Ophelia He, Contributing Photographer

The Westville Village Renaissance Alliance highlighted local artists at its final arts market of the year on Oct. 30. 

Local artists gathered on Whalley Avenue to sell artwork including paintings, clothing, jewelry, candles and vintage goods. The event also featured one of its co-organizers — Allen Jackson — as a live DJ performing under the name Dooley-O.  

“It’s a thriving, colorful, artsy world here,” said Jackson, who also co-organized the event. “And it’s wonderful. I’m glad to be a part of it.”

Jackson described the unique strengths of the arts market, explaining that everything sold is handmade by local artists. 

This is the second year of Westville Arts Market, according to Jackson. They host this event about twice a month, hosting about 20 events a year. To promote the market, Jackson set up an Instagram for Westville Arts Market to attract more artists and reached out personally to artists in the New Haven community. 

Jackson said that Instagram is one of the primary ways the Westville Arts Market attracts tourists and vendors. Their Instagram account has more than 1,500 followers.

“Art brings a lot of people together and creates a community,” Jackson said. “It’s just one of Westville’s great things.” 

According to Alexandra Novak Foster, the vendor of the brand Pearl Studio New Haven, the arts market is helpful for artists to sell more products. Foster has attended several arts markets this season. Foster added that this event helps her to get to know more artists and New Haven citizens. She described the arts market community as “like a chain,” where artists and the community are connected to each other.

At the market, Pearl Studio New Haven sold paintings, digital artwork, drawings, handmade jewelry and stickers. 

Kamryn Surprenant, the vendor of Thé Offbeat Score said this week marked her first time participating in the Arts Market. Surprenant said she found out about this opportunity through Instagram and posts from other New Haven artists. 

“[I] knew that many people were going to be here, and I signed up,” Surprenant said. “It’s a really great community event and I love seeing all the different types of artwork everybody brings.” 

Through interacting with the artist community and potential customers, Suprenant said she is able to initiate important relationships with customers in addition to having her work discovered and rediscovered by other members of the community. 

New Haven resident Tagan Engel was a participant in the Westville Arts Market and said she is also involved in the arts and entrepreneurship. 

“I actually live up the street, so I like that they closed this off and made it a community space,” Engel said. “There are a lot of Black and brown artists and they’re all local artists … You can also get exposed to new artists.”

The next Westville Arts Market will be hosted in spring.

Ophelia He is a reporter of city and arts desk, covering Arts, Theaters, and Museums in Yale and in New Haven. Originally from Shenzhen, China, she is a freshman from Stiles majoring in History of Art and Cognitive Science.