Valley Artisans Market began as an idea of just a few people in early 1981 as a way to fill the west storefront in historic Hubbard Hall in Cambridge NY. The art center had been founded just two years before and housed the food coop and a variety store on the east side. A fabric store had just moved out of the west side storefront. The beautiful space seemed like an inviting place for artists to display their work and it seemed like an opportunity to have a tenant that would align with the mission of Hubbard Hall to promote the arts. Those first few people invited artists whose work they respected and the group quickly grew to about 30 people working in a variety of crafts and fine art. They met to draw up guidelines for membership, jury criteria and display policy and to choose a name.
From the very beginning the Valley Artisans Market membership seized the opportunity to be a community of like-minded people who could share ideas, inspire each other and enjoy friendship. It has continued to enrich the lives of its members to this day. Membership has hovered between 20 and 30 members with an expectation that everyone would share in the workload of running the store. A careful jury selection process has been at the heart of the co-op’s mission and has kept the quality of work exceptional. In addition to the front gallery of work by regular members, the market has featured shows in the “small gallery” where both members and invited guest artists can display a larger body of work or art based on a theme. These shows have been a service to the larger art world and have kept our displays fresh, inspiring, and news worthy.
Originally designed as a dry goods store, the market retains the original chestnut shelving and hardware. The interior walls are wainscotted, made of an extinct local chestnut, milled onsite during the construction of Hubbard Hall, in 1886.
8th Year Anniversary Party – March 1989
Back Row, Left to Right: Sandy Vincent, John Bohrer, Anita Witten, Caroline Hooke, Virginia McNeice, Martha Hubbard, Joyce Decker, Moa Boyles, Bob Hargrave
Front Row, Left to Right: Debbie Hall, Bill Conine, Pat Kay, Joan Duff-Bohrer (holding our prize-winning logo designed by Deb), Lisa Lent, Mary Lou Strode, Carleton Foster
Photo credit: Don McNeice