Published on August 5th, 2014 | by TLV News0
“2nd Saturdays” Folk Art on the River Happening August 9 in New Albany, Mississippi
This article originally appeared in The Local Voice #209 (published July 31, 2014). To download a PDF of this issue, click here.
by Jonathan Smith
On the banks of the Tallahatchie River in downtown New Albany a crowd gathers. As visitors step through a gap between two shade trees they are greeted by smiles, a cup of coffee, and a fresh biscuit with their choice of jam. Entering the market proper, a throng of giggling children gathers around one tent, busily working on art projects while a little further on craftsmen demonstrate their crafts and chat with the groups watching their demonstrations. Under the tents a variety of colorful local arts, crafts, and produce await. It’s time for the 2nd Saturday Folk Art on the River in New Albany, which runs concurrently with the Biscuits & Jam Farmer’s Market.
The market began last year as an outgrowth of the Biscuits & Jam Farmer’s Market, started by Mary Jennifer Russell and Micha Foster. They noticed that the market was becoming a community gathering place and decided it would be excellent opportunity to promote local art and artists. With this observation the 2nd Saturday Folk Art on the River Market was born. Now well into its second year of operation, the market gathers a cross section of the local art and craft community, bringing out painters, jewelers, metal crafters, wood workers, musical instrument makers, and more. Over the past year the Market has grown considerably with new artists attending each time. Live music has been part of the market from the start and this year there are two performers at each market. Some of the more well-known artists have included J-Man Art, By George Flutes, and Charles Smith.
Most markets have demonstrations and there is always a children’s activity tent. The folk art contest continues to be part of the market, with cash prizes for the top three entries. The theme for the August market is “Fish.” The Folk Art and Farmer’s Markets run concurrently, which adds farm-fresh produce and products into the mix.
In addition to bringing the local community together the market caters to the tourist traffic brought in by the newly opened Tanglefoot Trail, which runs through downtown New Albany a couple of blocks from the market site, exposing the artists’ works to the larger region as well. The festival-like atmosphere coupled with the array of local art and farmers serves as a magnet to draw in visitors. The market runs during the summer months of June, July, and August when vacationers are most common. Visitors from near and far are welcomed to the market like locals, making it a great daytrip or vacation stop where visitors can hear live music, pick up some farm-fresh produce, and buy some works of art.
There’s one more market left in this year’s schedule, on August 9th. Market updates are shared through the Facebook pages of the 2nd Saturdays Folk Art on the River and Biscuits & Jam Farmer’s Market. The market is held from 7:30 am to noon along the Tallahatchie River, next to the Tallahatchie Bridge at the intersection of W. Main Street and W. Bankhead Street in downtown New Albany. The lineup will include demonstrations, artists, farmers, and hot food vendors. It’s well worth a visit, come out and get your art on!