Like many businesses, local artists have been hit hard by the pandemic, which forced the cancelation of festivals, craft fairs and other events that a lot of artists rely on to sell their work.

“This year has been a total wash for shows,” said Elisabeth Bard, a Newark-based artist who specializes in fine art photography.

Bard was one of several artists who participated in the first of three “trunk shows” organized by the Newark Arts Alliance on Friday. The socially distanced event allowed artists to display and sell their work out of their cars or at a tent in NAA’s parking lot.

“We really wanted to make sure artists have an opportunity to get exposure and make sales at this time when all the big shows are canceled,” said Terry Foreman, executive director of NAA.

The organization has kept its gallery open and still plans to hold its annual holiday art market, which runs from the week of Thanksgiving through the end of the year. However, Foreman said she realizes some people aren’t comfortable shopping indoors, hence the idea of the trunk shows.

“We’ve got to be creative and innovative,” she said.

Two more trunk shows are planned for Oct. 16 and Oct. 23, from 4 to 7 p.m., in Market East Plaza on Main Street. The arts alliance will sell beer and wine, and attendees are encouraged to pick up take-out from nearby Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen and eat at tables set up in the NAA parking lot.

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