Arts and Craft Cocktails

By

Erin Lettera

It’s a story almost as old as the industry. Alison Hangen moved to Philadelphia to study art at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. To support herself, she took a job as a bartender and fell in love with the craft. Hangen has since shaken behind the bar at Le Bec Fin, Farmers’ Cabinet, Hop Sing Laundromat, a.bar, Fumé, Old Bar, and Volver. Now she’s head bartender of Townsend Wentz’ Oloroso, where she’s slinging aherry and Spanish vermouth-laced cocktails.


Even as she developed into a full-fledged bartender, Hangen felt the pull to paint, but she realized that she and so many friends and coworkers faced a similar reality: with late-night jobs and a lack of deadlines and assignments to keep them focused, art was taking a back seat. To bring art back into her life—and bring along her peers—Hangen founded nonprofit Arts in the Industry in 2015.


Arts in the Industry hosts quarterly events to show off the fine art and wares of hospitality professionals. The collective sets up craft markets around the holidays and holds band showcases, cocktail throw downs, and even animal adoption events. One of their more popular events was Harry Potter-themed “Wands and Whiskey” at the abandoned Pennsylvania penitentiary.


Arts in the Industry represents about 60 artists, some of whom had never shown their work before getting involved. “It’s hard to showcase art when we work weekends,” says Hangen. “You have to look to the people around you for help and start building.” As the organization grows and hosts more events, Hangen envisions taking the model to other cities. Wherever there’s a garde manger making your salad, there’s also a badass drummer. Your server? A skilled photographer. And the person working the dish pit? A budding graphic designer putting themselves through art school.

 
MILKBOY
Chris Narisi @pause.art
A little urban, a little cartoony, and everything in between. Heard I should probably stick to one medium, but eh.

 

FLORAL-INSPIRED FOSSILS AND TULIP MAGNOLIAS
Ron Nicole @iamronnicole, formerly of Volver
Every design I create is purposeful. My Fossils are meant to make you feel a certain way when you look at them. They’re also meant to give you permission to slow down. The satiny pink blossoms of Tulip Magnolias are a lovely sight to see in the depths of winter. In bud stage and in bloom, these branches add natural beauty and their sculptural forms are absolutely stunning.
www.ronnicole.com

 

STAR MONEY
Elizabeth Kross @elizabethkrosss of NOORD and Jaxon BYOB
Kross, a freelance photographer specializing in portrait, real estate, boudoir, and wedding photography, lives in Queen Village and balances her photo work with restaurant serving jobs. Recent exhibitions have included her narrative series “Webbed & Winged” and “Uncovered Tales,” from which this photo is taken.
elizabethkross.com

 

WIRE WOVEN GEMSTONE NECKLACE
Nour Qutyan @trinketwitchjewelry of Royal Tavern
Philly-based artist Nour is the sole owner and creator of Trinket Witch, a jewelry line focusing on wire-woven gemstones and crystals. Along with running her business, Nour also teaches classes at NextFab Studios and Beadworks.
etsy.com/shop/trinketwitch
 
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