Celebrating art and local artists just got a little more celebratory thanks to the launch of the Durango Art Market, courtesy of the Durango Creative District.
Held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 5 at 11th Street Station, the market held under bright white tents includes tables filled with goods, including artwork, metalwork, T-shirts and jewelry.
The market was created as a way for emerging local artisans to gain exposure, said Alyssia Alex, Art Market coordinator and Fort Lewis College intern, in an email.
“We would like to create an opportunity for artists,” she said. “The Art Market’s intention is to lower the barriers to entry for local artists to display and sell their work while creating more economic activity for our town.”
Alex said about 200 people checked out the inaugural market, which was held Sunday, and about 40 artists applied for booths this trial season.
“We are working to curate a good representation of artists this summer that will give the community a fresh array of products to browse at every Sunday,” Alex said.
One artist, Brian Jennings, is both new to the area and – relatively – new to making the metal porch planters he was selling at Sunday’s market.
Originally from Alabama, Jennings moved to Durango from the Denver area, where he’d lived since 2016. He said he found out about the Art Market online, and Sunday was his first go at trying to sell his work.
“This is the first time I’ve ever stepped out,” he said, adding that he was pretty nervous.
Durango artist Hannah Anacrusis has sold her work locally at the Durango Farmers Market. Her table Sunday was full of prints of her original acrylic paintings and collages.
“I’m really inspired by the desert and mountains,” she said. “Some of my artists I get inspiration from are Salvador Dali, Georgia O’Keeffe, Monet.”
Anacrusis said the traffic at the market had been steady, and she was excited to be a part of the season’s first one because it offers a another chance for artists to be seen.
“Durango doesn’t have a whole lot of opportunities before this for working artists. I think it’s awesome the community’s taking the step to go in the direction of supporting the arts community because there is definitely a vibrant arts community in Durango,” she said. “This a small step, and I hope it continues to grow with more opportunities for vendors.”
This support of local artists like Jennings and Anacrusis is part of the Durango Creative District’s mission. The nonprofit DCD was established in 2018. According to its website, it operates under the fiscal sponsorship of the Local First Foundation, and it “aims to beautify the Durango community, create a collaborative and cultural vision for our community, diversify our local economy, advocate for sustainable funding for our beloved arts and culture nonprofits organizations, attract creative entrepreneurs to our community, celebrate and strengthen our unique identity, and improve our local quality of life.”
And the Sunday Art Markets seems to fit the bill: The market helps connect artists and buyers and helps bring traffic to other downtown businesses, Alex said.
“The Art Market further establishes the newly-formed Durango Creative District (a physical arts and culture district). While we do have art galleries in Durango, it is difficult to get gallery representation in Durango, as well as to get your products/services in front of the community and visitors,” she said. “Not only does the Art Market give artists a chance to establish themselves as working artists, it also creates an opportunity for artists to connect with each other; fosters community. We are generating extra foot traffic in downtown Durango and cross-benefits the various food and drink vendors at 11th Street Station.”
What: Durango Art Market.
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays.
Where: 11th Street Station, 1101 Main Ave.
More information: Visit https://bit.ly/3knxwB5.