Shops adopt crafty attitude toward arts
Fine arts aren’t the typical association with a working-class area like Marion County, but that is what Gallery 101 owner Jan Davis has been trying to change for the past nine years.
“That’s the challenge of it, displaying different things people enjoy,” she said. “I’ve had a variety of things over the years.”
Davis finds more value in featuring an assortment of art styles and media, as opposed to exclusively one artist or style.
“That won’t necessarily catch a lot of interests,” she said. “I like to feature an artist, but I like to have a variety of other stuff.”
Media from local artists range from woodcarvings and wire sculpting to paintings and photography.
Other county artisans include JR Hatters, the Copper Shed, and Trace of Copper in Marion; Prairie View Designs in Florence; and Diamond in the Rough in Hillsboro. Most specialize in sculpting or working with metals in some capacity.
One of the struggles in recent years has been maintaining interest with a younger audience, particularly in sculpting, Davis said.
“Once you have that younger generation who isn’t exposed to it very much, it’s tough to make it viable,” she said.