Most vendors do not currently benefit from gallery or boutique representation, have access to wholesale distributors, or can afford the rent of their own retail storefronts. Rather, they take their hand-made crafts, custom jewelry, candles, clothing, handbags, woodcarvings, music, or traditional works of art to the public directly via two open-air markets in the heart of Downtown Scottsdale.
The festive, family-friendly, pet-friendly events are known as ArtBridge Thursdays and SouthBridge SunDays. Besides the vast selection of original art and merchandise, patrons appreciate the free admission, free parking, free entertainment, and free gift-wrapping. Both shows clearly offer shopping alternatives from the big, national chain stores, affording consumers the opportunity to find unique gift items, stylish fashion accessories, and beautiful home décor created right here in Arizona.
Smartly positioning ArtBridge Thursdays and SouthBridge Sundays in a prime location (the Marshall Way Pedestrian Bridge over the Arizona Canal between The Waterfront and SouthBridge Scottsdale), Artisan Markets works in concert with city officials, local restaurants, hotels, resorts, and other nearby small businesses by enhancing the neighborhood with the fun and lively “destination events” which are enjoyed by some of Scottsdale’s 7-million annual tourists.
A few of the regular exhibitors have proven to be quite successful on the bridge, hiring assistants to help work their booths. Several have been invited by other retailers, medical professionals, and dining establishments to display or sell their art on their premises. The story of one artisan in particular, a jeweler, Cheryl Senkfor of Woven Angel, was even featured on the CMT television series, “Angels Among Us.”
Both events are scheduled run weekly through May 2012.
ArtBridge Thursdays — 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.
SouthBridge SunDays — 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.