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Fayetteville Artists Create Wampus Wonderland Holiday Art Show


When organizers of the hugely popular holiday art sale the Little Craft Show announced they would not host a 2016 show earlier this year, members of the local arts & craft community were in a panic.

Several local makers had come to rely on the event as an important part of their livelihood, while others depended on it as a source of needed revenue for the holiday season.

Some folks were just plain bummed to see one of their favorite things about Fayetteville come to an abrupt end.

Luckily for all of those people, three local artists have quickly stepped up to try and fill the void left by the Little Craft Show, with plans to create a new event that they hope will become a new holiday tradition in Fayetteville.

Olivia Trimble, Chad Maupin, and Payton Bridewell, organizers of the Wampus Wonderland holiday art show

Chad Maupin (Big Bot Design), Olivia Trimble (Sleet City Signwriting), and Payton Bridewell (The Window Shopper) have teamed up to create the first-ever Wampus Wonderland holiday art show on Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Washington County Fairgrounds.

The artists came together once they realized they were all scrambling to create a new holiday event for their fellow local makers.

“When the Little Craft Show made their announcement, we were all just getting slammed with people asking, ‘Well, what are we going to do,'” Maupin said.

“It became apparent that we had to do something,” Bridewell added.

Maupin was in the midst of planning a pop-up trunk show called the Cattywampus Co-op when they heard the news. The small event turned out to be a huge success, and that, along with the connection and cooperation with Trimble and Bridewell gave him the confidence to move forward with creating the first ever Wampus Wonderland.

The three formed a new organization under the Cattywampus Co-op name, and set about contacting vendors about participating in their new show.

The response has been predictably positive.

“When we emailed people saying ‘Oh, I think we’re going to put together a show,’ I think 97% of them wrote back and said ‘Thank you,'” Bridewell said. “We opened applications last week, and we already have over 50, which is amazing.”

Like the Little Craft Show, the event will feature dozens of artists, crafters, and makers of all sorts of things from Fayetteville and around the region. The new event will also include local food vendors, craft cocktails, beer, music, and more.

With the new personalities, however, the overall aesthetic and decor of the show will be a little different. Maupin described the feel of Wampus Wonderland as “more kitchy Christmas” then “fancy Etsy shop.”

“It’s not going to be precious or twee,” Trimble added. “Think Stranger Things meets the craziest Christmas party you’ve ever been to. With lots of gold lamé.”

Trimble said that while the new show is a juried show, she hopes to encourage a diverse collection of artists to participate in the event.

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Dustin Bartholomew is the co-founder of Fayetteville Flyer, an online publication covering all things news, art and life in Fayetteville, Arkansas since 2007. A graduate of the Department of English at the University of Arkansas and a lifelong resident of the area, he still lives in east Fayetteville with his son Hudson, daughter Evelyn, his wife Brandy, and his two dogs Lily and Steve. On occasion, he tickles the ivories in a local band called The Good Fear.

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