Sweet Art Emporium moves to new location

By Page H. Gifford 

The grand reopening of Sweet Art Emporium at its new location on Oct. 6 and 7, was a hit.

“It was amazing, I had 60 people in the first hour,” said owner Erika Mitchell. Mitchell and Sweet Art were also featured for a second year in a row as a stop on the Artist’s Studio Tour.

Mitchell opened the shop in February 2019 to serve the artists and art lovers of Fluvanna. Sweet Art Emporium grew from hosting nine artists to over 70 in just four years. The business has won top awards yearly since it opened. Other than specializing in locally crafted fine art it also features Virginia-made sweets and Fluvanna-based business Herbert’s Wine Jellies.

“We also offer a variety of art workshops, outdoor art markets, and events,” she said. “The shop is a quirky, retro, artsy, shopping experience…The recently added paint-your-own-pottery studio has become instantly popular within the community.” Mitchell has diligently worked to provide a safe and welcoming environment where people can create or just browse but also a space for local artists to show their work. She has been pivotal in creating space for artists and those who aspire to learn while promoting the arts in Fluvanna.

Mitchell is also an accomplished artist and she does demos on her creations during the annual Artist’s Studio Tour.

“My mother and grandmother encouraged my interest in interior design from a young age so I enrolled in the interior design program at VCU. During the first semester of college, artists were encouraged to visit all of the departments and I found my passion in metal smithing,” she said. “I found I wanted to make the functional art we place in our homes rather than figuring out the best placement for someone else’s creation.” She smiles when she tells people she is not a “soft” artist.

“I am a terrible seamstress, and I can’t knit. But I love to take a hard material like silver and make it into a shape that looks like nature grew it. Much of my silver work involves spirals and stones.”

Other than Mitchell’s bold yet delicate jewelry, there are many items to choose from, including wooden items, baskets, ceramics, paintings, jewelry, local sweets and jellies, soaps and lotions, stationary, and much more. With Christmas coming there will be no shortage of holiday creations.

With all that she is currently involved in, the annual arts festivals and the Artist’s Studio Tour, she envisions the shop as a hub for bringing people together to create. She’s hoping to add more classes and clubs soon.

“I’d like to see the shop become a place for youth, families, and friends to spend time and create together.”

The shop is now located at 264 Turkeysag Trail Unit E and is open Tuesday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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