Pike Co. Town of Brundidge Focusing Attention on the Arts

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By Jessica Gertler

The Pike County town of Brundidge is known as the Antique City, but that may soon change. City leaders say they and new business owners are now focusing their attention on the arts.

Three new businesses focused around the arts are moving in on Main Street bringing a new vibe to downtown Brundidge.

Two art galleries and a jewelry shop have filled the empty store fronts on Main Street creating what some are calling an unexpected art district.

"While we were in our planning stages, the Jinwrights have opened their gallery. It just happened I think organically," says Studio 116 Co-Owner Sara Dismukes.

Mayor Jimmy Ramage says when the We Piddle Around Theater opened its doors, the city started embracing its creativity.

But he says it wasn't until recently, when more businesses centered around the arts found interest in downtown spurring economic development.

"We're not getting too far away from what we started, but we are kind of drifting towards arts more, which is a good thing, because we have a ton of local artists here," says Ramage.

Residents like Heather House says she's glad the city has found a new niche.

"It would be more interesting for a lot of the young adults and children to give them something for them to get interested in," says House.

A new movement owners of South Main Jewelers are happy to be a part of.

"Jewelry by its nature is an art form, so we think it will fit right in," says co-owner Jeff May.

And for Studio 116 owners, they are hoping their gallery, along with the others, revitalizes and unites the community.

"You have a real basis for it, so now we're starting to tie it all together, and bring more artists out of the community," says Studio 116 Co-Owner Chris Rich.

Rich says he will open up the second story to rent out to local artists who need studio space.

Studio 116 will host its grand opening this Saturday. There will be demonstrations, meet and greets and live music.

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