Art Ripe for the Picking


Photo Credit: Madeline Ciak

Madeline Ciak

While bushels and pecks of homegrown fruits and vegetables line the entrance leading to the Flint Farmers’ Market, it has more to offer than produce; it is also the home of Art at the Market gallery, a display of bright, fresh and eye-catching pieces of art crafted by local artists.

The gallery, which features fine art such as original, one-of-a-kind pieces including paintings, photographs, vases, mosaics and jewelry, is nestled in the east hallway of the market and currently features the works of 35 artists. All of the featured artists are required to work at the gallery in three-hour shifts on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Another requirement of the gallery is to not have any bare space on the walls or shelves, so an artist must produce a consistent amount of work to keep the gallery fully stocked. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to be featured in the gallery as long as they are willing to commit to working in the gallery and if they have multiple pieces that they can show.

Virginia Stevens of Davison and Mollie Jones of Flushing were the resident artists manning the gallery on Tuesday, Sept. 1. Stevens works primarily with mosaics while Jones crafts vases and bowls. Both of their works are currently featured in the gallery.

“It’s rewarding to see people come in and admire our work, but the added bonus is when someone purchases our work. As an artist, you can’t help but feel validated when that happens,” said Jones.

Jones first began exploring pottery when she retired from Lapeer Community Schools as an art teacher.

“As an educator, I was only allowed to make so many pieces, but after I retired, I became more compulsive, so when I began working on one piece I would think of three more I wanted to make,” said Jones.

Stevens said she viewed her retirement as a golden opportunity to pursue art. She has used her time to produce several mosaics, and they can be found in the right hand corner of the gallery.

Her Zulu prince mosaic is the focal point of her space in the gallery, and features mediums such as paint and beads, which makes the scene pop off of the wall.  Another piece of her work, which is located just left to the prince is a mosaic mirror surrounded by pastel pink and mint green tiles and maroon beads.

“I’m glad to see people admire my artwork, but it’s hard to see my pieces go because I feel like they’re a piece of me,” said Stevens.