JEFFERSONVILLE — The Jeffersonville NoCo Arts & Cultural District continues to grow with the introduction of a new arts market and the addition of a public garden.
On Saturday, July 10, the Jeffersonville Public Art Commission will present its first Michigan Avenue Arts Market, or “MIMarket.” The event will take place from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The market will include more than 30 vendors on Michigan Avenue in the arts district. The street will be closed to traffic for the evening.
The commission is also presenting a 6:30 p.m. ribbon cutting for the NoCo Paint Box Garden at 628 Michigan Avenue in the corner between the water tank mural and the NoCo Arts Center.
Jeffersonville Public Art Administrator Emily Dippie said the market will feature mostly local art vendors, including weavers, woodworkers, jewelry designers, photographers, sculptors, painters, graphic designers and more.
“It’s been really exciting the variety of vendors and how excited people are to have an art market specifically — something that’s tailored specifically for artists and specifically for makers on this side of the river,” she said.
Food trucks will be parked on the street, and attendees can enjoy food and a bar from Pearl Street Taphouse near NoCo’s wildflowers mural.
A number of local businesses and organizations are involved in the event. Preston Arts Center will celebrate its grand reopening during the market. The Jeffersonville art store closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jeffersonville Art Alliance will present a large auction featuring art made from rain barrels. Maker13 will present an interactive activity at the market and welcome attendees to view the makerspace.
The resident artists of the NoCo Arts Center will also have their studios open during the event.
“What I think is really exciting about this market that’s different than maybe some of the other markets that are happening around here is the amount of partners and support that have come on,” Dippie said.
She wants the community to view Michigan Avenue in Jeffersonville as a “place where things are happening” and a place that “forms the heart of the arts and cultural district.”
Dippie said she hopes for MIMarket to become a semi-regular event.
“We haven’t set the interval yet — this is kind of our test, and we’ll see how it goes and if people like it, but we think it’s a really great way to support local artists and support our NoCo businesses and pull people from the bridge to here to see what’s going on,” she said.
The Depot, an entertainment, food and retail space on Michigan Avenue, is another ongoing project in the arts district, but an opening date has not yet been set.
Local artist Tammy Burke led the Paint Box Garden project. The garden is based on color theory and features a mixture of red, blue and yellow flowers.
“The primary colors will create the whole spectrum,” she said.
Burke said she has had “tremendous help” from the community to create the garden.
She partnered with local flower gardener Karen Bryant to select and design the garden, and Utica resident Bob Hill volunteered his gardening skills and support. A volunteer named Zachary Harper helped build the fence around the garden.
The City of Jeffersonville donated concrete for the garden pathway, Burke said. She also created mosaics for the pathway that should be in place in time for the ribbon cutting.
The garden includes plants that can be used for dyes, which presents opportunities for interactive activities, Dippie said. Community members can also become involved in tending the garden.
“A lot of these plants can be used for natural fibers dyeing, so there’s some really interesting possibilities for the ways to teach people about art and art processes,” she said. “So it’s not just beautiful, and it’s not just this contributory thing to the arts district, but it’s also something people can physically help with.”
Indigo, one of the featured plants in the garden, is the dye associated with blue jeans. Another plant in the garden called madder has a root used to create a “clay red” dye, Burke said.
So far, she has seen bees, butterflies, a rabbit and a frog in the garden, she said.
“So it’s changing the nature of the area back there,” Burke said.
She likes the idea that the garden is a “living counterpart” to the public art surrounding it, she said. She also hopes that people are inspired to replicate the garden in their own yards.
Burke is excited that the garden turned out “nice and robust” in its first year.
“I can see we’ll have to kind of tame it instead of wait for it to happen,” she said.