Hattiesburg art lovers gathered downtown Feb. 3 to enjoy the Downtown Art Market, now held the first Friday of each month.
Along with the usual art market, business downtown played host to comedy, poetry and music acts.
According to artist and vendor Josh Slaven, more University of Southern Mississippi students attended this month’s event than ever before.
“I took a break from making art for a while — most people in Hattiesburg associate me more with the music scene — but a couple years ago, I picked back up and began creating collages again,” Slaven said. “At my first art market, I was really nervous about standing next to all of these other artists, but I’ve been able to enter into the artist community and get to know a lot of the regular vendors.”
Slaven said he creates colorful, eccentric collages from magazine pages and other paper media.
“I started making collages when I was a kid,” Slaven said. “I’m not actually sure where the inspiration came from, the idea just kind of came to me. But my mom and grandmother always made similar creative projects so I think that had a big influence on me.”
One of the cool things about that is getting feedback from other artists and also being able to trade our artwork; I love seeing my friends’ art on my wall.”
Slaven now considers himself regular at the Downtown Art Market as well.
“I got back into art in Hattiesburg at an event called Band From A Hat,” Slaven said. “I helped make a poster for one of the bands performing in a ‘battle of the bands’ style show.”
He said he sells his pieces through Facebook, the downtown art market and custom orders.
“I would say that most of the art I sell is custom ordered, so I draw my inspiration from things that are relevant in the customer’s life,” Slaven said. “My friend is a dentist, so I used all kinds of teeth in his collage. It’s a lot of fun.”
Several other unique vendors participated in the market, including pieces made from stained glass, paintings and art made from old damaged vinyl records. Local artists are encouraged to get involved in the future art markets, which will now be held regularly on the first Friday of the month.