In these weak economic times, there have sadly been a lot of empty storefronts in our town. Recently, a friend of mine called with an interesting proposition. He found someone who would rent to us just the windows of an empty store for a very reasonable price and he thought that it would be a great idea for several of us local artists could display our work there. It would not be a shop that was open to the public, but a sort of museum or gallery under glass for all to see as they passed by. We are including our contact information so that hopefully a bit of business will come our way.The ringleader of this gathering of artists is Mark Dillon. Mark makes beautiful, handmade wood furniture. Some of his work is historic reproductions and some is of his own design. Mark teaches carpentry and woodworking at our local high school. He has also included projects made by his students and hopes to encourage more young people to learn the craft through apprenticeship.
There is also Michelle Moraczewski who is the principle architect of MPA Studio, an architectural firm. She is also a wonderful artist who does landscapes, architectural renderings, and portraits in pastels and oils. You can see some of her work on the back wall.
Joining us also is Rick Pipkin, aka Ripkin, who does dog portraits with lots of personality, and also other subjects as well. You can see his painting of a person standing on the back left side of the photo above, and also a work in progress on an easel. Last Saturday, he was actually painting live in the window.
Blown up photos of my jewelry are hanging from tree branches like a mobile in both windows, with pieces of jewelry lying on some of Mark's benches.
The unifying theme of the windows is the process of creating art. We have all included displays with some of the tools of our trade scattered about the window.
Here are some of mine, with photos from my studio and the materials that I use to create.
Our goal is to constantly have this display evolve and create interest. Through all of this we hope to increase an awareness of the arts, and especially of local artisans. Our downtown area is so beautiful and quaint that it has been the location of at least two movies, (Daltry Calhoun and the most recent Hannah Montana movie.) It is sad to see it so empty. Who knows...maybe arts can revive our beautiful town.