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Micropolis at the Market

Gallery displays art in Gloversville co-op

June 26, 2011
By RODNEY MINOR , The Leader Herald

GLOVERSVILLE - Visitors to the Mohawk Harvest Cooperative Market, 30 N. Main St., may be surprised to see all the artwork that is featured in one section of the store.

The gallery of art is being developed by Micropolis, an artists' cooperative.

Watching people walk into the gallery June 18 to look at the work lining the walls and on stands, Pavlos Mayakis said the group was getting good feedback from people who stopped in during the Art Fair and Sale. Many visitors commented on how excellent the quality of work was, and how many of the artists were local, he said.

Article Photos

The Micropolis Gallery in the Mohawk?Harvest?Cooperative Market in Gloversville is shown June 18.
The Leader-Herald/Rodney Minor

"People can see there are very talented artists who are their neighbors," Mayakis said.

Mayakis, a city resident , and Linda Hinkle of Johnstown, said the group got its start when Market Manager Chris Curro approached them individually late in the winter about starting an artist cooperative when the market moved to its location on North Main Street.

"It's a co-op nestled within a co-op," Mayakis said of Micropolis, which is run separately from Mohawk Harvest.

Curro said other food cooperatives have artists' cooperative galleries in them. Both cooperatives can help build the community, he said.

"It's a symbiotic relationship between like-minded organizations," Curro said.

Mayakis and Hinkle, who did not know each other before starting to work with Micropolis, said they had thought of starting a local artists' cooperative before. Both have made careers in art. Mayakis creates and teaches projects based on loom controlled shibori weaving, and Hinkle does graphic design.

Working with a couple other volunteers, Mayakis and Hinkle helped put together a mission statement, solicit for members, put together a website and get the gallery ready for its soft opening June 18.

"Our goal was to have [art] on the walls and fill the space," Mayakis noted, with a laugh, about the soft opening.

Micropolis will include primarily, but not exclusively, local artists from a variety of styles, including photography, painting, textiles and mixed media, he said.

"We believe local artists are worth promoting," Mayakis said.

Even the name has a local connection. Micropolis was chosen partly as a homage to City Court Judge Vincent DeSantis book, "Toward Civic Integrity, Re-establishing the Micropolis."

However, Mayakis said, Micropolis also makes people think of "metropolis," a term for a very large or densely populated city. The gallery can include work that people may be surprised to see in Gloversville, he said.

Hinkle said the artists' cooperative has 13 members. She said the response from artists to take part in the cooperative has been "super."

"We had a wonderful turnout at our first meeting," she said. "There were plenty of people I did not know."

Curro said the gallery not only gives people another reason to come to the market, it also shows the diversity of the artists in the community.

Micropolis is still looking for new members, Hinkle said, especially those who work in "3-D" disciplines, such as ceramics, glass, sculpture and wood.

For those who are not artists but want to support the gallery, they can become patrons of Micropolis.

Mayakis said patrons pay a $100 fee to join and also help volunteer and shape the group's policy.

While no grand opening has been set, Hinkle said it could be at the group's meeting Monday.

Curro said both cooperatives hope Micropolis grows big enough to need its own separate space on Main?Street, or perhaps the second-floor at the market's location.

"Their growth is our mutual goal," he said.

Mayakis noted the gallery can be more than just a boost for the market.

"It's helping to instill a general sense of pride in the community," he said.

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