The Grocery offers space for local art

The Grocery offers space for local art

 The Grocery, located in Northport, is a newly opened art-run studio exhibit and performance space founded by three Alabama alumnae. CW | Lindsey Leonard

Angela Thomas

The Grocery, a newly opened art-run studio exhibit and performance space, is located in a former general store on Main Avenue. Virginia Eckinger, Claire Lewis Evans and Anne Herbert are the three founding artists and partners of The Grocery.

The three knew each other from being a part of the Master Fine Arts program at The University of Alabama and were each seeking an art workspace. Eckinger said she originally was searching for a building for her yoga class, but when she found The Grocery, she thought it wouldn’t work for the Yoga Center but was perfect for an art space.

“We felt it was important to connect to the history of this place,” Herbert said.

In looking through the history of their building, the three discovered it had been a grocery store, and the name for their blended concept art workspace was born.

While the founders have their own studios downstairs, studio space is available for other artists. The front of the building is an experimental and performance space. The Grocery will host exhibitions, performances, instillations and readings.

The Grocery has already participated in Art Night, held the first Thursday of every month, with their first event entitled “Friends and Founders.” Other scheduled events can be found on their Facebook page and the website calendar.

Although they are not directly connected to the Arts Council or the Kentuck Art Center, the owners of The Grocery all have roots in these organizations and said they call them their friends. They all agreed they are looking for a way to foster the contemporary art world in Tuscaloosa and Northport.

“This space is for practicing artists to connect and actively participate in the art community,” Eckinger said.

Eckinger, Evans and Herbert all work full-time, so the Grocery holds no regular hours currently. They said they encourage the community to drop in if they see someone there. Appointments can be made via email, Facebook or Twitter.