By Himanee Gupta-Carlson
Gretchen Tisch sits at her Saratoga Farmers’ Market stall every Saturday surrounded by her art: hand-painted shirts and jackets, knitted hats, handcrafted jewelry, mugs, custom pet portraits and other customized “paintings from photos,” uniquely painted purses, boots, and more. In between customers, she knits and creates jewelry, giving shoppers a glimpse of art-in-progress.
Tisch owns Feathered Antler, one of several local arts and crafts businesses which form the market’s special Holiday Market. Many of these vendors are located on the second floor of the market’s winter location in the Lincoln Baths Building at the Saratoga Spa State Park. They vend alongside newer farmers from Greenjeans, Ramble Creek, Squashville and Saratoga Urban farms, bringing art and agriculture together. Tisch’s Feathered Antler is located at the market entrance, its vibrant colors and natural themes providing a beautiful introduction for the indoor Saratoga Farmers’ Market.
For Tisch, the market is a year-round affair. In her eyes, her art – with its colors and its vibrancy – complement the farm-grown and handmade products that form the market’s core. “I love the market’s vibe,” Tisch says. “I love the colors, the healthy feel, the freshness of the fruits and vegetables. My colors and my artwork feed off that.”
Tisch was a regular customer of the Saratoga Farmers’ Market before she became a vendor. She had been selling her work via Etsy and in small shops, and felt as she made her weekly visits that her art could be an asset to the market. She applied to be a vendor in the winter market in 2015 and was accepted. Within weeks, shoppers were buying her creations and placing custom orders. Soon, she outgrew her home studio space and began searching for a studio and retail space. In 2016 she opened a boutique at 517 Broadway in Saratoga Springs.
For Tisch, art is like the market itself – fresh and ever-changing, much as the selections of farm-grown and raised vegetables, fruits, and meats vary with the seasons. During breaks, Gretchen loves to shop for her weekly farm products, and at times, she joins her parent’s Tisch Family Band as a dancer, performing traditional Irish Step Dancing, often in festive holiday attire. Art in its many forms and inspirations, all at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market!
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays at the Lincoln Baths Building in the Saratoga Spa State Park. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and check us out on the FreshFoodNY app.