New co-op brings artists together

  • Friday, June 20, 2014

  • Updated Friday, June 20, 2014 6:34 am

Taylor Griffith/South Strand News Dick Newcomb owns and operates the southern artisan cooperative next to his woodworking shop on Cannon Street.

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Artists and art lovers alike have a new home in Georgetown.

Dick Newcomb opened D. Newks Southern Artisan Cooperative on Cannon Street in April. The shop has a variety of art and other finds such as jewelry, jellies, bath salts, paintings and wood carvings.

I try to keep it as a smaller entity, said Newcomb.

The shop is filled with a multitude of pieces that vary in style, but overall have a whimsical, earthy and natural look to them, he said.

He also described the shop as local, with all of the artists based in Georgetown and Horry counties.

Newcomb’s own works are also displayed in the co-op.

“I wanted to open my own showroom,” said the woodworker and furniture designer, “so I could have control over my own things, so I ended up opening up my own place.”

He said at first it was just his furniture pieces in the store, but later realized the opportunity to create a cooperative – a business shared by those who operate it – and soon asked other artists to join.

“I had a couple business cards and I just started making phone call after phone call,” he said.

Two months later, he has a dozen artists’ work displayed in the storefront. There is still room for growth, he said, but he doesn’t plan on expanding much more.

“I’ve tried to limit the vendors so I don’t duplicate anything. I find that if there’s too much choice people can’t make a decision [about what to buy].”

Donna Luna, who makes jewelry, was Newcomb’s first artist to sign on.

“I love what he’s doing,” she said. “We have people here who have a lot of talent, and this is a nice showcase for it.”

Newcomb said he’s proud to call his shop “high quality” and “unique.”

“Different than normal retail outlets,” he said.

Luna agreed: “I think the uniqueness of the arts and crafts that are in the store are something that people would want to see and hopefully purchase. But at least they get to see it and get to be exposed to different arts.”

Newcomb said D. Newks Southern Artisan Cooperative is just as much about exposing the public to art as it is about exposing the artists to other artisans.

“The artists care about what they have, and I definitely care about what I have…. It’s nice to have another woodworker in the shop, for example, because we talk about what we do and how we do it, and that’s what makes it fun. That’s what makes it art.”

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