North Texas Daily

Absurdity Art Market closes out Flying Squirrel’s final operations

Absurdity Art Market closes out Flying Squirrel’s final operations

Absurdity Art Market closes out Flying Squirrel’s final operations
November 10
12:00 2022

Flying Squirrel, a fast-casual brunch spot located near the Language Building on Fry Street, had a mission to “embrace the absurdity.”

The space was filled with unique artwork, antique couches and sometimes, a person in a Lucky the Squirrel-esque mascot suit. Flying Squirrel held the Absurdity Art Market, its first and only event of its kind, on Nov. 2 – one day before announcing its closure.

On Nov. 3, the restaurant was closed all day for a staff meeting, according to an Instagram post.

That same day, Flying Squirrel announced on their Instagram their owner and founder, Adam Hasley, had died and the restaurant was permanently closed, effective immediately.

“We humbly and sincerely appreciate the love and support you have shown us, and we are genuinely grateful to have been a part of this wonderful community,” the post read.

Their post is receiving a growing number of likes and comments from customers detailing the love they had for Hasley and Flying Squirrel.

“We appreciate every single one of you,” Flying Squirrel captioned their Thursday post. “Know that you are seen, valued, and loved.”

The restaurant had its grand reopening in August after closing temporarily over the summer and was looking for a way to bring in more customers. The Absurdity Art Market exemplified the establishment’s efforts to engage with the community.

Avery Lyda, university art senior and partner of Jeremiah McGhee, Denton resident and Flying Squirrel operations manager, saw the need for an art market that is accessible to students. She proposed the idea to the staff and within a week, it was a reality.

“We had the idea and we were so excited about it that we were like, ‘Why not ask some vendors and see if anyone can do it on a short notice?’” Lyda said.

Flying Squirrel reached out to local artists and College of Visual Arts and Design student groups, including the metals club and clay guild. The restaurant also posted an open call on Instagram on Oct. 26 and vendor spots filled up overnight, McGhee said.

Art education senior Emily Pliler attended the market as a vendor. Pliler saw Flying Squirrel’s post and signed up to sell her art — small crochet animals she calls “Snarts”.

“I call [my products] Snarts because sometimes, you can’t tell what animal they are,” Pliler said. “I use it as a coping mechanism — just crocheting while I watch TV or something, and people like to buy them sometimes.”

Pliler said she eventually wants to start a website to sell her art, but for now, she sells at markets and on Instagram under the handle @keylimecrochet.

“I’m new to [selling art], so I’m just testing the waters right now,” Pliler said.

Aviation logistic senior Lori Darr stopped by the market to shop after seeing Flying Squirrel’s Instagram post.

“I came to get some good food and see my friend [who works here], but also, I like all the art stuff,” Darr said. “I like that it’s super low-key and local. Everyone here is just making friends with each other and is able to share their art and their business with each other.”

Brandon Attocknie, Flying Squirrel employee and Absurdity Art Market attendee, said he enjoyed browsing all of the unique goods from community vendors.

“Everyone’s local — they’re from here in Denton,” Attocknie said. “I love to support the individual artists here.”

The art market left vendors and patrons alike anticipating similar events in the future, Lyda said.

“We’re super grateful for everyone who came out – our guests but also our vendors,” McGhee said. “During setup, they were all helping each other out and they’ve just been lovely.”

Featured Image: Mo Montgomery poses at their table at the Absurdity Art Fest on Nov. 2, 2022. Photo by Bren McDonald

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Kaitlynn Hutchins

Kaitlynn Hutchins

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