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Trunc is truly using art for change

By . Originally published in The Metro Philly September 21, 2020

Art is said to inspire change, and for one Northern Liberties shop, that sentiment is certainly going to make an effect over the next month. 

According to a release, Philadelphia’s only black-owned, female-owned and Veteran owned retail and maker space is back open for business and featuring a new artist and a benefit to help the community. Trunc, located in the heart of Northern Liberties, is back open for indoor shopping with a new exhibition and benefit by artist Dominique Ellis of Dellisdesign. Fifty percent of sales of the ceramic art by the local notable maker will be donated to help The Colored Girls Museum during these challenging times as the non-profit looks to move forward. 

Trunc opened in the eclectic neighborhood of the city two years ago in 2018, and like many of the other businesses, had to put their plans on hold once COVID-19 hit. Now, many businesses in the area are altering plans and are starting to open for in-person shopping hours. Owners Dorothea Gamble and Dagmar Mitchell had to quickly pivot to online sales to now back to storefront shopping, with a reduced capacity of customers as well. As a way to give back and get back to a sense of the new normal, Trunc is featuring a new exhibition inside and sale of ceramics specially made by artist Dominique Ellis of Dellisdesign. This new exhibition will feature over 2 dozen pieces that are now on display and for sale, all of which were handcrafted for Trunc. 50% of the sale of these pieces are also being directly donated to The Colored Girls Museum.

“After our first full year of being in business in Northern Liberties we were positioned to have a banner year,” said Gamble in a statement. “The shut-down due to COVID 19 was understood and necessary but really hit us extremely hard as a black-owned, women-owned small local business. We were not set-up to sell online. Not only did this impact us and our livelihood and amazing vision, but it really affected all the artists we support and work with who don’t have their own spaces and retail outlets to sell through. We are cautiously excited and happy to return to what we love doing – and fulfilling our mission. We not only wanted to open and open safely, but we wanted to give back and continue to offer new works from makers in the greater region and beyond.”

According to the release, The Colored Girls Museum is a memoir museum, which honors the stories, experiences, and history of ordinary Colored Girls. This museum initiates the object—submitted by the colored girl herself, as representative of an aspect of her story and personal history, which she finds meaningful; her object embodies her experience and expression of being a Colored Girl. The Colored Girls Museum is physically headquartered in the historic neighborhood of Germantown in Philadelphia, an area renowned for its compliment of historic buildings and home.

Mitchell added in the release, “No matter what is happening in life, if you have the ability to support the community and give back you should lend a hand and help out on a larger level. We are just getting open but we felt it was important to support another organization of color – especially during this challenging year. The Colored Girls Museum is also a non-profit and we want to financially support them and bring them to the public’s attention. All non-profits need help right now too. Whether you buy a piece, support them direct, or support a non-profit near and dear to your own heart, we all should be thinking ahead, doing what we do and doing what we love, and supporting organizations that support the community (even if in a small way).”


For more about Trunc, visit trunc.net, follow on Facebook, or follow @TruncArtisans on Instagram. For more about Artists at Work and the Northern Liberties Business Improvement District, visit explorenorthernliberties.org.