April 12, 2022

Princeton Atelier Students Operate “Store as Art”

In a spring Princeton Atelier course, students are exploring the role of art and the artist in relationship to commerce by opening and operating a retail establishment in downtown Princeton. Located at 33 Witherspoon Street, the store is in operation at various times and dates through May 14.

Led by visual arts professor Joe Scanlan, “The Store as Art,” course began with critical discussion of artists who have reimagined the role of art and its relationship to commerce by opening stores. After historical and analytical work, the students conceived and launched this project as their own “Store as Art” on the outskirts of campus.

In a return to pre-modern tradition — but also a nod to the future — the project seeks to directly reconnect the artisan with their customers, somewhat in the vein of Andy Warhol’s factory and many current artists on Etsy and Instagram. Weekly Day Markets held on Saturdays feature student-made products for sale, while weekly late Friday Night Markets feature an “experience economy.” In generative drawing expos, student Luke Shannon ’24 is exploring the intersection of computer science and visual arts and has been using autonomous interactive processes to create works that he then ‘gifts’ to the public through a barter system. Events during the expo have included photo booths, live art making, games, embroidery, painting, and short demos on the robotics and systems. Other scheduled events include a poetry reading, visiting artists talks, and more.

The economics of the store vary and may include cash, bartering, exchanges and other types of transactions. The store is free and open to the public, with hours of operation and special events scheduled per dates below.

Hours of Operation

  • Saturdays from 12-6 p.m. — Day Market
  • April 15 at 10:30 p.m. — Night Market
  • April 22 from 1-5 p.m. — Tobi & Julie’s Dïrty Boutique
  • April 28 (TBA) — Talk by visiting artist Alex Harsley
  • April 28 from 5-7 p.m. — Poetry Broadsides Reading and Launch
  • April 30 (TBA) — Generative Drawing Expo
  • May 14 from 12-6 p.m. — Everything-Must-Go Sale


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Steve Runk
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