Every year, the Tyler Alumni Association Board teams up with the Office of Alumni Relations to support local artists — this year’s Art Market At Tyler was record-breaking.
The nonprofit art and craft fair hosted the largest number of vendors in the event’s history.
On Friday, the seventh annual Art Market at Tyler had 42 different artists and vendors, nearly half of which were alumni. The market’s purpose was to support new and emerging local artists by giving them a chance to sell their work, self-promote and network with other artists.
The market, which was free for everyone and held in the Tyler School of Art, also featured glass blowing demonstrations from the Tyler Glass Guild and pottery wheel demonstrations from the Tyler Ceramics Collective.
The Tyler Glass Guild held one of the busiest tables at the event. The club sold a variety of their hand-blown glass pumpkins. The pumpkins ranged in shape, color and size.
By late afternoon, the market buzzed with students and their parents. Vendors sold everything from ceramic flasks to Harry Potter themed jewelry and handmade clothing.
Caitlin Flaherty, a 2006 painting alumna and president of the Tyler Alumni Association Board, has helped organize the market since 2015.
“It’s such a great event,” Flaherty said. “I wanted to get involved with it because it helps support local artists, nonprofit arts organizations and also current student clubs.”
Michele Tremblay, a 1978 painting alumna, sold her floral paper sculptures for the third consecutive year at the market. She said many of her larger pieces are not priced for a student budget, so she brought smaller items to sell on Friday.
The $150 pieces featured a variety of paper quilling methods with small strips of paper, which comes from the extra paper from her larger projects.
“When I started, I just had paper left over from my big pieces,” Tremblay said. “When I was in school, one sheet of printmaking paper was like $4 or $5. You’re not throwing that away.”
The market also had a Crafts & Drafts happy hour from 5 to 8 p.m. where visitors received complimentary food, drinks and a koozie courtesy of Victory Brewing Company.
Flaherty said Bill Covaleski, co-founder and brewmaster of Victory Brewing Company and 1985 graphic design alumnus, is very supportive of his alma mater and the market.
Watercolor artist Sarah Ryan had a table with a variety of cards and pins featuring her paintings. Ryan said this was her first time selling at the event and was surprised to see the large number of shoppers present in the early afternoon.
“It’s fantastic,” Ryan said. “I thought it wasn’t going to be busy until after the happy hour.”
Ryan added that one of her best selling items was a greeting card featuring an owl holding a balloon.
Previous participants are given first priority for spots in the market, but between April and June there was an open call for others to sign-up.
The event did not generate any profits for the Tyler Alumni Association Board or the Office of Alumni Relations. The $100 to $200 booth fee went directly into the cost of setting up the market.
“We don’t make any money,” Flaherty said. “So it is mainly just showing our support for local artists and alumni.”