A new Jefferson City location is in store for The Art Bazaar, a downtown business for the past six years. Also in finding a new location, three local artists will partner together to offer their services to the public.
"We're going to miss downtown," Mary Ann Hall said. "But we are excited about being in a historic landmark."
The Art Bazaar has been searching for a new building since it learned that its current space, 112 E. High St., was sold to Copper Tree Exchange owners Greg and Geri Bemboom. The Bembooms plan to move their consignment store to the East High Street building once the Art Bazaar has moved to its new location.
Hall said that while there are a few rent-able spaces left on High Street, none of them were feasible for The Art Bazaar. After a November co-op meeting, The Art Bazaar members voted unanimously to move just a few miles down the street, to the historic Warwick Village.
"Hank and Linda Stratman came to us early on," Hall said. But she was hesitant to move the business away from downtown. "I felt we are very dependent on pedestrians," Hall explained. But after careful consideration and weighing their options, The Art Bazaar decided in order to keep its doors open, they would need to move to the Warwick Village.
Come January, The Art Bazaar will move to 1502 E. High St. in the Village Square. Because the space is about 600 square feet smaller than its current building, Hall said they will have to be creative in utilizing the space because they aren't losing any artists.
The move will also allow three retired art teachers to offer classes in a new business, The Village Art Studio, to be placed directly next door to The Art Bazaar.
Ann DeRosier, Charlotte Middleton and Cindy Schnieders will be heading up the studio, offering classes in canvas painting, mosaics, pastels, oil and acrylics, weaving, papermaking, clay and more. The Studio hopes to offer classes for children and adults, after-school and weekend events, and is open to suggestions. The space will eventually offer open studio time as well.
"Just because a person is out of the school arena doesn't mean that they have to stop exploring the visual arts," DeRosier said.
DeRosier said she had wanted to continue teaching and stick with art, but wasn't sure about venturing out on her own. After taking a year to look at her options, DeRosier found the perfect partners in Middleton and Schnieders, and the perfect placement in the Village Square. A joining door between The Village Art Studio and The Art Bazaar will allow for cross-promotional events, Hall said.
"We're very excited about the possibilities," DeRosier said. "We hope that folks will stop by, take a look at our studio and pick up a calendar of classes to see which one is calling out to them. There is literally something for everyone."
A spring art festival is already in the works for April, incorporating the entire Village Square and surrounding neighborhood. "We want to help make it a place people want to go," Hall said, referring to the area as an up-and-coming "art district."
The Studio hopes to begin classes in early January, and The Art Bazaar will have its official grand reopening on Feb. 14. The Art Bazaar officially moves Dec. 26 and will be open in its new location throughout January as it gets settled, so customers shouldn't be discouraged from stopping by.
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