Frenchmen Art Market to close with a 'second line' July 25


Frenchmen Art Market moves to The Art Garage July 25.
  • Frenchmen Art Market moves to The Art Garage July 25.

Frenchmen Art Market will leave its space with a ceremonial "second line" July 25 after five years as part of the strip's bustling nightlife. The market and its vendors will move to the market's spin-off location The Art Garage on St. Claude Avenue, which opened in 2016. The market announced its closure on social media: "We continued to pay our rent but decided to second line out when the sheriff arrives."

After opening as a pop-up market in 2012, Frenchmen Art Market moved to a permanent space in a lot next to the Spotted Cat. The market grew into a sprawling outdoor bazaar with dozens of local artists and vendors selling clothing, art, jewelry and other handcrafted goods under twinkling string lights and warm bulbs lighting each table.

A farewell "second line" meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 25, and rolls at 8 p.m. beginning at Frenchmen Street and moving to Royal Street, then Esplanade Avenue, back down Frenchmen to Dauphine Street, then to Elysian Fields Avenue then St. Claude, ending at The Art Garage market at 2231 St. Claude Ave.

“Frenchmen has been our home for over five years, and we have loved being a part of this community,” market owner and creative director Kate Gaar said in a statement. “With the move of the Frenchmen Art Market to The Art Garage, we are hoping to provide a unique and innovative complement to the already vibrant local art landscape, including the St. Claude Arts District, and thriving local nightlife.”

The Frenchmen market operates on space leased from developer Gregor Fox, who announced plans to open an events venue in a building adjacent to the market space. According to the market spokesperson Alicia Conforto, over the last two years Gaar had attempted to negotiate a plan with Fox to keep the market running in the space before facing eviction.

The Art Garage is open 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Thursdays-Saturdays. Its latest iteration will open Thursday, July 27.

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