Ascension Art and Tea House Reopens

Gwen Barringer
IVN contributing writer

Geniypher Snow serves food at reopening Saturday, March 16.
(Photo by Gwen Barringer, Illinois Valley News)

On March 16, local business Ascension Art and Tea House rose from the ashes to celebrate their grand reopening. There were many smiles, bellies full of homemade food, and a feeling of unity as people came together to appreciate unique pieces of local art, listen to music, and chat amongst themselves.
The owner of the establishment, Christie Fairchild, explained that she did not initially set out to create a business. She simply enjoyed making large pots of reishi mushroom tea, an immune-boosting drink that has many different health benefits, and collecting art. In 2019, when Ascension first opened its doors, the idea was to cultivate a space that embraces healing and art, something that Fairchild feels that more people should support. There is also a central message of embracing diversity,” she added.
The shop itself not only sells art and tea, but also locally-sourced herbs. Beyond its sales, it is also a meeting place that Fairchild hopes to open up to various kinds of workshops. There is an upstairs loft with an area for additional seating, and also a children’s craft area.
Ascension quickly developed a devoted network of regular patrons and artists, but it was not exempt from the many hurdles that local businesses have faced since the 2020 pandemic. Professional and personal circumstances led to Fairchild nearly closing the doors of the teahouse forever in October 2023. However, the community that she had built for herself, and for Ascension, would not allow that to happen. Fairchild emphasized that “it was really a group effort to keep it going. I have grand dreams about this place now, and so do other people. It’s pretty awesome!”
One of those supporters, local artist Geniypher Snow, stood outside of the grand opening doling out soup and sandwiches, with donations for the food being optional. Her wire-wrapping business, Transcendental Coils, has several pieces available in Ascension. Local photographer Jess Cannon was also happy to show her art, which lines a few of the shop’s walls, to any curious patrons.
Ascension Art and Tea House is located at 200 Lister Street, and is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 12-5 p.m., with potential for extended hours in the future.