Both in art and commerce, the emphasis nowadays is “local,” as evidenced by today’s announcement that the Minneapolis Institute of Art will partner with West Elm LOCAL on a museum pop-up shop that highlights independent makers from around the country, including Minnesota.
West Elm LOCAL is an initiative started in 2014 that today supports more than 500 small businesses and local makers in communities nationwide. Many West Elm stores, including the Edina location, feature a rotating selection of lifestyle products from small, start-up brands you’d normally be more apt to find at a farmer’s market or neighborhood boutique than a national retailer. Mia is the first museum to collaborate with West Elm LOCAL.
Mia’s Venture Innovation Director Hunter Wright says the museum is constantly tracking creative and makers across the U.S.—along with related networks that support that talent. “In 2013 we had great feedback when we hosted the Northern Grade pop-up at Mia, and we want to continue to offer our visitors direct access to regional, local talent. West Elm LOCAL does a fantastic job supporting and storytelling about their maker partners, and we're excited to bring together so many of the regional collections into one space—Mia!"
The Store at Mia + West Elm LOCAL shop opens Thursday (Feb. 4) and will run through May 29. It was timed to coincide with the exhibition “State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now” on view at Mia Feb. 18-May 29. The shop will feature four Minnesota brands: Louis Gray quilts, Marvin Freitas wood furniture and home accessories, Mod Dog silhouette art and jewelry, and Oh Dier, designed objects for the home, entertaining and play. From other regions of the country, the West Elm LOCAL shop at Mia will feature 10 makers including California furniture designer Eric Trine, Bubo Handmade leather bags from Nashville, and blankets by Happy Habitat of Kansas City.
“Our goal with West Elm LOCAL is to connect customers to the artists and makers in their communities. It’s an opportunity for people to potentially meet the artisan, learn about the making of a piece and create a human connection that truly changes the shopping experience,” Director of West Elm LOCAL Mo Mullen said in a statement. “Our partnership with The Store at Mia provides museum visitors a chance to discover local American talent while extending the platform for these 14 local makers to share their stories."