Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

Arrow Creative: The New “One-Roof” Gathering Place for Artists, Creatives, Entrepreneurs, and Art-Lovers Alike

Photo: DThread Photography

If you’re an art-lover like me,  you might have noticed that you can find art or an art aficionado in every nook and cranny of this big-small-town. That’s because Memphis refuses to lose touch with its creative side.

After the closure of the Memphis College of Art (MCA) in 2020, Arrow Creative founders Abby Phillips and Dorothy Collier, saw the need to create a new ” gathering space made for artists, hobbyists, creatives, entrepreneurs and art appreciators alike. 

Photo: DThread Photography 

Saturday, September 18th, marked the grand opening of Arrow Creative—a non-profit community arts organization and multifaceted workspace where artists can create, collaborate, showcase their work, and reach their fullest potential.  

“The inspiration for this space was providing an accessible point for artists and creators in Memphis to have the support they need to get their work out there,” says Emily Dunn, Retail Manager at Arrow Creative.

Arrow’s newly-renovated 23,000 sq. ft, building provides more than enough space for creations of all kinds, offering studios for artists, lab rooms/classes, and a retail shop where artists can sell their works.

From painters to photographers, sculptors, fashion designers, and more, this “one-roof creative district” highlights art made for, and by Memphians; like Lauren Tester, Naiima Love, Meghean Warner, and Shalene Weddle just to name a few of the folks you might catch working in their studio, creating art in real-time.

“There are other places like this around the country — but we didn’t have anything like it in Memphis. We knew with the loss of MCA, that there was a void that needed to be filled to support the creative community,” says Jacklynn Scott, Program Manager at Arrow Creative. 

Photos: DThread Photography 

The multifunctional space provides opportunities for both experienced artists and budding artists who want to pick up new skills and hone in on their craft.

Arrow Creative provides classes hosted and taught by their talented artists and creatives. The upcoming schedule includes, “Muddy Friday: Spooky Creature Candy Dishes” with Artist Becky K. Blackburn on Friday, October 1st, and “Digital Illustration for Teens with artist Parker-Nia Gordon” on Saturday, October 2nd.

Stay up-to-date with Arrow Creative’s Instagram to discover any new classes or workshops that will be held in the future.

“At Arrow Creative, you can get exclusive benefits depending on the membership you choose,” says Camille Mattingly, Assistant at Arrow Creative and previous Summer Intern for Arrow’s summer camp. 

Photos: DThread Photography 

By signing up for a membership with Arrow Creative and paying an annual fee, members can receive special member benefits, discounts on classes and workshops, Memphis Fashion Week, and even a special invite to private gallery shows. There are memberships for both Art Enthusiasts and Creatives. As a Creative with a Creative membership, you can get exclusive studio access to Arrow’s clay studios or sewing labs.

Arrow’s different memberships can be viewed here.

If you find yourself in the Cooper-Young district (the original Memphis arts district) stop by and support Memphis artists. Get to know what inspires them. Add some life into your own space with an art piece from their retail shop. Take a class led by the pros to learn how to do something new. Above all else, Arrow Creative encourages you to tap into your creativity. 

Arrow Creative is open Thursday 10-4 and Friday and Saturday 10-6 pm at 653 Philadelphia.

With some studio spaces currently vacant, any artist may inquire about renting the available spaces. Artists can apply for a studio space on Arrow Creative’s website at arrowcreative.org or reach out to hello@arrowcreative.org for a tour.

Learn more about Memphis’ local art institutions here.

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