Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The closing of yet another craft gallery.

Cheryl and I went to the "renewment" party at The Creator's Hands on Sunday afternoon. That's our friend Carleen Wilenius standing between Cheryl and I. She has been operating The Creator's Hands for something like 30+ years. Carleen has always displayed a collection of fine quality American made art and craft items, including items from The Toycrafter, and Louise's Daughter. But like so many of our friends, both makers, and sellers, she has reached the age of "renewment" as she calls it, and has shut the doors. A great many of our customers have similarly closed the doors. The economy hasn't helped any, but all three components of the craft industry are reaching or have reached the age of "renewment". Most of us "Craft/art makers" are around the age of 65 - give or take a few years, and of course there are exceptions, but the "most of us" part of the equation stands. The same line can be repeated two more times, substituting "Gallery/shop owners", and "Craft/art buyers". Around this age, we all think about changing direction, renewment, downsizing, etc. and simple demographics are changing our "industry". The "makers" are getting too old to keep on working this hard, and the "gallery/shop owners" are in the same boat. Our customers have just filled their homes with wonderful things, and just don't have room for more!

Cheryl and I love to design and make things, and will undoubtedly go on doing so! Carleen will enjoy her "renewment", and Shelly Carithers - the woman on the left in the photo - will take up the mantle of "The Creator's Hands". She is looking for a new space, and "The Creator's Hands" will re-open soon. Our friend Chris Maxson - once our biggest gallery customer - is enjoying her retirement in California. Our friend George Landino - fellow artist and craftsperson - has downsized a lot due to some health concerns, but continues to teach children, and make lots of great stuff. I could go on all night, but you get the point. Life and business changes, but creativity goes on.


Dave said...

I wish I'd known about the party I would've stopped in to wish Carleen well. Carol & I did their ads and mailers in the 1980s before High Falls

judy said...

I remember "The Creator's Hand" from when we lived in Rochester. I loved that gallery and bought many items there. I'm glad someone else is picking up "The Mantle".

judy said...

As one who is of the age of "renewment" (I love that term) I am facing the same limitations in doing shows. It seems harder and harder to lug everything to shows, set up. take down, and lug everything home again, hopefully minus a few items! I'm in the process of renewment as to how I do my work and how I sell it.