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Austen Abbott launches new art gallery, and book

By Andi Bedsworth

Just in time for the arrival of the Spring season, local artist and entrepreneur Erin Austen Abbott, who runs the art and design shop Amelia, is expanding her artistic offerings this month.

Though you may her know about Abbott from her store and her photography work, you may not be aware that she has been very busy with some other projects.

Andi Bedsworth

Releasing in March, “How to Make It: 25 Makers Share the Secrets to Building a Creative Business,” her first book is the ultimate tell-all, show-all guide to making a living by making things. It will feature 25 profiles of illustrators, jewelry designers, ceramicists, painters, clothing designers, and printmakers.

Over the last year, Abbott has been working on this book, which includes her own photographs. It provides a behind-the-scenes look at the daily rituals and best practices that keep these creative entrepreneurs on track. With Q & As, insider tips, and DIYs from each maker, these pages offer guidance and encouragement to artists just starting their careers and to professionals looking to take their creative business to the next level.

Brimming with practical advice and inspiration, this book is a perfect gift for anyone interested in making it as a maker. The book signing for this book will occur at Off Square Books, 129 Courthouse Square on Wednesday, March 22 at 5 p.m. Two of the regional makers featured in the book, Blue Delta Jeans and Paper and Clay, will join her for a question and answer session at the event.

In addition to the release of the book, Abbott is also opening her new space which will include another Amelia, classroom space and a new gallery. It is located right next to Yalobusha Gallery in a residential building at 112 Main Street in Water Valley.

A soft opening will happen on Friday from 6-9 p.m. with Glennray Tutor at the Living Room Gallery. Early work by this well-known Oxford artist will serve as the inaugural show for this new gallery.

The gallery hours will be Monday-Wednesday from 10-4 and Thursday and Saturdays from 10-2. Friday hours are 10-2 and then they will reopen from 5-7.

In addition to gallery shows, the space will host classes by Abbott as well as by guest artists.

A zine making workshop offered by Hayley Gilmore of Hattiesburg is already booked for September. Gilmore’s tribute to Princess Leia went viral and she is one of the founders of Ladies Who Design, which is an artist collective in Hattiesburg.

A variety of classes will be offered including ones in photography and other art forms, so be sure to check out the website: ameliapresents.com  to see each new offering as it is listed in the coming weeks and months.

With all she is doing on the arts scene in both regional and local arenas, Abbott is a local artist worth following and supporting, so make sure to check out both her book and the new gallery.

Andi Bedsworth is owner of Art To Go, which brings free art opportunities to children in the community.