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Creatives Pay It Forward: Land New Gallery Accounts While Traveling


Merideth Young, Monroe County, West Virginia

Merideth Young, owner of Art by Merideth, got her artwork into two new shops during her recent trip to Canaan Valley for the 2018 Arts Business Summit.  We asked Merideth to share her thoughts on how other artists working in West Virginia may learn from her successes. Here is what she had to say:

Tell us a little bit about your business.

I am the owner of Art by Merideth with over 23 years’ experience in metalsmithing and jewelry design. I began with traditional metalsmithing, turned into an UPcycler and then a painter.  I was juried into Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia in 1996 and joined/started the WV Fine Artisan Gallery in Lewisburg, WV in 2016.  I now have clients all over the United States.   As an artist and business owner, I wear many hats.

Carved, oil pastels are my newest additions.  You can find reproductions of these oil pastels that have been turned into clocks, mirrors, switch plate covers and wall hangings. Everyone has electric switch plates, why not add a pop of color and some personality to those bland old plastic covers.

         

My distinctive style is easily recognizable and clients love to collect my work.  They often comment that the good words, simple images and vibrant colors make them smile.  With my interchangeable pieces, clients curate their very own custom series.  I can even create special, one of a kind pieces just for you.

My work can be found for sale in the WV Fine Artisans Gallery in Lewisburg, Tamarack, The best Of WV in Beckley, and many other galleries across the United States.  You can also purchase my work through my website at:  https://www.meridethyoung.com/

Wholesale buyers can reach me at: 434. 981. 2262 or email me at meridethyoung@yahoo.com

In addition, I do art demonstrations and teach classes in Upcycled jewelry making and carved oil pastels.

  

Tell us a little bit about yourself – how did you get into this line of work?

I’ve always known I was going to be a maker of sorts.  I am inspired by nature, bugs, clouds, inspiring words, color…anything whimsical.  I used to get into trouble when I was a kid, always doodling, never paying attention to what I was supposed to be learning.

Metalsmith turned into a focus when I was a senior in high school.  We had a class on enameling.  I was  hooked.  I graduated from Maine College of Art in 1995 with a Bachelor in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design.   I’ve been a maker ever since.

During a recent trip to Canaan Valley you added two new galleries to the long list that sell your work.  Way to go!
How did you do it?
What insights or takeaways do you have for other artists based on your experience?

I did my homework.  I had been there earlier in the year for an art show where I was a vendor.  While I was there I scoped out the shops to see where my work would fit.  I picked up business cards and called a week ahead of the conference in Canaan.  Even with all this leg work, I didn’t get a reply from the shop I wanted my work to be a part of.  I didn’t give up.  I went for option B.  Ask the locals.

The first shop that took my work was Thomasyard.  It was recommended by another artist.  The second gallery I picked up was the same people who put on ArtSpring.  I was a vendor at their show last spring.  The curator of the exhibit just happened to be at the same Arts Business conference in Canaan.  Yay!  Right place/right time.  I’m actually sending out my submission in the mail today!

The most important thing to remember is that you want to build a long standing relationship with the shops and galleries that carry your work.  Not just have a onetime sale.  So support the businesses who take a chance on you by shopping at the stores that carry your work.  Encourage other people to shop there too.  When you support the shops and galleries that sell your work, you both win.  If that business is not thriving, you have one less shop selling your work!

              

About the Author:  Merideth Young is a jeweler, painter and all around art maker who lives on top of a beautiful mountain in good ole’ West Virginia. She earned her BFA in Metalsmithing at Maine College of Art in Portland, ME in 1995 and has been creating art ever since. Her newest venture is an art gallery in downtown Lewisburg, WV.  Merideth is also a Tamarack juried artisan based out of Monroe County, West Virginia.