“We have a phenomenal collection of tribal art, authenticated and appraised by Charles Jones African Arts, but that’s just the beginning of what fills every inch of space here, and one of the first things you notice about Art Factory Galleries,” Marcus Rich – proprietor, world traveler, inspiration – says. “I intend the space to be a combination of world market, curated collection, and art galleries. Everything here has a story.”
Rich is in his element at the Art Factory, and he is always a deep and fascinating source of information about literally every item here. Visitors drop in to browse, stop to chat, learn about Art Factory Galleries, and leave enriched with both friendship and history. The Art Factory Gallery and Studios has been in business since 2012, and grew from Rich’s previous venture, Cross River Trading Company.
For four decades, Rich has sourced, imported and collected decorative items, musical instruments, art, textiles, and furnishings during his world travels. With a BS in Marine Biology, Marcus conducted collection and fish identification projects in the Upano River Basin, Ecuador. He spent three years as the general manager at the US office of Optech Intl in New Zealand. He has traveled extensively and lived in Africa, the United Kingdom, and South America, finally settling permanently in Wilmington.
Marcus operated design showrooms at Market Square in High Point NC and Atlanta Merchandise Mart. His import business has been a purveyor to a wide variety of big brand stores and catalogers, including Starbucks, Anthropology, National Geographic Stores, Discovery, North Carolina Zoological Society, Smithsonian Museum Shops, Nature Company, Music in Motion, Touch of Class Catalog, What on Earth Catalog, and Orvis Catalog. Today, many of the products at Art Factory Galleries are those same items that shoppers have loved from these famous retailers.
Marcus values the vast network of artisans, import/export specialists, artists, and collectors that he has built while indulging his passion for unique, world-centric products, and listening to people tell their own stories.