In a community of talented painters, sculptors, potters, and local artisans – it’s fair to say that Bellingham has a thriving art scene. Much like other local collectives, a new storefront is entering the scene to combine the works of these makers and showcase them to the community all in one place.
The storefront in question is Circa, a new brick-and-mortar in downtown Bellingham that sells the work of 20 potters and 10 makers, with an expanding and rotating lineup on the horizon. Owners Brittany Schade and Erica Davidson are long-time clay fanatics whose dreams of opening a shop quickly became a reality when the storefront became available.
“We knew we wanted to make a shop and gallery where we could sell the work of local potters and makers— because Bellingham has a thriving clay community— and also have rotating exhibitions in parts of the space for work that is more conceptual,” Schade says. “We received so much support from our family, friends, and studiomates, that it only took us two months to open.”
Along with the support of their friend and employee Stephanie Ellis, Schade and Davidson worked together to jumpstart the business– from refinishing the floors and painting the walls to designing the website and social media accounts all on their own.
“We have been approaching this business as a true partnership where we can depend on each other while also allowing each other’s strengths to come through,” Davidson says. “I think both of our favorite parts so far have been finding and meeting new artists who display in our shop. It’s been a really fun way to get more connected with our local clay community.”
The pair held their grand opening in May, unveiling a shop that is modern and minimalistic in aesthetic but warm in atmosphere – evident by the bright backdrop and art hung on the walls, ceramics on the shelves, and plants bringing the space together.
Circa also hosts a gallery space with a rotating monthly exhibition that kicks off during the monthly art walk downtown. September’s lineup includes a large mug show with mugs crafted by different artists and a sidewalk sale that offers pottery, flowers, and live music.
“From solo to group shows, to ceramicists and other mediums, our goal is to create an opportunity for more arts and culture in Bellingham,” Schade says.
While you can find the list of featured artists on Circa’s freshly designed website, online purchasing isn’t available quite yet. The team is looking forward to offering an online store, but is currently taking the time to get acquainted with their customers and products.
“Bellingham has a dynamic and ever-expanding ceramics community and we are excited to support local artists and bring some of that vibrancy to our downtown community,” Davidson says. “There is an intimacy with ceramic art and pottery in general that you don’t quite get to experience in the same way as with other art forms.”
1319 Cornwall Ave., Ste. 104, Bellingham, circapottery.com