Bustling Downtown Arts Scene

Hickory, North Carolina has a thriving arts community.The Hickory Museum of Art, the state’s second oldest art museum, has always been an important gathering place for artists and has been integral in helping the arts scene flourish. The Galleria, the museum’s shop, also provides an important venue from which artists can sell their work. But in recent years the arts community has grown beyond anyone’s expectations, and artists have been in need of new places to both gather and sell their work. A quiet renaissance has been occurring downtown, not on Union Square, but one block over, where Bottega and Turnip the Arts have put down roots. They join Full Circle Arts and Tasteful Beans in bringing art to downtown and supporting artists from the Catawba Valley.


Bottega, A Soulful Place, opened in December 2014 , and has already seen success. Bottega is owned and operated by Sarah Frisbey and Missy Cleveland and is located in Downtown Hickory. Both have been active in Hickory’s art community, and were enthused about creating a space for artists to share their work. Bottega is a consignment based art store, with an incredibly wide array of art forms and mediums. Most of Hickory’s well-loved artists are represented in this collection, which is whimsical, fun and  stays true to Hickory’s Folk Art roots. “Bottega” is Italian for “the gathering place for artists” and the store fulfills its name by hosting a monthly gathering of local artists.  When artists gather, they form new collaborations and create new art. This rejuvenates our community.

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 10.04.29 AMBottega isn’t afraid to do things a little differently-every nook and corner is bursting with color and surprising art. The space is also home to two stylists, who are no doubt inspired by the constantly changing art around them. With its extensive collection of Hickory’s best art, Bottega is an exciting place to purchase gifts and accessories, or to browse and feel inspired.

It’s amazing the amount of talent that comes out of such a small community. People always go elsewhere looking for art-they go to Asheville, and we have so much here!”-Sarah Frisbey

turnip-the-artsJust two doors down you’ll find Turnip the Arts, a store selling high quality crafts and art. Owner Annette Parris has always been an avid art collector, and she now uses her refined taste to select exceptional art for Hickory patrons. She set out to fill a gap left after the closing of Julia Rush Fine Crafts store on Union Square, a closing that both Annette and other art lovers were saddened by. She’s been successful in her undertaking, and once again downtown shoppers have a selection of excellently crafted heirloom art pieces.

Annette also teaches cooking classes at Turnip the Arts. She treats this endeavor with the same artistry as she does curating her collection. She sees the art in cooking, and that’s what she teaches. The classes are new, but are sure to be very successful.

tastefulTasteful Beans, also downtown, has been dedicated to sharing the area’s arts for years. The walls are always covered with the works of local artists, and the selection is ever changing. Tasteful Beans is a coffeeshop, and it often hosts art shows and poetry readings, giving voice to artists and poets from the area.

downloadFull Circle Arts is a nonprofit artist cooperative. The goals of Full Circle Arts are to provide a space for visual artists (and eventually literary and performing artists) to promote and develop arts education, to develop the potential and professional ability of individual artists, to provide working shared studio space for members, and to raise the funds to meet these goals.  There is  a gallery which displays the artwork of our exhibiting members and is occasionally used for other events.  There is also a classroom which is open for classes and workshops in various mediums.

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