Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Art Wonderland : Court Street Collection

Court Steet Collection, an art gallery/store that showcases and sells art and craftwork, is truly a wonderland for me.  As the name suggests it’s on Court Street, in uptown Athens. (To be precise, the address is 64 N. Court Street.) As soon as you set foot in the shop, you will be amazed by the art work on display. The shop presents an eclectic mixture of ceramic art (vases, cutlery, and sculptures), scarves, pillow covers, frames, lamps, jewellery, and many other really interesting pieces of art for sale. There is also a variety of glass art made by using different techniques like fuse glass, stain glass, and blow glass. It’s a riot of colors, shapes, and textures. And I really like the "gallery like" feel of it.

Court Street Collection in my mind is a place that represents many artists’ passion, unbridled imagination, and creativity, under one roof. According to Gloria, the owner of the store, about 70 percent of the art work is sourced locally from the artists in and around Athens. That’s why it became the next stop on my journey to discover the art and the artists in and around Athens.


I talked to Gloria to familiarize myself with this wonderland. Gloria gave me a peek into the history of the store. It was established in 1980 as a co-op by several artists in the area, to showcase and sell their art work. The artists ran it themselves. They owned it for about two years. After that the store was bought by Jim Gleason and late Susan Gleason. “Sue really made it into the store that it is today,” Gloria said.

Though not an artist, Sue had a great taste and she loved American craft. Gloria mentioned the Gleasons attended art and craft shows in New York, Boston to bring American craft from different parts of the country to Athens.

Sue and Gloria were good friends. Gloria used to exhibit her own work—blow glass work—in Court Street Collection. That’s how she knew Sue. If the Gleasons were going for a vacation, Gloria would step in to manage the store for that time. After Sue’s death in 1998 (a battle with cancer), her family ran it for some time. Gloria managed it for them for a couple of years, before buying it from Jim Gleason two years ago. 

There is an article on the wall that pays tribute to late Sue, recalls her artistic vision and captures the journey of Court Street Collection since its early days.

Though it’s a store, it doesn’t feel like a “commercial” space at all; may be because of Gloria’s artistic vision, and her warm nature. More about the store, the owner, and the artwork in later posts.


  1. I know, I love it too! I really like the community spirit it echoes...And the fact that it has been around for so long, really impresses me. Before I started this blog, I didn't even know it existed. I am so glad I found it:)

  2. once i saw them selling in front of women's center. if i did not remember wrong, that should be them. I fell in love with one handbag. My question is that how is the price for those collection there?

  3. I didn't know we had such a wonderful place on Court Street before! I like it!

  4. Hej Ash
    I've seen the shop I think pretty often and always walked by. Thank you for going in and showing me around. ;-)

  5. Have always wanted to go into this shop, but never had the chance. It looks awesome, but must be pricy...:=)