Artwork for podcast Artsville
Symbiosis, Silkworms, and Ceramics with Andy Palmer and Vicki Essig
Episode 2511th December 2023 • Artsville • Crewest Studio + Sand Hill Artists Collective
00:00:00 00:32:08

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You wouldn’t think that a town of under 500 people could be home to a thriving art gallery, let alone two competing ones across the road from one another. But in Bakersville, North Carolina, that is exactly the case. Joining us today is Andy Palmer, who co-owns the In Tandem gallery with his wife Silvia Ferrari-Palmer on the main street, and Vicki Essig, who runs Mica, another beautiful gallery just across the road. We talk with Andy and Vicki about their work as artists, and how the symbiotic relationship between their two galleries has contributed to the rich artistic community of Bakersville. Tuning in you’ll learn about the process behind Vicki’s incredible artworks (woven by silkworms!) and how her small community has supported her labor-intensive creations. She also shares the powerful story of a pair of silk overalls made in honor of civil rights activist, Joyce Ladner, how they were sold to a descendent of hers, and what this fortuitous connection demonstrates about community building. We hear from Andy about how his wife’s digital outreach transformed their gallery, the immense impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on online sales, and how he utilizes his background in ceramics to find artists for their gallery. Our conversation also covers Mica and In Tandem’s approach to branding, the Toe River Council’s important work supporting artists, and details about Artsville's new virtual gallery of artists. To hear all the fascinating details of this thriving artistic community and how to partner with other galleries, be sure to tune in!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Get to know today’s guests, Andy Palmer and Vicki Essig.
  • Insight into Vicki’s weaving artworks and how she uses silkworms for her threads.
  • The benefits of being part of a small community and how they have supported her process.
  • Details of Andy and his wife Silvia’s gallery, In Tandem.
  • How Silvia improved digital outreach and how COVID-19 increased their online sales.
  • Where they find their artists and how Andy uses his expertise as a ceramics artist.
  • Vicki’s gallery Mica and its location across from In Tandem in their small town, Bakersville.
  • How they work together instead of competing with one another.
  • Mica’s selection process and how they support their artists.
  • How Bakersfield’s thriving artistic community has supported economic growth in Bakersville.
  • An overview of how In Tandem and Mica approaches branding.
  • The Toe River Arts Council and their impactful work supporting artists.
  • Details about the Hilloween event in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
  • Learn about Artsville’s exciting new virtual gallery of artists.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Andy Palmer —

In Tandem Gallery —

Vicki Essig —

Mica —

Penland School of Craft —

The Toe River Arts Council —

Hilloween —

Hilloween: A Mechanism for Unity with Gina Phillips — 

Artsville —

Artsville Podcast —

Sherry Masters on LinkedIn —

Art Connections —

Scott “Sourdough” Power —

Louise Glickman —

Daryl Slaton —

Crewest Studio —

Not Real Art —

Sand Hill Artists Collective (SHAC) —

DanUbe Productions —

We Edit Podcasts —

Captivate —




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