What we found at the 2ty Fruity pop-up market and disco in Phoenix

(Photo by Analisa Valdez)

By Analisa Valdez

October 11, 2023

Thems turned its studio into a discotheque and the parking lot into a market square filled with queer vendors and artists.

A queer art collective called Thems put on its second amazing 2ty Fruity Pop-up Market and Disco this past weekend. Located in Central Phoenix at the Afternoons Studio, the Thems collective aims to amplify queer artists, creators, and entrepreneurs by providing a space for them to share, sell, and promote their work. 

On Oct. 7, Thems turned its studio into a discotheque and the parking lot into a market square filled with numerous vendors and artists of various crafts. Wandering beneath the dangling lights to browse upcycled fashion, vintage decor, mini-zines, poetry books, and even handmade books and journals, I found so much to check out at the Fruity Market. 

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Sticking to the theme of “Keep It Fruity,” Thems set up large art displays of cardboard fruits alongside several food vendors. My friends and I were sure to grab some pineapples with tajin and chamoy before starting our rounds throughout the market. Showing off a variety of different cultural arts and crafts within the queer community, the artists at each table displayed something beautifully handcrafted with their own special touch. Artists like Sal Mori and Dani Johnson have even partnered with Thems to host poetry nights and jewelry crafting workshops at the studio to share their experiences and expertise. 

(Photo by Analisa Valdez)

At the tables, we were able to check out other amazing works and prints for sale. One local tattoo artist, Savy Art, was there selling various laminated prints featuring colorful women, trippy and spooky images, and even a few iconic Selena outfit prints. Another artist, Kasdeyanyxx, had shelves of crafted ceramics in the shapes of a green and black cauldron mug, a mushroom bowl with a butterfly topper, and bat mugs with dripping ceramic handles for wings. And artist E Visions Art had a table full of vibrant resin ash trays, bookmarks, earrings and other various gorgeous canvases of artwork. 

Inside the studio, the 2ty Fruity Disco was in full swing. With a DJ, colorful lighting, and a photo area where you could purchase a digital camera or get a Polaroid shot with your friends for $5, the event’s vibes were pristine for dancing the night away and just generally having a good time. 

(Photo by Analisa Valdez)

Overall, the 2ty Fruity Market and Disco was an all-around blast that almost ended with me dropping $40 on poetry and prose books and even more money on adorable earrings—I was able to restrain myself for now, though, as my collections have grown too big. 

Thems puts on even more community events and workshops to draw in more art enthusiasts, and information about future events can be found on the group’s website or on Instagram.

READ MORE: How This Couple Made a Tempe Coffee Shop a Haven for LGBTQ Arizonans

Author

  • Analisa Valdez

    Analisa Valdez is a lifestyle reporter for The Copper Courier. She also covers the arts and entertainment world for the Echo. Analisa has been part of the State Press for three years and is in her third year at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

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