Since this is the season of giving, I thought I’d give support to a few local artists, a local publisher and an author or two. After all giving a unique gift makes the season more special. And think of it this way, artists have bills to pay too. Not to mention, when you buy original art, you can be sure you’re giving something unique.
As a good wife, I have to promote my husband’s work first. When I met him, Barry was an art student. After graduation, he worked as a graphic artist always pining to get back to his fine art roots, and his first love, pottery. I was thrilled when he got a job as a production potter and teacher at Sophia Center, a spirituality center in the Portland area. He was in heaven for two years. Then we moved here to Southern Arizona and again, he got a job as a graphic artist. But he kept his hand in pottery by teaching and eventually a pottery studio was formed through the city’s Leisure Services department. Now, eleven or twelve years later, it’s a flourishing studio with lots of creative people attending. They also participate in the charitable event, Empty Bowls every year, for which they won an Arts and Humanities Mayor’s Award. Go visit their Facebook page at the address below. Barry also has a personal artist page on Facebook. Both pages have photos of the work of Barry and other artists.
Here are some photos of Barry’s latest non-pottery work. He’s created other non-Christmas card lines, which I’m not showing here.
The next artist I want to promote is Heather Green. She’s one of the many wonderful artists I met through Barry. Her first love is print making, but she does other forms of art as well. When I directed The Wizard of Oz at the elementary school where Heather was the art teacher, I got to know her better. She’s a dedicated artist and supports other artists by inviting them to exhibit in her gallery, Heather Green Studios, 27 Subway Street, Suite F, Bisbee, AZ 85635. Here is a picture of her gallery and artwork she did for the Altered Books Show, a charity event held this fall at the SAMPOE gallery in Bisbee, Arizona.
I met the next artist, Andrea, or more affectionately known as Madame Magpie, at a Small Business Development Center workshop several years ago. She’s a silversmith and creates the most beautiful jewelry. At another SBDC event, she had a raffle for a $25 gift of her work, and I won! The earrings I won are among my favorites. Her business name, Madame Magpie’s Shiny Things is whimsical like her jewelry. The photos below show just two samples. I encourage you to go to her Facebook page to see more of her lovely work. Madame Magpie has an Etsy Store as well, which you can access through her Facebook page. Also on her website, you can subscribe to her newsletter and see upcoming events where she will be showing her work.
A book is always a good gift for the readers on your list, so last, but certainly not the least of the artists I’m promoting today, is Harvey Stanbrough and his publishing company StoneThread Publishing. I met Harvey through a fellow writer and subsequently took several of his writing workshops. Since my background is in theatre, I’d only taken playwrighting classes, but I’d heard horror stories of creative writing teachers giving brutal critiques. That’s not Harvey’s style at all. He’s encouraging to the novice writer, because he’s also a writer and had his share of brutal critiques. He understands how self-doubt can eat away at your self-confidence when it’s just you and the paper, or computer screen. Earlier this fall, he sent out a request for readers. Two or three book submissions had come across his desk and he didn’t have time to read them himself, so he asked his students to help him decide if these books were ready for publication. As a reward for this service, he allowed us to choose a book from among the StoneThread Publishing list. I chose The Wallingford Files: Last of the Firstborn, by Glen M. Glenn. Even though it wasn’t due to be published until later that month, he allowed me to read it anyway. It is a fascinating sci-fi book, which fans of political intrigue and adventure will enjoy. You can read my review of it on SmashWords and Goodreads. The list of books Harvey has published are in a wide variety of genres. The Sweet Trade, written by Debrah Strait, a fellow local writer, was published by Harvey this fall as well. I’ve read Debrah’s work. I think you’ll enjoy this book about pirates. She has a way of grabbing your attention and not letting go.
Other services Harvey provides are: editing/proofreading, cover and website design, as well as face-to-face and online writing workshops. You can also sign up for his blog/newsletter on writing topics. Here are all of Harvey’s links.
Make someone on your gift list happy this Holiday Season by giving them original artwork. You’ll be giving joy to the creator and the recipient.
© Lucinda Sage-Midgorden