Art on Lark ‘makes more sense’ than Larkfest for some Albany businesses

Crowds check out vendors' goods at a past Art on Lark festival. (photo provided)

Crowds check out vendors' goods at a past Art on Lark festival. (photo provided)

Lark Street will come alive once again this Saturday as Fall Art on Lark returns for a day of art, music and community.

The street fair, which is slated to run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., will feature music from bands like Capital City Crook and Sullivan’s Smirk Jerkers, over 100 vendor displays from jewelers, painters and more, as well as the local restaurants and businesses lined up along Lark. A Farmer’s Market and Community Resource Fair will also be present at the event, and over 4,500 people are expected to be on the streets at any given time. 

“It’s a very family-friendly event, a community-based event,” said Shauna Collins, one of the organizers from the Lark Street Business Improvement District. “It’s a very positive vibe.”

It will be the second year in a row that Fall Art on Lark takes the place of the annual LarkFest after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Lark Street BID to scale down operations.

“COVID impacted everything obviously — primarily for the Lark Street BID it affected our ability to host such a large event,” said Collins. “We lack bandwidth, basically, to host large events and not lose money.”

But although LarkFest will not be making its return this year, Saturday’s festival will mark the biggest Art on Lark to take place yet. 

“This is the largest Art on Lark we have had as far as pop-up artists and makers and we have numerous people who are first-time vendors so I’m excited to see what the street looks like,” said Collins.

Plus, according to Collins, some of the Lark Street businesses actually prefer Art on Lark to LarkFest, particularly those with art-oriented business models.

“For our business itself, Art on Lark makes more sense because it is an art event and we are an art business,” said Brian Shea, the owner of Alacrity Frame Workshop. He has participated in the Lark Street festivals since 2010. 

For Shea, the best part of Art on Lark is being able to share his business with the mass amounts of people that come to the event, a sentiment that rings true for several business owners but especially for Shannon Dowen-Rhonda, the owner of Nyx; A Scratch Baking Co.

Nyx, which was founded in April of 2021 and first operated out of a commercial kitchen, will be opening the doors of a Lark Street storefront in about a month. This Saturday’s event will mark not only their first appearance at an Art on Lark event but also their first opportunity to serve their cakes, cookies and bagels just steps from their first bricks-and-mortar.

“We’re looking forward to getting our stuff out and showing people where we’re going to be,” said Dowen-Rhonda. “We’re stoked, this is the closest we’ve been to having our shop open.”

According to Collins, the future of LarkFest is unknown but, given the popularity of the Art on Lark events, people can expect to see more yearly series of the street fairs.

Fall Art on Lark will take place on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Lark Street between Madison Avenue and State Street.

Free on-street parking is available in nearby Washington Park as well as along Madison Avenue and Washington Avenue. Additional off-street parking is available at nearby Parking Lot 2 (72 Central Ave.) and Parking Lot 3 (327 Washington Ave.). Parking at off-street parking lots is subject to fees. 

Categories: Art, Life and Arts, Life and Arts

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