Art Basel Art Basel A woman examines a piece at this year's Art Basel show. (Photo: Courtesy of Art Basel)

Embrace your inner craftiness

7 international bazaars and arts festivals to see up close.

All around the globe, international art fairs and bazaars are opening their doors, offering unique creations to the public. From artists trying to break into the gallery world to independent spice-sellers, artisans want to show you just how fantastic homemade products are ... and how fun it is to shop at an old-school market. Since most of us can't hop around the globe (at least not yet ... why is it taking so long to invent teleportation?), we compiled this special list of artsy international marketplaces for you to browse from wherever you are.

Les Puces de Saint-Ouen at Porte de Clignancourt

Merche DauphineMerche Dauphine, one of the largest markets in Paris, is organized around a palm-tree laden square. (Photo: Merche Dauphine)

We all love flea markets, but this Parisian antiques market is one of the best known. It's made up of 15 individual markets, each with its own distinct flavor. For instance, the Merche Antica is a chic little market hosting only a dozen stalls selling items like tapestries, ornaments and art deco in a quiet atmosphere. The Merche Biron is so big and bustling that it has room for a variety of art items from different time periods, including Parisian and provincial furniture of the 18th century, ostentations of the 19th century, paintings, ceramics, Far East creations, design and photography.

Nahalat Binyamin Arts & Crafts Fair

Nahalat Binyamin Arts & Crafts Fair in Tel AvivThe local artistic architecture helps make the Nahalat Binyamin Arts & Crafts Fair a popular tourist destination. (Photo: Nahalat Binyamin Arts & Crafts Fair)

No less than 220 international artists come each week during the summer to this Israeli art fair in Tel Aviv. But first, they have to be selected: a committee approves all the artists. To earn approval, artists must supply only original, handmade art. Plus, they must be present at their stalls so the public can interact with them. A huge variety of art is featured, from delicate glass dinnerware and custom door signs to beautiful jewelry. If all that art makes you hungry, you'll be happy to know that the fair is right next to the city's Carmel Market.

Venice Art Biennale

Istituto Italo-Latino AmericanoAn Istituto Italo-Latino Americano exhibit at the 55th International Art Exhibition. (Photo: Venice Art Biennale)

This contemporary art show takes place every two years in Venice, Italy. It was started in 1895 to celebrate the silver anniversary of King Umberto I and Margherita of Savoy and has been going strong ever since, with an impressive 300,000 visitors attending the 2013 show. This year's curator, Okwui Enwezor, has commissioned a variety of special projects and programs, including a Creative Time Summit, The Invisible Borders Trans-African Project and Abounaddara.

Spice Bazaar

spicesA man presides over his heaping, delicious dried fruit. (Photo: Takeway/Wikipedia)

Food markets are the yummiest kind of bazaars, and Istanbul's Spice Bazaar is no exception. It's one of the largest bazaars in the city and one of the most famous covered shopping complexes. As a center of the spice trade, 85 shops sell tasty products including (of course) spices, Turkish delight and other sweets, jewelry, souvenirs, and dried fruits and nuts. No need to fret over planning your Turkish vacation around this bazaar: it's open year-round.

Artexpo New York

Artexpo New YorkOver 25,000 art enthusiasts attend Artexpo New York annually. (Photo: Redwood Media Group/Artexpo New York)

Artexpo New York is the world's largest fine art trade show. Publishers, gallery owners, artists and visitors from around the globe gather for a weekend of extraordinary fine art, seminars, cocktail parties and live entertainment. More than 400 exhibits feature original artwork, prints, paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, ceramics, giclee, lithographs and glass works.

Johri Bazaar

braceletsJewelry markets have long been popular destinations for international travelers. (Photo: Alexander Mazurkevich/Shutterstock)

Jewelry is among the most useful kinds of art you can buy; you feel pretty accomplished knowing you've found the missing link in your outfit. And if you want the best, you should know that this Indian bazaar is an international center of the gem trade, featuring gold, silver, gem cutting and setting and Kundan jewelry. The craftsmen known as "Kundan Saz" know their stuff: many have been in the trade for generations. But this mall isn't all about jewelry. Its 400 shops also sell handcrafted footwear, silk quilts, decorations, marble sculptures, oil and watercolor paintings, carved wooden furniture and handmade clothes.

Art Basel

Art BaselArt Basel aims to connect artists, private collectors and public institutions. (Photo: Courtesy of Art Basel)

This Swiss art show takes place annually in three cities at once: Miami Beach, Hong Kong and Basel, Switzerland. It's respected worldwide and is one of the "Top Events of Switzerland," an association composed of eight events of the highest quality across the country. Nearly 200,000 visitors come to view the featured modern and contemporary art. Paintings, sculptures, installations, videos, multiples, prints, photographs and performances are all represented in galleries overseen by leading international curators.


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Embrace your inner craftiness
7 international bazaars and arts festivals to see up close.