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Davis, California

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Go check out the Saturday Art Market

The 3rd Street market is a wonderful display of Davis’s artistic community


By YASMEEN O’BRIEN — yjobrien@ucdavis.edu


A stroll through the Saturday Art Market is a feast for your eyes, ears and soul. Jewelry glistens in the early sunlight and intricate art pieces adorn tables and boards. Vendors smile warmly at the passersby, hoping their items will be intriguing enough to warrant a sale. The crowded sidewalk is filled with sounds of inviting conversations, laughter and music. 

The Art Market is community-organized and self-sustaining. It runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday at the corner of 3rd and B St., where UC Davis students and community members alike come together to sell a large variety of items, usually created or sourced by the vendors themselves. This includes things like clothing, jewelry, pottery, prints, knitwear, shoes, tote bags and much more. You can even have your future told in a tarot card reading. 

It started out with just a few friends selling their art on the street and has grown to be an important part of our town’s Saturdays. Depending on the day — and weather —  it spans anywhere from one to three blocks of vendors’ tables. This informal setting allows Davis students and community members to meet fellow artists, make some money and support their passions.

What makes it stand out from similar markets, such as Sunday’s Vintage Fair, is that there’s no one to ask permission from: the vendors are not required to pay or sign up in advance. No matter who you are or what you’re selling, the art market welcomes you with open arms. 

This has, unfortunately, led to some controversy. The Davis Business Association threatened the market due to complaints from the local businesses and Saturday’s Farmers Market, which concerned many Art Market artists and vendors. However, California State Senate Bill 946 (SB-946) protects vendors selling on sidewalks, which means that the city does not have a right to shut down the market.

The Art Market is about finding a creative community that will support you. Its vibrancy comes from the lack of formal organization and the fact that it happens simply because people decide to come. It is not about the profit; it’s about celebrating creativity and building community.

So go check it out this Saturday! You won’t regret it. I’m sure that the experience will encourage you to meet new friends and local artists and learn more about the Davis community. You might even find that one-of-a-kind piece you’ll cherish forever.


Written by: Yasmeen O’Brien — yjobrien@ucdavis.edu


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by individual columnists belong to the columnists alone and do not necessarily indicate the views and opinions held by The California Aggie.