Art Village plants seed in Manteo
A year ago we interviewed Lorri Chambers at her new venture, the Found Colony Art School, Bead Store and Gallery. The location was buried deep into the interior of Roanoke Island — down some side streets, beyond the jail and inside an industrial park.
It was beyond “off the beaten path.”
At that time, Chambers was dreaming of bigger things, particularly building a true artists colony in Manteo. And the dream has taken purchase in the form of The Art Village.
The Village is now occupying the long-vacant Manteo icon that was home to the Weeping Radish. Chambers dreams big, and she hopes one day her village might evolve into something like the famous Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, which had similar humble beginnings.
Chambers’ new digs occupy two sections of the old Weeping Radish complex. The gallery, where artists are encouraged to display their wares, is located where the old toy and candy stores once stood.
And the old gingerbread house is now the bead school, where anyone can walk in without an appointment, get a free lesson and start creating art—the only cost being the supplies used to create your own wearable masterpiece.
Already, 16 artists are showing paintings, photographs, jewelry, fiber art, organic soaps and even art constructed from “found objects.”
The outside, where kids used to play and adults sipped beer (while the rest of the family browsed the Christmas Shop next door) is now a place where one can find even more art, fresh produce and outdoor exhibitions and shows.
If the new venture can garner local and community support, Chambers would love to expand into the old Weeping Radish proper. But that would take close to $70,000 just to bring the old brew pub up to code.
Given how far Chambers’ has come in just one year, it’s not hard to imagine a thriving artistic colony on these grounds one day.
All of the art and crafts currently on display (and for sale, of course) are created locally.
The Art Village
525 U.S. 64, Manteo, NC
Hours: Mon. to Sat. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Phone: (252) 473-1500
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