I wanted to share a run down of some of my favorite artists from the Great Lakes Art Fair last weekend.
I hadn't planned to attend at all this year as my favorite artist of past years was skipping the show (missed you Molly!) but I sorely needed to get out of the house and out of my head for awhile on Sunday, so off we went.
Of course I knew being the last day of the show that things would be very picked over. I was surprised how many empty booths there were this year and also how many food items were on display there (more than in past years, seemed a little out of place to me). Several of our regular artists that we usually there were absent, which was sad. Still, there was an abundance to see and amazing artists to meet and talk to, which is my favorite part of this show.
They are always interested to know, when I tell them that my eyes don't filter UV anymore and that my right eye can see flat images in three dimensions when I look from a certain angle (it's difficult to explain- it is due to an accident during surgery) just how their art looks to me.
I'll save my favorite new artists I met this year for last, but mostly will just give you quick links and descriptions of the art in case you are so inclined to have a look (and come on, aren't people always looking for ways to procrastinate writing by going online? Here's another for you.)
I'll start by mentioning it was great to hear my favorite local musical artist Mike Stefaniak playing a set live at the show. You can find him on MySpace (yes, I said MySpace...) http://www.myspace.com/mikestefaniak if you'd like to take a listen. Very talented kid.
Now on to the jewelry artists, and we did have amazing jewelry artists.
I purchased a very reasonably priced ring there last year created by artist Cathy Davis of Unique Creations and so was glad to see her back this year. She is working on setting up an Etsy shop I believe she said, so hopefully her gorgeous works of art will be available online soon.
Then there is Susanne Lorraine (http://www.susannelorraine.com ) her work is like wearing pure color and light, just gorgeous. For three years I've visited her booth and always wanted to get something, finally Sunday I did. A little early birthday present- and wearing it really helps bolster my mood. Such gorgeous crystals and very reasonably priced.
Next I want to mention Jacque Kudner of Remagine Designs (http://www.remaginedesigns.com/) You have to see to believe. It's steampunk meets Downton Abbey meets vintage couture. She searches out antique handbags, and the like and makes them over into something new and truly unique. Enjoyed chatting with her and seeing what she had on display.
The visual artists are up next, and there were some really unique things this year.
Roy and Amanda Clark work together to create pieces done on sheets of brass; she paints them, then he etches designs into them. I asked him, when, looking at them from afar, if they were seascape or skyscape and he said "Yes." and smiled.
He asked me what they looked like to my eyes, after I told him of my unique remaining sight, and I pointed to the center one and said "That one is what I imagine Heaven would look like." He actually became quite emotional in that moment because he told me he is a pastor and so that idea meant a lot to him. You can see the work he and his wife do together here: www.clarkartstudio.com. (the work I was looking at specifically can be found here http://www.clarkartstudio1.com/?gallery=luminescence-2)
Artist Kathleen Ericson blew me away with her amazing portraits: I had to get a small print of "Intermission" even though I don't know where to hang it until we get in to our new place. But seeing the oil in person was just incredible, it looked like you should be able to reach in and fluff the ballerina's costume for her. The effect of the light shining in through the curtains took my breath away. Amazing artist, and a fascinating woman! Her husband was also very gracious and a joy to talk to. http://www.kathleenericson.com/kathleen_ericson/PORTRAITS.html
Lastly the glass artists, and they have a special place in my heart because I have always wished I could try it but not with my vision and dexterity issues. I just love the way that light moves through the colored glass and makes it live.
I wished I could have afforded a piece by this artist: http://www.alisonsstainedglass.com/current-artwork.html "Window Box" is the piece I fell in love with. Someone will be very lucky to own that one day!
I want to especially mention now my favorite artists of the day: Mike and Tracy Kehr.
I came around a corner and saw into their booth all at once, and it was like my entire brain lit up inside. As down as I have been lately, that was really saying something. Their work in glass was back-lit on several displays, and looking at it just made me feel better. I said to Mike right away, "Your art makes me happy."
Long story short we chatted with them a while, and the piece I loved best, it turns out, is Tracy's "Chakra" piece, the "mother piece" of her collection. She showed it to me again up close and said something that felt serendipitous to me in that moment: "These are the colors someone should be exposed to all the time if they're sad."
I already knew the piece made me feel better just by looking at it, but I also knew that it wasn't in our budget. After talking with us though Mike and Tracy were very generous and they offered us a great discount because they really wanted me to be able to have it. So now it's hanging on the wall beside me, all brilliant rainbow glass graduating from red to blues and purples at the top. I hope to be able to back-light it after we move to our new place in June, but for now it's hanging right up against the wall so it's not as brilliant in photos but still it is beautiful in every light from every angle:
They call their work Color Therapy Mosaics and I can see why; being around their amazing, gloriously colorful creations (not to mention their warm and inspiring personalities) made/makes me feel better. They are truly awesome people, and I feel lucky not only to have met them and had the chance to talk with them but to have a piece of their healing art hanging in my home.
You can see their designs in much greater detail here: http://tracykehr.com/
So, that's my round up for the art lovers among you all. Thanks for coming along for the ride! Next time I will return us to our usually scheduled programming.
PS As a gift, Tracy invited me to select one of the necklaces she had on display (she also creates wonderful jewelry.) When she insisted, I began to inspect them and immediately was drawn to one made out of an antique typewriter key: it says "backspace". I thought that was especially fitting for a writer :~)