We visited the local square recently to shoot some photos for Creative Sweet. While there, in the middle of the day on a weekend, we noticed that nothing was open. While many places were closed, even more were unoccupied. If you're like us and you've traveled to larger towns and cities that have a thriving city center downtown you know how exciting that can be - independent boutiques, small local businesses and shops, cafes, restaurants, art galleries, things of that nature. The first place that comes to mind when it comes to an ideal downtown for a place this size? Asheville, North Carolina. If you've been there you know how great it is, if not plan a trip NOW!
While discussing nearby photo locations and the emptiness of our current area we turned a corner to see one store with their door open, a chalkboard sign outside noting that their products are all handmade in the USA, and a colorful assorted display welcoming in anyone from the street. The art prints, the paintings, the blown-glass - there were so many things that caught our eye just from the doorway that we had to venture in.
The first smaller room contained all of those goodies and then you enter the second room that is divided into two distinct spaces - the first a continuation of the first room, a gift shop style set-up with more art prints, paintings, jewelry, masks, and much, much more. Then to your right you can step up into the gallery portion of the space. Hardwood floors, exposed brick, and during our visit: the whimsical pop art paintings of Sherry Pearl. The majority of the paintings featured Red and Wolf, an elegant elaboration on the tale of Little Red Riding Hood. Pearl's representation does not portray the two as enemies, but seems to illustrate a uniquely intimate friendship.
We were greeted by store owner LaDonna Eastman, who was not only friendly but extremely informative about plans and projects for the area! (It seems many of those things we had been wishing for are currently in the works for the square!) She told us about Wild Earth Gallery & Gift Shop, including information about selling things in the shop and how the gallery schedule is set up. She proudly features local and USA made arts and crafts -including original art, prints, photographs, blown glass, handcrafted jewelry, masks, and soy candles- as well as note cards, local music, vintage jewelry, specimen stones, minerals, and Native American bead work. Wild Earth also supports female artisans from around the world!
Every piece in her shop that we took interest in she was able to tell us a bit about the artist and in many cases the story behind how the pieces came to be in the shop. We learned about Second Saturdays in the area, which we'll share more about later, as well as gallery events and new plans, which include Friday Night Art Party workshops that will begin in April. (We definitely plan to attend a few of these!)
We love the Buy Local movement and highly recommend Wild Earth Gallery & Gifts if you're looking for something creative to gift someone, or if you're looking for something for yourself. For the most current updates check out the shop on Facebook and for more information visit their website. Maybe we'll see you out at Second Saturday or a Friday Night Art Party!
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