Suisun Valley art collective finds new home in Benicia
Source; Benicia Herald
Benicia’s newest art gallery is actually not new to Solano County nor is it just a gallery.
The Little Art Shop was founded in 2000 as a potter’s studio in Fairfield’s viticultural Suisun Valley region. Located on Mankas Corner across the street from the restaurant of the same name, the studio eventually morphed into The Clay Station, which sold art, jewelry, sculptures and more. In 2016, the store changed its name to The Little Art Shop and continued the tradition of providing a venue for local artists to display and sell their work.
However, the artists were recently told that their lease would expire at the end of April, so they had to find na new location. Member artist Rejina Christopher and her husband Mel took over ownership and scouted for a possible new home within a 25-mile radius of Suisun Valley. They finally settled on the Tannery Building.
“The Tannery was the best thing we found,” Rejina Christopher said.
It had “the best location and a reasonable rate, so we’re excited to be there,” she added.
The Little Art Shop will operate out of the former spot of the antique shop Artobay, and it will officially open its doors tomorrow. With more space, Christopher said the Benicia location will be able to showcase the works of more artists.
“In this space, we’re trying to bridge the space of gallery and gift shop,” she said.
Christopher is one of several member artists, which also includes Mike Miller, Barb Sullivan, Barbara Miller, Saida B, John Richard Lloyd-Flynn, Loreli Dewe, Sondra Perry, Marcy Orendorff, Lisa Haas and JoRene Danel. The artists specialize in pottery, sculpture, paintings, sketches, fused glass, jewelry, functional ceramics, candles, body products, mosaics, assemblage, metal art, greeting cards and other items that are available for purchase. As the founders of Rresonance Arts, Christopher and her husband specialize in repurposed art created from other materials. These include a desk made from repurposed wooden planks and shelves and the store’s official mascot, Milton.
Milton is a Martian with five hands, four feet and two faces, all created from an upside down ceiling fan, iPod speakers, lightbulbs and drapery rods. In addition to The Little Art Shop, Milton has been featured at Lawler House Gallery in Suisun City and Arts Benicia.
s the new gallery and store brings inspiration to other artists and the community at large.
“We want to be a blessing to the businesses in Benicia and artists that we have and other artists that come in,” she said. “It’s all about helping the community.”
The Little Art Shop will open Saturday, June 3 in Suite E of the Tannery Building, located at 129 First St. A grand opening celebration will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, June 10 during Benicia’s Art Walk, where the shop will be providing wine, snacks and live demonstrations. The shop will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, contact the store at 707-771-6667 or visit the Facebook page.