We are coming upon one of the busiest months of the year in Wilmington: October. With one of the area’s major beer festivals taking place at the end of the month, not to mention all the Halloween events, alongside a multitude of Oktoberfests underway, the places to go and foams to sip abound in the Port City. But before the foamiest month begins, this weekend NOMA’s very own Fermental will usher in brews galore, alongside a boasting arts festival, in Arts and Drafts: a carbonated commemoration of culture and craft. Fermental owner Steven Gibbs is known to host live music, fun and games, food trucks, and lots of wine and beer at his bottle shop off Market Street in Ogden every weekend. After being repeatedly asked over the years to host a beer festival, Arts and Drafts became his own homegrown version.
“It’s small and it’s free, and parking overflows into our neighboring lots,” Gibbs tells. “It’s simple. It’s fun. It gives artists a space to sell and network. As an artist and musician myself, I have always thought of beer and wine as an extension of art and creativity. The time and passion shared in the creative processes are similar. Bringing it to the public is essential. We need art and music to survive. Beer helps, too. We just prefer to keep it at home base in Ogden in a more intimate setting.”
A variety of media will be on display at various booths set up on the Fermental grounds. There will be jewelry by Erin + Pascarosa, pottery by Laurel Herbert, paintings by Allan Nance and Emily Rawl, and fiberwork from Aynsley Eggen. Eggen’s work can be seen in downtown record shop Modern Legend, 24 S. Coffee House, as well as Tera Sol Sanctuary yoga studio on Castle St.
However, it’s Eggen’s first local vendor arts fair. She will be selling her yarn work used to make plant hangers and other home decor. “I’ve been working with weaving for a little over two years now,” she tells. Her wall hangings and plant hangers will sell for $75 or under. She also will take orders for custom pieces (her work can be seen on Instagram at @aynsleygrace.designs).
“We often host artists in the beer garden during the year on a much lesser scale,” Gibbs informs. Their special holiday events, as well as craft brewery showcases, provide communal get-togethers and support of the arts to help expand and build a world wherein innovation and creation is an important extension of unity.
“We need art to survive,” Gibbs tells. “Humanity without creativity is not sustainable.”
Extending upon the idea will be local music playing throughout the day at Arts and Drafts. Gibbs curated it with musicians across all genres, from blues to hip-hop to jazz to rock, all of whom frequent Fermental. Roger Davis takes the stage at noon, followed by Zeke Roland at 2 p.m., Nice Sounds at 4 p.m., Soul-R-Fusion at 6 p.m., and Dirty White Rags at 8 p.m.
Formed by Jay Killman, Rene Plowden and Matthew Harden, Nice Sounds combine jazz, hip hop, rap, rock, and electronica. A little over a year old, they were borne from a former project, Black Heart Gold (in which Harden was the emcee).
“We shed songwriting and production ideas,” Killman says. “In the process of creating ‘Nice Sounds Collection 1,’ Harden was looped back in to be the voice of the group. I am a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, with 16 years of experience playing guitar. We are joined by keyboardist, Rene Plowden—a producer and beat maker of five years—and Matthew Harden, a veteran emcee from Roanoke, Virginia.”
Killman will give a solo set and perform a range of instrumentals from jazz standards, classical pieces, hip-hop covers, etc. Then Nice Sounds will take over to perform from their first and second collection of works.
“It is extremely meaningful for us to cohabitate and enjoy the company of other artists through these types of inclusive events,” Killman says. “In a city with a musical landscape as diverse as Wilmington’s, it is refreshing to participate in such a wide palette of artistic expression.”
Beer will complete the experience, as Gibbs has planned on local, regional, national, and international brews, like Westbrook Mexican Cake, Lynnwood Hubris, Whiskey Barrel Aged Gulden Draak 2014, Grimm Afterimage, New Anthem Neon God, Founders 10K, Upland Cherry Sour, Allagash James Bean 2016, and more. They will have seasonal flavors, as well as aged, collected and oft-requested varieties. “Some are foraged locally, others are internationally sourced through distributors,” Gibbs says. “They are hand-selected for quality, exclusivity, taste and variety. Lighter styles, dark beers, sours, massive hops, golden ales; pretty much everything in the beer handbook.”
Grub will be served from food trucks: Port City Puffs and Stuffs from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. with Steviemacks International Food Company taking over from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. A great selection of wine will be available, too.
Arts and Drafts
Sat. Sept. 30, noon – 9 p.m.
Free admission; food, beer, wine, arts, crafts sold separately.
Fermental • 7250 Market St.