One of the downsides of turning
entrepreneurship into a career can be a sense of isolation. This is
especially true for working artists, who spend long hours in their
workspace, alone, crafting art. But in the small town of Alderson
they’ve found a way for their artists to be a part of a larger
The Alderson Artisans Gallery functions like a co-op. They have
seven working artists that showcase their work, and also spend time
working behind the counter, sweeping the floor, keeping the books or
managing its social media pages. They also showcase the work of other local artists, that pay a slightly higher fee to be a part of the gallery.
The gallery was originally a project of Alderson Main Street, which
provided funding for their first year of operation. Now the gallery is
And while they still refer to themselves as a “shoestring operation,” they manage to keep the lights on without outside funding.
They integrate themselves more deeply into
the community through partnerships with the local schools. The gallery provides
space to showcase the work of local students throughout the year. The member
artisans also pass on their knowledge through the form of classes.
The actual gallery space features regular gallery fare, like
paintings, photography and sculptures. But they also feature works that
are distinctively ‘Alderson.’ These pieces range from woodwork and
stained glass to hooked rugs and clothing.
Alderson Artisans Gallery demonstrates that working together can
really create something incredible. They’ve created a place to showcase
the culture of Alderson while providing an income to local artists.