Community space for artists opens

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The vacant space at the Point Roberts Marketplace that used to belong to Banner Bank is slowly being transformed into a space for local artisans and producers to sell their products.

The Community Corner opened in early May, and Marketplace owner Ali Hayton said it is serving a dual purpose as a mini gallery for local wares and a boutique space for items brought in through the store.

“There were two purposes I could see that space being used for,” Hayton said. “There were so many local artists and vendors that didn’t have anywhere to sell their things through Covid and I wanted to create a space for them to do that. The other thing I thought was missing for Point Roberts shoppers was some fun gift items so it’s kind of a mix of things we thought people might enjoy.”

Local photographer and painter Jollena Tylor brought together local artists, crafters and producers. “In the spirit of the Blue Heron Gallery we’re trying to get a variety so there’s good energy in there,” she said. A top seller so far is honey from local beekeeper Tim Trudel. Tylor sells her artwork and a variety of greeting cards, and two local authors have their books for sale there. Louise Cassidy and her sisters are Helen’s Girls (helensgirls.com) and they have their tote bags and other items for sale. A local silversmith will be adding jewelry to the collection and “it will spread out from there,” Tylor said.

Hayton said she was filling out the space with unique items she had found scouring gift shows, including personal care items, apparel, stickers, tea and cold brew coffee kits and other gift items.

Once the border reopens, Hayton said she would continue to look for a credit union that might take over the space, which was designed for a financial institution, but that wouldn’t spell the end of the Community Corner. “We have a lot of space and I might move the community corner but not discontinue it unless another business like the Blue Heron Gallery opened up so local vendors had a place that worked better for them.”

Artisans interested in joining the Community Corner can email Tylor at jollena@pointroberts.net or Hayton at alihayton72@hotmail.com.

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