Local art gallery nationally ranked in trade magazine

Friday, October 8, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 2:41 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 10, 2008

A downtown Columbia art gallery has been ranked among America’s top 100 for the second year in a row.

Poppy, which sells contemporary art and gifts at 914 E. Broadway, made it to Niche magazine’s list of the Top 100 Retailers of American Craft for 2004. Blue Stem Missouri Crafts, 13 S. Ninth St., made the 2003 list.

Niche, a trade magazine for American craft retailers, polls more than 26,000 artists in Canada and the United States to find out how they are treated by the galleries that sell their work. Galleries, stores and museum shops from 50 states and the Virgin Islands were nomi-nated. Criteria included courteous, respectful treatment of artists; prompt payment; and time and energy given back to the craft community. About 700 retailers are nominated annually.

Retailers do not know who nomi-nates them unless an artist speaks up. Atlanta Artist Jamie Cassavoy put in a vote for Poppy this year, saying the store was one of her best customers. A maker of nature-inspired jewelry, she will be a featured artist at the gallery next month.

“They pay their bills on time, which is huge for small, independ-ent craft workers,” Cassavoy said. “And they really like to work with artists. They don’t treat you like a number like a department store would, for example.”

Jennifer Perlow, co-owner of Poppy, said the gallery was excited to receive the honor. “We don’t view (artists) as a stepping-stone, or somebody who produces for us,” she said. “It’s kind of a collabora-tion.”

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