on life, ambitions, and dreams


Posts Tagged ‘art’

The Tasty Story of Very Sheri Hauser

When I started working in book publishing, every week we’d hear about a local brick-and-mortar bookstore that was closing it’s doors due to the rise of Internet resellers and big box stores (RIP Borders) that were killing off our local independents. (Watch You’ve Got Mail if you missed this part of recent history.)

We aren’t naive any more. We learned through the grassroots “shop local” campaigns that gained momentum in 2007 and went mainstream when American Express launched Small Business Saturday in 2010. We know that if we want our favorite independent retailers to stick around, we have to put our money where our mouths are or these stores will disappear.

Sheri Hauser

Meet Sheri Hauser, the owner of Tasty, an art and gift shop specializing in homemade, eclectic, and colorful collectibles located between the Greenwood and Phinney Ridge neighborhoods in Seattle.

When you walk into her shop, you’re greeted by bright green and pink walls and artwork from familiar faces like Justin Hillgrove’s Imps & Monsters intermixed with sculptures created from found objects. There are necklaces made with the most divine gemstones and handmade patchwork pillows that you wish your grandma knew how to make. As you move through the store, the walls are adorned from top-to-bottom with a mix of vintage, retro, and rockabilly artwork and style. It’s like you walk into a classic 1950s neighborhood shop but with 1990s edge.

On the last weekend before Christmas, I walked into Tasty for the first time. But before I could peek through the picture windows I saw the sign in big bold letters: CLOSING JANUARY 31, 2014. TASTY LOVES YOU, PHINNEYWOOD.

As I shopped, a regular popped into the store and greeted Sheri with open arms and asked, “Aren’t you sad that you’re closing?”

And Sheri answered with a smile: “What are you talking about? I’ve been living my dream and now I get to start a new career!”

Sheri’s optimism at a time of change confused me. I have so many friends that have poured their hearts and souls into building their own businesses and the collapse of which would not leave them facing their customers with a smile. I needed to know more about this – about Tasty, Sheri, and the arts scene in Seattle. So I sat down to interview Sheri and learn more about the story of Tasty. (more…)

How Women See the World: Elles at the Seattle Art Museum

Bloggers at Elles Pompidou at Seattle Art Museum

Museums are not places that we go to be entertained, they are places that we go to come together and discuss ideas. They exist to make us think.

Wendy Simons, a docent at the Seattle Art Museum, said a version of the above at the end of our tour. A few weeks ago, the Seattle Art Museum invited a group of bloggers to the museum for a preview and a guided tour of Elles: Women Artists from the Centre Pompidou, Paris exhibit. Elles at the Seattle Art Museum features more than 125 works of art made by 75 women artists from 1909 to 2007 and through their work reveals a history of 20th and 21st century art from a perspective that we’ve never seen before, women. And this exhibit is a fraction of the 500 pieces that were part of the original exhibit at the Pompidou in Paris, France.

Before Elles first appeared in at the Pompidou from May 2009 to March 2011, art by women were never part of discourse on the history of art and culture. Think back to when you were in school and learned the names of Henri Matisse, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gaguin, and many other artists of the 20th century. Did you ever stop to ask why there wasn’t a single female artist included in those lessons?

It wasn’t that women weren’t creating art during this time. They were painting; we just didn’t know their names.

Elles exists to change that and show how the twentieth century looked through the eyes of women like Natalia Gontcharova, Tamara de Lempicka, Suzanne Valadon, Frida Kahlo, Louise Bourgeois, Hannah Wilke, Dora Maar, Diane Arbus, and many more. Names that I didn’t know until I saw their art for the first time at the Seattle Art Museum. (more…)

Merry Christmas from Strong Santa

Kimball_XMASCard_2012-webI hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and made it to the nice list 🙂

Much love,
Laura, John, and Strong Santa

Original artwork illustrated by John Kimball

2012: The Year of TEKST Artist

TEKSTartist in action

I’m psyched. Why? Because I just spent the last fifteen minutes consuming a website that just launched.

Wait – what? Yes, consuming.

It’s no secret that I have a love of words and language. And we all know that a picture says a thousand words. But what happens when the two marry and words create an image?

Meet TEKST Artist

TEKST is a 366-day experiment where each piece is a one-of-a-kind create made up completely of words.

Like this one he created for the band, Pepper, with the lyrics to their song, Wake Up; this video is the official music video for this song. And this one he created for Apple fans everywhere using the text from Steve Jobs’ opening keynote in 1983.

He creates each piece by doing what you and I do every day on our blogs, on Twitter, Facebook, and even the archaic action of ‘forwarding’ an email – by “remixing” ideas. In TEKST’s words:

This “remixing” of ideas can even be seen in each and every art piece. I use quotes, audio tracks, even imagery originally created by others. I have gone to great lengths to credit each source along the way. I believe that every facet of each piece has been created under what would be considered “fair use”. At no point was/is it my intention to outright steal content that doesn’t belong to me. I will happily add/adjust proper credit that is found to be incorrect or missing.

366 One-of-a-Kind Works of Art for Sale

Want to know the best part? He’s selling each TEKST art project for the price of the day of the calendarthat’s $1 on January 1, $2 on January 2, $3 on January 3, etc. with original text-inspired artwork that he’s already created for the first half of the year and artwork commissioned by you the second half of the year.

TEKST Calendar - May

Why I dig TEKST

TEKST Artist is a dear friend of mine. When we met last March, this project was an idea and didn’t even have a name yet. I love how it’s evolved over the past year and I admire TEKST’s decision to launch this project and invest everything he has into it:

Leaving a steady job to “shoot for the moon” and pursue a career as an artist (especially after almost a decade away from the craft) is something else entirely.  I decided there was only 1 way to get up to speed- I’m going to make and sell art for 365 days straight in 2012, create a video for each one, and feature it right here on the homepage.

But as with most successful people, he didn’t do it alone. Art Alternatives sponsored every single one of his canvases and made the 366-TEKSTs possible. He also has an amazing wife, mentors, and friends. We’re all bought into this project when it was still an idea. And now that it’s launched, we’re all glad we did.

Time to get your TEKST on

Seriously, go check out the calendar. January 1 to June 15 are pieces of artwork that he already created. And starting June 16, you can commission TEKST to create your own piece for $168 – which is a pretty amazing price for a commissioned art piece!

Go, before the entire calendar has been purchased.

You can purchase the classic Macintosh piece that was created in the video linked above on June 15 or a modern “Fail Whale” ala Twitter on May 19.

I just chose and purchased my TEKSTs, have you?