Artisans Can Secure A Shed At The Seaside Marketplace

By: William F. Galvin

Topics: Harwich , Arts , local artist , Saquatucket Harbor

The ribbon-cutting for the new artisan sheds drew a crowd during ArtWeek at the beginning of May. WILLIAM F. GALVIN PHOTO

HARWICH — The Seaside Marketplace at Saquatucket Harbor will open on July 3, and the Harwich Cultural Center is now accepting applications from artisans interested in leasing the sheds on a weekly basis.

The marketplace was a major component of the landside renovations at the waterfront facility and will make it more of a destination for residents, visitors and boaters, said Erica Strzepek, program aide at the Harwich Cultural Center. The artisan sheds will also further advance the town’s already vibrant cultural center programs, she said, and serve as an anchor to the Harwich Port Cultural District under review by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

There are four sheds for artisan vendors at the newly renovated Saquatucket Harbor facilities. They were placed there as part of the landside renovation with an eye toward helping to grow the creative economy in town. They are available for lease a week at a time from July 3 through Labor Day.

Interest is growing in leasing the sheds, said Strzepek. A condition of the lease is that all goods for sale must be original work and handmade goods and not manufactured items. Curated vintage items and one-of-a-kind items are acceptable, she said.

Vendors who have applied include basket makers, a doll maker and a pop-up florist. Strzepek said most of the applicants have come from outside the cultural center. It was anticipated that artists working in the cultural center would take advantage of the sheds to draw public interest in their work. That will happen, Strzepek said.

Applications can be obtained online at www.harwich-ma.gov/harwich-cultural-center. The applications can be returned to the community center and or emailed to culturalcenter@townofharwich.us.

There is no resident requirement; any artisan can access a shed. The weekly lease is $200. Strzepek said there is a jury process for applicants who must provide a portfolio outlining qualifications and intent of use, and three to five digital images must also be provided. There is a $25 non-refundable administrative application fee, and a memorandum of understanding must be signed.

Vendors will move into the sheds on Wednesday morning and are expected to move out the following Tuesday night. The plan is to have the sheds open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Strzepek said with written permission the shed could remain open later into the evening.

Acoustic performers are also being sought, and the Harwich Historic Society and Brooks Free Library are expected to do pop-up exhibits.

The new Seaside Marketplace was a major component of the landside renovations at the waterfront facility and will make it more of a destination for residents, visitors and boaters, Strzepek said. The artisan sheds will also further advance the town’s already vibrant cultural center programs, she said. The marketplace will be an anchor to the Harwich Port Cultural District under review by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Strzepek said.