Local Business Brings the Full Artistic Experience Into the Community
You may think that if you want to get a taste of art you have to travel to downtown Cincinnati and beyond; however, one local business is bringing that experience close to home.
Tucked behind the walls of a quaint storefront on East Main Street in Mason, lies one of the area’s best kept secrets: POP Revolution. Upon entering, visitors are greeted by a cozy sitting area surrounded by abstract sculptures and images, all of which are locally made. The space is guaranteed to make an art enthusiast or maker feel at home. The goal is to make art readily accessible and to make the community feel included. Owner Francis Michaels achieves these objectives in more ways than one.
“A lot of people think art is not for them,” Michaels says. But for Michaels, he has done everything within his store to disprove that.
POP Revolution is an all-inclusive art service and experience. The building, which sits at 105 East Main Street in downtown Mason, is the home of two art galleries that are free and open to the public: POP Revolution Gallery and the Artist Lounge. Both galleries welcome new shows each month along with a monthly open house that occurs every third Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The open houses provide a unique way for visitors to view work from local up-and-coming artists while socializing with both the artists and fellow enthusiasts.
Michaels uses events like this to invite the entire community to share in the enjoyment of art, and to disprove the idea that “art is not for them.”
“[A lot of people] think it’s really expensive,” Michaels says, but he wants to show the community it doesn’t have to be, and he personally understands the importance of keeping costs low.
Born in the midst of the market crash in 2008, POP Revolution, along with Michaels himself, has persevered while others closed their doors.
“It was rough the first couple of years,” Michaels recalls. “When everyone else was closing their doors, we struggled through it and got through it.”
The triumph was attainable due to Michaels’ ambition and desire to make art a reality. Since then, POP Revolution has only grown, with a second location opening last year in Hamilton.
While Michaels recognizes the community’s appreciation for his business and is thankful for the opportunity to make art available on a local level, his personal goal is to help the artists in the community. As a fine art photographer, he understands the needs of artists and works to create and steward an affordable one-stop shop. For him, his work is personal.
“I really try to be here for the artists. Being an artist, I know how expensive things can be, especially framing,” Michaels says.
To make services more affordable, Michaels offers wholesale pricing to all artists. The store offers services that include custom framing (photos, artwork, jerseys, shadowboxes, certificates and anything you can desire), printing (canvas wraps, fine art, everyday papers, acrylic and brushed metal), art reproduction and artist website building. Whether it’s a family memory or a creative project, Michaels wants to serve the community with something that lasts.
Through everything that POP Revolution offers and promises, Michaels hopes that, at the end of the day, people realize that art isn’t limited to a specific crowd.
“We have artwork that’s for anybody and it comes in all different price ranges,” Michaels says.
When you walk inside, it’s easy to see that POP Revolution is filled, past and present, with knowledge and passion. After all, it’s Michaels’ dedication and desire to serve the community that proves you do not have to travel out of the state, or even out of the city, to find great art or art services. Whether you’re or an artist or simply a fan, you are sure to find something special within the walls of POP Revolution.