by Amber Harp and Sherry Mills
Stepping through the threshold of the Artifactory Studio at 313 E Main in downtown Norman, OK, Art Walk customers find an unexpected surprise waiting for them. Owner Amy Baldwin’s son Jack is serenading as they begin their quest for their next vintage treasure.
“Jack loves to sing, and he was born for it,” Baldwin said. “He loves to perform, and he especially likes to sing during the Art Walk. Obviously, he is not shy!”
Jack, sixth grader and performer for the Sooner Theater, has the perfect opportunity to foster a fan club. He sings the songs of the classics and the gospel sounds, presenting a boyhood charm endearing to those in his presence.
“ I want to be a doctor when I grow up. Well, maybe I really want to be a performer, too. Maybe a singing doctor,” Baldwin said.
His “stage” took a few years to become reality. His mother and grandmother waited four years for the location to become available. Baldwin believes it was worth the wait.
“Downtown was where we had always wanted to be, and this old church was the perfect opportunity for us,” Baldwin said. “A lot of refurbishing and remodeling took place to make this place exactly what we wanted.”
An initial love for the arts inspired the family to undertake the challenges of the vintage artifact business. Amy is an artist
herself, graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Fine Arts. She and her mother also attend auctions, estate sales and take antique shopping trips to find their vintage wares.
“Much of this stuff just comes from my home! ” Baldwin said.
Customers find a variety of treasure as they browse through the memories of yesteryear. They have more men customers than women. Old hubcaps, pendant lighting and industrial items are their favorites. However, vintage aprons are the shop’s bestsellers, but Baldwin’s mosaics and art prints are close to the top.
“I developed my artwork from home when I was raising my children,” Baldwin said. “Teaching others how to create new treasure from vintage artifacts is something I really like to do.”
So, when the Art Walk comes around again, check out Amy and her family. They are expecting you.
“It is always a really fun time because it brings locals to downtown. It’s great to reconnect with friends you haven’t seen in a while,” Baldwin said.
Visit Amy and her family on the Artifactory blog to learn more about available art classes and special events.