Photo courtesy of Arizona Sage Art Market

By Olivia Dow | April 5, 2021

Hosting the Sage Market did not seem like a possibility this year for the Holland Center.

Like many events, the pandemic altered plans for the annual art market, which is held every February.

“First of all, we were thinking that we weren’t going to have it at all,” says Betsy Anderson, the program and events manager at the Holland Center.

“But the artists really wanted to do it.”

Because of the artists’ interest, the Sage Market is happening Saturday, April 10. Anderson says part of the event, which is normally held fully indoors, will host 35 artists inside and outside to allow social distancing and lower the likelihood of a crowd congregation.

“We’re trying to make it as safe as possible, and you know we were surprised that the artists all wanted to do it,” Anderson says.

“We have a bunch of new ones this year. We’re very grateful for them for sticking with us through this stuff we’re going through.”

Anderson says they “thought we’d have about half” of the normal number of artists. However, many artists wanted to be outside and make it work out the same.

“I think this year actually, it’s going to be nice because so many people have been isolated,” Anderson says.

The Sage Market artists showcase their work, while giving customers a “one-on-one experience” to converse about the work that they do, Anderson says.

“Part of the subtitle of the show has always been bringing Main Street shopping back to the art world, and that’s because traditionally you won’t see the artists,” Anderson says.

Perusing the artists allow guests to understand the artistic process and help them decide what they want to purchase.

Jan Stiles has showcased her art at the Sage Market every year since it opened. Her business, Tres Elegante, sells statement jewelry handmade by Stiles.

“I think there’s even more opportunity to spend time with people, talk, get a feel for what they’re after,” Stiles says. “It’s an interesting time because we’re coming out of this COVID craziness and I think people are sick of the sweats and T-shirts every day and are ready to be dressed and presentable to the world.”

The Sage Market is “one of the best shows,” says Stiles, who attends each year.

“It’s just a cool, small show that really gives an opportunity for me to talk to clients, and they talk about what they like and talk about what they’re thinking about, and it just adds to my creative process,” Stiles says.

At Sage Market, Stiles helped a bride find the perfect jewelry for her wedding day. Other customers come year after year at the market to see her.

Anderson adds these connections can still happen in the age of COVID-19 at Sage Market, where artwork is all under $300.

“It’s going to be nice because so many people have been isolated,” Anderson says. “It’s a one-on-one thing with all these people talking to the artists and the artists sharing their process and showing off what they make.

“What’s better than spending a day with a roomful of artists who you can talk about and share things with. For the artists, it’s so much fun because you get to hang out with people that were doing the same thing as you. It’s really nice.”

Jan Stiles says the event is really well organized for her “customer experience,” especially ensuring customers still feel safe this month.

“I think folks should take an opportunity to see what art is there, because I think it’s going to be high quality like it always is,” Stiles said.

“And a good experience as well, because the folks that plan it; Betsy in particular is just so organized. I’ve used that word several times, but it is probably the highest compliment that I can pay to a promoter of an event.”

The Sage Market

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 10

Where: The Holland Center, 34250 N. 60th Street, Building B, Scottsdale

Cost: Free

Info: 480-488-1090, hollandcenter.org

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