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Home is where the art is
Association moves into new gallery space
Rick Rennick, Sawnee Artists Association committee member, helps arrange pieces of artwork on shelves Tuesday at the organization’s new gallery in Market 334 in Cumming. - photo by Autumn McBride

It had been more than a year since the Sawnee Artists Association had a display space to use and five years since it had a gallery.

In just the past couple weeks, however, the organization’s luck has changed.

The association recently set up shop in a room inside the new Market 334 on Hwy. 9, just north of the Cumming Square.

“I feel like I live here,” joked Rick Rennick, a member of the group’s gallery committee, on a recent afternoon as he finished up some labels.

Rennick doesn’t have any work on the walls since he’s spent most of his time lately renovating the back room of Market 334, a building previously owned by a stonemason.

Rennick discovered the space for the local nonprofit art group after taking a peek inside the new business.

He mentioned that the association was looking for space, and the owner offered the group a room.

Association members moved in quickly, jumping on the opportunity they’ve awaited.

Everything in the gallery, which opened Tuesday, is available for sale.

“It’s everything from funky to fine paintings,” Rennick said. “It’s just so varied — photography, pottery, pastel, oil paintings, acrylics.”

The works of art are also available for visitors to come in and enjoy, since a big part of the association’s mission is to spread art appreciation in the community.

The space isn’t large enough for the group’s meetings, Rennick said, but it does give the artists a chance to display their work.

Market 334 manager Kim Maley said the group is a great addition to the shop

“They’ve just been wonderful,” she said. “We’re so glad we found a home for them too. That was really a win-win situation.”

Maley, the mind behind the market, said she wanted to create a space for local artisans and residents to come together and share.

“Everything behind this is just to bring the community together,” Maley said. “There’s so many talented people that we have in the area that nobody knows about.”

She began by recruiting several of her favorite artisans from craft shows to set up a space in the boutique.

Clothing, crafts, coffee and many other handmade gifts are for sale inside the market.

When the weather warms, Maley plans to use the outside space for a farmer’s market to expand the local theme.

Though originally slated just for Saturdays, Market 334 will be open Tuesday through Saturday, thanks to the community response.

“Everybody who comes in says Cumming needs this,” Maley said. “There’s just nothing else like it.”