An art gallery on Bultman Drive is inviting the public to its 10th anniversary celebration.
Two local artists who started Elephant Ear Gallery to share their talent with the public expected about 10 artists to participate in the business. More than 25 responded, said Betty Reese, one of the founding members, ahead of the celebration on Thursday, Sept. 5.
The cooperating artists each paid a one-time membership fee and a rental fee for their spaces. Many contribute supplies, adding to the uniqueness of Elephant Ear. These guidelines remain in place, and the shop offers a wide variety of locally made items and a bookstore and art classes.The shop has been in the venue for a decade at 672 Bultman Drive, where a large elephant ear plant often sits on its front porch. Inside, artists and artisans have their work displayed, making the business a popular shopping gallery, Reese said.
On opening day, the mayor welcomed shoppers and congratulated the participating artists, the Rev. Josie Holler bestowed a blessing, refreshments were served, and a crowd of interested potential shoppers attended.
Despite changes in the economy and political leadership, the shop thrives, changing and growing with the times, Reese said. From a shop that featured mainly art and fine crafts - which it still offers - the Elephant Ear's board of directors has added gourmet foods, antiques, beauty products, antiques, designer jewelry, repurposed items, stationery, monogramming, fiber arts, clothing and a wide selection of miscellaneous items available for browsing and buying.
Changes in the original concept include book signings by prominent and rising authors, and free gift wrap with Elephant Ear's colors in its brown craft bags with green ribbon is included with purchases.
At the anniversary celebration from 3 to 5:30 p.m., the Elephant Ear will host sibling duo Hank Martin and Anne Galloway, both South Carolina natives well-known in Sumter. They will play and sing both original music and popular songs. Refreshments will be served, and admission is free. Regular store hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Reese said the cooperative's members have set a goal of "another 10 years of service to the community."
For more information, call (803) 773-2268.
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