Monday, March 26, 2012

Life's Little Twists

In 2009 we shook it up by bringing in a new line of frames designed with skulls, bones, sickles and blades. That's right, we brought badass to the OC! A few months later we heard from Molly in Michigan, on the lookout for a really special wedding gift:

"I found your site online, and think it may be just what I've been seeking!
My daughter is getting married in October. She and her fiance are into skulls and reptiles (this was NOT hereditary - ha!) I gather that you can make picture frames with a skull motif?"

Intrigued, we couldn't wait to write back and learn more. We sent Molly a tear sheet of the available "Dzigns" and she enthusiastically wrote back and was thrilled when we offered to get her a sample of the moulding. This is the one Molly chose:

Molly loved the smiling skulls and felt that they seemed to convey a "happy" attitude. Perfect for any happy occasion, especially a wedding, don't you think?

During the course of our emails, Molly told us all about her relationship with her daughter, Gina. Molly had Gina when she was very young, and realizing she wouldn't be able to provide her with the life she deserved, Molly made the difficult decision to give her daughter up for adoption. It was never Molly's intention to interfere in her daughter's new life, but it occurred to her a few years ago that if her daughter ever chose to look for her, she'd better do something so she could be found. Molly registered her name on a website that pairs adopted children with their birthparents and waited. And waited. Finally, after two long years, Gina happened to register herself on the same website and to her surprise was instantly matched to Molly. The pair have had an almost daily email conversation ever since.

Since Molly and Gina were put in contact with one another, they have met several times in person, even meeting members of each others families. They are friends who share the same warm and bubbly personality, definitely genetics at work!

Back to the framing...

We sent Molly a sample of her happy skulls in plenty of time for the wedding, along with another tear sheet of the additional available "Dzignes." She was even more thrilled when she saw the grinning skulls in person, and promised to keep us posted on Gina's reaction.

Wedding cupcakes - how adorable are these?

As Wedding Day came and went, we were anxious for stories and pictures, and were so excited when Molly emailed with both. She'd found a small box made of bone and placed her frame sample inside - what a perfect package!

Gina & Jeff opening the gift

Jeff looks a little puzzled

Now they see it!

Jeff, Gina and Molly

Molly introduced us to Gina who was thrilled with her wedding gift, and shares the same enthusiasm her birth-mother does. Working together through email, we helped Gina print her wedding portrait and choose a style of framing that complemented the photograph and the newly-weds tastes.

Check out the finished piece!

This design actually utilizes two frames. The black skull and bones frame has a smaller sickle and blade frame stacked inside to act as a liner. Perfect for a couple who confessed they weren't fans of mats! And what an amazing wedding photo. Doesn't it look like a black paper silhouette?

Molly and Gina's emails have always been warm, friendly and humorous, so much so that we feel we were really able to make a strong connection with the two. We are honored that they've allowed us into their lives for such a happy occasion and that they've given permission to share their story with you.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Better Late Than Never!

Let's travel back in time together, to a day that's not so very far away. December 3, 2011, to be exact. That's right, the day of Chemers Gallery's 20th Annual Children's Book Illustration Art Show & Book Signing. We finally have pictures ready to show you! It was a day of fun, laughter, artwork, books and wonderful people, from our volunteer helpers from Chapman University to our friends and family who pitched in, from our excited clientele to our talented illustrators. Again, thank you ALL so very much for a stunning turnout and event - we absolutely couldn't have done it without you! And thank you to Guillermo LeFranc for his stellar photographs of the event!

Mary GrandPre signing before we opened the doors

Elisa Kleven signs pre-ordered books

Robin Preiss Glasser signs Fancy Nancy with her fancy pen set

When we opened the doors, the crowds flooded in! Just look at them all behind Elaine!

Young art connoisseurs, after paying a visit to Glimmer Face Painting & Balloon Twisting, set up right outside our front doors.

Karen helps to choose books for our visitors

Ellen, our Chapman intern, assists a guest with her book selection

Pattie Sobczak, from Chapman University, with Rita Chemers and Karen Raab

Jennifer helps some young readers pick out a Fancy Nancy book

Robin Preiss Glasser packs the tent for her artist talk, "Putting It Together"

Raul Colon shares one of his sketchbooks in his talk "Art Think & Picture Books"

The crowds are enchanted by our illustrators

Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher with John Lawrence, a young fan

Karen and Noah - isn't he just so cute??

Raul Colon explains his illustration technique to Don Cardinal, Dean of the College of Educational Studies at Chapman University

Mary GrandPre with a Harry Potter fan

Barbara and Roberta with a young friend

Artist Ian Montelongo meets Raul Colon

Steve Johnson meets Leilani and Lauren

How sweet are these two?? Can you guess who they're here to see?

Look at them all, heads down in concentration

Rita helps our Chapman volunteers

Lou Fancher & Steve Johnson with their adoring fans

Elisa Kleven and Raul Colon with new friends Olivia & Vanessa

Raul Colon, Rita and Rueben Martinez

Presenting the talented artists: Elisa Kleven, Robin Preiss Glasser, Lou Fancher, Steve Johnson, Mary GrandPre and Raul Colon

It's been a long day...

This is just a small sampling from the book show. There's more on our Facebook page, just follow this link. You don't need to "like" us to see the pictures, but we'd sure be happy if you did!

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Creating Community Through Art

Some of the best things about art is the community that revolves around it and the way it can bring people together. 3 of our talented Chemers Gallery artists are perfect examples of the friendships that art can foster among individuals - Dori Dewberry, Julie Hill and Dana Cooper.

