Selling Art on Water Street

Vendors can sell their crafts and art at Water Street Market.
Vendors can sell their crafts and art at Water Street Market.

The Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) and the private businesses of the Water Street Market will be hosting an event on Sunday, April 1 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m where students can showcase and sell their work to the public.

Students who paint, sculpt, interior/exterior decorations, jewelry or any type of homemade work of arts will take part in the event and sign up for a booth.

“The Water Street Market project is building a bridge between water street vendors and the New Paltz campus in general. The project is including the entire campus, all different departments to create a campus-wide collaboration. This way art students have a chance to sell their crafts and get constructive feedback,” SIFE Vice President Ethan Cohen said.

Students creating strong projects may have the ability to work with some of the vendors at Water Street Market in a form of a consignment deal, Rachel Carr, president of SIFE, said.

“Essentially students will receive shelf space where they will be able to sell their work. When sold, vendors will receive a portion of the profit and the rest will go to students,” Carr said.

The Water Street Market project was held a few years ago and was successful. More than 100 people poured into the area, and inquired about the work of students, Cohen said.

SIFE is an organization built on the concept of sustainable business. Their motto “head for business, heart for the world,” indicates “using the skills we acquire through business, to not only help ourselves but to enrich the lives of the community members around us,” Cohen said.

SIFE competed in regional, national and international competitions and Cohen said they are looking forward  to competing at the end of this semester.

“I’ll be attending the regional competition for the first time at the beginning of April and if we place first, second or third, we would move on to Nationals in May,” Carr said.

As an organization, SIFE is using this event to help both the New Paltz and on campus communities. Cohen said students in the organization are learning how to set up events and host projects.

Carr said the event received negative responses from local businesses.

“A lot of people feel as if we are taking business away from the stores, even if it is just for one day,” said Carr.

Both Cohen and Carr have already received emails from students indicating their interests in the program in April. Although they only have 15-20 booths available to students, the organization receives about half a dozen emails per week from students.

The event is also set to have live music and food vendors. Food will be supplied by vendors from the Water Street Market. Companies like the Mud Puddle, Moxie Cupcake and Sweet will offer snacks for students and their retail price.

Cohen said that they are currently trying to find acoustic acts to play the event at the vendors’ request.

“Even though they’re playing for free, musical performances are more than welcome to distribute CDs, flyers or anything else,” Carr said.

If students are selling well, they have the option to stay after the event’s official ending time. The shops will also have extended times. SIFE will also be selling handcraft jewelry from recycle paper, glass and coins supporting women in Uganda. For more information visit,

SIFE is also planning future projects including teaching business and leadership skills at the New Paltz Middle School, a future basketball game fundraiser and a business plan with “Worldwide Vision” in an attempt to transport excess merchandise to both nonprofit organizations and students on campus.