The Jackson Arts Market (JAM) takes place each Saturday from 1–5 p.m. in downtown Sylva. “Jackson Arts Market is here to be a consistent showcase of the talent and culture of Western North Carolina to connect with the community and visitors,” says glass artist Joshua Aaron Murch, founder and curator of the market. “The market is an immersive educational experience of the local culture and dozens of art forms.”
Blue Ridge Forage is a small business that began alongside the JAM. Owner Chloe Burnette-Turner, along with Murch, forages for wild herbs and mushrooms from the WNC area and creates herbal tea blends. “The Jackson Arts Market is what really got my business going,” says Burnette-Turner. “I owe my success to the JAM community for their support and encouragement. The market has given me an outlet to grow at my own pace. I love to learn and share about foraging and medicinal mushrooms.”
In addition to a variety of vendors, the JAM consistently hosts workshops and demonstrations in glassblowing, painting, fire spinning and flow performing arts. Occasionally, there are presentations in other art forms like blacksmithing, silversmithing, leatherwork, collage, wheel-thrown pottery and yoga. There is a drum circle every third Saturday and visitors can even feed the JAM chicken flock.
The free festival also features live music each Saturday. Artists performing this month include Jackson Grimm and Katalysst on June 5; Old Sap and Alex Travers on June 12; Douglas Aldridge and Tyler Kittle on June 19; and Shain Weston Lyles and Woolyboogers on June 26. “The JAM serves as an incubator for small businesses and an outlet for artists,” says Murch. “As a free, local entertainment attraction and tourist destination, the market also boosts local business because it helps to bring people together in downtown Sylva’s historic Main Street.”
Go to JacksonArtsMarket.com to learn more about upcoming markets and to sign up as a vendor. All creators of handmade art and products are welcome to be part of the event. Spaces are limited and reserved in advance. Contact email@example.com for musician booking.