The More You NOLA: Alumna runs local art market

Whether you’re searching for a one-of-a-kind gift or you’d simply like to spend part of your weekend supporting local artists, consider strolling through the Arts Market of New Orleans.

Produced by the Arts Council of New Orleans, the market is held on the last Saturday of the month at Palmer Park, located at the corner of South Carrollton and South Claiborne avenues near Tulane University.

Justine Bird, a 2016 graduate of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, manages the monthly market in her role as assistant director of artist services at the Arts Council of New Orleans.

“We require everything to be handmade, which sets us apart.”

— Justine Bird, assistant director of artist services at the Arts Council of New Orleans

Bird initially started working with the Arts Council as a logistics coordinator for a youth program that incorporated design education into grief and trauma intervention.

“The program came from an angle that resonated with me,” said Bird, noting that the program utilized art as a tool to impact community health.

Bird continued to witness arts’ positive impact on the New Orleans community when she began directing the Palmer Park art market in June 2016.

The open-air marketplace features more than 80 artists from Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.

“Most vendors at the market are full time artists. It’s not a hobby; it’s their lives’ work,” said Bird. “A lot of them have been at the market for over 10 years.”

While wandering through the park, patrons can pick up unique prints and photographs or browse tables lined with meticulously designed jewelry, gleaming glasswork and handcrafted soap.

“We require everything to be handmade, which sets us apart,” said Bird.

Visitors can also sample delicious dishes from local food vendors and enjoy live music.

Locals can catch the next Arts Market of New Orleans on Saturday (Jan. 28) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring live music from Country for Old Men. To view the market’s upcoming dates, click here.

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