Artist Reception will be held on Sunday, August 1st from 3-5pm. The public is welcome!
Valley Artisans Market to celebrate 40th anniversary by holding a special exhibit of work in the Small Gallery by current and former members of VAM.
A Short History of Valley Artisans’ Market:
The Valley Artisans Market was founded in 1981 by a group of artists who saw the potential for a cooperative market making its home in the west storefront of historic Hubbard Hall. Just a few years before that Hubbard Hall had been bought by a group of local people who wanted to preserve the building and create a non-profit art center using the beautiful opera house upstairs. The Village Store Food Coop had moved into the East storefront, sharing the space with Helen White’s Village Store. The “Calico Trunk” fabric shop was in the West space but its closing in the winter of 1980-81 inspired some of the same forces behind the food coop to call a meeting encouraging artists to come together to discus the opening of an artists’ cooperative. And so Valley Artisans’ Market opened its doors to the public in March of 1981. The initial group invited friends whose art they respected, but after that they set up a jury system to insure that the quality of the art remained high. There was much joking about “no painted rocks”, though we’ve had some marvelous examples of painted rocks over the years. We’ve had painters, sculptors, weavers, potters, basketmakers, woodworkers, fiber artists, photographers, jewelers and more.
Over the past 40 years the membership has hovered around 30 artists, most of whom take their turns tending store, doing display, working on building projects, jury, cleaning, management and marketing. The market has been more than a storefront for art. It has made a community for the artists involved where friendships flourished and where each person could find inspiration in seeing their own work displayed as a part of the whole group. Artists have supported each other in solo shows, both in the “Small Gallery” of the market, and in the wider community. They have seen their members age, babies be born and members leave for all sorts of reasons, but all through that time the good energy of beautiful art has kept the market united and creative. Along the way new members have joined the cooperative with fresh ideas and energy to advance the market into this constantly changing world.