Art in the Market Expands at Laurel Park Place


LIVONIA — Art Is In Market has expanded its retail location at Laurel Park Place. The larger space is scheduled to open May 1.

What can best be described as an art gallery, a Michigan store and a gift shop all rolled into one, Art Is In Market prides itself on showcasing all local and handmade work from artists throughout the state of Michigan.

Art Is In Market features a wide variety of items, ranging from jewelry, clothing, photography, books, Detroit sports memorabilia, pottery, paintings, skin-care products, food, furniture and more.  Even more unique is the creators of all of these products, the artists, actually work in the store each day.  This interaction between artist and customer allows for a free flowing exchange of ideas, and as a result, Art Is In Market is constantly evolving to meet customer demands.

Debbie La Pratt, owner and president of Art Is In Market, came up with the idea for a gallery while walking through the mall before the holiday season in 2005.

“I’ve been an artist for over 35 years, and often my holiday season was spent traveling to art shows every weekend,” La Pratt says. “But with the high price of doing shows, and the amount of time spent setting up, tearing down and traveling, it took me away from my family and friends.” As La Pratt’s wheels began to turn, she thought, “What if I could create a store for all my artist friends for a couple of months?”  And that is exactly what she did.

After contacting Laurel Park Place in Livonia to pitch the idea, the mall offered La Pratt a temporary space for two months. “From there it was easy,” La Pratt says. “I called all of my artist friends and invited them to end their holiday travel and try something new.”

The concept was wildly successful, and as customers found out the store was only temporary and would be closing in January after the Christmas-craze, they begged her to keep it open.

As a result, La Pratt renewed her contract with the mall for three more months … and then another three months.

Since that pop-up holiday shop, the Art Is In Market brand has grown and now has three retail spaces in malls throughout metro Detroit:  Laurel Park Place, 37700 West Six Mile Rd.; Twelve Oaks Mall, 27500 Novi Rd. in  Novi; and The Mall at Partridge Creek, 17420 Hall Rd. in  Clinton Township. 

The original Laurel Park space was 1,250 square feet and featured the work of 30 artists. Since then, Art Is In Market has upgraded space several times at that location, and is expanding again into the former Brookstone space this May. With the expansion, the total retail footprint for all three Art Is In Market locations will cover 21,700 square feet of space and showcase the work of 120 local artists.

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