By Eugenia Tavarez | firstname.lastname@example.org
Among the many art galleries, boutiques,and shops of St. Augustine, Tracy Davis and Sherry Crotts opened Artland with a vision of something more personal, retro chic and full of good vibes for the small-time artist and adventurous customer.
Artland opened in February 2010 at 58B San Marco Avenue in the uptown San Marco shopping district. What once was a run down, ill- kept locale full of junk, owners Davis and Crotts transformed into a space where art is abundant and everything is one of a kind.
Within 16-foot exposed brick walls and 1,500 square feet of organic dÃ©cor, Artland showcases approximately 40 different local artists in an atmosphere that promotes each artist’s own unique style and creativity. “Art” in this store ranges from anything like jewelry, stained glass, and wood items to paintings, custom cards and dog items-all hand made locally.
“When you walk into the store it’s not all one thing,” Davis said. “You get a big variety.”
The goal of Artland is to provide customers with one-of-a-kind local treasures that can be easily crammed into a suitcase, taken home and enjoyed.
Davis is a multi-media artist that’s dabbled in everything from jewelry making to tattoo art. She knows the pains of being a small local artist, which is what inspired her to open a gallery-esque store like Artland.
“I got tired of going to all the local shows, dragging all my stuff and sitting there hoping it would sell… And if it didn’t, you put all your stuff back in the boxes, went home and cried,” Davis said. “I got just kind of depressed, frustrated and sad about all that… I said, ‘I can’t be the only artist that feels this way.'”
Tracy joined with Crotts, her best friend and business partner, to create a space where small local artists can rent out a display, feature their artistic labors and profit from their work without the pressures of an expensive gallery scene. She personally builds all the displays and goes out to scout artists at art festivals, craft shows and farmer’s markets.
“Every new artist that comes becomes part of the family and they are very supportive of each other…It’s not about money for us, it’s about being able to give back to the community,” Davis said.
In lieu of the upcoming Flagler Creates festival Tracy said currently no Flagler students are featured in the Artland family, however that may change.
“We’re in the planning stages…It has always been my vision in this store to have an art display every month that features a new Flagler student and gives them a chance to show off their stuff but also be able to sell it.”
Artland is open year-round, seven days a week, and hosts an open house artist meet-and-greet on the last Saturday of every month from 5pm to 9pm during Uptown Saturday Nights.