Kickstart Some Art

By on 20 November, 2017 in Art, Fun, Kate and Stephen with 2 Comments

For several years now, the local holiday pop-up shop has become a fixture of our gift-acquiring (and subsequent giving) efforts. The pop-up shop an amazing annual project that brings together the work of local artists using all kinds of media for a limited time only. We only regret that it’s just open over the holidays, and have hoped for a more permanent home. Turns out, that’s in the works now – and our readers (and folks our readers know) have an opportunity to help out the effort via a Kickstarter campaign with some great rewards for donors.

The project is a venture by Capitol Heights residents Joe Birdwell and Heather Parrish, who have collaborated for several years on projects around town to show off Montgomery’s artsy side. After looking at several spaces for the new gallery, they fell in love with a building at 1228 Madison. You’ve probably driven by the space a hundred times – it’s a green building with the words “Raw Wood” on the front sign. Inside, they’ve already begun the process of transforming the space with art. It’s got hardwood floors and lots of natural light – perfect for showing off arts and crafts. The Kickstarter campaign (with your help) will get the new business off the ground, while offering scholarships to art classes that the team plans to offer at the gallery.

Called Product of Montgomery, the gallery is meant to be a space to build community for Montgomery artists.

“I want artists to be able to share their work and gifts with others,” said Parrish. “We want to be a place where people feel like they can come and linger. The new space will allow people to explore the arts while also engaging in the spirit of creativity.”

“We’d like to be a resource for artists,” said Birdwell. “We want to be more than just a place where someone’s going to help you sell your art. We want to offer active support for artists.”

The pair hope that the Capitol Heights location will become a destination for locals walking to the Curb Market. “It’s a connector to downtown,” said Birdwell. “We want to give people a reason to stop in the neighborhood and shop locally.”

For those unfamiliar with Kickstarter, it’s a platform with tiers of rewards for people who want to back a particular campaign. Donors to this Kickstarter can give at the level they choose, and rewards range from art buttons to a downtown scavenger hunt. The goal is to raise $10,000 for needed repairs to the building, and the way that Kickstarter works is that it’s all or nothing – if they don’t raise the total by November 30, none of the donations will go toward the project.

The plan is to start the new gallery even if the Kickstarter fails, but the money will be very helpful in updating the old space to make it welcoming for artists. “It’s an accelerant for the project,” said Birdwell.

Talking to Parrish and Birdwell really drives home just how much they love Montgomery and all it has to offer. One of their major goals for the shop is to boost the city. “We want this to be a place where people discover Montgomery,” said Parrish. “We love this city and we believe in it. There are amazing people here that we want to highlight.”

Click here to contribute to the Product of Montgomery project!

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There Are 2 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Sandra Nickel says:

    Wonderful that Montgomery is becoming more and more art-friendly!

  2. Kara Moncrief says:

    This is so exciting!

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