Black Belt Treasures showcases artisans

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A grand opening will be held Friday at 10 a.m. for Black Belt Treasures in Camden.

The facility will display and sell creations from 150 to 175 artisans and craftsmen from 17 Black Belt and southwest Alabama counties.

The gallery will open in a building that was previously a car dealership. As a joint private and public venture, Black Belt Treasures will give artisans

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in the Black Belt a venue for selling their creations.

There are a lot of talented artists and craftsmen in our area. They have sold their wares at craft shows, in front yards on back roads and to various collectors.

The new facility will provide a spacious showroom in the front of the remodeled building about a block off Camden’s courthouse square. Items will also be available on the Internet.

A gallery to showcase the Black Belt’s artwork is an exciting venture. We can show that we support these artists. The venue will also show that Alabama’s Black Belt has a lot to offer. The area is not just about poverty, although hard times are often reflected in the work of its artists.

The venture is the brainchild of John Clyde Riggs, executive director of the Alabama Tombigbee Commission, one of a number of government entities and businesses that came up with about $1 million for the project.

Max Joiner, a county commissioner in Marengo County said it best, “There’s always been a world of talent in the Black Belt. We want to make it a little easier to see it.”

Talent seems to be a resource that the Black Belt doesn’t lack. Artists from our region continue to impress others around the state and even the country. Black Belt Treasures will be

another opportunity to showcase that talent.