People strolling around Arsenal Park on Saturday got a glimpse of the artistic creativity that Watertown has to offer during the first Watertown Arts Market.
More than 70 artists and crafters and community groups set up tables along the oval path that rings the field at Arsenal Park. The event attracted painters, quilters, ceramic sculptors, authors, jewelry makers, and more. The east end of the park featured a series of bands, and grab a bite to eat.
The sunny, clear day made the first ever Market even better, said Jaclyn Dentino, one of the prime organizers of the Arts Market.
“It’s a nice day, people are here, there are 73 artists!” Dentino said. “I am thrilled. And I am thrilled that the hurricane held off.”
The event showcased the creativity of Watertown. Each of the vendors applied to be part of the event, said Hatch Makerspace Coordinator Liz Helfer, who was part of the Arts Market Committee.
“The have to prove they have a strong connection to Watertown,” Helfer said.
Visitors could get a close look at the works of the artists, and learn about what they do as they went from booth to booth. And if something captured their eye, they could purchase a piece.
The market grew out of an effort to help artists and performers during the pandemic, Dentino said. She was a member of the Watertown Business Coalition leadership team and approached Doug Orifice, co-founder of the WBC, to see how they could create an event focused on the arts.
“I said, ‘Doug, I have a crazy idea.'” Dentino recalled. “And Doug said ‘Let’s do it!'”
When planning first began, the Town’s COVID-19 restrictions were such that the market would have looked much different that what took place on Aug. 21, Orifice said.
“When they agreed originally they were going to have two sessions, and be limited to 120 people,” he said.
Dentino said the circulation would have been similar to the 2020 version of the Watertown Farmers Market, where people had to enter at one end, walk only in one direction, and exit the other end.
On Saturday, people could wander around, and take their time at each table.
A sentiment expressed by several attendees of the Watertown Arts Market was that they hope it will become a fixture on the calendar. A feeling that Dentino shares.
“Hopefully, this will become an annual event and we will become an ongoing resource,” Dentino said.
The Watertown Arts Market website, www.watertownartsmarket.com, will remain active, she said. It has links to the artists, musicians and organizations that appeared at the event.
“So, if someone is having a wedding, or looking for a gift for Christmas, then they can find resources on the website,” Dentino said.
The Watertown Arts Market was sponsored by: Watertown Cultural Council/Watertown Community Foundation, Alexandria, Arsenal Financial, Arranta Bio, Arsenal Yards, Tufts Health Plan, Boylston Properties, Cambridge Savings Bank, Lexus of Watertown, Eastern Clothing Company, Watertown Department of Public Works, Watertown Recreation Department, The Watertown Business Coalition, Hatch Makerspace, and Watertown Health Department.