WATERTOWN – What started as an idea for a Saturday Craft Fair has evolved into an inclusive art space and a welcoming place to bring color, music – and whatever can be imagined – to the East Side of town.
While Watertown already has many markets along its streets, the Trolls Market is a unique shopping destination and showroom in its own right, complete with a stage for live performances.
After a smooth opening on October 15, the Troll Market is officially open and ready to welcome anyone who passes its doors.
The work of local artists Melissa Cocomello, Taylor Weldon Soderquist, known as Soda, and many others line the walls of the approximately 6,000 square foot space, welcoming guests with bright colors, bold designs, works inspired by nature and more.
“Originally it was supposed to be a craft fair on Saturdays with art to complement what we do, but when we opened it just blew up,” said owner Andrew “Andy “F. Rounds. “Here on the East Side, people mentioned that they really like what we’re doing, that this side of town really needs something like that for people to go. So instead of being open on Saturday as a side project, we decided to be open Tuesday through Saturday.
The market at 144 Eastern Boulevard is open 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday.
On Friday night, the Troll Market hosted a Halloween-themed event called Pit of Zombies, combining heavy metal, art, and food for a night of camaraderie open to all. Dozens of people showed up at the event, with local band Pirate Plague taking the stage for the venue’s inaugural show. Guests were asked to dress up as zombies or whatever they wanted, and some – as well as members of the group – delivered just that. After Pirate Plague left the stage, The Illusion Of Burning Stars was in place, keeping the energy going until the event was over. A large projector and professional sound booth complete the performance area courtesy of Larry Moore of GDL Productions providing the equipment that will be there for anyone who wants to perform. Always looking to promote local artists, during breaks between groups, the Local Legendz segment of Holdown Upstate on Tunes 92.5 performed for guests to discover even more local talent. If they liked a song and didn’t know the artist’s name, they could scan QR codes on the wall that would take them directly to the segment to find out.
The space also includes wooden cabins spaced around it for people to sit and relax for a while. City Dawgz was installed outdoors to feed the crowds and foster the collaborative environment that allows local businesses to be showcased.
“If you behave badly or are elitist, sexist, racist, we are a safe space,” Andy said. “If that happens, we can ask you to leave; or we can just feed you the trolls.
This post will end up on a sign in the marketplace, and Andy, who has a background as a security guard, said the marketplace may one day even feature an animatronic troll to back it up. He said the troll market welcomes people in distress, if they need help or even just to warm up and hang out while they wait for their bus.
To officially kick off, Andy recruited a local artist and gallery coordinator for the North Country Arts Council, Dana E. Gillan, as a gallery curator for the Troll Market to help bring his vision to life. and choose pieces and artists to present in the space. . For the inauguration, the works of six artists line the walls, soon increased to 10 after the finalization of contractual agreements. Each artist gets 10 feet by 10 feet of space for their work for $ 25 per month, and new artists will continue to be welcomed as they arrive. Dana, a local artist herself, is also on display at the market. Even children will have the chance to present their works of art on stands set up in the place.
“I had a vision of what Andy described here for the Troll Market, that kind of dirty warehouse in New York City,” Dana said. “We are here on the east side of town where there is nothing like it. I chose some artists who I think would work very well together to bring his vision to life. These guys, everyone sells left and right. We have a few people coming and they always say it’s so good here.
From weekend farmer’s markets and independent craft fairs, movie nights and themed shows, to art shows, special pop-ups and shows featuring local musicians, the Troll Market brings a new scene. artistic favoring individuality and creativity.
As for the name, Andy, a local musician from Carthage, explained the origins of Troll Market.
“We’re into art and graphic novels and things like that, and Hellboy has the Troll Market,” Andy said. “The troll market is basically about a magical place to find and then once there is all of these cool things to watch and do. And that’s kind of what I wanted, a magical place that you could visit.
The logo includes a troll’s cross, like the one engraved in the upper doors of longhouses for protection from trolls, which resembles a horseshoe with curved ends. Andy also has a small business selling Viking items imported from Sweden, like drinking horns, bone combs, beard balm and more, which can now be found in the market.
The Troll Market strives to reflect the diversity of the community – both artists and audiences, while providing a welcoming space for creatives to connect with audiences. The Marketplace can also be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TrollMarketH2O and Instagram under TrollMarketH2O. According to Andy, those in the market are looking for people who will come and show them their business or be inspired by what the market has, and vice versa.
“We had an older lady come over yesterday, she had missed her bus and ended up having to walk, and she was like, ‘I know why I missed the bus, I had to walk back and forth here, “Dana said.” It made me cry, that was all for her to get in here. “
The woman, a photographer who has traveled all over the world, had been to a few galleries but could not afford the monthly fee to show her work there. Becoming sad and defeated again, she was almost ready to leave the troll market as well, but was surprised to learn that not only would it cost only $ 25 a month to exhibit her art, but that she would receive a place in 10 out of 10. all for itself.
“It’s amazing, I want everyone to feel like this,” Dana said. “We are very grateful and it continues to flow.”
In addition to the arts, the Trolls Market also hopes to showcase local produce, with farmer’s market vendors setting up shop and selling vegetables when they have them, and things like bread and jams during the winter months. , so that families can have access to healthier foods. year-round dining options. There are ideas for future events like culinary arts classes, independent movie nights, and more, and Andy and Dana are also open to suggestions for more events, workshops, and classes.
The space also hopes to inspire young people in the region to dream big. According to Dana, the usual response when kids enter the troll market is speechless when they realize that they too could do it professionally and flaunt their art someday.
“And we’re like, ‘yes you can,’ Dana said. “I don’t know if anyone has told you this before, or if you don’t believe it or know it, but you can. It’s just such a good answer; everyone says it’s the prescription because the pandemic has flattened so many people, and their minds too. “
Future exhibitions will take place in the market, so there will always be new faces or works of art to see and discover. During a recent meeting with an artist, Dana said that artist Soda was stunned that people wanted to see and talk to him and curled up in one of the stalls drawing. One of her pieces recently sold for $ 325 right after a family saw it and said they must have it in their living room.
“I texted him and he was elated, he went out and bought more canvases, more paintings, and he sent me pictures,” Dana said. “I’m just like that’s what it was about, I want everyone to feel like this.”