Monthly art markets and annual art festivals are popular attractions across the metro area. Both markets and festivals provide art lovers an enjoyable place to stroll and shop -- and give artists a chance to show their work outside of galleries.
The Abita Springs Third Saturday Market (in the field across from Town Hall, Hwy. 36 and Hwy. 59, 985-892-0711) offers quaint small-town charm as the setting for a flea market with bargain rates on antiques, crafts, furniture, toys, books, ceramics and collectibles. Many nearby homes also hold garage sales. Free admission. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The ArtEgg ArtMart (ArtEgg Studios, 1001 S. Broad St., 822-4002; www.artegg.com) opens up a converted industrial space (the former home of the American Beauty warehouses) the second Saturday of each month. In addition to making second-floor studios available for visits, the market sells paintings, woodwork, furniture, pottery, glass and metal work. Free admission. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Bywater Art Market (Markey Park, corner of Royal and Piety streets, 944-7900; www.art-restoration.com/bam) is held the third Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is no admission charge, and food from Elizabeth's Restaurant is available. The market attracts artists from across the region, with a wide array of mediums represented: paintings, cypress-wood furniture, photography, pottery and more.
The Mid City Art Market (Canal Street at Carrollton Avenue, 486-6266; www.midcityartmarket.org) is held the final Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The market will expand into a space in City Park near the tennis courts, a move to accommodate the market's success and growth. Food vendors, wine tastings, live music and varied styles of art are showcased, with children's art programs and more planned for City Park. Free admission.
ARTinA stands for Art in Algiers (McDonogh Park, Verret and Alix streets, 227-0465; www.louisiana-artists.com/artina), and illustrates the unique charm of Algiers Point, running in conjunction with the annual Algiers Point Home Tour. McDonogh Park typically hosts 30 to 45 local artists playing music and displaying original art such as stained glass, paintings, jewelry, folk art and more. Writers are also invited to give poetry readings or sell recent publications. Free admission. Held annually on the third weekend in October.
Covington's Three Rivers Art Festival (downtown Covington, N. Columbia Street, 985-871-4141; www.threeriversartfestival.com) celebrates its ninth anniversary this year on the weekend of Nov. 12-13. The festival has grown to include 150 exhibiting artists from more than 30 states. Attracting more than 30,000 visitors last year, the festival also offers music, food and children's hands-on activities. Free admission.
Every year during the third weekend in October, the Arts Council of New Orleans presents the Fresh Arts Festival (700 block of St. Joseph St., 523-1465; www.artscouncilofneworleans.org). The juried selections come from more than 85 artists from across the country, with varied mediums represented: sculpture, paintings, furniture, glass and more. Now in its sixth year, the Fresh Arts Festival also features food, live music and children's activities. Free admission. Finally, this Saturday and Sunday, the stately Oak Alley Plantation (3645 Hwy. 18, River Road, Vacherie, 800-44-ALLEY; www.oakalleyplantation.com) is the site of the annual Spring Arts & Crafts Festival. More than 150 artists and craft vendors showcase original and handmade work at the historic site. Call for admission info.