Market offers opportunities for student artists, art lovers

Courtesy Photo /
An artist creates a new piece during The Market, made possible by Avenue for the Arts.

Courtesy photo

Courtesy Photo / An artist creates a new piece during The Market, made possible by Avenue for the Arts.

Briana Doolan

Whether students are looking for a convenient location to peddle their wares or simply in the market for a unique art piece, The Market in downtown Grand Rapids has something for everybody.

Held on the second Saturday of each month throughout the summer, The Market’s final date of the season will be Saturday.

The Market, organized by the Division Avenue for the Arts Cooperative, will be held from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on South Division Avenue between Oakes and Cherry. Local art vendors, food vendors and musicians line the sidewalk and parking lot at 106 S. Division Ave. Activities will be located between Weston and Williams.

“The Market, presented by the Avenue for the Arts, is a great way for vendors to be involved in the downtown art scene and residents, students and visitors to get to know more about the local arts community, enjoy downtown Grand Rapids, buy cool stuff and enjoy live music,” said Jenn Schaub, DAAC coordinator. “And it’s all free.”

Christie Westmaas, senior art and design major at GVSU, is currently an intern working with The Market. She has been attending events for the Avenue for the Arts since her freshman year and had been looking for ways to get involved when she applied for the internship this summer.

“It’s a way to give the creative community a chance to network, socialize and celebrate the artistic talents of local artists,” she said. “Attendance is totally free, and any money spent goes directly to the artist you’re purchasing from. This means you get to support locally emerging artists, chat with them, and the unique opportunity of connecting with the creator of your new favorite item.”

Items that may be sold during the market range from purses, jewelry and clothing to paintings, sculptures and prints; almost everything is handcrafted.

The Market is supported by Dwelling Place, which is a non-profit that helps those in the Heartside district find affordable housing.

“Many Grand Valley State University students vend at The Market, while others come to support,” Westmaas said. “It’s a great way to shake off back to school blues and enjoy the city.”

This summer’s final Market will be slightly different than the others, with the entire 106 lot fully devoted to music performances by local bands and food vendors.

Vendor perks initially offered to August vendors, which include coupons for local businesses, will carry over into September because of last month’s rain delay. Current vendors can also bring along someone who has never vended before and get a free booth. Booths for vendors are $15.

Those who are interested in vending or volunteering at The Market can sign up online or show up around 1 p.m. at 106 S. Division Ave. on Saturday.

While The Market’s season is drawing to a close, the DAAC puts on events year-round. The Fall Free Radical show is coming up in October, and the DAAC holo Urban Lights and Spring is Art Downtown during the winter. To learn more about the events, visit visit their Facebook page.

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