By Jason Wesseldyk
When the volunteer-led Otsego Arts Council formed last year, it did so with a mission to “empower artists and expand arts programming in our community.”
One way the council is fulfilling that mission is by hosting the First Annual Otsego Artisan Market at the new TOP Riverfront Pavilion on Saturday, June 25, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Kristina Spitzner, one of the organizers for the event, said Otsego Main Street executive director Kahler Sweeney and Otsego-Plainwell Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Jenny Boerman approached the Arts Council with the idea of using the pavilion for an event.
“Several of us on the Otsego Arts team participate in many artist markets and art fairs throughout the year at other locations and thought (the pavilion) would be a wonderful place to host a market of local artisans,” Spitzner said.
“The pavilion will be able to accommodate all of the artists booths with plenty of room to spread out while shopping to enjoy the space. Being right next to the river and riverwalk and the Otsego Historical Museum, it’s a beautiful location for a summer market event like this.”
The parking lot for the pavilion was recently finished and will provide plenty of convenient parking for shoppers.
As of Monday, June 13, 25 artists has committed to taking part in the Artisan Market. Live music and food vendors have also been scheduled.
“We’ve had a great response from local artists,” Spitzner said. “We’re off to a good start for our first year and hope to continue to grow this as an annual event in Otsego.”
Items available for purchase will include paintings, jewelry, textiles and fiber arts, glassworks, pottery, home goods, ceramics and garden décor.
“Everything must be handmade and created personally by the artist,” Spitzner said.
Planning for the Artisan Market began after the first of the year, with Spitzner and other organizers reaching out to as many local artists as possible.
“There is going to be a fun, beautiful, family-friendly atmosphere at the event,” Spitzner said.
And based on comments she and other organizers have heard from potential customers, Spitzner is optimistic about a good turnout.
“We’ve heard so much encouragement from the community looking forward to this event, the first of such in Otsego, and many very excited to see the new city pavilion being used,” she said. “We’re hoping for good weather and a great turnout.
“We’re really looking forward to meeting everyone and hoping the community will come out to shop and mingle and enjoy the day with us in Otsego.”