Made In Chenango Art Co-op Celebrates 25 Years
Published: November 2nd, 2022

Made in Chenango Art Co-op celebrates 25 years Pictured L-R under the newly refurbished store sign at 25-27 N. Broad St.are Deb Sylstra, Patrisha Heaton, Jeanne Angell, Rowena Krum, MaryBeth Alexander, Kristen Neidlinger, Maggie Fitzpatrick, Penny Park, Donna Pedini, John Knapp, Yvette Cabrinety, Dean Dixson, Carolyn Neidlinger (members missing from photo: Marna Dunham, Becky Edgett, Glo Miller, Jane Utegg, Mary Ellen Whitmore, Liz Yates (Photo by Erika Kwasnik)

NORWICH - Made In Chenango Gift Shop and Gallery is celebrating its 25th anniversary. October 2022 marked a milestone for what was initially opened as a small holiday pop-up to showcase local arts & crafts.

The first location was in the former Brightman’s store and was only expected to be temporary, but after the very positive response, some of the participating artists collaborated with community advocates like Jean Hayes of the Norwich BID to create a long-term venture.

Made In Chenango eventually incorporated in 1997 and found a home at 20 South Broad Street in Norwich. 

In 2011, the group had to quickly evacuate when water from the floors above brought down the ceiling – fortunately the damage to actual artwork was minimal, but it rendered the space unusable. The artists were resolved to reopen as quickly as possible.

After scouting various options, the shop’s current location at 25-27 North Broad Street was found through a connection between Operations Manager Kathy Coates and building owner Adam Spence.

At that time, Spence was in the finishing stages of renovating the street level storefronts of the building, which is just a few steps up the street from the landmark courthouse in the center of town. Everyone agreed that it was a perfect fit and the rest, as they say, is history.   

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This small business, like so many others, had to completely close for several weeks in 2020 during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic; but the artists are very grateful for the solid relationship with their landlord, who worked together with them to ensure that the business could re-open in this beautiful location just as soon as circumstances allowed.

The sign over the front door was recently refurbished with grant funds facilitated through the BID, and the group appreciates the efforts and assistance of such local organizations working to keep downtown Norwich attractive.

Strong “shop-local” support is a key factor in the longevity of this business. The artists themselves staff the shop at all times, and they wish to express their gratitude for the many compliments and words of encouragement - and of course the purchases of their work that keep the store open.

This silver anniversary is also a testament to the cooperation and commitment of members past and present. The gallery currently has a legacy appreciation exhibit featuring the works of Deb Whitman, John Knapp, and Carolyn Neidlinger, some of the officers who were essential to the formation and continued viability of the business through various challenges over the years.

Nineteen current members fill the store with an interesting and high-quality variety of work, complemented with a thoughtful selection of locally produced food items, books, and music.   

Anniversary events have begun, with ongoing celebration through the year.    Holiday ads in this newspaper will have seasonal information, and everyone is encouraged to check regularly for featured events, exhibits, prize drawings, and more, to be highlighted on the  and on the group’s Facebook page.

Artists and craftspeople can find applications and information about guest exhibits and membership on the website, and are invited to stop in to chat with the member on duty during regular business hours which are Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m., plus extra holiday hours coming soon.   

The arts continue to thrive in Norwich; and as they celebrate 25 years and counting, local artists look forward to many more years of creating and presenting their art – Made In Chenango.

-Information submitted by Made In Chenango