The streets of Sylva are getting busier on Saturday afternoons thanks to the Jackson Arts Market. Local artists have been gathering in the downtown area in the gravel lot next to The Sylva Herald and at the Papermill Lounge to promote downtown and show off their talents.
The Jackson Arts Market was the idea of Josh Murch an artist himself who specializes in glass art. He says the reason he wanted to start this festival was to “keep the dream alive for these artists.” The festival started in November and has been growing since. Currently, there are about 35 artists. Murch says that there are enough spots available for 53 artists, however, he is exploring additional locations to continue to grow. There are around 150 artists that rotate for the weekly festival.
Each week there is live music with this past week’s event hosting two live performers at two different locations. The festival is free for attendees and people of all ages are welcome to attend. There is a large variety of artists, some selling products, others providing demonstrations, and others even teaching attendees.
Brock Martin a local blacksmith who was featured on the History Channels “Forged in Fire,” says that the event “has gotten him more interest in his classes.” He teaches blacksmithing classes in Sylva and said since the pandemic class attendance has decreased. He hopes the market will increase interest in the arts.
More information about the event can be found on the Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/jacksonartsmarket Artist wanting to get involved can contact Josh Murch at email@example.com , on Instagram or by calling 941-565-9071