Both bargains and fun can be found each year at the Bear on the Square Mountain Festival’s Artist Marketplace. Smart shoppers will find North Georgia’s finest market of traditional crafts, a remarkable collection featuring one-of-a-kind, handmade items available for purchase directly from some the mountain region’s best artists.
Held around the Historic Public Square in Dahlonega, the Artist Marketplace continues its tradition of presenting the juried work from an impressive group of top quality regional artists. Open on Saturday and Sunday of the festival, rain or shine, the market has booths containing the work of Marketplace artists and some other special displays. Last year, the market contained a total of around 55 booths.
Featured artists, some of whom demonstrate their talent, display such things as fabric arts, folk arts, furniture/woodworking, glass and metal, jewelry, mixed media, drawing and painting, photography, pottery, woodworking, and jams, jelly, honey, candles and soaps. Usually among the folk artists each year is noted area resident Billy Roper. Last year, for the first time, there was a Luthiers' Row with six skilled, regional instrument builders.
In recent years, the John C. Campbell Folk School has presented several demonstrating artists who work in such categories as blacksmithing, pottery, spinning and dyeing, weaving, woodcarving, and basketry.