Muse Originals hits the road

Published 1:09 pm Thursday, June 4, 2020

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Muse Originals OBX is hitting the road.

The local art gallery owned and operated by Ami Hill took a beating after COVID-19 and related restrictions swept through the country. Like many other small businesses, the gallery suffered a nearly three-month loss in revenue after closing its physical location in mid-March.

Hill told The Coastland Times that she was worried about making rent, but didn’t want to quit on her store and her artists. When considering alternatives, Hill took a shot on going mobile.

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“It’s the best way to cut expenses,” she said. Hill said her best option was to rent a storage unit to stock inventory and bring the art to the people of the Outer Banks, as long as her artists were in support of the change.

Muse landed in the area two years ago when Hill decided she wanted to build a brand around the “soft-hearted and genuine” artists she had come to know and love.

Towards the end of 2017, she had been to multiple art shows where she met talented artists and exchanged information. In January of 2018, Hill found the perfect spot for her gallery and twenty-seven artists showed up in the bare space to create what Muse is today.

Although the physical store will be out of commission for the time being, Hill and her faithful artists have decided to pop-up at several locations around the beach throughout the summer.

Hill reached out to about ten restaurants that had the space for her bus and artist tents. Rundown Café was the first to respond. “They said they really liked the idea and thought it complementary to their business,” Hill said.

Art’s Place also offered their lot to Hill and she has since reached out to several other businesses as potential pop-up locations. For now, Hill has Rundown locked down as a spot to set up shop three times a week.

“I’m focusing on getting my wheels on the ground with Rundown,” Hill explained, “then I’ll find some other places, too.”

The pop-up gallery will provide an opportunity for beachgoers to order and pick up their items throughout the day. Free local delivery will also be available and shipping is always an option, Hill said.

“Some people are still scared to go into stores,” Hill noted. The mobile gallery will offer an outdoor venue for people to peruse local art while maintaining a safe distance.

Down the road, Hill said she would like attend bigger festivals and events with her artists. On her radar are venues such as Weeping Radish and Sanctuary Vineyards, as well as Ascension Studio and more.

Through it all, the artists that have taken the journey with Hill so far have stuck by her. “They are amazingly supportive, just grateful I didn’t quit.”

Hill said she will be updating the public on where her mobile gallery will be via Facebook. She is also working on a new website, which will house her current inventory and hopes to be on the road by mid-June.

For more information on Muse Originals, visit



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