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The Angry Ironsmith Creating Sparta Makerspace For Regions Artists

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
The Angry Ironsmith Creating Sparta Makerspace For Regions Artists

One local artist is working to open an art gallery and makerspace in Sparta by the end of the year.

The Angry Ironsmith’s Jim Reilly is cleaning up a property on West Bockman Way for all types of artists. Reilly said the idea came from artists with no where to work if they cannot afford Tech’s Appalachian Center for Craft.

“For me, my art is very much my therapy and without my therapy, my life suffers,” Reilly said. “And I’m sure that there’s many of us artsy folk out there who suffer the same way. So what better way to help people with their affliction than helping them figure out a place to do their craft.”

Reilly said he has metal and ceramic equipment already, but wants to add all artistic mediums into the space. Reilly said the building will have a gallery and small performance space.

“The makers that come in and use the space, they have the option of displaying their art in that gallery and using us as a venue to also help advertise their self,” Reilly said. “Because a lot of us are strong personalities but we’re also introverted. So a lot of us aren’t really good at the advertisement part of our craft.”

He said any artists interested in getting involved can reach him under The Angry Ironsmith name on Facebook and Instagram.

“Whether you’re an artist looking for a space or if you’ve got some tools that are gathering dust that you need to get rid of,” Reilly said. “Or if you’ve got items you can offer to help me rebuild, you can contact me.”

Reilly said this all started when he was working for the building owner who offered him usage if he was willing to clean up the space. Reilly said he is going at this alone to keep his vision for regional artists intact.

“Artists in general are very strong personalities and when someone tells us no, we kind of buck up to it,” Reilly said. “It’s better in the long run that I go ahead and suffer through the hard stages because ultimately, I’ll be able to reap the benefits.”

Reilly said one hurdle in the process is the cost of building materials, leading him to wait on a price drop. However, Reilly said he would like to have some type of opening going during the Christmas season at the 20 West Bockman Way makerspace.


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