Business Profile: Treehouse Art Collective - Marina Arts District in Corpus Christi, TX

Sep 10, 2019

By: Alexandra Scott

In the book ‘For The Love of Cities’, Peter Kageyama writes, “talent typically flows to where it is valued most.” This rings true at Corpus Christi’s premier artist co-op, Treehouse Art Collective. The co-op, which is defined as a place where artists can share space in hopes of selling pieces they might not be able to sell on their own, is one of the hidden gems of Water Street Market.

Treehouse has been a staple in the market for almost 10 years. Wanting a place to share, sell and collaborate, six local female artists decided to come together and create the co-op. It’s changed hands a few times over the years but Sherry Bercaw and Melinda Ramos have always had a hand on the helm. Currently, it’s owned by those fine women along with Vicki Allen and Diane Bryan.

Not only did the original owners want a place to sell and promote their own talents, they also wanted a space that could highlight others as well. On any given day, Treehouse boasts an average of 25 local artists. According to Vicki Allen, they are asked weekly by new artists if there is space available.

Artists rent space in the co-op by sending images of their work to what we lovingly refer to as “the treehouse ladies”. They then decide whether the pieces are on par with the rest of their exquisite, one of a kind pieces. The artists, as well as the art, must be at the quality of their peers.

From the outside, you can see the eclectic variety of work inside. All you need to do is step inside to fall in love. The walls, shelves, displays, and even stairs are adorned with oil and acrylic paintings, sculptures, photographs, contemporary mixed media, pottery, woodwork, glassworks, jewelry and greeting cards.

In the words of Allen, “there is no reason you can’t find something for you in here.”

Not only do the pieces spread across all mediums, but they also speak to all ages. The artists who hold space at Treehouse range from millennials to baby boomers and their works prove that finely crafted art doesn’t need to break the bank.

While all of this may seem like it creates a competitive environment for the artists, Vicki assures me that it fosters the kind of quality and community that is unique to Corpus Christi.

“People aren’t competitive at the collective,” she states when commenting on the wide selection, “there is something for everyone. People get pretty emotional about art, so they buy whatever speaks to them.”

It was always the goal to foster an atmosphere of community and creative at the collective. It’s an enjoyable experience to walk through the gallery and take in the coastal art. With everything from delicately crafter jewelry, which is probably made by Sherry, Melinda or Diane, to the vibrant colors of stained glass, wall art, and pottery, it’s an experience that moves but never overwhelms.

At the co-op, visitors are encouraged to find inspiration that fits their life and budget. It says quite a lot that they have sold pieces to the young couple on a first date at Water St. all the way to collectors from Denmark.

Treehouse Art Collective is a far cry from another gallery with art on the walls. It’s a space that says, “come in and experience different styles of art from all walks of life”. Take home the contemporary, the visually stunning, the intricate or the whimsical. Whatever your fancy, Treehouse Art Collective has the piece for you.