About Takoma ARTery
The Takoma ARTery helps support the livelihoods of local artists and improves the appearance of local business areas by filling vacant or underused storefront windows with arts and handicrafts from Takoma Park’s creative community.
During times of crisis the arts provide a source of creativity, a means of solace, and an embodiment of our culture. We hope you will join us as an artist or a local business in this valuable endeavor. You can view more ARTery art, window displays, and much more at our Instagram here.
After six years in downtown Takoma Park, the store/gallery, Things from Egypt and the Back Wall Gallery was closed due to pandemic restrictions. Other downtown storefronts were also shuttered or underused. Local artists, artisans and small art and handicraft businesses had no place to display their work and were being hit hard financially by the pandemic. Owner Eleanor Landstreet and Tuula Ehn-Smith began organizing the Takoma ARTery to address these problems.
How It Works
Locating Takoma ARTery windows – Takoma ARTery organizers collaborate with local building or store owners in downtown areas to permit Takoma ARTery to use their storefront windows to display art and handicrafts. Typical locations include the Historic Takoma Inc, 7328 Carroll Ave, Takoma Park, Maryland in the Takoma Junction and Hiram Takoma Lodge No.10 (Takoma Masonic Center), 115 Carroll St NW, Washington, District of Columbia. The ARTery provides the most visible locations for local artists to display their work in Takoma Park and Takoma. We add locations with sufficient volunteers and funding.
Enlisting artists to display – Takoma ARTery organizers enlist local and surrounding area artists, artisans and small art and handicraft business owners to display their wares in the windows by email, social media, signage, and word of mouth. Artists bring their items and display fixtures, if available, to the window location at a designated date and time. Curators decide which pieces are shown as they are installing the display. If you’re interested in learning more about participation in Takoma ARTery and showing with us, click here. Submissions are made online.
Artist Display Fees – Approximately 20 artists/artisans display at each location. Takoma ARTery has established fees of up to $70 for a typical two-month exhibition period but artists should inquire if funding exists for full or partial payment. Some artists have shown their work for no fee in exchange for volunteering. The nonprofit Art for the People also may provide funding for fees. Spring 2021 fees were waived due to funding by Takoma’s Arts and Humanities Division.
Curating the window display – Takoma ARTery curators review all art and handicrafts submitted and design and install the art. Curators decide how many pieces per artist are shown and how to show them. Currently, displays change every two months.
Selling art – No sales take place on premises. Signage will include the ARTery website which directs potential buyers to the contact information for each artist and their individual websites or other contact point so that the customer may shop all the artist’s work. Artist and customer decide the method of sales and delivery – ensuring Covid safety measures are in place, such as credit card sales by phone and porch pick up. Takoma ARTery does not charge commission on sales.
Join us!! Takoma ARTery volunteers are a group of multitalented local artists, artisans and entrepreneurs working together using their various talents — volunteering their time and skills in finding locations and creating temporary and affordable window gallery displays for art and handicrafts throughout the area — in order to promote their visions and sales. By joining our volunteers, you will enjoy working with other creative people with similar interests and talents and will collaborate, contribute and bring your own innovative ideas to improve Takoma’s artistic life. Many local artists volunteer, including co-organizers Eleanor Landstreet and Tuula Ehn Smith, and Adriana Elefante, Alice Sims, Jamal Childs, Sara Daines, Bethany Karn, Jeff Struewing, Stephanie Ney, Kelsey Joyce, Landry Dunand, Stewart Sarkozy-Bancoczy, Randall Williams, Merlene Mazyck, Lenora Ashby, Beth Janoff, Yulya Semchenko, Kayin Mazyck, and many others. To find out how to volunteer, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We have fun!
ARTery Post COVID
Takoma ARTery organizers intend to continue placing art in window locations indefinitely, because even after COVID, downtown establishments will continue to have empty or underused windows and artists will continue to seek to display their work in downtown spaces. We also organize in-person events, such as a Spring Art Fair.