Trent and Kate Freeman purchased the building at 8 N. National Ave from Phil Hammons in October of 2020, after a full remodel of the building they hosted the grand opening of their art business on January 28th, 2023.
“In the first year, The Artificers (the name of their art gallery) hosted artists from Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, North Carolina, California, and Georgia,” Kate said. “These Master artists have also taught classes in their medium and brought their talents to share in Fort Scott.”
“The Artificers provide a wide range of fine arts and fine crafts for purchase in our gallery,” she said. “The teaching studio provides a space to learn everything from ceramics, watercolor, weaving, printmaking, fluid art, pen & ink, and more. We also run our studios out of the space and are available for commissioned work.”
“The first year was a year of learning,” she said. “We tried to watch what people loved about our business, doing more of that. We took away things that didn’t seem to be a good fit for the community and listened to our clientele to provide classes and items that they wanted. One of our goals was to fill a gap in art education, as well as give confidence to people who want to experience making art but haven’t had the opportunity to be encouraged in their creativity.”
“We are very excited to expand our offerings in our Bourbon County Clay LLC line,” she said. ” This is a line of limited edition items made from clay that we pull from the ground in Northwest Bourbon County. All items are stamped with our logo and numbered.”
“We are also developing a line of online classes that will be available to purchase through subscription,” she said.
Trent works to create art in mixed media: clay, glass, wood, and metal; Kate works in clay and acrylic painting.
“We had our studio in Kansas City for 22 years,” Trent said in a prior interview. “I’ve been a professional for 28 years. We’ve done everything from gallery to commission to art festivals all over the country. Most of our work is commission now.”
Trent said when Kansas City shut down businesses during the COVID-19 Pandemic, they began coming to their farm, west of Fort Scott.
Trent’s parents, Ed and Jackie Freeman built a house near Bronson and retired there, and so Trent and Kate have been coming here for 20 years, he said. “And we loved the town.”
Eventually, the Freeman’s purchased the building at 8 North National Avenue, on October 2, 2020.