For years, Morgantown-area residents have been able to find many kinds of nourishment at 131 Pleasant St. For years, the space was occupied by Adventure’s Edge, an outdoor outfitter that could be said to help nourish bodies and spirits through movement and connecting with the outdoors.
More recently, the historic brick row building was the home of Mountain People’s Cooperative, a sorely missed natural and organic food market that closed due to financial difficulties in December 2021.
Over the last few months, 131 Pleasant St. has welcomed people seeking nourishment of the soul through art.
Local artists Gabe Dewitt and Jameson Mulac collaborated to establish The Co-op Gallery in the space. The shelving and coolers for food are gone, but the interior still features the same high ceilings, good lighting, tin ceiling tiles and exposed brick and ductwork as it did when it was a food cooperative. Those elements lend themselves well to the building’s new function. In an Instagram post from November, The Co-op is described as a place to “connect, create, build and support the community.”
During the last few months, Mulac and DeWitt have brought a variety of events to the Co-Op. There have been art markets featuring the wares of dozens of local artists and vendors such as The Cupcakerie, Sugar Pop Press, the WVU Print Club and Little Wizard Designs. There have also been many workshops offered to the public, some free of charge. Local artist Eddie Spaghetti has guided residents in the arts of papermaking and printmaking, and Dewitt has led drawing workshops.
And, of course, the Co-op serves as a gallery space featuring prints, drawings, installations and sculptures created by West Virginia artists.
Online presence lacks a true website, but The Co-op has found many eager fans through the use of social media (instagram.com/co.op.wv,facebook.com/the.co.op.wv) and word of mouth.
In 2012, WVU President E. Gordon Gee said, “The arts, quite simply, nourish the soul. They sustain, comfort, inspire.” The Co-op Gallery is an inviting space where guests can use art to cultivate a happy, healthy spirit.
EVA MURPHY is a freelance business writer for The Dominion Post. She writes a column on businesses, churches and other entities in the city. To suggestion a topic, email her at Newsroom@DominionPost.com.