Alum’s new store features handmade crafts from dozens of contemporary artists

Alma’s RVA, a retail and gallery space, only opened in April and it’s already caught the attention of Style Weekly and Richmond Magazine. Owned and operated by glass artist and craft alumna Sarah Mizer (MFA ’07), Alma’s provides contemporary artists a space to showcase and sell their work. Handmade crafts available in-store and online include mugs, jewelry and bags. Mizer, formerly a professor at VCUarts, also offers workshops in hand-lettering and embroidery through her store.

Style Weekly detailed Mizer’s inspiration and how she founded Alma’s.

Since graduate school, Mizer discovered that her own art was dictated by one show after another and competing curatorial visions rather than her own needs. “I felt like I was wanting more out of the conversations,” she recalls. Now she hopes to provide those open-ended opportunities to artists.

While Alma’s RVA will be an eclectic mix of retail space and gallery, it will cohere thematically around contemporary craft. Works will include wholesale lines and one-of-a-kind art on consignment. Functional housewares will feature prominently and prices will vary from less than $50 to several thousand. Work will rotate seasonally based on themes selected by Mizer.

For its opening, Alma’s RVA featured work by nearly 30 different artists, most of whom currently live in the city or formerly called it home. The inventory remains on view until late summer. Although her family has roots in the Shenandoah Valley, Mizer is a transplant from Rhode Island who moved to Richmond in 2005.

“It’s definitely a celebration of my community,” she says with a smile.

Read the full article in Style Weekly, and check out another interview with Mizer in Richmond magazine.

Lead photo by Scott Elmquist.