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Thousands of artists, crafters, and organizations encourage customers to shop on Artists Sunday

The interior of New Bedford's Orpheum Theater, captured by photographer Matt Lambros. Lambros will join other New England creatives as they take part in Artists Sunday, an online shopping festival for crafts and original artwork.Matthew Lambros

More than 2,200 artists nationwide — including two dozen from Boston — are carving out a holiday shopping tradition of their own with Artists Sunday.

In the style of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Small Business Saturday, Artists Sunday focuses on buying artwork, crafts, and other goods from individual creators. Scheduled this year for Nov. 29, the campaign aims to make this Sunday “the arts’ most profitable day annually,” according a release.

Participating artists compiled their creations — including sculptures, jewelry, pottery, clothing, crafts, home goods, and more — in a directory on www.artistssunday.com. Some even scheduled events and activities leading up to the day.


Hundreds of arts organizations and nonprofits across the country have signed onto the campaign to help promote the work of local artists, who have been hit hard this year by the pandemic.

Founder Christopher Sherman said Artists Sunday allows creators to compete with corporate chains for attention at the start of the holidays’ sale season. In fact, the initiative came about after he saw a bump in the sales of his own photographs on Dec. 1 last year.

“During that time, big box stores — Walmart and Target — are out there marketing really heavily,” he said. “At the same time, individual artists across the country don’t have a lot of marketing dollars or that universal message that someone like a Best Buy has. Artists Sunday is a rallying point for artists across the country to unite with one another and the organizations that support them.”

Those who join Artists Sunday also received a press kit to help them market their work. The box included tips on how to blog, use social media, and sell products online.

Boston photographer Matt Lambros said he “jumped” at the opportunity after first seeing it on Twitter. Known for his shots of abandoned theaters, Lambros says so many artists have suffered under travel restrictions and art fair cancellations brought on by the pandemic.


“This year has been really hard for all of us,” he said. “A lot of people have lost a large portion of their income. This could help.”

The pandemic has causes $14.1 billion in losses for the arts and culture sector nationwide, according to Americans for the Arts. The organization also found that 96 percent of organizations have canceled events.

Sherman said Artists Sunday was not created because of the pandemic, but it will now help the plight of thousands of struggling artists.

“Because COVID has hit, it’s going to be an even greater help,” he said.

Diti Kohli can be reached at diti.kohli@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @ditikohli_.

Diti Kohli can be reached at diti.kohli@globe.com. Follow her @ditikohli_.