As interior designer and owner of EA&I Interior Design in Broken Arrow, Maurie Traylor is using her passion for fine art to help clients brighten their living and work spaces and local artists make a few bucks.
A couple of years after purchasing her interior design business, Traylor found herself in a bit of a lull and started thinking about how to better serve her clients.
"I struggled to find really good art for clients (using traditional venues)," said Traylor. "And I really wanted to feature local art."
She invited a couple of her artist friends to hang some work in her shop and had a reception one evening. Word spread quickly.
Eleven local artists display their work in her shop, in a spin-off project called Arthaus, and paintings of various genres and media cover the walls, tucked into every nook and cranny.
The shop and studio, which occupy an old, two-story house, offer visitors a glimpse of what a painting might look like in their own homes, as they meander through the rooms, the wood floors creaking beneath their feet.
And while her clients can browse and buy art from the studio, she also takes the artists' work into clients' homes, showing them exactly what that piece of art might look like next to their own curtains and couches.
Traylor said color and art are most important to her when helping a client design a space.
"Most designers look at art after everything else is done," said Traylor. "To me, art should be one of the first elements you consider when designing a space. Art is so intrinsic to design."
Rather than buying from national vendors, which are available to nearly every designer and retail outlet, Traylor encourages her clients to buy local art.
"Local art supports the local market," she said. "It's unique and it's affordable. You don't have to go out of town to get great art. And you don't have to sacrifice style and substance for cost."
Traylor said she'd like her business to be, in addition to the design studio it is, "a resource for local art."
While 11 artists exhibit and sell through EA&I now, Traylor said she's open to taking on more artists. The artists pay her a monthly fee to hang their work, and they hang as many pieces as they like. She also makes a commission off the work sold.
On Thursday, April 23, from 5:30-8:30pm, Arthaus hosts the Broken Arrow Arts and Humanities Council's Art After Hours event. Works by Arthaus artists -- Renee Dotson, Teresa Herndon, Joey Frisillo, Cindy Parsons, Joyce Peace, Joanne Tyler, Stephen Smith, Kay Deardoff, Betty Dalsing, Vinicio Perez and Megan Beebe, who is also a designer for EA&I -- will be on display, and there will be food from Back Creek Deli, wine from Brown Kinion & Co. and entertainment from Chad Meier. Co-sponsor The Tulsa Stained Glass Co. will be on hand to offer patrons (adults) the opportunity to create a mosaic tile project on site.
The event is free and open to the public at 411 W. Broadway Ave. More information at www.artsba.org.
"Fine Art Meets Route 66"
Across town, a handful of artists have opened a new gallery in Sapulpa and will celebrate with an opening Friday, April 24.
The Water Street Art Gallery, 16 S. Water St., is a cooperative between nine local artists -- Gail Booth, Betty Dalsing, Ruth Harris, Celeste Vaught, Sheri Ishmael-Waldrop, Julie Miller, Kathleen Curran and Jan Thomas and Nancy Cowden, founders of Silk Degrees.
The artists' media include acrylic, ceramics, oil, jewelry, pastels and photography.
"Besides being a gallery, what's special about ours is that it's got ongoing classes, too, on a variety of topics, right in the gallery's classroom, said Vaught.
On the third Thursday of each month, the gallery will host an open studio, allowing patrons to come in and create works of art of their own.
According to a release, "There will be gatherings for artistic endeavors that include book signings, music demonstrations and other special events. Situated on Route 66 and adjacent to the gallery is a small park area perfect for relaxing and 'open air' painting. The combination provides an exceptional site for visual and performance arts."
The Sapulpa Chamber of Commerce will acknowledge Water Street's opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony at noon Friday, and the opening reception lasts from 4-8pm. Regular gallery hours are 10am-5pm Tuesday through Saturday and during downtown Sapulpa events.
At the opening, artist-types can pick up information about the gallery's June event, Six by Six. Participating artists may pick up a six-by-six-inch canvas at the gallery to exhibit June 4-20. Each piece of work will sell for $66, with the artist receiving half of the proceeds, one-fourth going to the gallery and one-fourth going to a local charity. Artists must submit their work by May 27.
For more information on this event, the opening and other gallery happenings, visit waterstreetartgallery.com or waterstreetartgallery.blogspot.com.
One of a Kind
On Friday and Saturday, Lovetts Gallery, 6528 E. 51st St. in The Farm shopping center, hosts a two-day exhibition and sale of fine art jewelry by 10 nationally-recognized, independent jewelers called "No Lines, No Production."
The jewelry presented is one-of-a-kind and hand-crafted, straddling the very fine line between jewelry and fine art.
"This exhibition has some fairly far-reaching and exciting implications," said Gallery Director Waylon Summers. "These designers are actively evolving the jewelry market, often intentionally, in direct opposition to the current corporate and media jewelry standards."
The styles range from "narrative to organic, technological to prehistory," said Summers.
The exhibition will be on display Friday and Saturday only. Gallery hours are 10am-6pm. Friday from 5-8pm there will be an invitation-only preview party. For more, visit lovettsgallery.com.
On Friday, April 24, Grace Ann Productions presents "A Night of Sophistication" with vocalist Joy Kasper and pianist E. Kirby Jr. performing at 1125 E. 8th Ave., a townhouse in the Village at Central Park.
The event is free and showcases a range of tunes from spiritual hymns to Broadways numbers.
According to a release, Kasper is originally from Chicago but has spent the last six years in Tulsa pursuing a music career.
For more about the event, visit grace-ann.org.
The Playhouse Theatre also presents an evening of music on Saturday, with vocalists Chris Crawford (also TPT's co-founder), Matt Bittner, Karen Q. Clark, Becca Hyvonen, Leesa Michaelson, Alexander Walter and Seth Harman singing classic Gershwin, as well as contemporary works by Jason Robert Brown, Adam Guettel and more.
The event is titled "Someone to Fall Back On" and happens at 8pm in the Tulsa Performing Arts Center's Norman Theatre at 110 E. 2nd St.
Tickets are $25 for table seating, $20 for bank seating and $15 for students and seniors (bank seating). For more information and to purchase tickets, visit playhousetheatretulsa.com or tulsapac.com.
The Comedy Clinic, a group of improv comedians, hosts its season finale Saturday, April 25 at Jewel, 3340 S. Peoria.
The "Physicians of Fun," a.k.a. Ben Beckham, Maria Gus and Jeff Turner, will present an evening of off-the-cuff hilarity fueled by the audience's suggestions.
"Part of the fun is challenging yourself, and if you don't do that, you lose the edge," said Beckham in a release. "Take Jeff for instance. We challenged him to go streaking before the last show and he was great. It wasn't pretty, though. It never is."
The fun begins at 8pm. Tickets are $9 in advance or $10 at the door. More at thecomedyclinic.com.
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