AM Galleries: Art for the people

October 23, 2013
Andrew Thomas

Andrew Thomas

In partnership with the Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce, MCP presents The Business Plan, a blog about what’s going on in Mason County’s business community. Today’s feature is on AM Galleries which is one of the sponsors of Business After Hours, to be held Wednesday, Oct. 22 from 5 to 7 p.m. at AM Galleries in downtown Ludington.

LUDINGTON — Andrew Thomas has a goal. The owner of AM Galleries wants his business to be the place where people visit and shop for unique, high quality art. He also wants the art to be affordable for the people.

AM Galleries, located at 115 W. Ludington Ave., was founded in August 2011. Its roots go back to the Artists Market, which started on South Washington Avenue in the Fourth Ward. Andrew started his career at the Artists Market and he and his wife Michelle bought the store eight years ago.

Andrew has evolved the business from an art supply store, that also sold art, to a gallery that provides framing services as well.

He owes his business skills to the SCORE, a program sponsored by the Ludington and Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce, that provides business consultation to new and existing businesses.

“SCORE was very influential in helping me buy this business,” Andrew says. “Eight years ago I met with a SCORE counselor who suggested I take a fundamental of entrepreneurship class offered by Michigan State University. That class have me a better foundation on how to start a business. Had it not been for that class and for SCORE, my growing pains would have been elevated.”

He says SCORE offered him the ability to see the vision for what he wanted to do with his business, which was to create one of the most unique art gallery experiences in western Michigan.

AM Galleries is located in a historic building that has its beginnings as a movie theater. The uniqueness of the building makes it a great space to rent for receptions and open houses.

Andrew himself is an accomplished visual and performance artist. Though his visual artistic roots include working on consignment for clients, he typically now only creates work that inspires him personally. As a musician, he is well known throughout the area for his acoustic covers.

The artist in him has helped him evolve his business.

“I feel as an artist and gallery owner, art should be more approachable. Galleries should be more inviting, not reserved for the 1 percent of the population,” he says. “I want our gallery to be open to the world, to a much larger crowd of people who can enjoy an original piece of art without having to spend their life’s savings.”

Ludington and Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours is from 5 to 7 p.m. tonight at AM Galleries. It is sponsored by AM Galleries, Carlos Avarado Law PC and Best Choice Markets. Admission is $5 for chamber members and $10 for anyone else.

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