have an Etsy shop, but I always save the best stuff for local events.”

Willis said that she started working with resin a little over a year ago. She uses a two-part eco-friendly resin and silicone molds. All the flowers she uses are dried either by pressing them or in silica.

“I try to keep a nature feel with it all,” she said. “I also love using bugs. We collect them at my house, so I started using some of the butterflies we have and I locally sourced some honey bees that naturally died, to encase their beauty forever.”

This will be photographer and seamstress Natalie Allgyer’s first time selling her art at an event.

“I wanted to participate because it seems like a great event, specifically for me and the kind of things I make,” she said. “I want to sell my art in environments I feel comfortable in and PRFM seems like it is going to be a perfect fit.”

Allgyer will be selling prints made from her original watercolor paintings, fine art photography prints, hand-embroidered crop tops featuring feminist and body positive messages, and an assortment of lace and puffball chokers.

“My mom has been sewing pretty much her entire life,” Allgyer said.” I guess I just picked it up from her somewhere along the way. I’ve been sewing since I was a kid, but I’d say I’ve officially been perfecting my craft for about four years now, ever since I started working with my mom at her local design and alterations studio—Ruthy’s Creations and Alterations.”

Allgyer said that having positive role models like her mom and her art teachers in school kept her interest in the arts, which led her to pick up photography. Allgyer’s Instagram page features her photography, which includes an on-going portrait series called “The Shape Diaries” that promotes inclusive body positivity.

“It is just one of the many facets of feminism that I want to shed light on,” she said. “Unfortunately, even in the mainstream ‘body positive’ community, there is discrimination against anyone who is different than what society deems ‘conventionally attractive’ at this time. I believe that body positivity should be for everyone, not just ‘thick’ white girls with soft tummies and delicate faces. I want to uphold feminism and body positivity as a platform, and a place of refuge, for all who seek it.”

Allgyer said that the message of inclusive body positivity that is seen in many of her photographs stems from that belief. She hopes to show her work at more events like the PRFM in the future.

“I’m a female making female-directed, female-driven art in a male-driven world,” Allgyer said. “I want my art to portray my message of unconditional love and support for my trans sisters, my Muslim sisters, my sisters of color, my disabled sisters, my Native American sisters, my fat sisters, and all my sisters in feminism.”

PUNK ROCK FLEA MARKET
WHEN:2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15 (New Date)
WHERE: chizuko, 506 W. Belmont St.
COST: Free
DETAILS: facebook.com/punkrockfleamarketpensacola