Dori Dewberry, Dana Cooper & Julie Hill, summer 2011 artist demos at Chemers Gallery

These three lovely ladies regularly get together to paint, look for new subjects and take part in online challenges together. Though their artistic expressions differ from one another they do have several things in common (besides talent!), like depicting every day scenes that make us feel as if we've just dropped into the work. You may have met them at our Summer 2011 artist demonstration series, where they all set up their easels and art supplies.

Read on and get to know Dori, Julie and Dana a little better.

Dori Dewberry

Fresh Air by Dori Dewberry, 6 x 6 pastel

Dori was introduced to us a year ago through the United Society of Pastel Artists. We loved her impressionist style vibrant color palette and sparkling personality. A teacher by day, Dori's passion lies within the process of her artwork. She is always experimenting to push her ideas further. You may recognize some of her landscapes from your own explorations in Santiago Oaks Regional Park. Dori recently brought us some wonderful gallery scenes from a visit to the Chicago Art Institute. Their small size (only 6 x 6!) is perfect for a little nook or shelf or a collection on the wall.

Julie Hill

Sushi Anyone? by Julie Hill, 6 x 6 watercolor

Julie is a native southern Californian who discovered a love for watercolors later in life. What began for her as a tentative expression blossomed into a full-blown exploration of color, light and shadow. Julie is a former USC professor who not only taught in the Pediatrics and Pathology departments at the Keck School of Medicine, she also ran a research lab that investigated neonatal bacterial meningitis. She discovered that her artwork allowed her to spend more time with her growing family. Julie is self-taught and works primarily with black and white photographs to guide her in the tonal values of a painting while still retaining the freedom to interpret the colors in any way she pleases.

Dana Cooper

Split Decision by Dana Cooper, 8 x 10 oil on board

We were introduced to Dana's little "slices of life" through last spring's "Scenes of Tustin" show at our gallery. Her small-scale oil on board figuratives captured our imaginations and we couldn't wait to see more. Dana draws from her travels locally, through Europe and her visits to art museums. Her work is mostly on a smaller scale and truly captures the mood and feel of a place, be it walking in the rain, taking in the vastness of a cathedral or contemplating art in a museum. As a former children's art instructor, Dana now devotes most of her time to her artwork. The teaching bug hasn't left her though - she still teaches art classes locally.

Dori, Julie and Dana will be taking part in our upcoming Scenes of Tustin 2012 show, kicking off at the end of April, and you can, too! You don't need to be a seasoned pro enter a painting or two in this unique exhibition. All entries are welcome for jurying. For details on how to enter, click HERE.

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Call for Entries - Scenes of Tustin 2012

Tustin Art League & Chemers Gallery

Scenes of Tustin 2012
Juried Exhibition
Juror: Rick Delanty

April 28th - May 12th
Artists' Reception Saturday, April 28, 5:30 - 8pm

For the 5th time, Chemers Gallery will open its doors to the members of the Tustin Art League and professional and amateur artists from the surrounding communities to present "Scenes of Tustin!" We always love seeing new work and discovering the local talents and we love to share our finds with you! Come out and support your community of artists and art lovers, and if you dabble or make your living in the arts, feel free to submit a creation of your own. You don't need to be a member of TAL or a professional artist to enter, this exhibition is open to all. So come on! Get your paintbrushes, cameras, printing presses and glass kilns ready to create your own rendition of Tustin's landscapes, architecture and neighborhoods.

Exhibition Rules:
Entry must be an outdoor scene from the Tustin area OR indoor scene of a public building or business that is clearly in Tustin. The Tustin area includes Tustin, Peters Canyon, North Tustin, unincorporated Santa Ana and Cowan Heights. Work must be created during the year since the last exhibition (May 2011). Works may not exceed a maximum size of 30" x 40". Works must be framed to Chemers Gallery specifiations and ready to hang. All artwork must be available for sale.

Framing Specifications:
Chemers Gallery will be happy to assist in framing your work. If you choose to frame it yourself, please bring your frame for approval prior to submission before April 14th or email a photo or .jpg to before April 9th. Oils, acrylics and mixed media can be unframed if gallery wrapped edges are painted. All other two-dimensional work must be framed and ready to hang. Simple frames are preferred, acceptable colors are black and any dark wood. Mats must be a neutral white, acid free (like Bainbridge 8655). Colored acid-free filets are acceptable, and either double 4 ply or single 6 or 8 play mats. No non-glare glass. Space and weight limits apply to non two-dimensional work, please see Karen at Chemers Gallery for details.

Examples of black (left) and dark wood (right) frames

Examples of gallery-wrapped canvases

Entry Fee:
Maximum of two entries per artist.
Please make checks payable to TACFA
TAL members $20 (for 1 or 2 entries)
Non members $25 (for 1 or 2 entries)

1st Place $75
2nd Place $50
3rd Place $25

1st Place $125
2nd Place $75
3rd Place $50

Important Dates & Deadlines:
*Entry forms are due at Chemers Gallery by April 14th by 5pm. Click HERE for PDF
*Deliver work to Chemers Gallery April 18-21 between 10am and 5pm
*You will be informed if work is NOT accepted by April 23rd.
*Artists' Reception is April 28th, 5:30-8pm
*Show runs April 28th - May 12th
*Pick up artwork at Chemers Gallery May 14th between 10am and 5pm

For more information, please contact
Marsha Lindsey, Tustin Art League 714-544-7715
Karen Raab, Chemers Gallery 714-731-5432

The Tustin Art League, a program of the Tustin Area Council for Fine Arts (TACFA), is an organization of visual artists whose purpose is to provide a venue for information, exposure, and growth of each member artist and to focus their talents in an effort to enhance the visual arts within the community to enrich and energize citizens of all ages. For more information about TAL, please visit their blog.

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