By Jonathan Carey
Richmond has always been a city filled with a vibrant, viagra buy discount diverse culture; a city that has become pivotal in the artistic revival taking place throughout central Virginia. Art manifests itself in various forms throughout the city; from the eloquent sounds of music dancing throughout Carytown, to street art that appears to give every building its very own distinct personality, symptoms the city is engulfed in the arts. The ARTisan Café has done a great deal to keep art flowing through the streets of Richmond, while bringing artists to the forefront.
Melody Short and Adrienne Cole are the painters. The ARTisan Café is their canvass, as they have interwoven various art forms and artists into one unique masterpiece. The ARTisan Cafe has been key in providing artists with an avenue to showcase their works, and most importantly express themselves.
The event brings together more than 30 artists from a multitude of backgrounds – chefs, musical performers, and designers are provided with the chance to display their art to more than 400 patrons. But, what truly brought the ARTisan Café to fruition? “We both saw the art district was thriving and wanted to enhance it”, explained Short. Cole added, “We saw a need for more cultural events in the city, and tapped into that progressive crowd around Richmond giving them something to do.” Creating the ARTisan Café helped bring the art district to the foreground in Richmond and give artists more than anything an opportunity.
Short and Cole are both natives of Richmond, but sited their travels across the country as huge influences to the creation of the ARTisan Café. Both women resided in locations such as New York and Washington D.C. “I’m used to festivals galore and support of local business,” stated Short. The large cultural diversity and passion for the arts within these larger cities prompted Short and Cole to tap into the artistic lifeblood of their hometown, culminating in the creation of the ARTisan Café in 2011.
With their undertakings in Richmond, Short and Cole pushed a breath of fresh air into the art community. “Any avenue you put art in can be very resourceful,” explained Cole. Art as a means of therapy and expression are all key factors Cole hopes the ARTisan Café can bring to the public. “Art is healing,” she said.
Not only has the ARTisan Café played a major role in reviving, reenergizing and rebuilding the art culture and conscious within the city, but it has also provided artists with a means to profit from their art. “It is a marketplace and it is about commerce,” explained Short. Artists can seek financial gains while simultaneously expanding upon their base at the ARTisan Café. Cole explained that so many talented artists reside in the city, but may not have the means or know how to get their art displayed. The ARTisan Café helps fill that void. Short hopes the ARTisan Café ignites a sense of determination and desire amongst local artists to get their works seen by the public. “Artists have to be creative about getting their work out there. We hope to create that sense of hunger and drive into the artists in the community.”
Bridging the gap between diversity and economic opportunity within the local art community has been a key fixture of the Café; an aspect that both Cole and Short keep at the forefront of their endeavors.
Patrons also benefit from the ARTisan Café. They are provided with the opportunity to purchase unique items from some of Richmond’s most talented artists and designers instead of having to travel to larger cities to make purchases.
Although the ARTisan Café has crafted its way to being an overwhelming success, it did not come without its pitfalls and challenges. The biggest being the reception of something so innovative and unique by the public. “It was so new we weren’t sure how people would respond to it, we were entering uncharted waters”, said Short.
Having a permanent fixed location has been another challenge for the ARTisan Café. The “pop-up shop”, only occurs a few times a year, with the final event being held June 8, 2013. Having a permanent residence would be key in advancing the café and its artists. “It has always been a goal of ours,” Short continued, “We want to do what is best for the artists.”
After an article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch about the ARTisan Café and their search for a permanent home, the calls flooded in. “People began to reach out after the Times-Dispatch article,” said Short. After a number of phone calls and groundwork the ARTisan Café found a permanent location at Stony Point Fashion Park in Richmond, VA. Short explained the upscale shopping complex is ideal for the ARTisan Café, and most importantly the artists. “It puts us in the perfect location for the artists”. Short and Cole hope to open the new ARTisan Café sometime in August of this year. Both women plan to be steadfast fixtures in the community for years to come.
The ARTisan Café has been well received by the local community, with a consistent turnout in the hundreds. Short and Cole can’t deny the impact they’ve had on Richmond and the impact of the café upon themselves, “Using our resources to provide economic development for families is mind blowing everyday” explained Short. Cole stated that seeing the impact they have made on so many lives is truly special, “personally it has been a blessing”. Both women seek to continue the success of the café, as well as continuing to paint the city and keep art alive.