“Wow, this is beautiful! Reminds me of night markets in Paris,” said an admirer of the the newest addition to Frenchmen Street. It’s not a restaurant or bar, but rather an outdoor art market that gives local artists the opportunity to showcase their wares in a centralized area. Aptly named the Frenchmen Art Market, this space began as a pop-up near Blue Nile and evolved to its present glory in August of this year. The Market is conveniently located across the street from d.b.a., Café Negril, Three Muses, and many other local favorites.
I visited the Market recently and was quite impressed: the artist’s booths were unique and the energy in the air was electric! People seemed genuinely happy and optimistic as they wandered through the space. I would recommend this as a great spot to do your holiday shopping. You’ll have the added peace of mind that you’re shopping locally and supporting local artists. No imports here, people!
Katherine Erny Gaar, one of Gambit’s 40 Under 40 this year, founded Frenchmen Art Market with the help of manager John Dyer. I spoke with John, and he was enthusiastic about the potential to bridge the “art gap” from Julia Street to the Bywater neighborhood. He said the community has been very receptive to this new business: “it only makes sense to have a night market in a city that thrives on its nightlife.” Doing business in New Orleans is a dynamic thing, and his favorite part is “getting to collaborate with and discover all of the creatives that live here. We have had so much fun seeing established artists flourish in a new environment and having previously unmarketed artists come out and play with us!”
Like them on Facebook and stay tuned: the Art Market will be setting up a blog and Web site soon that will feature artists’ work from the market, as well as updates. If you’re interested in lending your support as the Market petitions to make its permit permanent for the space on Frenchmen, you can sign the online petition here.
Frenchmen Art Market is open Thursday-Sunday, 7:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. If you’re an artist who’s interested in showing your work, please direct inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 504-941-1149. All photos by Nikki Carter.