Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Archer West Gallery Closes

I got my haircut last night and learned from my hairdresser that the gallery located above her salon would be closing. I was saddened by the news because I had been following the progress of Archer West Gallery since they opened their doors in September of 2010. Representing over 26 artists at one time, the business has sadly fallen victim to this rocky economy. 

As I left the salon, Charlene Archer, one of the owners happened to be in the parking lot saying goodbye to her neighbors. I started for my car but opted to follow her into the gallery to express my condolences. I was very much inspired by Charlene and Heather Gage West, her business partner and I just wanted to let her know. 

With a deadline to be out of the gallery space today, we agreed that I should take some of the work to my shop. Charlene quickly wrapped up four beautiful and unique ceramic candle holders and entrusted these to me along with a number of gorgeous pieces of jewelry. Made with semi precious stones, these have some serious value. I was so impressed by Charlene's willingness to trust me with these expensive products. Other than our mutual hairdresser friend Tia, we were virtual strangers after all. I would have loved to have taken more items but my space is limited.

There are so many talented artisans out there trying to make a living doing what they love - using the gifts they were given. Working together, we try to promote each other and express the value of buying unique artist created work. Most artists will agree that this is a labor of love and no one's getting rich fast. The starving artist myth although exaggerated is not far from the truth for many these days. This holiday season forego the George Foreman Grills and the Snuggies. Choose a gift that is unique and artistically crafted - a far better value than these mass produced gifts flying off the shelves at Macy's and Target. You'll not only impress the heck out of your receivers, you'll be supporting a dying breed - artists and craftspeople. Buy local, buy handmade - keep these businesses thriving (or at least from shutting their doors). 

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