Photos By Franz Mahr, Words By Kaylee Dugan
Nestled in the back of a building on Monroe Street Market’s Arts Walk, you’ll find Wild Hand, a personal studio and multipurpose art gallery/DIY showroom/pop-up space. This week, from June 12th through June 15th, it’s the home of the Alison Baitz’s vintage office supplies pop-up shop “On Flora: On Work”.
In October of 2013, Baitz released her first zine, “On Flora,” which is filled with her photographs of flowers and various nature scenes, many of which are improved with excellent props like googly eyes, doughnuts, and more.
For her pop-up, she’s gone in a different direction, instead of focusing on nature, she’s curated a collection of vintage office supplies. From old staplers and ledgers to organizers and art deco coffee mugs, there’s a little bit of everything that highlights the working world. As a writer, Baitz has a soft spot for office and school supplies, but thinks that the newer stuff lacks charisma.
“I think that new office supplies are ugly,” said Baitz. “The old stuff is cooler.”
Which might be true. Many of the things Baitz has found really seem like they could tell a story. Some of them are cute, like the matching cups that are labeled “Yo” and “Tú”, while others, like the “How to Be a Good Secretary” book, are decidedly dated. Yet everything seems to be vying for your attention.
Baitz favorites are the many different marbled supplies. “I like anything that’s marbled,” she admits.
However, Baitz pop-up isn’t just for old office supplies, she’s also included copies of her zine “On Flora”, as well as a zine she collaborated on with illustrator Elizabeth Graeber called “Your Things”. Baitz has also made notebooks with hand drawn covers, pens labeled “All work and no play”, and buttons with National Geographic cutouts on them.
Morgan West, who co-owns Wild Hand, is a big fan of the work that Baitz has done.
“I love all of the stuff that she made herself.” Said West. “From the marbled journals to the buttons.”
Go this weekend. It’s open on Saturday and Sunday. You’ll meet nice people.