New Starkville business supports local artists

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- Minerva Hair Salon and Art Gallery held a special “Night Market” at their cotton district location in Starkville Saturday night.

It was an opportunity for artisans and artists of all kinds to come together and connect.

In fact, Owner Tammy Carlisle said connectivity is the main goal of her new business.

When Carlisle opened up her salon/gallery combo a few months ago, she wasn’t quite sure how people would react.

“When I thought about it, I was just trying to think of a place that would be like a hub for creativity. So, it’s more of a creative collaborative. It has absolutely nothing to do with me at all,” said Carlisle.

Carlisle refers to the establishment as a “hang out”– a place for creative people who otherwise don’t have anywhere to go.

“It’s not a bar. It’s not a scene. It’s not like you’re going out with any expectations. It’s just free-flowing. Kind of just a funky spot to come visit,” said Carlisle.

She often uses her business to hold special events for local artists like open houses or in this case, a night market.

“To just bring lot’s of creative things into one spot. Creative people, music, art…think outside the box with like-minded people, and you’d be surprised the relationships that have formed here in the last two or three months. I’m really surprised. I’m overwhelmed actually,” said Carlisle.

“I think it draws in people, and I think that’s why I keep coming back here. It’s nice to find things to do in a small town like this and word of mouth gets around, so people like to kind of come together. There’s a community type of feel to it,” said customer Bahaa Awad.

Carlisle said part of the fun at Minerva is the lack of expectation.

“We had a person in today that juggles. So I don’t know. Hey if you want to juggle, come by. We’ll have a juggler. It’s kind of neat,” said Carlisle.

She said the business is less about making a splash in the art scene, but rather providing a launching pad for local artists.

“All I’m trying to do is provide a platform for people who do create art that might not have the opportunity to display their work in the main-stream or might not have enough work or might not feel like they fit the mix. So, if you can come in and feel the vibe and it works with you and you feel comfortable displaying your work here, great,” said Carlisle.

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