Dalton’s Flea Market opens its gates to the arts community and its fans
By Christina Stock
Dalton’s Flea Market, 2200 S. Sunset Ave., is having its first free arts expo on Sept. 6 and 7 from 5 to 8 p.m. on both days.
Local artists and crafters signed up for the free family-friendly event. Only hand-crafted art will be featured from paintings and clothing, to metal and wood art.
Dalton’s Flea Market has been around for many years, the new owner, Jesus Martinez, remembers visiting it as a child. “I remember long time ago, when I came as a kid, I was 6 or 7 years old — there were a lot of people — it was busy. Then, I returned two years ago and it was empty. Nobody was there.” He took a chance and bought the large place with modern storage facilities, booths, a separate restaurant in the center and plenty of space to expand or put more booths up. Best part is a large parking space.”
He hired a manager, Hilda Linares, who is new in town. “I haven’t been here a year,” she said. “I moved here in October from Laredo, Texas.”
Asked if she encountered any issues, Linares said, “So far, I haven’t found it hard. I thank God, everywhere we’ve gone, Wells Fargo has supported us.
“We don’t need a permit because this is private property and we have enough parking. Back in April, we did a children’s day celebration. I went to the city and spoke with them in regard of any permits we need. The only thing that was required was that the fire marshal came out and walked around. He OK’d the bathrooms, that we had enough; we had enough parking and they said we had ample space — we didn’t require anything.”
Martinez has deep roots in the area. “I have seven sisters and two brothers. My dad and mom are all in Roswell, too. We have a big family. My brother is in El Paso, he’s a teacher.”
When buying the property, Martinez had the goal to make the market attractive again and word of mouth spread fast. One of the first returning is artist Carla Overmier, when she heard from Linares about the expo, she contacted painter Eddie Macias, who helped with contacting other artists on social media. “Eddie Macias is the one,” Overmier said. “I have some people, but if we wouldn’t have Eddie, we wouldn’t have half the people coming to it.”
Asked who came up with the idea of a free arts and crafts expo, Linares said, “We want the community to know that we’re here and we want the community to come back. It is under new ownership, new management. We are here for the community so we would like to get involved, maybe start new festivals and start new things, annual or quarterly.”
“Hilda came to me a couple of weekends ago,” Overmier said. “She said to bring my stuff out. She said, ‘I’d like to do this (the expo)’ and I have quite a bit of crafting friends, let’s see if we can come up with a date. Immediately that night, we put together 15 people, including me.”
“It’s going to be a gathering of the finest arts and crafts,” Linares said.
“It is going to be such a wide variety. One artist makes plastic ears. These cute plastic ears that you can pin in your kids’ hair to make it look like cat or panda bear ears, she does dreamcatchers — Love on the Rocks Marsha Robinson makes tote bags out of dog food sacks and feed bags. That’s really cool. Handmade by Jenna, this lady spins her own yarn and then crochets it. Another does acrylics. Daddy/Daughter Shell Art, they have a business on Main Street, they are always on the Farmer’s Market, too. Brittny Trejillo, she makes those drizzle earrings, she just now is starting out. She has handmade soaps and you can find her earrings also at Once Again Consignment. I know she outsources at Once Again. Jonathan Chaves, Kays Creation. Hooked for You Creations, they have the little beads like Pokémon balls and stars and she crochets. And of course, Eddie Macias and his wife Tarra. He is well-known because he paints Main Street’s glass fronts.”
Macias was not able to attend the interview, but he wrote in an email, “I feel that this event coming up is such a much-needed event. We have so much talented artists here in our area. I have the privilege to paint a lot of windows and mirrors around town, and when I run into visitors and other people, they tell me how much they enjoy looking at all the different art.
“This event is a way to bring all of us artists together and invite the community. Art doesn’t know any age, race, color or sex — art is for everyone. The first thing that is pulled from our schools is the arts. I want to encourage every artist if you draw or paint, create anything to get involved. Let’s make this an annual event. I want to thank Dalton’s Flea Market so much for giving us this great opportunity,” Macias said.
Another artist who joined is Jena Doman. “I love all things that pertain to yarn,” she said. “Six years ago, I decided to learn to spin my own yarn (under the name Wild Things Craft). This decision opened up a whole new hobby to me. Making hand-spun yarn is enjoyable and relaxing at the same time. When I am not spinning yarn, I have a crochet project close at hand. It may be a hat, a blanket or a bath scrubby. I hope you all can make it out to see the amazing craftsmanship at this event. See y’all there.”
Asked about future plans, Linares said, “We are open on Saturday and Sundays, and we just have been OK’ed by the city to bring in real live ponies, so we are working on a carousel — we don’t have them yet, but we are working toward that, so hopefully by spring it will be up and going.
“Gates open for the vendors at 7 a.m. on the weekend. We need to bring in more people. We have rented every booth right now. So we just need to get the community excited to come back. We are here for the community. We would like to do more charity events, if it’s possible, but we don’t know whom to approach. We have the space, we have the parking, we would like to help the community,” Linares said.
For more information, email Hlinares15@yahoo.com, call 720-926-0789 or like its Facebook page @Daltons Flea Market.