Artspace in the Marketplace

Pollinator Garden at Chatham Mills, by Forrest Greenslade

Chatham Marketplace is located in Pittsboro, NC. It is a small town—population 3,800—with big dreams. Of that population, a large percentage of the residents are artists or musicians.

Chatham Marketplace is a grocery store co-operative that sells a variety of organic and conventional groceries, local produce, and body care. One of the goals of Chatham Marketplace is to serve as a hub and a meeting place for all who are residents of the local community.

With this in mind, the co-op decided to provide a place for artists to display their art work. The program has grown into a space that has a waiting list of 6 months to a year. At first, the store took a small commission for any paintings that sold. Last year, the management staff decided to forego the commission and give the artists all of the proceeds from the sale of their work. This has proven to be a winning interaction with artists, the community, and the staff at Chatham Marketplace. Many employees of the co-op display their own art work and are appreciative of the opportunity to have their creations recognized. One of the artists is working on a series of watercolors of the garden in front of our store. This garden is maintained by a group of volunteers managed by the local Agricultural Extension Agent.

All in all, this project has been a benefit to all involved!

Republished with permission from Chatham Marketplace.