Crystal C. Mercer is an all-around Afro-Creative—a textile artist, actor, activist, poet, playwright, and author. She is the founder and creative director of Columbus Creative Arts + Activism, and the lead designer and merchant of Mercer Textile Mercantile.
Staunchly from Little Rock, she says “There are very few things that can make you cross the river. But, once she found the Innovation Hub, she became powerfully attracted to its diversity. “At the Hub, there’s diversity in age, in practice; you can be a banker, a lawyer, or an artist—and the Hub is still for you.”
What are some of her best memories at the Hub?
“I would sit at one of the long tables making my patterns, and people would walk by and ask what I was doing, and I got to talk about my process. We could exchange community information and process. Those long tables, it’s like my Granny’s table. They come, they snacking a bit, they stay a bit longer than expected, but we all feel at home.
“The Innovation Hub has a place for people to exchange and connect ideas…. It’s more than simply a co-working space … It’s so open there. It really is a Hub, a connector! It’s one of the places where I feel the most community and artistic vibe across the river.”
What is she working on now?
“I’m working on my children’s book! It’s focused on the magic of black hair, loosely based on cultural and beauty standards in my family. I’m hand stitching every page of the book, 33 pages in total.
“Everything is being made in these bare hands. My lamentations, my tears are in these garments. It’s really going to be a part of my life’s work. I’ll be talking about all the things. I want to tell young people, too, and make things that help them lift their chin a little higher.”
To see more of her work, visit https://www.crystalcmercer.com/. She’s also available at @ccmercertoo on IG, FB, Twitter, and @mercertextilemercantile on FB and IG.