Soul Sessions Podcast: Garrad Lee & Priced to Move
On today's show, Garrad Lee is one of the organizers of Priced to Move, happening this weekend at Fertile Ground Beer Company in Belhaven.
The nothing over $100 art show brings local makers to holiday shoppers with a curated selection of gifts and sets the stage with DJs and live music too.
Garrad talks with Soul Sessions host Paul Wolf in today's episode.
IN THIS EPISODE:
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Paul: This is Soul Sessions, conversations on culture from Jackson, Mississippi. I'm your host, Paul Wolf, bringing you a look at the people, the places, and the events that make us the City With Soul. On today's show, Garrad Lee is one of the organizers of Priced to Move, happening this weekend at Fertile Ground Beer Company in Belhaven. The nothing over $100 art show brings local makers to holiday shoppers with a curated selection of gifts and sets the stage with DJs and live music too.
Hey Garrad, welcome to Soul Sessions.
Garrad: Hey, thanks for having me on Soul Sessions. Paul, it's great to be here.
Paul: Garrad, you could be a guest here on a variety of subjects, including civil rights and community activism, music too. But today, you're here to talk about Priced to Move. Take us back to the origins of Priced to Move.
Garrad: Priced to Move started, I think it was back in 2010. Ian Hanson and Cody Cox put together a small pop-up art show. I think it was Andy Hilton's studio in midtown. There were six total artists. And it was just really them and some friends came together and said, what if we just threw together an art show for our friends? And idea was for everything to be priced under a hundred dollars. So, it was an idea of having these artists who have very sought after pieces, but kind of saying, you guys create things for cheaper, basically. After the second year, I got involved and we've just grown it from there. So, this one coming up this weekend will be our twelfth. We missed for COVID in 2020. And we've popped around different spaces, warehouses in Midtown. We did a couple years at Lucky Town.
We did a couple years at Hal & Mal's. And this year we're at Fertile Ground. We like to move it around. We've gotten settled in a couple times for a couple years. We like to pop around. And Fertile Ground, which is one of the newer businesses, we're buddies with them. We were in there one day just looking at the space. It's like, we can make this work, we can do something here. And we just went to them with the idea, and they're all over it. With this year, we started the first year with six artists. This year, we're going to have over 30 artists. We're just excited. It keeps it growing. We make more money for the artists every year. We've increased the money every year. All the money goes to the artists and to the performers. And this year, we are officially a nonprofit. So, from our days in dusty warehouses to now where we are totally official. So, that's kind of like where we started and where we're at now.
Paul: And I love this concept, everything under a hundred bucks. It allows you to get work from local Jackson artists. I remember in the early days, it was kind of that sort of thing to help people in the service industry be able to buy gifts for their loved ones.
Garrad: Yeah, you're exactly right. Now, it's grown and we still like to keep our... We have an edge to it. We've always tried to keep... We're not Mistletoe Marketplace or anything like that. No knock on those big things like that, but that's not us. We have put a sheen on it in the past half a decade or so, but it's still got that little grit to it. You'll see all kinds of different mediums and stuff. But also, one of our biggest sellers every year is Ginger Williams Cook selling her Nutcrackers, and that's another part of it that I adore, is having crazy prints and all that kind of stuff next to things like that. They're more Christmasy kind of things, but also kind of outside the box left field kind of art. It was Ian, I think always used to say... He liked to call it him and Cody's love letter to Jackson.
Paul: Yeah, I got the chance to write a story for the Clarion Ledger one year about Priced to Move, and I think we called it a punk rock art show. Is that right?
Garrad: I remember that.
Paul: Yeah, it's just a fun down to earth sort of place to see, funky and fine craft from Jackson makers. Speaking of makers, you mentioned Ginger Williams Cook. Who else might we see work from at Priced to Move this weekend.
Garrad: If you've been in the past, we have... Basically, the way we do it is we have some spots for regulars that we hold that we know are going to get in the show anyway, and then we do a open call, open submission call for artists. If you've been in the past, you'll recognize a lot of the people, and we have... I forget the total number this year, but it's over 10 new artists that have never done it before. So, one artist I'm excited about is Jason Turner who does... He does the superhero stuff and he does, the Comic-Con circuit. That's something we've never had before, is having someone with more, like doing pop culture prints and that kind of thing. Grandma Hip is one of my favorites who does vintage potters that they repaint, pot plants in them. And it's this very grandma aesthetic, and I really like their stuff as well. And they've been with us for the past few years or so.
