I am a lover of the arts, of vintage clothing, antiques, organic food and indie goods–so, when I heard about the SoWa Market I was instantly intrigued by the variety of artists, designers, vendors and local farmer goods that the market offered for free(!) to the public. I ventured from my town of Beverly to South Boston this past Sunday in hopes of discovering some good finds.
South Boston is one of the artistic districts in the city. Many local artists are involved in artist communities, the streets are full of art studios and galleries and the architecture in the area itself is something to be seen. Recently, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded a $50,000 grant to projects that will incorporate artistic design into the new “Innovation District” on South Boston’s Waterfront. The grant is meant to encourage artistry in about 50 public planning projects across the nation. This project will allow South Boston to expand residents perceptions of the different things art entails and hopefully make non-Bostonians realize that Boston has a thriving artistic culture.
The SoWa Market is located on Harrison Avenue and the entire market is a feast for the eyes. Beautiful paintings, photographs and handmade jewelry were on display and food trucks were parked in the local parking lot–offering everything from subs to cupcakes. (All were local companies). The atmosphere was alive with creativity and community. Local artists proudly showed off their creations and I witnessed many people buying art pieces. A full circle of sorts was happening at the market; a community was created and artists, farmers, and local vendors were all being benefited by those who purchased their items.
The SoWa Market grew from the demand for a direct producer-to-consumer experience that went beyond the original SoWa summer market season. The market also features other artists and designers that are from outside of Boston, which makes Boston appear more of a hub of artistry to the outsider. The market is a juried market and all applicants are reviewed for acceptance. The primary goal for the market is to have a wide variety of items offered with almost no duplication–making not only your experience unique but your purchases as well.
One pleasant surprise I had while attending SoWa was the discovery of the Vintage Market. The open space was filled with various antiques, vintage clothing and everything in between. One of the owners of an antique company told me how vintage doesn’t seem like an art form but in reality it really is. By buying the pieces you’re supporting your community and environment while also appreciating the art of collecting. The pieces that were up for sale from all of the vendors were carefully selected–I had a hard time keeping my credit card in my wallet. The set up was aesthetically pleasing and well-organized. This was no garage sale set-up!
The SoWa Winter Market is something to be seen and enjoyed. Enjoy a quiet Sunday strolling the South Boston area, while feeding your creative hunger by experiencing what the SoWa Market has to offer. The artists, vendors and community will thank you.
By: Jonelle Flood Future Boston Intern
Photos: Sarah Leaman