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Blog Take Over Presents: Michigan-Made and Locally-Made Treasures at Art Reach of Mid-Michigan By Kim Bigard

March 28th, 2017

When we consider what it means to buy local, we often think about small “mom & pop” shops, or family owned businesses.  Art Reach on Broadway takes it another step further and offers something truly local.  Our artwork is made in Michigan by Michigan artists.  Moreover, many of the items are created right here in Central Michigan by local artists.  Sold on a consignment basis, Art Reach on Broadway offers up an outlet for local artists to make an income from their talent and creativity.  Supplemented by a variety of wholesale items, Art Reach on Broadway has unique and eclectic gift options for a variety of occasions. 

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All too often, people consider art to be out of reach for them financially, but we offer items that range from high end wall art to handcrafted lip balm.  Either way, each of the art items has the distinction of being made by human hands.  In an era of cheap manufactured “stuff”, it’s important to remember that there is inherent value in handcrafted items and the skills necessary to create them.  Our gift shop aims to be approachable to our customers and offer them the choice to support a local economy and keep their dollars invested in Michigan.  The extra bonus is that profits generated through the store are funneled back into Art Reach programs that reach over 15,000 community members through a combination of artistic opportunities and art education.

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Often thought of as just paintings and sculpture, art stretches so much further than that.  Some of the items we carry include handcrafted jewelry, pottery, woodwork, blown glass, and fiber art.  If home décor is your goal, we carry basketry, braided rugs, hand poured candles, and whimsical garden art.  I’m constantly tickled to see customers delighted and inspired by the creativity, humor and sheer impressive talent exhibited by our homegrown artists.  Oftentimes, others are inspired to create something artistic themselves after walking through our shop and gallery.  I’m guilty of it myself!

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If shopping isn’t your goal, we also offer monthly rotating exhibits in our Morey Family Gallery which are free and open to the public.  We feature regional artists, as well as local area schools’ student artwork.  Media ranges from 2D to 3D work, and covers traditional to contemporary art.  The gallery space features our Holiday Collection during the months of November and December.  If you’ve never been to Art Reach during the holidays, I encourage you to check us out.  We go all out with our Holiday Collection, decorating over a dozen trees with beautiful blown glass and handcrafted ornaments, as well as boost our inventory with consignment and wholesale gifts.  No matter the season, we constantly have new items coming into the shop.  Artists are expected to rotate their work regularly and we often have new artists come to us with a fresh range of art to showcase.  I encourage customers to visit us often, and if they find something they love, snatch it up!  As each of our artworks is one of a kind, there’s no guarantee we’ll see another one like it again.

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Kim Bigard is the Gift Shop and Gallery Coordinator at Art Reach of Mid-Michigan.  Originally hailing from Alpena, she has been with Art Reach almost 8 years and volunteered prior to being employed with the organization.  She has been able to utilize her degree from CMU as a graduate from the Art and Museum Studies programs.  The small town feel of Mount Pleasant as well as the close community ties that Art Reach helps to foster kept her in the Mount Pleasant area, where she and her husband have chosen to raise their family. 

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