Way Of The Entrepreneur: Fay's Place

Sep 12, 2007

The next time someone gripes to you over coffee that “there’s nothing to doooooo” in Poplar Bluff, grasp the misguided soul by the scruff of the neck and head straight down to Fay’s Place.

Fay Brown is the proprietor of the most unique art space in Poplar Bluff, located at 2299 N. Main in a spacious structure that once housed a carpet store. Fay’s Place is an Fay 3extensive “artistic gallery” and a workspace for local and regional artists. It’s a place for instruction in a broad range of arts, including jewelry making, stained-glass construction, ceramics, beading, and painting. Also, Fay’s offers ready-made frames, and a custom-framing service equipped to handle everything from simple prints to tapestries, from hand-crocheted items to three-dimensional pieces requiring the popular “shadow box” framing. Visitors to the gallery will find affordable art in a wide variety of media.

Fay’s Place is for adults, children, and everyone in between. Fay says her space provides a necessary alternative to more traditional arts venues, and does not deal in juried competitions or awards. It’s noteworthy that some of the exhibitors at Fay’s have little or no experience, while others are award-winning artists well established in the field. “Here, it’s not about competition,” says Fay, which leads to the other aspect of her overall mission.

Fay’s Place is committed to enhanced community life in general. While art classes at Fay’s draw people of all kinds, formal and informal groups in the area are also welcome to hold their own gatherings there. Computers are available for use by the hour, and there is a faxing service, too.

Often at Fay’s Place, the arts and community aspects of the mission come together memorably, as in the recent case of a Fay 2private birthday party for a five-year-old boy. Ultimately he and his young guests were all invited to work in clay. Parents themselves were soon sucked into the messy business, supposedly as overseers, but in the end as very big kids on a boisterous trip back in time, side by side with their own little ones. “The parents had as much fun as the children,” Fay remembers.

Born in Dexter, Fay has spent most of her life in California. She returned to southeast Missouri from Los Angeles in 2006 to establish a venue where regional artists could freely produce, show, and sell their creations. Fay’s vision is for artists to grow and gain confidence through sharing their works, and for learners at all levels to get hands-on experience in the arts that interest them most.

When asked about the exact procedure involved in showing one’s work at the gallery, this community-arts advocate’s answer is a simple yet empowering one: “Bring it!”

For Fay, art “is a necessity. You need that opportunity for inner expression, getting so in-depth that everything else goes away, even if only for 2 or 3 hours…They’re your 2 or 3 hours! That’s why I created [this] workspace.”

For details on exhibition, classes, work space, teaching possibilities, gift certificates, upcoming events, or booking an event, contact Fay at 778-1122, or e-mail her at faysplace1111@yahoo.com. Fay’s website: www.faysplace1111.com.

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