Whether they are advising visitors on sculptures and limited edition reproductions or working with customers to provide custom framing, Artifacts Gallery is a destination spot with a loyal clientele of art enthusiasts. The fine arts gallery is nestled in Cambria, California, a coastal community located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The towering pine trees, shimmering seas, and bustle of art and wine festivals of the area provide a vibrant community that Artifacts Gallery has served for the past 20 years. To celebrate American Artist Appreciation Month, owner Thad Markham and art consultant Trish Anselmo gave us a tour of the gallery and discussed their passion for art.
Tell us a little bit about how Artifacts Gallery started.
In 1993, Thad, the owner of the gallery, corporate job and life was going great until an close friend passed away tragically. At that time it became a goal to live life to the fullest and follow his dreams. Artifacts Gallery opened its door in June of 1993 and Thad has not looked back.
Why are you proud to be an independent retailer? What makes your gallery unique?
We are most proud of being an Independent Retailer because we are able to showcase the art and artist of our choosing. In most cases, giving someone their first showing. Our diversity of art and gifts makes us unique, we have something for everyone.
Because it’s American Artist Appreciation Month, tell us more about the types of art that you carry.
We carry everything from limited edition fine art, hand blown glass, garden art, bronze sculpture, and the list goes on. We have a local glass artist [who] makes glass jewelry and wonderful glass wall sculptures. Our customers love it.
How are you impacting the community, both in general and for the arts?
Artifacts Gallery consistently supports local fundraisers and charities. In addition Artifacts Gallery owner Heather Markham is the founder of Infant Essentials. Infant Essentials provides essential infant care items including diapers, cribs, car seats, and other items to mothers in need. We just had the “Hats off to Dr. Suess” exhibit just this past month and we have a least one art show a year. We also host an event every Memorial Day weekend with bronze sculptor, Tim Cotterill. We are the largest selling gallery in the world of his beautiful bronze frogs!
Why should people visit Cambria?
Cambria is a wonderful place to visit. We have great restaurant’s, cozy hotels and B & B’s, and the shopping is world renowned. The Central Coast of California with its wild beauty makes Cambria a destination like no other.
When did you first come across MOVA Globes?
MOVA Globes were introduced to our gallery by another friend in the art business who was fascinated by them.
What has been the responses been to the MOVA Globes?
We have received an amazing response to the MOVA Globes since we started selling them over 2 years ago! Customers are simply astonished by the technology & the explanation of how they work. It is great fun to demonstrate the MOVA Globes. We’ve seen reactions ranging from sheer amazement to clapping & jumping up and down.
Which model is your favorite and why?
There are so many favorites, but the Satellite View With Cloud [Cover] in both the 6” & 4.5” is the most popular. The new Cassini Terrestrials [in White and Green] are also attracting a lot of attention. We carry many MOVA Globe styles which gives customers, both online and in the gallery, a great variety to choose from. We look forward to each new style that is introduced!
Thad, why did you decide to open an art gallery? Do you have any plans for the future?
I moved to Cambria originally to open a retail gift store. My parents have been successful gift and clothing retailers for the past 30 years. Artifacts Gallery was originally a gift store, but as time progressed, I saw a real need in the town to represent internationally known artists. Very quickly the gift store transformed into an art gallery. Artifacts Gallery began showing higher and higher priced art up until 2007 when the art market crashed. At that time, we again to explore art in all price ranges. The gallery has morphed and will continue to morph to showcase new and original artwork in all price ranges. We are continuously scanning the globe for creative work to provide for our customers.
To learn about more Artifacts, please visit their website or Facebook below. We hope you enjoyed learning about the gallery and seeing the beautiful artwork they carry as we continue to celebrate American Artist Appreciation Month. Do you have some favorite artists or artworks? Let us know in the comments or tell us on Facebook!