An artist collective formed by a group of six local artists recently opened in Eastern Market. The artists of the Riopelle Collective
, as they're known, represent a wide range of styles and media, including furniture-making, hand lettering, and mixed media. The collective's space is located along a stretch of Gratiot that is commonly referred to as Service Street, the name of the red-bricked alley that runs behind the length of the block.
Jessica Krcmarik is one of the six members of Riopelle. As excited as they are to have opened their own space, Krcmarik stresses that there are already a number of established artists who work, present, perform, and live in the buildings of Service Street. The Riopelle Collective is an addition to an already rich community of artists, residents, and businesses located in the Service Street area.
"There was an arts district before we came here," says Krcmarik. "So we're standing on the shoulders of the other artists."
The Riopelle space will operate as a retail space during market days. The collective also plans to host events like Drink and Draw nights, where people will be invited to bring a sketchpad and drinks and use the Riopelle space to work and socialize. Riopelle is also home to the Prankster Press
, a printmaking shop run by Riopelle members Lyz Luidens and James Reich. Dylan Box, Ellen Rutt, and Matthew Jenkins round out the group.
It was Box and Rutt, says Krcmarik, that got everything started. They originally wanted to rent the space as a twosome, but the landlord required more artists before leasing the space.
Thus the Riopelle Collective
Riopelle is located at 1492 Gratiot Ave.
Source: Jessica Krcmarik, member of the Riopelle Collective
Writer: MJ Galbraith
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