Gift shop gives platform to artists

ST. CLAIRSVILLE If Grandma Moses, the famous, primitive artist was alive today, she would certainly approve of a new gift shop that is giving a platform to local artists who are expressing themselves outside of the cultural norm, like she did.

The New Corner Store, located at 152 St. Patrick’s Alley, St. Clairsville, features whimsical, colorful canvasses and three-dimensional artwork by people with disabilities, who create “outsider art” that will be officially introduced to the public at an open house on Wed., July 11th.

Outsider art is a term used to identify art that is created by those with little or no formal art training. It is usually described as visual creation in its purest form.

The New Corner Store is an affiliate of Tomorrow’s Corner, a provider of services for adults with developmental disabilities, which offers an innovative approach to adult day support that includes opportunities for art, music, and nature. Many of the people served are unable to work in traditional jobs or choose to spend part of their free time in creative pursuits.

“Art is created at Tomorrow’s Corner on a daily basis, but there is no pressure to perform or complete a project,” said Lisa Kazmirski, founder and co-owner of Tomorrow’s Corner.

Kazmirski noted that the opportunity to create art is a way for people to experience the pride and sense of accomplishment that comes from creating something beautiful and earning money as well. Royalties are assigned to the art pieces that are sold or reproduced for sale. Some designs are reproduced on greeting cards and other items.

Customers will find watercolors and acrylics, three-dimensional art installations, wooden benches, wishing wells, garden baskets, and other home dcor items handcrafted at TC by individuals with the help of their job coach. Custom projects are also available, including alphabet letters, personalized collages and wreaths.

The New Corner Store also offers a popular line from Passion Works Studio in Athens, where artists with disabilities have received national recognition for their work.

The New Corner Store is open Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

It is closed July 1-7 in anticipation of the grand opening on July 11th. All are welcome to attend. Refreshments will be served and some of the artists will be on site. For information, call 740-695-1110.

The New Corner Store and Paramount Digital Imaging share the office space. Paramount is also a provider of services to people with developmental disabilities.

The New Corner Store is funded in part by a grant from the Belmont County Board of Developmental Disabilities.