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The Agora Borealis
The Agora Borealis features more than 6,000 square feet of space for housing and creating art.
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The Agora Borealis
The local arts market has a big mission: to educate the public on what it means be a working artist.
Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
Those are the three R’s that Katy Larsen and her team live by. And they should. They’ve just opened The Agora Borealis, a local arts market with a big mission: to educate the public on what it means be a working artist.
“It will continually change,” Larsen said. “We’ll have everything from upcycled furniture, home decor, lighting, 2D, 3D art, soap, pottery, canned and jarred food - anything and everything that’s handmade and local.”
She hopes to enrich Shreveport’s culture by offering a public space for artists to show their wares. All of the products are locally made and many use recycled materials.
The space is ideal to house and create local art, says Larsen, pointing out the entire space is over 6,000 sq. ft.
The main area of The Agora Borealis will include the artist marketplace and owners’ offices, as well as a creation space for the owners.
“We are all artists,” Larsen said. “We want to create alongside our artists.”
One of those artists includes Paula Hallman, of Shreveport. She will be showcasing a few paintings, but mostly focusing on her doll sculptures.
“They have such a clear vision, and are so committed to its success, it can't be anything but spectacular,” said Hallman, of the Agora. “People won't have to wait for specific events to find and support great local art.”
Larsen cited other local artists, like leather journal maker Michael Graham, illustrator Jeremy Johnson of Toomasooba, and Kate Hesson’s Zombee Candles as examples of artists whose work will be available at The Agora Borealis.
Brandi Cade, co-owner of the space, said she wants the community to learn a sense of support for our neighbors, and one way is by buying local.
“I want them to understand what it takes to create something from the heart and also why it's so important for our economy, on a local and national level, to buy local,” she said.
Cade, Larsen and Brandon Goodgion are the owners of the space, and Larsen hopes in the future that the Agora can be utilized as a workshop to teach classes for experts and amateurs.
“We want to offer pottery, 3D printing, screen printing, up cycling, any and everything,” Larsen said.
Larsen, a new mother, and Cade, who is expecting a child, both agree that raising children in an arts environment will foster a new generation of arts growth in the community.
“I think the store is going to be highly successful because there are so many people that want to see it succeed outside of the members of our staff,” Cade said. “I can see us getting very involved in community events and the renewal of this city.”
The Agora Borealis is located at 421 Lake St. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, please visit www.theagoraborealis.com.
By Derick Jones