ASHLAND When it comes to local artists and artisans, Christy Harris is Ashland proud.
Harris, who has had her own art business in the area for years, is planning to open the Appalachian Art House on Sept. 1 in the Camayo Arcade. She will stock the store with locally made arts and crafts.
"I am all about supporting local art and local artisans and there’s really not anything that’s really all 100% local," she said. "I know Ashland is trying to really push ‘Create with Us’ and I think this is a really good way to showcase artists, especially with the support of Ashland."
She’s referring to the city’s theme, which applies to a wide variety of opportunities in town, including arts and crafts.
Appalachian Art House will be open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; on Friday, it will be open until 7 p.m.
Harris said she’s still working on the project, but as of now she has about 15 committed to renting space for their creations; she hopes to get 25.
"There will be artists and artisans and farmers, because we will have some farmers who produce honey and sauces and things like that," Harris said.
She will ask for $50 per month as a rental fee and to make sure she can cover rent; she also will take 10% of sales, which is considered a low commission in the art world.
"It isn’t a defined space," she said of the area creators get for their rent money. "I’ll have everything flowing together."
She also plans to have displays about various artists, showing what they do and how they get started.
As one who teaches art, Harris said she’s looking forward to offering classes and expects some of her vendors will, too.
"There’s also a makers space so there will be things there for people to paint or make, like there’s a couple of pieces of pottery and canvases I’ve already drawn a pattern on, and door hangers and wood crafts," she said.
While the opening date is Sept. 1, which is on a Wednesday, Harris said she’s working with Ashland in Motion for grand opening plans to coordinate with September’s First Friday.
"I’m already heavily involved in First Friday and definitely want to stay involved and invite people into the store to come up and set up themselves and participate in First Friday," she said.
There also are plans for an e-commerce store to do business online, but Harris said her primarly focus is to bring local vendors and shoppers together.
"I want it to be very personal and to really support and highlight the talent in this area," she said.
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