Creative set form co-op for art sales
Studio, gallery and store combined in one venue
Artists are generally thought of as free spirits, but a group of artists in Valdez have banded together to form Raven’s Spirit Art Co-op and Gallery, a venue for those with a creative streak – and talent – to show their work, sell select pieces and create new ones all under one roof.
Spearheaded by Valdez artist Raeann Krugger, the new venue is located on the corner of Chenega and Egan Streets, in the same building as the Valdez Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
“I started it about two months ago,” she said between tasks at the gallery Monday afternoon. “I really want to bring more arts and crafts to our community, because we need it.”
Raven Spirit is part art gallery – most but not all of the works on display are for sale – part craft supply store, part studio and part classroom.
All are welcome to come in and look at the art or buy craft supplies or art, and the co-op members are always eager to welcome another crafter into the fold.
“We’ll have 13-plus artists from Alaska,” she said, while arranging tables and benches crafted from native wood, “most of them from here.”
Meaning Valdez. But there are also members from Anchorage, Palmer, Eagle River and even Chitina.
“We’re always looking for more crafters to join us,” Krugger said while hanging a diverse group of paintings on the walls.
Many of the artists – there are painters, textile artists, photographers, beaders, woodworkers and more – have been having weekly “chat and chew” gatherings for some time according to artist and member JoAnn Randazzo.
Valdez Star photo
The signs for the art co-op were created by artists. They had yet to be hung outside during Monday’s opening.
“Because we like to talk and eat,” she said, and more importantly, practice their crafts. Like many modern groups, they use Facebook to plan the next chat and chew session.
But the studio is open to all according to Krugger.
“This space is open for anyone to come use,” she said.
Artists rent space at Raven Spirit to display their works that are for sale. They also contribute 10 hours of time to the co-op each month.
The co-op is now open, though displays are still in the works. Its grand opening is coming Friday, October 7 from 6-8 p.m. All are welcome according to Krugger. For fun, the public is invited to attend dressed as a favorite artist – be it musician, painter, actor, whatever. Be creative, come down and have fun.