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Mena Downtown Welcomes American Artisans

BY BARBARA TOBIAS –

American Artisans, at 615 Mena Street, is a completely new approach to art marketing for Mena. They will be opening on Tuesday, August 20 and will be offering both a tempting menu for lunch and as beautiful an assortment of fine crafts, comparable to anywhere in the upscale galleries in Hot Springs and Little Rock.

Lunch will be served from 11 am to 3 pm and the gallery will be open from 10 am to 6 pm Tuesday through Friday.

Donna and Rick Chrisman have long been known here for their wood products: handsomely finished boxes made from a variety of lovely woods and boxes made in the traditional Shaker style. Some of you have taken the tour of their shop during the annual Ouachita Art Trails Studio Tour where they have shown us how they go about crafting these things. And those of you who have been fortunate enough to know them well realize they are great cooks also.

But American Artisans is not limited to the Chrisman’s crafts: there are beautiful glass pieces, vases made from gourds and specialty woods, pottery, jewelry, and more, all by American artists.

Rick has served as Board Chair for the Mena Art Gallery for the last several years and has helped to establish it as the cornerstone of the art center we are striving to see Mena become. Opening another venue for fine crafts is the next step along that trail.

The setting for American Artisans is as much a work of art as the food and the crafts they carry. From the table-tops individually silk-screened by Jim Brace to the display cabinets created especially for the crafts they carry. It’s all a wonderful setting for a gourmet lunch and shopping tour.

Plan to come try the cuisine and see what treasures you can find in Mena’s beautiful historic downtown.