Meet Colleen Smith from ColMarieSmith...
This is my very first Avant-Garde show! I am an artist who is inspired by an allegiance to what some have called “the greatest location in the nation!” After a few years in Chicago, then Columbus, I rediscovered my love for Cleveland when a job brought me back home in 2007. My art is a fusion of history and paint. Each piece is made with authentic vintage newspapers, magazines, programs, and trading cards – some dating back to the early 1900’s. My collection of original mixed media paintings has been digitally reproduced into poster prints and transformed into a unique line of gift-ables. Each item is 100% handmade with great attention to detail & craftsmanship – right down to the packaging! In a mass-produced world I'm proud to label all my items "HANDMADE IN CLEVELAND, OHIO." My passion for Cleveland is what inspires me to create. I was born & raised here, moved away, and come back, I missed it. I'm a huge sports fan which is pretty evident in my work.
I have been creating things for as long as I can remember. I was the child who demanded crayons at every restaurant so I could flip over my placemat and draw. In school my favorite subject was always art, followed by history. At Ohio University (GO BOBCATS) I majored in Interior Design with a minor in Retail Merchandising. I spent over 10 years in corporate America in retail, merchandising, ecommerce, branding, & marketing. During that time my art was always a hobby, now it is becoming my career!
I've always had artistic talent, the decision to create mixed media art was just something I stumbled upon. When I moved downtown my Dad gave me a stack of old newspapers about Cleveland he had saved over the years. While looking through those old papers a light bulb went off - I wanted to come up with a unique way to display all of this fascinating history. From that, my first cityscape was created, the piece that launched my career as an artist.
Crafting is the tangible result of your efforts. There are so many activities we do in life that don't provide that "thing" you can show off & feel proud of. I like seeing the fruits of my labor. An idea pops in my head and if I don't have the vintage newspapers etc. on hand the hunt begins! I do a lot of research before I begin a piece. I bounce ideas off of people. I consult my brother for sports pieces he's always a good gut check. If I'm really excited about an idea I'll work every free moment I have until it's done. I can't wait for my vision to become a reality.
My work evokes a sense of nostalgia. I try to capture the rich history of Cleveland and the passion Clevelanders share for their city. Along the lines of that concept I launched my University Collection including Ohio University, my alma mater, The Ohio State University, & most recently Miami University. It's a formula that is working for me and I plan to apply it as I expand into future markets.
In 5 years, I'd like to think my business will be a more polished version of today. I constantly challenge myself to improve upon my products, push my creative boundaries, and find those business opportunities that produce growth.
Meet Brenda Pokorny from Beads & Pieces LLC...
I graduated from Miami University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, and worked in the design studio of Imperial Wall coverings in Beachwood, Ohio after graduation. I then started my own textile design studio which I operated until I decided to stay home to raise my 3 sons. At some point, during naptimes, I began making mosaics…and became addicted! My youngest son is a high school junior, so that was 15 years ago. I have been making mosaics since.
My first project was a coffee table, which is in our family room. I also covered many other pieces of furniture in mosaic, as well as our kitchen backsplash, vases, pots and picture frames. In fact, I started selling my mosaics because I didn’t have enough space in the house for all of my creations.
I am inspired by gardens and nature, and by travel, art and ancient mosaics. My creative process would be described as very random! Something I see will spark an idea, and I have to follow that idea right then. I keep a notepad with me, and many times have sketched ideas while waiting to pick up a kid after practice, or in a shopping center parking lot. You never know when creativity will strike.
There are two reasons I love creating. First, I love making something that will outlast me. That someday, a friend, child, grandchild maybe even, will hold a piece that I made, and think of me. Second, I specifically love the process of mosaics. I love cutting and fitting pieces into an image. I love working with glass and glass tile—the materials are so incredibly beautiful. And, I love seeing the whole picture emerge as I clean off the grout. It is like magic!
In 2011, I was invited to be an artist in residence at Kenston Intermediate School, where I shared the art of mosaic with close to 500 fourth and fifth-graders. Together, we created 5 large benches and wall art pieces based on twelve character traits such as respect, responsibility, honesty etc. What a rewarding project this was for me. Not only did we create 5 incredible works of art, but I was able to share my enthusiasm for mosaic with a large captive audience!
This will be only my 2nd Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show. I only do 1 or 2 shows a year, mainly because I don't have much inventory. I have spent the last few years creating custom mosaic pieces, which has taken most of my time. Here are photos of 2 mosaic garden benches that were commissioned for memorial gardens in 2013:
Travel and nature are my inspirations. I definitely have wanderlust--especially to see ancient sites. I have quite a long list of ancient mosaic sites on my "want to see" list! I am also inspired by nature--gardens, trees, birds, beaches, blue skies.
Meet Danielle Terry from O'Neill Wear...
My favorite color changes with my mood, as does my style. One of my many mottos is, “If you want it done right, do it yourself!” That was the start of my creating things. When I wanted a painting for the house, I painted one. Then it turned into handpainting glassware. I used to regret throwing things away that I just knew I could have used to make something with- this turned into my creating one of a kind upcycled, recycled, and repurposed jewelry pieces. I have been creating my jewelry for about 14 years or so, but this is my first Avant-Garde show!
I have always enjoyed using raw Shea butter, so I started experimenting with adding fragrances to it. And that is how “Buttered Up” body butter was created! In the beginning I didn’t start out with the intention to sell my items. But others encouraged me to do so, so here I am. I am self taught by trial and error- I believe that puts a little bit of me in each item I create! I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy creating them!
I have many different inspirations. Nature, leafing through a magazine, my husband and Project Runway just to name a few!
I've always been creative. When I was a child, I remember picking pansies from my Gramma's yard and gluing them to paper to create women with frilly dresses. In my creative process, I have to feel it before I can do it. I can tell myself I'm going to make some jewelry, but if I'm just not "feeling" it, I have to put it down until the vision of the finished product just jumps out at me! (sort of like Writer's Block for a writer). I can definitely see my business expanding within the next few years!
2013 West Side Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday & Sunday, November 16th and 17th, 2013, 10:00am-5:00pm
Rocky River Memorial Hall
21016 Hilliard Blvd.
Rocky River, OH 44116
Visit us on: