by Briana Gerdeman
Looking for a delicately beaded hair clip in the shape of a zombie brain? A hollow book with a space carved out for a water gun? Caffeinated soap? A belt — or a fish sculpture — made out of bicycle tires?
Or perhaps you’d rather see a sword swallower, bellydancers, or a bluegrass band covering classic rock songs.
All that, and much more, is available at Oddmall, "The Emporium of the Weird", an art and craft show this Sunday in Lynnwood celebrating creativity and originality.
"We really are striving to not be your typical craft show, where you walk down the aisle and see crocheted doilies, and jewelry, and more crocheted doilies, and more jewelry," said founder David Hopp.
Instead, much of the artwork and handicrafts at Oddmall fit into genres such as steampunk, fantasy, sci-fi and goth, Hopp said. The entertainment has a circus theme, with old-time sideshow acts like a human dart board and a hypnotist.
Everything, including the bellydancers and burlesque show, is family-friendly, Hopp said.
There will also be a balloon fairy and face painting for kids.
"We’re trying to have something for everybody, so not everything’s odd, but the things that aren’t odd just make the odd things more odd," Hopp said.
Hopp is bringing Oddmall to Seattle to the first time, following the lead of his brother, who has hosted Oddmall shows in Ohio for the past five years. Here, Hopp has already received a resounding response from local artists — the vendor space sold out far in advance.
The first vendor to sign up for Oddmall was Woodinville artist Mallory Milke, who met Hopp at the farmers market last year.
Milke’s paintings have two main subjects. One is animals, which she paints realistically but embellishes with "tangles," detailed black and white designs. The animals stand out against background of wide, brightly colored stripes.
Her other paintings are inspired by Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday honoring relatives and friends who have died. Milke paints "sugar skulls," which are used as decorations on Day of the Dead.
"I try to make the Day of the Dead stuff a little more whimsical," she said. "I try to incorporate a lot of flowers."
The watercolor skulls give Milke a pleasant break from the intricate tangle designs of her animal paintings.
"I’ve always been into really dark things, and my animals are really bright, which is the other part of my personality," Milke said.
She began painting animal pictures about five years ago when she moved into an apartment with "really ugly, doctor’s-office beige wall" that the landlord wouldn’t let her paint over. Two years ago, she turned her hobby into a full-time job by selling her work online and at festivals and gallery shows.
At Oddmall, she’ll be selling original paintings, as well as matted prints and cards of her paintings. She also offers do-it-yourself tangle kits that include a small canvas print of a rabbit.
Oddmall will take place at the Lynnwood Convention Center on Sunday, Sept. 22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit oddmall.info.