This article originally appeared in August-September ’17 issue of Owensboro Living Magazine.
Beyond the hand-carved totem poles and unique metal works outside the small building at 2226 Veach Road, you’ll find an art lover’s treasure trove and the passion project of one artsy woman.
After many years and many states, Kelly Lynn Annin moved back home to Owensboro with a purpose. An artist herself, Annin saw many of her creative friends exhibiting at festivals and struggling with the problems they present – from stolen pieces to broken products – and wanted to give them a permanent space.
But it was also about the bigger picture. “I’ve always lived in towns where there’s a lot of art, and artists coming together to make change in the community, and I wanted that,” Annin said. That idea turned into The Artists Tribe, an eclectic gallery and shop now open in Owensboro.
The shop truly has something for everyone, from art to hand-poured candles, soaps, jewelry, salt lamps, quilts, stained glass, succulents and more. Annin noted that there’s a focus on things from the earth and overall wellbeing. “Everything here can help you in some way,” she said.
The gallery opened in December, and has been going strong, not only with retail space but with activities. Every Saturday, The Artists Tribe offers classes in the backyard of the shop. The focus changes each week, with past events teaching photography, crochet and painting. The Daviess County Public Library has even offered the Tribe an indoor location for classes during inclimate weather.
On Saturday nights, they transform the space into a music venue for “soul sessions.” All money raised at the evening events goes to a charity selected on that evening, from a drawing of attendees’ suggestions.
They hope to soon offer Saturday morning yoga.
And it’s truly Owensboro-centric. Annin said many of the artists are people she knew from attending high school in Owensboro. “Coming back home was a plethora of amazing things happening,” she said.
One of the first vendors to join the Tribe was The Sunroom – Plants and Aquatics, a business by Annin’s family friends Steve and Lisa Martin.
Steve Martin said they have been with the Tribe since day one, selling their custom planters and exotic plants at the store after selling their products on Facebook for about six months.
Martin said he and his wife turned their plant love from a hobby to a business; intending to expand the range of plants and aquariums one can find in Owensboro. He said they wanted to offer exotic items, “with the goal of making them easily available, and to bring people into the hobbies and to educate them.” Along with plants, they also sell, lease and maintain custom aquariums.
They also enjoy educating others about plants so they host DIY succulent planting events once a month at the Tribe and Gambrinus.
“People love our planters and things, but they also enjoy creating their own,” he said. “And the events give us the opportunity to educate people about the plants and what we do.”
Another maker that’s found a home at the Tribe is Linda House, the stained glass artist behind Creekshop Glass & Artworks.
House started working with stained glass in 1973, being her stepfather’s hands after he suffered a stroke. She also learned as she worked at The Glass Factory on Frederica Street. Today – and for 22 years – she runs a studio on her Ohio County farm, doing commissioned work, restorations, windows, suncatchers and more.
House said many buildings and homes in Owensboro feature her work, including The Summit, Bosley Financial and E.M. Ford Insurance.
“Glass has been my passion for many years,” House said. “Even while I worked a full-time job, I still made glass projects.”
She said she chose The Artists Tribe as a venue because it’s friendly to artists to show and sell, and most of all, because of Annin. “I’m very well pleased with her style, performance and commitment to all of us artists,” she said.
House isn’t the only one to praise Annin.
“I love her personality and passion for everything she has at the Tribe,” said Nate Michaels, an oil, watercolor and ink artist whose works, featuring Willy Wonka, Johnny Cash and David Bowie, shine from the walls at The Artists Tribe.
Previously focused on music, Louisville-based Michaels came to the art world by accident. He drew a portrait of Bruce Springsteen, and when someone offered to buy it, a new career started. From there, it’s snowballed into shows across the country.
“I love traveling the U.S., meeting new people and seeing the local culture,” he said. “Plus I still get a thrill out of people’s reaction to my work. I’m still amazed I can create something that can spark the interest of complete strangers.”
And spark interest he has, with prints going quickly at The Artists Tribe – the only shop of its kind where you can purchase his work. Annin even passes along shoppers’ requests for new portrait pieces.
As for Annin, she’s excited about serving the community of artists. “Most of my artists work full-time jobs and still do this,” she said. “They’re passionate about what they do.”
The Artists Tribe is the perfect spot to share that passion. “This little spot is a place of magic,” she said.
The Artists Tribe is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday. To see what events and classes they have coming up, check out their calendar on facebook at www.facebook.com/dragonflycentral.