LORAIN, Ohio — A group of artists in Lorain is trying to build a space where people can come to create, but they need help to finish it.
In 2017, Luke Theall came up with the idea for the Black River Innovative Artist Residence, or BRIAR for short.
He’s been trying to bring it to life ever since, using money out of his own pocket to renovate the building on Broadway Avenue.
Eventually, he hopes it will be a place for artists to create and sell their work, musicians to show off their music, and the community to come to take classes and tap into their creative sides.
"In most cities, the arts have been underfunded for years and years,” Theall said. “So I think it's extremely important for a third-party organization like us to try to step in and supplement what these kids might not be getting at school."
Now, he and his team are looking for help to finish the project, so they came up with a unique idea: selling ugly Christmas sweater kits.
For $25, the take-home kits come with dye for tie-dying and plenty of decorations. All you have to do is find the perfect sweater to bedazzle.
The idea was inspired by one of the artists at the residence, Reinaldo Contreras III, owner of Relic Clothing 3. He takes vintage clothing and transforms it into funky, unique pieces to sell.
The proceeds from the kits will go toward finishing up construction and implementing programs for the community, once it’s safe to gather again.
"Having storefronts inside, having events, being a really cool, creative place that you get in cities closer to Cleveland, we just don't really have that here, and so we're fairly confident we're going to help continue the revitalization of Lorain,” said Daisy Goddard, a member of the BRIAR Board of Directors.
If you would like to purchase an ugly Christmas sweater decorating kit, you can stop by Broadway Mary’s at 939 Broadway Ave. in Lorain, visit the BRIAR’s website, or contact them by phone at 330-559-6278.