Paintings, home décor, hand carved wood pieces, and ceramic coffee mugs are some of the items that will be for sale at the Pike Road Arts Center’s First Thursday on Sept. 2.
The Arts Center is open at times on Saturdays and Sundays, but Arts Council coordinator Patty Payne and her team wanted to expand the hours the community had easy access to the facility. First Thursdays were born. This autumn, the Pike Road Arts Center will be open from 5 – 8 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month.
Shoppers can explore and choose from handmade gifts and original art by Alabama artists available in the Arts Center’s Water House Gallery, get to know the members of the Pike Road Arts Council, and enjoy special evening discounts on a variety of items.
The rest of the First Thursdays in 2021 are:
“We recognized that, only being open on Saturday and Sunday, there are a lot of people who don’t have the opportunity to stop by the Arts Center. So, we thought we’d provide an alternative,” Payne said. “It’s only on the first Thursday, which is also when our Arts Council meets, so we’re always there. So, why not open up that time to the community to come and browse the art and check out the Gift Gallery and see what’s happening in their community?”
The Pike Road Arts Center (PRAC) is located at 944 Wallahatchie Road, under the water tower. The center is home to the Water House Gallery and gift shop, studio space, and a variety of events presented by the Arts Council. The center is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and 1-4 p.m. respectively.
First Thursdays are intended to provide another opportunity for people, particularly those who have weekend commitments, to visit the PRAC, explore all it offers, and get to know the Pike Road Arts Council. There will also be special sales and discounts available on First Thursdays.
“It is amazing to see the way the Pike Road Arts Council has transformed the Water House Gallery from a small business building into a showcase for the arts in the Town of Pike Road,” Mayor Gordon Stone said. “We encourage the community to visit the Water House Gallery. We are thankful for all the Arts Council, an ENHANCE initiative committee, does to further the appreciation and understanding of art in the Town of Pike Road and across the River Region.”
The initial First Thursday was held on Aug. 5.
“We look forward to more visitors this fall as summer travel winds down and local community activities approach,” Payne said. “Happening now at the Pike Road Arts Center, in addition to the always-available Gift Gallery, the Pike Road Quilters are presenting a show of 50 handmade quilts. Soon, it will be time for the 10th annual Pike Road Plein Air Paint Out, Oct. 15 – 16, which always draws a great group of artists and great interest from the community.”
Payne said a huge variety of handmade, or reimagined by hand, pieces will be for sale to fill birthday or other gift needs.
“We have had a lot of people stop by and inquire about smaller gifts for birthdays, holidays, Father’s Day, etc. The Gift Gallery is a great place to come by and shop – it’s almost like a little boutique within the Arts Center,” Payne said. “The prices are lower than a lot of the paintings in the Arts Center because they are smaller. We have items available ranging from $5 into the $150 range available in the Gift Gallery. “
The inventory at the Arts Center is constantly changing, from the art on display to the offerings of the Gift Gallery, as art shows take place and artists bring in new material. The change of the seasons over the rest of 2021 also will bring new material into the PRAC.
“We do anticipate a selection of holiday-themed items as Thanksgiving and Christmas approach,” Pike Road communications specialist Turner Waddell said. “The Pike Road Arts Council’s annual Christmas Tree Silent Auction will also bring decorated wreaths, trees with handmade ornaments, and other décor to the Arts Center in November.”
For more information about the Arts Council, contact Payne by emailing [email protected]
Artists are invited to use the studio space available on Saturdays at the PRAC. The open studio hours will resume in September, following the ongoing quilt show. Interested artists should contact Payne.
At this time, the Town of Pike Road requires visitors at all municipal facilities to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status. If you do not have a mask, the facility will provide one. The policy includes Town Hall, Founders Station, and the PRAC.