Jars of seashells, barrels of cardstock and ribbon, vintage sewing machines, and a wall of possibly haunted dolls — these are just a few of the materials that Reconsidered Goods’ first-ever artists in residence will have at their disposal this year.
Tucked away in an unassuming Greensboro strip mall, Reconsidered Goods is part thrift shop, part craft store and part makers’ workshop. Billing themselves as a center for “creative reuse,” Reconsidered Goods has held community events and sold gently used art supplies since 2016. Now, thanks to grant funding from the NC Arts Council, they are finally embarking on a longtime goal: hosting local artists for in-house residencies.
“We’d been talking about doing a residency for a while now,” Executive Director Catena Bergevin says. “We have so many artists and makers who come here; it just fits so well within the work that we do.”
For their inaugural residency, the store will host three artists between January and March: Stephanie Trippe, a textile artist; Kay Marion, a musician; and Neidy Perdomo, a graphic designer. For three weeks each, each artist will be granted a workspace in the store, where they will have free reign of Reconsidered Goods’ recycled and repurposed materials. At the end of their residencies, the artists will host unique community events to showcase their work.
“I am planning on using vintage quilts, tablecloths, and other fabrics to create,” says Trippe, who will organize an in-store fashion show on the evening of Jan. 27.
Nestled between the help desk and a wall-sized rainbow composed entirely of shoulder pads, Trippe’s workstation overlooks a shelf of potholders, bouquets of faux flowers and other displays of colorful chaos within the store. With a background in altering thrifted clothes, Trippe plans to show how discarded textiles like these “can be transformed into wearable, beautiful pieces.”
“The fact that we have a lot of traditional and non-traditional materials will give the artists an opportunity to try something new — maybe something they’ve never done before,” Bergevin explains. “People don’t always realize art is more than a canvas and a brush. We can express ourselves in a lot of different ways.”
By positioning the residents’ workspaces within the store, Reconsidered Goods hopes that patrons will engage with the artists in the weeks leading up to their events, asking questions and watching their creative processes unfold.
Marion, the musician resident who describes herself as a “multifaceted, multi-genre vocalist,” plans to use her in-store workshop to collaborate with artists throughout the Triad community. In particular, she is excited to platform local Black artists who may be struggling to break into the performance scene.
“We’re least likely to be paid the same as our non-Black counterparts and we’re least likely to receive fair contracts,” Marion says. “So, any opportunity that I have to put other Black artists forth and say, ‘Hey these people are worth investing in,’ I want to do it.”
Using upcycled electronics, decorations from around the store, and — in her own words — “Reconsidered Goods’ killer record collection,” Marion plans to host an interactive song circle, a collaborative live-music set and a healing-through-sound session on the evenings of Feb. 24 and 25. She will also be modeling garments made during Trippe’s residency.
Meanwhile Perdomo, a graphic artist, looks forward to celebrating nature during her time at Reconsidered Goods.
“When I heard about the residency, I thought this would be a great way to honor the great outdoors by using repurposed goods to make art,” she says. “I’m excited for the range of materials available to create some interesting mixed-media pieces.”
A first-generation Latina artist, Perdomo is perhaps best known in the community for her line, Blanco y Black designs, which she has sold at pop-up markets throughout Greensboro. Now, she is transitioning to Paraiso, a new line of work that will combine themes of “nature, beautiful spaces, travel and black and white.”
Although Perdomo is still developing ideas for her residency showcase event, she wants to craft something that will challenge the audience’s perceptions and “serve as a reminder that you create your own reality.”
For their part, Reconsidered Goods is eager to see what the artists do with the space, materials, and funding the residency will provide.
“We’re going to learn from this program. It’s the first time we’ve done it, so we’ll ask the artists to let us know what’s working, what’s not working so that they can help us improve the residency as we move forward,” says Bergevin, who also shared that the residency will be the store’s “core program” moving forward.
The first residency started on Jan. 7. The residency dates are as follows: Stephanie Trippe (Jan. 7-27), Kay Marion (Feb. 4-24) and Neidy Perdomo (March 2-30). Learn more about Reconsidered Goods at reconsideredgoods.org or follow them on Facebook or Instagram.
Join the First Amendment Society, a membership that goes directly to funding TCB‘s newsroom.
We believe that reporting can save the world.
The TCB First Amendment Society recognizes the vital role of a free, unfettered press with a bundling of local experiences designed to build community, and unique engagements with our newsroom that will help you understand, and shape, local journalism’s critical role in uplifting the people in our cities.
All revenue goes directly into the newsroom as reporters’ salaries and freelance commissions.