Residents can shop small this holiday season and support local businesses and artists at Merry & Bright Holiday Art Market this Saturday during ArtWalk.
The Holiday Art Market will be set up on Polk Street between Garfield and Vermilion from 4-8 p.m. Saturday, with live entertainment from 5-9 p.m.
While Small Business Saturday last month gave local shops and vendors a boost, many local businesses could benefit from another opportunity for community support during this difficult year, which has been marred by COVID- 19.
Holiday Season:Moncus Park Christmas Market brings joy to a dreary night
The Holiday Art Market provides a way for small businesses in Acadiana to come together in downtown Lafayette to support local shopping.
“As the Holiday Art Market takes place in downtown Lafayette, it’s an incredible opportunity for local artists from across Acadia to sell their work in person,” said Anita Begnaud, CEO of the Downtown Development Authority. & Downtown Lafayette Unlimited, in a news release. “For many this is their first chance to do so, and they are grateful and excited for the opportunity.”
Lafayette resident Blake Brodhead, owner of ArtHead Studio & Gallery, sells mixed media paintings in which he incorporates photography, printmaking and painting all in one. His pieces specialize in celebrating Cajun and Creole cultures and nature.
The Holiday Art Market is the first event Brodhead will attend during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said his online presence has grown significantly since the pandemic began.
“It forced me to put my art online, to really market myself,” Brodhead said.
Brodhead’s favorite part about selling his work is getting to know the people and their stories. The pandemic hampered this part of the process but gave it the chance to succeed online. Brodhead said he was grateful for the chance this Saturday to reconnect with the human element that comes with selling his work.
“The way I work, the pieces I create, they’re handmade and very unique,” he said. “My pieces may be popular online, but when you see them up close, there’s a luminance about them.”
Brodhead encourages visitors to the Holiday Art Market to stop by his stall and check out his special Holiday Paintings in Glass.
Duson resident Kellie Smith, owner of KJane Art, also sells mixed media paintings. She uses a mixture of paints, textures and wax to create her art.
Smith was an art teacher in the past, and the pandemic has given her time to paint and reconnect with creating works she loves.
“I kind of got back into painting during the pandemic,” she said. “I guess I can credit that a bit for bringing me back to this world.”
The Holiday Art Market is Smith’s opening for his business.
“Support local artists, especially during this time. Maybe consider giving handmade gifts for Christmas,” Smith said. “Gifts that people put their hands in and touch to mean a little more.”
Smith will be selling journals and small bags with her art printed on them, perfect for holiday gifts.
More details on the Lafayette Holiday Art Market:
To protect the health of vendors, volunteers and shoppers, the event will be held outside of downtown Lafayette. All COVID-19 protocols, including wearing masks, limiting the number of vendors, spacing booths, and adhering to social distancing guidelines, must be followed when attending the event.
In addition to the Art Market, visitors can also enjoy:
- Free parking in the Vermilion Street garage all day Saturday
- Gallery R exhibition by muralist Hannah Gumbo
- The Kelli Kaufman Studio presents the exhibition “Circulate” by Dirk Guidry until the end of December
- Acadiana Center for the Arts staged “Do Nothing Sit-In” as part of their ongoing Healthy Artist series
- Francis X Pavy painting at the PAVY Art + Design store all day
- The Hallway’s Virtual Art Sale featuring paintings and photography by Acadiana artists.