Shop in Style at Reading Terminal Market

We’re happy to announce that Fleisher student Val Yoder is the winner of our second annual Reading Terminal Market bag design competition. The competition asked Fleisher students, teaching artists, or members to create work to be featured on 10,000 reusable tote bags sold by the market and its many vendors. Additionally, artists were asked to consider the fact that the market will celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2018.

We caught up with Val this week to learn how her rural upbringing and time in Fleisher teaching artist Elaine Erne’s classes inspired her winning design, pictured below.

“I feel very fortunate to live in a great city like Philadelphia. Fleisher Art Memorial and Reading Terminal Market are unique treasures that are central to the fabric of my life,” Val says. “When I discovered this shopping bag contest, which was a collaboration between the two, I just knew I had to enter. Winning the competition was such an honor because I love both institutions so much. I can’t wait to see customers walking around the terminal with the bag that I designed.”

“Because Reading Terminal Market is celebrating its 125th Anniversary, I felt that using a retro style was the right approach. I had been taking classes in printmaking with Elaine Erne, so creating my artwork in the style of a linoleum cut was the natural way to achieve a vintage look,” she continues. “I grew up in Berks County around a lot of chickens and roosters. I chose the rooster because he stands tall and proud, and represents farm freshness in the heart of the city. Roosters are also considered to be symbols of good fortune and prosperity. I like to imagine that this bag might bring a little luck to someone, someday.”

Proceeds from the sale of the bags support Fleisher’s art education programs and last year raised nearly $3,000. The third annual competition will open in May 2018. Competition guidelines and artwork requirements will be available at

Reading Terminal Market photo courtesy of Peter Miller, via Creative Commons license.

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