Saturday, December 27, 2008

Looking back at 2008

What a year 2008 has been, full of landmark anniversaries and new additions, special events and celebrations despite the economic turmoils of the times. Most notably, Chemers Gallery has kicked off our 30th Anniversary celebrations over the summer with our email partners. Exclusive to our email partners are events and special deals on artworks. One memorable event was a screening of "GREASE," the number one movie from 30 years ago, complete with pizza, beer, hot popcorn and candy. We can't wait to plan the next one! All of this is leading up to the big anniversary bash, set for spring 2009.

Cedar Way, North Laguna
Mary Aslin

We have welcomed so many new artists and artisans to Chemers Gallery, it's hard to keep track! Longtime client Pete Roberts now shows his beautiful watercolors with Chemers, and has introduced us to the work of Joseph Stoddard, another fabulous watercolorist. Early in 2008, award winning pastel artist Mary Aslin joined our artist family. A particular honor was to be chosen by Jacqueline Kamin to represent her traditional still lives after the closure of her own gallery, J Kamin Fine Art. Through our show for the Tustin Art League we discovered John Sawyer's beautiful California landscapes. From the east coast we have Scott Amrhein's dramatic glassware, and from San Francisco, Maria Mayr's playful still lives and landscapes. We have more jewelry now than ever, with great chunky necklaces by Jackie Jones, kinetic rings by Ithil Metal Works, delicate earrings and necklaces by Betty's Beads, and semi-precious stone concoctions by Amy Kekst.

Bush Lupine Study, Santa Barbary Country
Dave Chapple

We've also welcomed newer work from longtime favorites. Carol Jessen has sent us a beautifully rendered figure bathed in morning light, called "Mekong Light," along with her moody cityscapes. Leslie Lowinger sent us some wonderfully playful new "Walking Stick" etchings. If you look closely, you might see a witch on her broomstick in a few of the squares! Bonnie Holmes has been delighting us with her calm, soothing sea and riverscapes in a wonderful sherbert of colors. Jim Wodark has also kept busy throughout the year, producing gorgeous California landscapes in his characteristic style. Dave Chapple has recently introduced a new series of "Field Studies" in response to the economy. All are small works that are losely painted, affordable at under $1000. We've also continued to update our jewelry with Ayala Bar's new lines throughout the year.

Spray of Pink
Jacqueline Kamin

Chemers Gallery has hosted several special exhibitions thoughout 2008, from April's "Scenes of Tustin" exhibition in association with TACFA, to the Santa Ana College Invitational Show of Faculty and Student Work, from an intimate "Meet the Artists" evening with Bonnie Holmes and Mary Aslin, to an introduction of Jacqueline Kamin's elegant still lives and her daughter Stacy Kamin's vibrant figurative works. And of course, who could forget our 17th Annual Children's Book Illustrators' Show & Signing?

Now more than ever there is a need to support the arts, because the arts provide so much enrichment in our lives. The effects of the economy have been felt everywhere, including major art museums, some of whom are postponing special exhibitions until better times.

A sample of our economy line of frames

There is also a need to support your local small businesses during these difficult economic times. Chemers Gallery is more than happy to listen to your budget needs and work with you to make sure you and your wallet are happy. We have many items that are under $100, ranging from Soap Rocks to jewelry, ceramics and glassware to small artworks. For those larger items, we offer layaway options with no interest. For your framing needs, we have several economy lines of frames, so your frames will look like a million bucks without costing a million bucks.

Any requests or suggestions for events? Drop us a line or give us a call. We are always looking for innovative ideas!

Thank you to our loyal clients, wonderful artists and artisans, and all who have helped to make 2008 a momentous year!

Have a safe and healthy New Year!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Top Picks for the Holiday Season for $100 and Under!!

It's the holiday season again, and you know what that means! Why not avoid the malls this year and support your local artisans and businesses? Many are surprised to discover that Chemers Gallery carries so many gift items in addition to fine art and custom framing. Many more are surprised to discover that you can find special art objects for very reasonable prices. Here are my top gift picks for that special someone, and believe it or not, each and every one of them are under $100:

Ceramic Art
Local artists Karen Thayer, Richard Barrier and Connie Major have such an intriguing sense of texture and form. These little beauties range in size, color and price. You may have seen Richard and Connie at our recent Santa Ana College Ceramic show. We have more work by each of these talented artists in a similar range of prices - we think you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Original Paper Mache by Mary Zarbano
Mary has had a long and wonderful career in the arts. Her richly colored, dream-like paintings are gorgeous and sometimes mystical. If you or someone you know is a fan of her work, this small figurine, called Seated Bird Lady, would make the perfect gift.

Accessorize, Accessorize
With the colder weather coming, why not snuggle into a softly woven scarf by Georg Palmer? Or add a punch of Euro-style with scarves from Italy? The holidays are the perfect time to show off your inner art lover with deliciously supple leather goods from ICON, which come in a wide range of styles and images. We're happy to place special orders as well!

Original Artwork by Andie Haynes
This monotype in wine by Andie Haynes would be such a special little gift for any art connoisseur. Andie's pieces are simply one-of-a-kind. She hand stitches over each printed image with threads and knots, creating new depths and dimensions. She has created complementary monotypes in a variety of colors, and they are just crying out for a lovely little frame!

