While New Orleanians are festing in place during the absence of our regular spring festival schedule, new and established art markets are flourishing.
Smaller neighborhood markets allow locals a safe alternative to the larger crowds we’ve grown accustomed to during a regular festival season and gives artists, pop up restaurants, and musicians a chance to earn an income after a long year of quarantine. Even as the city is opening up and restrictions are easing, the sense of community that these markets bring are sure to linger into the summer months ahead.
Bayou Yacht Club
Bayou Yacht Club, “located at the corner of culture and community,” was formed during the height of quarantine when much of the city was still shut down. Anna Wilson Schnitzler, an artist and founder of Sassy Banana Design Co., is used to selling her greeting card line at festivals and markets. She started Bayou Yacht Club in December with two holiday markets as a way to provide an income to artists and get people out of the house and enjoying the calming vibes of Bayou St. John. Since then, it’s evolved into a community space including plant swaps and a Mardi Gras boat parade.
According to Schnitzler, it’s a “fun hangout and a way to get out in the community and make new friends.” Schnitzler didn’t want to limit the market vendors to just artists, which is how the plant swap came about. Patrons can bring plants and trade with one another. The monthly market also touts a diverse group that’s accessible to everybody.
The market not only provides people with an opportunity to get off Zoom and talk to people in real life but it offers artists some autonomy with their income. “I think it’s great that artists or whoever can take control of how they can earn a living with markets,” Schnitzler said
The market is “pretty open to anyone” as long as the items are handmade or well curated. Past wares for sale include tinctures, juices, and oyster art. Vendors interested in participating can email or direct message Bayou Yacht Club through Instagram.
D’hemecourt Art Market
A market centered around food, art, and music, D’hemecourt Art Market provides a party-like atmosphere in a private courtyard. Laura Jean Clark, a 15-year music industry veteran, was on tour with The Backstreet Boys in South America when the pandemic hit.
With her main source of income dissipated, Clark turned to bartending in New Orleans when restaurants reopened and wanted to find a way to support the community. Clark commissioned artist Nicole Salgar to paint a mural in their home’s courtyard, which was the impetus for the market.
“It’s more of a hangout space versus a market and you walk around and you see the artists,” she said.
Clark admits that the first markets were light on customers.
“Everyone was sitting there staring at each other in the courtyard,” she joked.
But once word got out, D’hemecourt turned into a full throttle night out. Social distancing isn’t a problem in the large courtyard and there is plenty of seating available. “
Come over have a good time…we’re just trying to help people,” she said.
One recent market featured a full Hawaiian theme with food from Aloha NOLA, punk rock luau music Aloha Oi!, surf rock from The Unnaturals, and a silent auction to benefit the Aloha United Wayflood Relief Fund.
D’hemecourt is a neighborhood affair and continues to attract a crowd.
“Now that the music clubs are opening up, we still have a good turnout because people come for the food,” she said.
Clark also puts her bartending skills to use with a backyard, donation based Tiki bar, featuring specialty cocktails. Right now, the market is every other Friday night, but Clark is expanding it to Sundays, which will be more centered around food vendors. Interested artists and vendors can direct message Clark via Instagram.
Bayou Yacht Club
Saturdays from 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Location varies monthly, check Instagram and their event page for current location www.bycnola.com
Fridays from 6 p.m.- 10 p.m, Sundays 2- 7 p.m., 3720 D’hemecourt, New Orleans 70119,
Other Notable Markets
Times and dates are subject to change, check before you go.
Coffee Bliss Marketplace
A coffee shop, CBD store, and weekend art market.
Saturdays from 10 a.m.-4p.m.,1683 N. Broad, New Orleans 70119, www.nolaserenitycbd.com
Funky furniture store hosts an outdoor pop up artist market every Saturday from 11 a.m.-7p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
3101 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, 70115, www.discowarehouse.net
Pop up shops every first and third Saturday from 11 a.m.-3p.m. including food, art, apparel, and more from local small business owners.
1701 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. New Orleans, 70113 www.lot1701.com
Not a market itself, but an Instagram account that posts upcoming markets around town every Tuesday. Full market calendar here: www.haveagoodthyme.com
Piety Market in Exile
Ongoing local art, crafts, vintage & flea market next to the New Orleans Healing Center, held the second Saturday of every month from 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.
2372 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, 70117, https://www.facebook.com/Piety-Market-In-Exile
Cover Photo courtesy Tiffany Anderson