New business Art on the Ridge holds second art market

After canceling last art market due to snowstorm, owners fill booths to capacity

More stories from Rachel Helgeson

Ballin’ on a Budget
October 1, 2018

Photo by Rachel Helgeson

At the art market, visitors can stop by 15 or 16 booths and purchase arts and crafts.

Owner of the new local business Art on the Ridge, Bobbie DeVoll, said she and her sister Shelly Swerman were inspired to kick start their business after recognizing local artists’ and crafters’ needs in the Eau Claire area.

“I went to a couple meetings at Volume One and there were so many local artists and crafters that said said they feel like there aren’t enough places to sell and market their stuff,” DeVoll said.

DeVoll said they started Art on the Ridge to promote local artists’ work and also have a place where people could sell consignment.

On Saturday, Art on the Ridge held its second-ever art market from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its indoor location on Park Ridge Court near Carson Park.

The location has capacity for about 15 or 16 booths, and this Saturday the sisters had booked about 15 vendors, four of which were returnees.

Booths were set up in either pairs or in threes in separate rooms throughout the designated section of the warehouse the sisters own. Artists selling jewelry, paintings, crafts and other masterpieces sat near their tables. DeVoll said there will be people signing up to sell yard ornaments in the future, which will be set up outside the door.

One room was dedicated to selling consignment and featured antique typewriters, signs and other vintage items on sale.

DeVoll said she and her sister decided to start the consignment because some artists felt they did not have enough work to sell at a booth. With the consignment, they would have an opportunity to make more money.

One returning artist, Deb Halley, sells painted and decorated wine glasses and other glass kitchenware through her business Entwined. Halley said she was pleased with the attendance at the first Art on the Ridge’s market last month.

By being a part of the art markets at Art on the Ridge and showing her painted wine glasses and canvases, Halley has received feedback on her work as well as inquiries from people who want custom designs.

“It’s worth it. I think it’s a wonderful idea. I think it has a great place in the Eau Claire area,” Halley said. “Their goal is to support artists and I think that’s important to the community, the arts, the culture.”

Halley said she believes art can bring a sense of peace and direction in a person’s life.

“It (art) can do a lot for people’s self-esteem and their general thought process,” Halley said.

Art on the Ridge plans to hold art markets on the second Saturday of each month. DeVoll said this art market, which took place on the first Saturday of the month, was planned around the community events like the Eau Claire marathon to attract more visitors.

Their last art market on April 7 was canceled due to the snowstorm. The next two art markets will be held on June 9 and July 14.

DeVoll said they have had some trouble booking artists because they have so many previous commitments in the community for showing and selling their work, but hope to have local talent keep coming to Art on the Ridge.

The cost to sign up for a booth at the art market is $40, and 40 percent of the profits from each vendor are given to Art on the Ridge.

Art on the Ridge offers other opportunities for artists and the community. Do-it-yourself workshops are scheduled where local artists may come in and teach attendees their crafting techniques for specific projects.

Instructed classes, “pARTies”, girls night out, team building, couple’s date night and private events are also held at Art on the Ridge.

Customers may rent rooms for meetings, events or parties as well.

DeVoll said the business is still in a growing stage and she and her sister are still figuring out what works and what doesn’t at Art on the Ridge.

“Everybody has so much talent,” DeVoll said. “We’re just hoping it (the business) grows.”