Funky Glassware
Give the gift of a conversation starter with these fun glass tumblers by Kent Kahlen and Paul Counts! Each tumbler is hand blown, no two alike. Not only fun, but functional as well, mix and match for a truly unique table setting.

Bonnie Holmes Skincare
Why not treat someone to luxurious, spa-quality skincare? With a range of facial cleansers, moisturizers and balms, Bonnie Holmes has created a natural line of skin products that utilize the purest plant-derived ingredients. My favorite is the Satin Body and Bath Oil; use just a little after a shower, and your skin will be smooth and silky all day.

Photo Frames
Who doesn't have a slew of photographs floating around just waiting for the perfect frame? We have a range of photo frames in different sizes and styles to suit any occasion or need. Any of these beautiful frames would complete a table-top display or make a wonderful hostess gift.

Glass Hearts by Robert Held
Beautifully crafted hand-blown glass hearts by Canadian artist Robert Held would make the perfect stocking-stuffer! Easy to personalize by choosing the recipient's favorite color, these glass hearts are sure to be a big hit year-round.

Children's Books signed by the Illustrator
Signed children's books are precious gifts for all ages. Come in for recommendations, suggestions, or just a good old-fashioned read! Books are available from this year's Children's Book Illustrators' Show & Signing, as well as selected books from previous years. We also have unsigned books available for 30% off!

Jewels, Jewels, and More Jewels!
We have jewelry, loads of jewelry! Beautiful necklaces, earrings and bracelets, all to jazz up your holiday outfits or your every day clothes. Check out Ayala Bar's earrings - teeny tiny wearable mosaics - or Anne Koplik's vintage-inspired accessories. While you're at it, dig through our dish of funky Tokyo Bay and Sonja Paz watches. Telling time has never been so stylish!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Award-Winning Illustrators at Chemers Gallery: See the OC Register Article Here!

Elisa Kleven, Melissa Sweet, Holly Meade, Zachary Pullen, and Beth Krommes

THANK YOU Elysse James, for your great article about the award-winning participants in our 17th Annual Children's Book Illustration Show & Signing for the Tustin News!

Check it out on the OC Register website!

Who is who?
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Don't forget, we still have signed books available from this year's show! The original art will be on display through December 20th, so hurry in before this wonderful event is over for another year!

Monday, December 8, 2008

What a Wonderful Show!

A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who participated in our 17th Annual Children's Book Illustrators' Show & Signing - the artists, the volunteers, our guests! We had a great turnout of kids, adults, art enthusiasts and the young at heart. This year's event benefited the Orange County Ronald McDonald House, an amazing children's charity that provides a home away from home for the families of sick children while they're receiving treatments.

Elisa Kleven, Holly Meade, Ronald McDonald, Melissa Sweet, Zachary Pullen, and Beth Krommes in our lecture tent.

Our five featured illustrators came from far and wide to attend this great event, some from as far away as Main. They gave fascinating talks about their profession, and signed so many books we thought their arms would go numb!

If you weren't able to make it to the opening on December 6th, don't despair! The show continues through December 20th, and we still have many signed books for sale.

Ronald and Zachary Pullen

Magic with the kids

The kids (and some adults!) as a captive audience!

Our fabulous volunteers!

Holly Meade, showing us that "That's What Friends Are For."

Beth Krommes enjoys time with our young guests

Elisa Kleven, Melissa Sweet, Holly Meade, Zachary Pullen, and Beth Krommes

Monday, December 1, 2008

Karen Raab Featured in a Podcast on "Just One More Book!!"

Chemers Gallery doesn't get to toot our own horn very often, so we give a very special thanks to Mark Blevis, of "Just One More Book!!", for tooting it for us! Mark conducted a fantastic interview with Karen about our Children's Book Illustrators' Show & Signing, and it's featured today on their website! You can get the scoop on how it all started at Chemers Gallery with Rita and Daniel San Souci seventeen years ago. You might be surprised at just how much work goes into this amazing yearly event, and when people start anticipating this show. You can click the banner below to listen to the interview:

"Just One More Book!!" reviews favorite children's books, authors, illustrators, publishers and others in the children's book industry. It is a jewel of a site for parents, educators, enthusiasts and professionals in the industry of children's literature.

Meanwhile, Chemers Gallery is diligently putting the final touches on our 17th Annual Children's Book Illustrators' Show & Signing, taking place this Saturday, December 6th, 2008 from 1:00-5:00pm.

Come for the Art & Books and Stay All Day
Lectures & Demonstrations by the Illustrators & Authors

2:00 Canceled Linda Zielinski: We will miss her, but welcome her again next year
2:25 Zachary Pullen: "Kids as an Audience"
2:50 Beth Krommes: "The Story Behind 'The House in the Night'"
3:15 Melissa Sweet: "Picture This: The Making of a Picture Book"
3:40 Elisa Kleven: "Creating Magical Miniature Worlds in Children's Books"

Ronald McDonald will also be in attendence on Saturday from 2:00pm until 4:00pm! Bring the kids!

Hope to see you Saturday!


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