This story is part of the “Open season for art” feature in the CN&R Fall Arts special issue.
Given the month in which the event falls, one could be forgiven for mistaking the “Witch’s Market,” happening at 1078 Gallery on Oct. 14, as just another holiday-themed event. It is partly that, but there is more to this gathering of local artisans and makers than your average Halloween celebration.
What can you expect? Well, witches for starters.
“[It’s] a really curated group of vendors that are all self-identified witches,” said Sienna Orlando-Lalaguna, the founder and chief organizer of the annual faire. “I don’t put out a call. … We’re not a practicing coven. This market just kind of brings these people together.”
There will be at least 11 “self-identifying, self-ordained” witches selling arts and crafts, as well as various seasonal, bioregional items for body, mind and rituals. So, not only can you pick up a refined piece of functional pottery from Sienna Ceramics—which Orlando-Lalaguna creates in her Strega Studios (“strega” being Italian for “witch”)—but you might also procure some wooly mullein, a plant with various uses in traditional medicine, including as a tea or a steam to promote lung health.
Other vendors this year include Samantha Zangrilli of Turkey Tail Farm (whose wares will include an impressive golden sunball wreath), plus more farm-fresh goods/herbal makings courtesy of Moon Medicinals skin care, Cara Cannon and Moon Wise Herbals.
Claire Fong, The Rainbow Elements and Field Day & Friends will be selling various garments, jewelry and other adornments; Lantern Print Co. and Ashley Penning will both have witchy prints for sale; and Le Feys Bazaar will be giving tarot card readings. Also, two of the 1078 Gallery’s building mates—Equilateral Coffee and Sherri Scott of Harvest & Habitats Nursery—will be offering their usual goods at the market.
Orlando-Lalaguna put together the first Witch’s Market as an open house during the COVID pandemic. After the lockdowns, year two was moved to the 1078 Gallery (in 2022), and this year she says that there is more interest than ever, with over 1,600 people responding to the event on Facebook already.
“We practice witchcraft; we make our stuff, [and it] turns out there are a lot of people interested in that, especially at Halloween,” she said.
To add to the allure, the doors for the Witch’s Market open less than an hour after the annual solar eclipse will come into view above Chico. Before the moon makes its ring of fire above, Orlando-Lalaguna will create magic circle around the grounds of the fair “to keep out unwanted energy … [and to have] people participating with good intentions in mind.”
Witch’s Market: Oct. 14, 10am-4pm, at 1078 Gallery (1710 Park Ave.)