The Crafty Avenger needs our help!
Who is the Crafty Avenger?
Rachel Sadd, aka The Crafty Avenger , is a Bay Area based artist, designer, and maker. She has been creating her whole life – whether crafting, drawing, sewing, painting, cooking or gardening – and she shows no sign of letting up. She loves DIY, creative re-use and upcycling, garment design for real bodies, teaching and sharing skills, learning new things and especially collaborating.
Her unique energy and willingness to try things inspire those around her to engage their creativity and stretch their skillsets. Equally engaged by beauty and utility, she creates projects which span genres and challenge ideas about art, craft, and culture.
Rachel has been making community-engaged art in the Bay Area for years, and most recently has been promoting and supporting art via her work as the executive director of Ace Monster Toys , a Makerspace in Emeryville, CA.
On the morning of August 9th a fire broke out at M0XY artspace, where Rachel had her studio. She is, as we all are, forever thankful that nobody was hurt. Luckily the Oakland Fire Department was able to save 2/3rds of the M0XY building. Unfortunately, the building on the North side where her studio was is a total loss. Twenty years of building the infrastructure, art, supplies, patterns, tools and books to support Rachel's work was gone in a short few hours.
The space itself was part of the greatest loss. Her lovely affordable space to create and share. That is not easy to come by these days in Oakland.
The project on deck right now
“In many ways I am lucky with the timing. My latest project, the Gift-o-Matic was set to start the primary build Monday, August 12th including materials coming in. The project is scheduled to be installed in the upcoming at the Oakland Museum’s "No SpectatorsThe Art of Burning Man " exhibit due to open October 12th. The opportunity to complete this project has not yet been lost and there is still enough time to create an amazing exhibit for the community. With a little luck and a little help.” - Rachel
The Gift-o-Matic project will let folks in town experience a facet of Burning Man by creating and engaging… No Spectators indeed.
Helping Others First
In the few days since the fire, Rachel has been so focused on helping other artists and fabricators displaced by the fire that she was not considering her own needs. When I asked her what her own needs were, she basically said she hadn’t even been thinking about it because it was so big. When I asked her again, “What do you need?” She said with tears in her eyes,
That’s why her friends are stepping in to help.
Helping Rachel be able to keep the life she has built over decades, a sustainable creative life that is currently at risk would mean the world, not only to Rachel, but to the community she serves.
Rachel has lost not only her workspace, and 20 years of projects and materials, but also all of her tools used by both her and fellow artists to create her art.
Here’s what we’re hoping for. We want to help Rachel raise funds to help replace as many if not all of the tools she lost in the fire and also fund a workspace for the next few months that will allow her to complete the Gift-o-Matic project. All told, the estimate to replace everything that was lost and cover 3-4 months rent of a comparable workspace comes to around $12,000. We know that’s a big ask. Rachel knows it so much she didn’t want to ask at all. And she is also well aware that her community of friends already stepped in earlier this year when she had a challenge of a different nature: a life-threatening brush with influenza that put her in a coma. She was getting to the end of her road to recovery when the fire happened. So now the very-real wolf at the door is not her health but rather economics and the state of the Oakland real estate market. She is eternally grateful for the support she received when she was ill but now she needs help to secure a space and tools as soon as possible to be able to complete the Gift-o-Matic project in time for the Oakland Museum exhibit.
Why it matters
Rachel’s work and the sustainable life she has built as an artist in Oakland is not just about her. Beyond the community-driven exhibits like the Gift-o-Matic, the Octopus Prime Mural through her participation in numerous MakerFairs and the annual Nation of Makers Conference , and through sharing her studio and no cost with fellow artists like Elizabeth Patrician ( a painter and printmaker who also lost her tools and work in the Jingletown fire), Rachel has used her resources over the years not only to set up her own artistic life but to support others in the community and make change.
Rachel feels it is truly important to bring a collaborative interactive art experience to the community. And to create that experience in the community. She believes that is where she does her best work and where her work has the greatest ability to connect and inspire others. Through this work Rachel has been building a sustainable creative life not just for herself but also for others.
This is is the sustainable life as an artist she has built. Let’s help her keep it. Let’s keep that beautiful creative opportunity around for all of us and help her rebuild and finish the great project for the upcoming exhibit.
WHO ARE WE AND WHERE DO THE FUNDS GO?
This GoFundMe is being run by friends of Rachel, primarily Patrice Mackey, aka Chef Juke . I’m a longtime friend of Rachel and collaborator with her on some wonderful culinary endeavors feeding our friends at a number of events. I’ve created this GoFundMe with Rachel’s approval and participation.
I am a manager in the tech department of a major arts event and in my spare time I run the JukeShop MakerSpace in Eugene Oregon.
All funds raised in this GoFundMe will go directly to Rachel Sadd to use in the purchase of tools and rental of workspace, with a specific focus on helping her complete her current Gift-o-Matic project.