Art Hop showcases a variety of local work

The heart of Burlington could be found this weekend on Pine Street. Amidst many barefooted Burlingtonians, various vendors and live music were buildings filled with creativity from artists who just “have art in [their] DNA,” as participant Hal Mayforth put it. The Art Hop broke the constraints of tame, safe artwork. Anywhere you turned there was glass-blown jewelry, Taiko drumming, international snacks, sand blasted art and traditional handwork. All attendees had to do was follow the yellow signs directing them to “hop this way!” toward exhibits. Artists showcasing their work included Recycle Moe, who used her findings from daily trips to Recycle North to create eco-friendly pieces like baby bibs made from plastic bags, and Unknown Artists, who made contemporary spray-painted shirts. One exhibit combined snacks and moving art. “Volunteers for Peace” hosted delicacies from all of their international service locations, and while hoarding snacks for later, you could see artwork created on all of their volunteer trips. Local art therapist Jen Kristal also plucked art-hopper’s heartstrings by displaying not only her own work, but her patient’s work as well. Jen showcased the final painted product of her patient’s release of post-traumatic feelings, serving as a window into her career and others tribulations. Among the characters and exhibits at the Art Hop was Hoff the Harmonica Case Man. Just seven years ago Hoff began playing the harmonica and needed a case but was dissatisfied with the limited and unfashionable options, so he designed his own. Soon after the first design, he had the epiphany that one case simply does not satisfy the fashion needs of every outfit, and like Lay’s Chips; you can’t have just one, he said. If you’re a Guinness Book of World Records kind of person, Hoff now officially owns the world’s largest harmonica case collection. Each one is crafted from all over the globe with no limits on what he’ll use. To those seeking a harmonica case made out of a flask, Legos, zippers, piano keys, dominos, silverware and even his dog’s ashes, Hoff is your harmonica case man. Not only was there an abundance of quirky out-of-the-box artwork on display, there were also many opportunities for hoppers to get involved in, or at least learn about, such as Fiber Roots classes for people of all ages — if it doesn’t interest you, suggest it to your Grandma! — on things like knitting, weaving, crocheting and quilting. Whether the artwork was wearable, usable, or just decorative, the South End Art Hop was one street exemplifying Burlington’s authentic inventiveness and inspiration.