Art space opens up opportunities in Cincinnati neighborhood

CINCINNATI — Whenever she finds the time, Melissa Baker’s hands are busy creating art that she and her neighbors can use. Usually it’s washcloths, bags or knitwear that she sells through her small business, MB Crochet.

A lifelong Lower Price Hill resident, Baker said she’s proud to be part of her neighborhood’s growing art scene, and now with the launch of the LPH “Outerspace,” she will have a permanent space to exhibit. his work and his business. .

What do you want to know

  • LPH Outerspace opened in spring 2022
  • The space offers permanent places for artists to design and sell works
  • It also serves as a community gathering space to explore and practice art
  • The Outerspace is next to Meiser’s Market, a non-profit grocery store
  • Both places are part of the same development project

Baker sells his wares to Outerspace

Opened in mid-March, the Outerspace is the second phase of the “Your Store in the Queen City” project. The redevelopment effort was intended to improve conditions in Lower Price Hill. According to the American Community Surveyone in three LPH residents live in poverty, making it one of the poorest neighborhoods in Cincinnati.

Meiser’s Fresh Grocery and Deli was the first phase of the project, opening as a non-profit grocery store in late 2021. The store provides fresh, affordable food to LPH families.

Now that Outerspace is open, it offers locals the chance to craft and sell their own crafts. The space is also meant to serve as a community gathering space for neighbors of all ages.

“It opens up the community even more and gives them more exposure,” Baker said.

As a member of the Lower Price Hill Collective, a group of neighborhood artists and activists, Baker will help run the Outerspace and its events as well as a permanent place in the building to make and sell its crochet products.

“It’s wonderful. It’s like a door has opened for everyone to see what we’ve been trying to create,” she said.

In addition to the work of Baker and his fellow collective members, the Outerspace also plans to provide space for other neighborhood work to be displayed, as well as supplies and educational opportunities for those in Lower Price Hill interested in the art.

Early exhibits in Outerspace included paintings that children had assembled at the local library.

Baker installs his crochet products at Outerspace

“Just because some schools don’t have arts activities for kids,” Baker said. “It just gives kids a space to be creative and show off what they can do.”

In addition to being artist-in-residence, Baker also works at Meiser and sells directly to neighbors. She said the store had a positive influence on the neighborhood, helping to address food insecurity.

Now, she said she can’t wait to see all the good Outerspace can do and how she can help as an artist, small business owner and neighbor.

“You support your community,” she said.

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