As the curator of Sacred Art, I often get asked how I choose the items that we carry in the shop.
The simplified answer is that I choose items that I like and I work with people whom I like. The maker/artist community in Chicago is brimming with amazing people making fantastic work, and I always have a long list in my head of artists I want to work with when the time is right.
The longer answer is that I look closely at each artist to get a sense of their personality and creative style. Has this artist found their voice? Are they creating high-quality work that expresses what is unique about them? Have they thought through their branding and packaging? Are they excited about what they are making? And – this sounds like a silly detail, but it’s a critical one – do they believe in themselves?
If I can answer YES to each of these questions, then I know that the artist is a good fit for Sacred Art and our mission of supporting independent, local artists. It’s important to me to be able to tell our customers that I know and trust the makers in our community. Supporting the handmade movement means supporting people, and I want to be able to answer any questions about an artist, their materials or process, so our customers feel good about spending their money with us.
The challenge of a curated shop like Sacred Art is balance. I make sure we don’t have too much of any one thing or style, that we have a little something for nearly everyone, and that there is enough new work to surprise our regular customers. The shop is constantly changing, so stop in soon and see what’s new! And follow us on Instagram for sneak peeks, event announcements, and gift ideas.
If you are an artist and are interested in submitting for consideration, please click on the Submissions tab on our website for details on how to get on our radar.