All that being said, you'll see everything from prints and 3D figures and repurposed vintage things. You'll see small articles of clothing, you'll see knitting, you'll see enamel pins, really anything you can imagine. We try to curate it that way for the purpose of it being for a varied audience. Like you said, it was like I think in The Clarion-Ledger article, and I think we use your term a couple times, is a punk rock art show that you can bring your family to during the holidays. And I think we're probably tilting a little bit more family than punk rock these days, but it's still there. It's still its own distinct thing and it's an art show that has its own feel to it, for sure.
Paul: Let's switch gears down to the music. Garrad, who's on the lineup
Garrad: Friday night, the doors open at five on Friday. For those of you that have been before, there is sometimes a bit of a dash to the door at five o'clock, but you can get there earlier and hang out and drink beers at Fertile Ground. But at five o'clock, we'll open the doors. The music starts on Friday night. We're going to have DJ Young Venom, DJ Daddy Bug, and Brik-a-Brak, who's my youngest brother, who's from here but lives in Denver now. He's coming home to do a set with them. That's three DJs. They're just going to do a four hour kind of rotating vinyl set play set. Play a lot of classic breaks and samples and stuff like that. It's always fun when they can do that, and it's always great to have Brik-a-Brack here in town with us for the holidays. Saturday, music will start at 5:15 on Saturday. So, we're going to have Vitamin Cea, and then Ally Durr, and then The Lovett Brothers. On Saturday, the doors actually open at 11. We'll open with the brewery at 11, and the music will start at five.
Paul: Now, you might imagine an event like this would call for a ticket price, but Priced to Move, it's all free.
Garrad: It's all free. All we ask is that you come and support the artist and support Fertile Ground. By buying art, you are doing a couple things. You're supporting the artist directly. You're supporting the performers. We don't take a booth beer or anything. We do take a small cut to pay the performers out of the artists. So if you want to support the musicians, buy art. If you want to support Fertile Ground, you buy beer. And if you want to support us, maybe being there again next year, buy a lot of beer, and they'll be more than happy to have us back. This is a one stop shop this weekend where you can come in, support a local business, support 30 plus local artists, and if you count up the number total of performers right around seven or eight or nine local performers as well, which you can come in and just spend a little money and just do it all in one shot, which is going to be great.
Paul: Garrad, you've been in the midst of activities all over Jackson as an organizer and a participant over the last many years, and you're always so supportive. And so I have to ask for you, what makes Jackson such a special place?
Garrad: For me and our circle, I think with Jackson, what I've always found is just the people, more so than anything. What we lack in population means that we lack bigger events like you would have in Memphis or New Orleans, thinking of cities close to us. I would love to have an NBA team here in Jackson, but that's not going to happen because of population. But in our population, you have a lot of people here who care about the city. I think we walk around with a chip on our shoulder a lot of times, and I definitely do. I see Jackson as a family member where I can talk about it, but if someone outside of here does, I don't want to hear it. And there's a whole lot of people who are that way. So whether we're doing a huge event like this or anywhere else in the city, or we're just hanging out with a few people at the bar or at someone's house, that, I never want to give up, and it's that same crew of people that comes out and supports all these events as well.
So, Jackson is made special by the people, and the people come out to support these things that we do, so we couldn't do it without that. And I have no reason to ever leave here. And it's the people that keep me here.
Paul: Priced to Move. It's Friday and Saturday at Fertile Ground Beer Company at Belhaven Town Center. We'll put links in the show notes so you can check out the artist and musical lineup. One of the organizers of this decade old event here in Jackson, Mississippi, Garrad Lee. Hey, Garrad, thanks so much for being here.
Garrad: Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate the support, and we'll see everyone this weekend.
Paul: Soul Sessions is a production of Visit Jackson. Our executive producers are Jonathan Pettus and Dr. Rickey Thigpen. To learn more about our organization and mission, head to visitjackson.com. I'm your host, Paul Wolf, and you've been listening to Soul Sessions.