Two Valley artists have created a shop to help other creators reach their ideal audiences — and one Hanford artist recently joined the collective.

In 2020, artists Amber Dawn Hilton and Molly Martino opened The Moonstone Emporium in Visalia.

“We’re kind of an art gallery and apothecary,” said Hilton. “We have skin care products and things like that, as well as art and jewelry. People who shop here are interested in a lot of different things."

The shop sells metaphysical supplies, fashion accessories and works of art by creators from around the Valley as well as jewelry, crystals, purses and perhaps the store’s most popular item – stickers.

The duo was selling their art at various outdoor events when they realized a permanent storefront would allow them to sell a wider variety of things from a larger group of collaborators. When the spot at 3200 S. Fairway St., Suite A, opened up in Visalia, the duo jumped on it. Despite being in the thick of the COVID pandemic, the store quickly garnered regular, repeat customers, some of whom watch for new pieces very closely.

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Owners and artists Amber Dawn Hilton and Molly Martino at their Visalia shop, The Moonstone Emporium, in Visalia Saturday. 

Some works gets claimed nearly as fast as they go up, including a handful of new paintings by local artist Scarlet, which were purchased within days of being hung earlier this week.

Martino said that being able to interact with the folks who buy her art makes the experience that much more satisfying. She mentioned that a customer had recently saved up over the course of a month to purchase a piece of her art that she had her eye on.

“She just came in a few minutes ago and bought it. The fact that I was here and was able to meet her meant the world to me,” she said. “The fact that she loved and was inspired by my art enough to save up and have it in her home – it gives me goosebumps.”

Currently Moonstone Emporium sells the work of 28 regional artists. Most artists are from Tulare and Fresno counties, but others are from even further.

The Hanford artist who goes by Cue first began collaborating with Moonstone earlier this month after learning about the shop from their wife, who is a regular customer. At her suggestion, Cue inquired about joining the collective and renting out space for personal artwork.

“Cue’s art is unique, we don’t have anything else like that here. No one else does Celtic knots,” Hilton said.

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A variety of items are available at the Moonstone Emporium. 

Cue, who has lived in Hanford for about 17 years, started creating Celtic knot work in about 1997. Celtic knots are a style of endless interlaced patterns used for decoration. The style is most notably connected to 8th century Christian artwork.

They can be sculpted, woven, drawn or as with most of Cue’s work, created digitally. The artist came to this style after encountering it while frequenting Renaissance Festivals in Hanford and around the Valley as a youth.

“I’ve always had a connection to Celtic culture due to going to Renaissance Fairs. My family was involved in those,” Cue said.

More on Cue’s art can be found online at artistfirestudios.com.

The Moonstone Emporium will host a Summer Solstice celebration sale from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 18. Most items will be 10% off and prize giveaways will also occur.

For more information on the Moonstone Emporium, visit https://moonstoneemporium.com or call 697-5373. Shop hours are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Editor/Lifestyles Reporter

Parker Bowman is a lifestyles reporter and editor for the Hanford Sentinel. He can be reached by email at PBowman@HanfordSentinel.com, or by calling his office phone at 559-583-2432.

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