This article was written by Amanda Dobbs
T’Mores Little is a licensed art dealer born and raised in North Minneapolis. This local artist has a passion for making art accessible to all people. His journey to entrepreneurship was a natural transition as he spent much of his youth hanging out in community stores. The corner store is such an important community hub on the Northside. The move to put his art in the stores was easy because, as T’Mores says, “I already grew up in their stores. It was like a good friendship added to a good business partnership; they already knew me.”
The world was starting to open back up after COVID19 restrictions. T’Mores was invited to a local artist’s home, and their whole dining room was full of paints. They had spent the pandemic painting. The artist asked T’Mores if they would sell, and T’Mores knew that if he would buy it, others would too. “I got into art by my friend when he called me to come with him to sell his artwork. He was doing artwork at home with his kids, asking me to come help him sell the artwork outside. From that day, I’ve been doing it. It’s been two years now, almost three.” T’Mores is not the only one who does paintings, his kids are involved and he involves other artists too. He also buys other artists’ paintings; he doesn’t like the idea of art just sitting on a shelf.
His goal is to create low-cost art for everyone. “I know the people in this community don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars for artwork. I am giving them the opportunity for quality art at a low cost. I’m trying to keep it family-orientated for generations to come. People look at art as expensive; it doesn’t have to be. I want my art to be an investment; I am giving it to them for a low cost. I’ve sold a lot of paintings out of those stores, that means that a lot of people saw the prices and wanted to buy the arT. They didn’t just walk by. Affordable, low cost, putting paintings on your walls.”
“The fact that I’m an African American licensed art dealer, that’s unique. I walk around with my artwork; it’s not hung anywhere; it comes straight from the lab, outside, then to you. As soon as I get done with it, I take it outside, people buy it, and they take it home. The wintertime is hard; I basically stay at the stores. I would ask the store ahead of time if I could come in for an hour or two and interact with customers, showing them the art on the walls. Spring and summer are the best times for me because I can get outside more with the art… except when it rains.”
T’Mores just secured his 10th location for his artwork. He says that this brings it full circle; he has art in stores all over the Northside now. As T’Mores continues to create and hang his art in the community, he also looks to grow his business to continue sharing art with more people. “I want a storefront but also be able to have space to do activities, events and classes. I want the storefront to be somewhere different to draw more customers. The stores in North Minneapolis aren’t’ going anywhere, but we need to get the art everywhere.”
Look for T’Mores Little around the Northside, you can also find him online at BroWitArt612 on Instagram or Brother Wit Art on Facebook.