West Virginia has long been home to some of the most creative and innovative artists in the United States.  This year, we’re starting a video series to feature some of those artists: the Appalachian Artist Series.  We’ll partner with a new artist each quarter and share what they’re working on in our area.

Megan Ursic – The Handcrafted Cooperative

Megan is an up and coming artist in the Morgantown area.  In addition to her own skills, she is working to promote others through her marketplace events.  The Handcrafted Cooperative is a seasonal retail market designed to provide opportunities to artisans and makers in the area, as well as improve the local economy and keep Morgantown unique.

She also hosts MakeShops: pop up classes where she teaches the skills she has learned to others.

“Most of us doubt our creativity”

After a poll of local creatives, Megan learned that most of us doubt our own ability to be creative. She started hosting MakeShops to help others learn to trust in their ability to make anything.

One of the defining characteristics of Appalachian culture is that strong love of place, and of community.  Megan’s devotion to both improving opportunities for established and talented local artisans and small business owners, paired with her desire to help others discover their own inner sense of creativity, personify that love of West Virginia and it’s people so well.

The people of West Virginia also characterize the concept of ‘get it done’.  Centuries of isolation, inequality, and lack of opportunity have made us innovative and driven.  For every problem we see, every product that does not yet exist, we find a way to make it happen.  Seeing Megan’s creative process play out like this is a fabulous illustration of this principle.

“I think of something in my head, and I figure out how to make it.”

We’re excited to share a few more aspects of the things that Megan is doing over the next few months, and to partner with more local creatives in the future.  Each film will be a little different, but they will all be based on the same concepts: the origin of an idea, the process of creation, the passion behind the art, and the place that inspires our growth.

I hope you’ll follow along with us on this journey.  Sign up to be notified with each new film, and connect with us on social media to share them with others!

I also encourage you to connect with Megan at The Handcrafted Cooperative! Join her email list to stay in the loop on upcoming market events and MakeShops, and follow her on Instagram or Facebook to see features on some of the other artists featured at the Marketplace!