TUSCOLA — A gallery and shop that features work from local artists was on the verge of shutting down. People in town decided to work together to save it. Now they’re planning to expand it.
The Vault is still pretty new downtown, since it’s only been there about three and a half years. But the new owners want to make sure it stays there a lot longer.
From outside The Vault, it looks like any other store downtown. But take a step inside and you’re bound to see something that catches your eye.
“If you want to be a working artist and be able to support your living, you need a place to sell it,” said Kirby Pringle, who is the manager.
The old bank is one of those places. Artists have made realistic pictures, abstract designs and everything in between. But all this was almost lost when the man who started it planned to close the shop last month.
“Towns dry up if they don’t have anything going on,” said Jerry Reynolds, who is one of the partners in the investment. “It’s like the loss of a grocery store or a hardware store.”
People in town say they know how important small businesses are to their downtown area. So they stepped in to take over and help keep the town alive.
“I wanted to do it because I love the art that’s in here,” said Mike Carroll, who is another investor. “I thought it was a valuable asset to Tuscola.A lot of people in Tuscola invested heavily, especially downtown. And I want to do all I can to support Tuscola.”
They have big plans for changing things up a bit, adding antiques and expanding the jewelry line.
“I know a lot of artists and so I’m going to be contacting them and we’ve got some space to fill,” said Pringle.
That will add more creativity to the bigger pictures that’s being painted of a bright future in Tuscola.
There are about 50 artists in the space right now. They want to get that up to 70 or 80. To find out more about The Vault, click here.