Aimee BIngham Osinski firstname.lastname@example.org
Next to the village clock, on the corner of Broad and Main street, sits a bright red door. A sign hangs vertically between two windows, that says, “Artistica.” I’ve admittedly been intrigued by this storefront since I started working in Dexter. I was excited to spotlight the business.
Pam O’Hara was more than willing to give me an interview, however due to time constraints and not wanting to bring my children into a shop with the word, “gallery ” in the title, we were unable to meet in person. I was able to speak with Pam on the phone and met Denise when I visited the store. I explained what happened the last time I took my children into a gallery, one walked backwards into a display and toppled it completely over. In his defense, I told him to keep his hands in his pockets, which he did. Thankfully, nothing was broken, but my lesson was learned. I visited while my children were in school.
I met Denise, one of the current partners and artists on display. She’s a photographer with gorgeous prints of local landmarks hanging in the store. She was so warm and welcoming, I completely lost track of time. I’m thankful I had the chance to relax and chat with her, which would have been difficult with my children in tow. The shop is cozy and quiet, but I spent the entire time, walking closer to each wall and corner, finding a new treasure to examine, while we chatted.
Pam, one of the original partners, said Artistica first opened twelve years ago, January 1, with four partners. Pam is the only original partner of the four that opened the business. Pam explains that the store features 30-35 Michigan artists. They try not to duplicate products sold. Pam explained the store as an indoor art fair. And that it is, so if you’re missing the Ann Arbor Art Fair or you are in search of a unique gift for someone, I strongly encourage you to stop in and visit. I noticed several gifts I’d buy for a housewarming gift or to send to someone who had moved away. The prints of Denise’s photography are iconically Dexter, including the Cider Mill and the A & W.
I marvelled at the way the store functions and that it’s been open for twelve years. It seems Pam and the original partners were way ahead of current retail trends, now a part of pop culture via Rose Apothecary on the show Schitts Creek. Stores set up similarly have opened recently in Chelsea, and Manchester, but rather than art fair, they’re styled after Farmer’s Markets. The artist or farmer, rents the space and has someone handling customers and selling the product, while they continue to farm or create art, rather than spending their weekend days selling from a booth. This works particularly well for artists, given the difficulty artists have making a living with their passion. It’s a great opportunity for artwork to be sold and on display, while the artist works a day job with insurance and a 401k. Artists have a 3 month contract, so visit often as products and artists do change.
The store is located at 3203 Broad Street in Dexter, right next to the Village clock. Winter Hours are Tuesday-Friday 10 am-5:30pm and Saturday 10:00am-4:00pm. It’s a peaceful little shop, with lots to see and take in. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to stay and explore, and you’ll also want to buy. The work inside is exquisite.