Village of the Arts welcomes new business growth spurt

When asked to describe his new Village of the Arts business, artist Mark Burrow says, “Chaotic and crazy, like a twisted Walt Disney World.”

Burrow owns Art Junkies at 1130 12th St. W. and joins the recent surge in growth within the village, including Frank Peters Antiques at 1015 12th St. W. They join World Piece and CopaMoca as the village’s newest four businesses in recent weeks. Ruth Warren, owner of Ruth Warren Art, is the new chair of the village’s marketing and public relations committee, and the group’s efforts are making a difference in invigorating the village energy.

Burrow is an example of that energy, with his “scrap artist” skills where he literally turns trash into treasure.

“I take stuff people don’t want, come up with an idea and build it so it’s not in a landfill,” Burrow said. “And I show them how to do some things so they don’t have to throw it out, either. Our motto is saving the earth one piece of art at a time.”

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Mark Burrow, owner of Art Junkies is a mixed media artist that literally turns trash into treasure. Art Junkies is one of the latest businesses to join the village as the live-work arts community continues to see growth. Burrow will use anything that has been discarded if he sees art potential. Here he shows how he incorporated a deer jaw into commissioned piece he completed last week. Mark Young

Burrow opened a few weeks ago in the village after years of packing up artwork and traveling to festivals and flea markets.

“Now I get the chance to create, and people can come by and see it,” Burrow said. “I want people to know I do all this by hand.”

His work space is his garage, which is always open for public view while he’s working, and he sets up a large tent in his yard where he keeps work on display. Every first Friday of the month, he invites other artists from around the area to join him.

“We just try to have some fun,” Burrow said. “Art is not a thing, it’s a way. I never want to make the same thing and I like making art, but I don’t want it. I don’t make a lot of money on it. I just want people to have art they can afford, because everyone should have art.”

His hours are from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. but can open earlier or close later. Established hours are important because it’s where the village has been lacking — it’s confusing for visitors who sometimes struggle to find an open gallery. Some have regular hours and some open at the owner’s discretion. It has been a point of contention for those wanting to be an actual business community looking to draw in customers.

Frank Peters Antiques

Peters won’t have traditional hours at Frank Peters Antiques, but he will have established hours because he knows the importance of it. Peters, who has a “day job,” will be open 5-8 p.m. Fridays and from noon until 6 p.m. Saturdays. He hopes to extend those hours to weekdays soon.

Peters specializes in antiques from the 1800s to the mid-1900s, but has some ideas that will tie his antique expertise into village craftsmanship. He’s looking to turn antiques into works of usable art. He has a vintage long board surfboard that he is turning into a bar top and found a 1950s electroshock machine fully intact with lights that he wants to turn into a lamp.

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A vintage surfboard is destined to be a bar top as the owner of Frank Peters Antiques is not only an antique store, but Peters is beginning to take certain antiques and create new usable art. Mark Young

He’s always in search of “unique oddball pieces,” he said.

Peters grew up on Long Island with a mother who is an antique dealer. He’s had a hand in antique hunting his entire life.

“I got used to waking up at 5 a.m., knowing all the garbage routes and trying to get to them before they got picked up,” Peters said, while noting today’s antique hunting is largely at flea markets and auctions. Peters said the village reminds him of the kind of neighborhood where he was raised.

“It’s that village atmosphere, like small town America,” Peters said.