Archipelago Celebrates 15 years on Rockland Main Street

Archi_15thAnn2Archipelago of Rockland, the Island Institute’s retail store and gallery, is celebrating its 15th anniversary with a party on Saturday, October 3 from 4 to 6 p.m.. Guests include several of the island and coastal artists whose work has been sold at the store since its opening in 2000.

Since opening in 2000, Archipelago has helped advance the careers of more than 800 Maine artists, while playing a pivotal role in Rockland’s emergence as a dynamic center of arts and culture. In doing so, it has become a prominent element of Maine’s creative economy.

The retail store returns commissions to all of its artists totalling more than $2 million in its first 15 years. Nearly $1 million has gone to island artists, who traditionally have had a difficult time reaching mainland markets.

“Archipelago has done a lot for island artists,” said Martha Morris-Gibson, who lives and makes traditional, Shaker-style baskets on Peaks Island. She has had her work at Archipelago since the venue opened.

“A lot of different people see our work,” Morris-Gibson said. “They have a different clientele than we do out here on the island.”

More than 30 current artists have been with the store for the last 15 years—including painters, jewelers, basket makers, and potters.

Throughout the year, Archipelago staff spend more than 400 hours mentoring artists who would like to grow their businesses and increase their economic opportunities, particularly those living year-round on Maine islands. That support includes advice and guidance on product pricing, wholesales, design, and packaging.

Archipelago is located at 386 Main St. Rockland. For more information, please visit the events page at www.islandinstitute.org/