Between the Herons: ‘Art Market’ coming to Main Street Plaza

Board of Park Commissioners unanimously approves Art Market to help struggling local artists

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Downtown Mainstreet and the La Crosse Arts Initiative are creating a new space for local artists to display and sell their work in La Crosse.

Though no kick-off date has been set for the Art Market just yet, the Board of Park Commissioners has unanimously approved a plan to use the Main Street Plaza on Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., as an outdoor space for artists in the area who have been impacted by the coronavirus.

Executive Director of Downtown Mainstreet, Robin Moses, says the market gives artists the opportunity to sell products they would normally display at art fairs and other events that have been canceled throughout the summer months.

“Currently artists have lost all of their opportunities to sell the things they were working on this year,” said Moses. “We want to be able to create an opportunity for our local artists to move forward with some income.”

The Main Street Plaza is home to the Herons of La Crosse, and that naturally creates a social distance by allowing artists to set up between each sculpture. Market-goers wouldn’t even have to make contact with the local artists because of a walkway through the herons.

Artists would also be required to wear masks, and signage around the edges of the plaza would encourage the public to do so as well.

Downtown Mainstreet was hoping to start the market on Saturday, June 20, but the Coulee COVID-19 Compass shows La Crosse County at a severe risk of spread.

Even with health and safety measures in place, the board agreed it could wait. The Art Market will take place once the compass returns La Crosse County to the orange category, or lower. Once it starts, it is expected to run through October 12.