'The Rooted' artist collective opens in York City


Inspired by the building creative energy in York City, five local artists are hoping to offer their own dose of inspiration to an up-and-coming downtown neighborhood.

They've opened The Rooted Artist Collective, a gallery space and venue at 101 N. Newberry St.

For sale inside are paintings, photos, handmade jewelry and music created by the five co-owners and other local artists.

The space is small for now, but there are plans to significantly expand, opening possibilities of future yoga classes and family painting workshops.

"Our goal is to inspire people to jump into projects," said Jessica Flynn, whose paintings and dream-catchers hang on the walls.

Artist collectives like The Parliament and HIVE artspace have been popping up in York City during the past few years, most concentrated in the Royal Square neighborhood.

The Rooted is taking that trend into the Weco neighborhood — a new name for the downtown area west of the Codorus Creek.

"It's almost like a ripple effect," said 27-year-old Flynn.

Making it work: Most of The Rooted artists hold a day job to pay the bills. But, by coming together as a team, they have been able to open a business and make some money from their true passions.

People should know they don't have to limit themselves to a single occupation, said Carrie Peck, a 26-year-old visual artist and photographer who will soon graduate from York College with a degree in fine arts.

"You can still be creative," she said.

Dustin Nispel said he's wanted to be a poet since high school, and it's taken him many years to hone his craft. Today, he's a published poet and a professional Tarot card reader.

Nispel said he's also begun dabbling in the visual arts — of particular help when he's battling writer's block.

"I can drop the pen and pick up the brush," said 27-year-old Nispel.

Photographer Meghan Weaver and musician/visual artist Bobby Yagodich round out the collective.

The Rooted opened May 1 for First Friday, a monthly downtown event.

"There were actually people who didn't come in because it was so packed," Flynn said.

The Rooted is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

— Reach Erin James at ejames@yorkdispatch.com.