Susan Radke – Owner/Artist
What is your role in the organization/business?
Owner & director and Encouraging Art Mama
What organization/business are you affiliated with?
Seranya Studios Art Boutique
How did you arrive at the idea of starting your organization/business?
I’ve been in an art co-op gallery before with my own work in another city. I’ve been eager to start such a place in Plymouth for about 4 years and the time just seems right.
Why is such an organization/business important in your community?
We are a revitalizing community. Plymouth, especially downtown Plymouth went through a period of decline in business. We are now experiencing a revitalization and I believe art is an extremely important part of any effort to revitalize and energize a community, even more so after a “bad stretch”. Art is so much more than “art”. It is creativity embodied in an object or activity or even an event. It lifts spirits, causes conversation and sometimes controversy, it can change hearts and minds and unify a community.
What is the vision of your organization/business?
Art, Gifts, Gatherings is our tagline, and we mean each one. We want to create and provide exceptional art to our customers, allow them to find locally made and beautiful gifts, the purchase of which in turn supports a local artist – helping to build the local economy; and finally to provide a fun, inviting and beautiful place for the community to gather for events, classes and fellowship. We are also committed to the growth and support of our artist members – we are an art “family”. I believe that creating workshops, education opportunities and fellowship events just for the artists is very important as well.
How do you define an art community?
An art community is one that supports, embraces and celebrates its own creativity and the creativity of its community members. An art community will seek out opportunities to experience, support, and develop artistic opportunities in not only the visual arts, but in musical, theatrical and literary arts as well. Children will be encouraged to develop their own creativity, not just by their parents but their schools, churches, neighbors, and mentors, and the artful environment all around them. The art community is vibrant, effusing energy, full of color and diversity and will “feel” different – like a haven enveloped in color, open thought, and a celebration of creation.
Name one success your organization/business has experienced.
We are about to reach our one year anniversary! In this one year we’ve had so many successes already that it is hard to pinpoint just one. I would have to choose the building of our artist “family” which continues to grow not only in numbers but within each artist as well.
Name one challenge your organization/business has experienced.
Residents of our own community are very surprised when they find us, with regard to the tremendous quality, amazing diversity and plethora of different items we have available. It is very, very hard to “get the word out” that we exist in a way that people notice and remember!
Where can we find information about your organization?