The Liberty Building is excited to celebrate Pottery Place Plus‘ Grand Re-Opening!
Founded in 1978, the oldest running artist co-op this side of the Mississippi has a fresh new look and they will be showing it off this Friday. In addition to their 29 member artists they will have 3 guest artists this month. Juaquetta Holcomb will be bringing her spinning wheel & sharing her gift with you. Dan Wallat, painter; and John Rokus, steel sculpture will also be on display for the First Friday Grand Re-Opening February 5th from 5-10pm.
We thought this might be a fun time to get to know our neighbor’s at Pottery Place a bit better and share with you some of their history so we sat down and asked them a few questions.
Who’s vision was it to start Pottery Place Plus.
Started by an industrious group of potters looking for a way to sell their wares. It was just pottery for the first 10 years. They decided to add other media in the mid 1980’s. They made the move from the Flour Mill to the Liberty Building in 2005.
“Everything is becoming so computerized and mechanized, so perfect in a way there there is no individuality. The crafts revival is a search for the individual . People want a coffee cup that’s identifiable as theirs and not like 50 others.” Jill Smith original Pottery Place President
What has changed since those early days at PPP?
Back then there was less competition from imports and big box type stores. A recent development that is very helpful is the national focus on shopping local so that the money can circulate in the local economy. It is hard to get any more local than the Pottery Place Plus, our work is made here!
What is the goal / motto / driving force behind PPP?
The Pottery Place Plus is not only a place for the discerning customer to buy locally made fine craft and art, but it is a supportive environment for the artist. We pool our resources to market not only the shop as whole but each individual artist. Because we have so many people to share the work load we are able to be open all year round for extended, mall type hours. This gives the artist year round exposure for their work, unlike some other small businesses and galleries or art fairs. When you join you are part of a group of artists at many different stages of their careers. This is a great environment for growth, allowing the artist to experiment with not only business strategies, marketing and work presentation, but to have a place to present new work to the public.
Where do the guest artists come from? Why do you have guest artists?
We have a member in charge of finding guest artists. We also have artists that self refer via the retail space or website. We do this for many reasons: not all artists can join the co-op (they may not have a large enough body of work, may have work or family commitments, etc..) but it allows them a venue to show their work to the public. It also allows them to “try out” their work with the public and also whether they might like to join. It helps us to keep the shop fresh and have something new each month. It helps our members to remember to keep creating and trying new things. People come in expecting to see our long time members, the guest artist program provides something new each time they come in. We search for both established and emerging artists for the program.
If someone is interested in joining who should they contact?
They can find out info and click on links on our website— potteryplaceplus.com OR stop by the shop and pick up an application. We offer 3 ways to participate; permanent membership, guest artist and consignment. It is usually helpful for the interested person to come in, see the shop and talk to the artist at the desk about the different options, then they are referred to the coordinator for that program.
Remember Pottery Place Plus will be celebrating their Grand Re-Opening this Friday as a part of the Visual Arts Tour. The Liberty Building will celebrating the Visual Arts Tour with an open house on 4 floors with 9 additional artists on display, live music from 6-8 and complimentary hor d’oeuvres. Auntie’s Bookstore will be hosting 3 Minute Mic with Chris Cook and Nate Brannigan from 8-10. Beautiful Grounds will have featured artists Pier Zambrano and Barrister Winery has artist Ben Joyce on display.