At PCM we've been envisioning ways to integrate the arts into our future community food store. Some of the things we plan to do include hosting performances on an outdoor stage, exhibiting the work of local artists on the store inside walls, having a mural painted on the store's outside walls, and playing music in the store from local artists. Our belief is that grocery stores, as cornerstones of neighborhoods, can offer important space for social, cultural and creative interactions.
So we were thrilled to learn about Super G Mart, a 75,000 square foot international supermarket and public flea market in Greensboro, NC. Super G Mart is taking the idea of a funky and hip food store to the next level. The store has put together an "Experiential Residency Program" in which artists, thinkers and practitioners develop projects right in the store itself. The Residents are given a 144 square feet of space to do whatever they want. As a post on the store's blog says: "This space can act as a central hub for exploring the Super G, an actual site for social engagement, a temporary resource for the public, or simply a place to sit and do nothing."
So far the artist residents have done some amazing projects at Super G Mart ranging from photo installations to film screenings to live/DJ music to selling their own crafts. (You can click here to see an interview of some of the residents in the program). Super G is proving that our theory that stores can be and do a lot more. FOr more info check out the Super G Mart Experiential Residency Program blog: http://supergresidency.wordpress.com/