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Artsy Forager is on the move.. soon

7 Nov

11|8|12 note– I’ve amended the title of this post, as moving the site is proving more complicated than originally thought.. still working on it and hope to have it moved over in the next few days!

Last week, I mentioned that Artsy Forager would be moving to its own domain soon.. well, my friends, the day has come!  This afternoon I’ll begin the process of transferring over all the posts, images, files, etc to the NEW ArtsyForager.com!  I am excited about what this move will mean for the future of Artsy Forager and am thrilled you’ll be along for the ride!

FOR MY WORDPRESS.COM FOLLOWERS— please note that although the current site will redirect you to the new site, once I begin posting on the new site, you will no longer receive notifications of new content unless you are signed up as an email subscriber on ArtsyForager.com.  The WordPress.com interface doesn’t transfer followers into WordPress.org, so you’ll no longer see new content from AF in your WP reader, dashboard, etc.  I’ll be sending each of my wordpress.com followers an email reminder, I’d hate to lose you just when Artsy Forager is expanding! 🙂

The new site will look a little wonky today, but I hope to get most everything looking pretty by tomorrow and will begin posting over there pronto!

See you on the other side!

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ARTSY FORAGER IS MOVING ( and needs your help! )

2 Nov

A few weeks ago, I let ya’ll know about plans to move Artsy Forager away from WordPress.com & over to its own domain, asking you to help me decide on a newly tweaked site design.**  I’ve been working on getting all the backend functionality up & running and hope to move this little blog over into its new home soon– soft target move date, Wednesday November 7th.  Yikes!!  I’m excited and extremely nervous about this move.

I’m excited to see the blog continue to grow and evolve and with a self-hosted domain, the opportunities for where Artsy Forager can go and how it can serve the art loving online community are endless!

But here’s why I’m nervous– 1 out of every 10 Artsy Forager blog followers are following via the WordPress.com platform and when the blog moves, your follows do not move with it.  So while there will be a redirect if you visit the old artsyforager.wordpress.com site, if you are a WordPress.com follower, unless you resubscribe with an email subscription, you will no longer receive notifications of new content on www.artsyforager.com.  I don’t want to lose you & I don’t want you to miss out on all the wonderful new artsiness I have planned for you! 🙂

So PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you “follow” Artsy Forager via your WordPress.com dashboard, please take a moment to become an email subscriber.  I’ve even moved up the Subscription Box in the sidebar to make it easy to see!  This way, you’ll be guaranteed to continue seeing all the artist features, Friday Design Finds, studio tours, and some exciting NEW features comin’ to ArtsyForager.com!

You guys make writing, maintaining and now growing this blog such a pleasure for me.  Artsy Forager would not be what it is without you!

Love & Artsiness,

Lesley

**The overwhelming majority of you loved site design Option A and it was also my first choice.  But many of you also loved the square logo represented in the other designs ( me too! ).  I think everyone will be happy with the new design. 😉

Meet Artsyo!

2 Nov

I have a huge soft spot in my heart for Seattle.  While Mr. Forager has lived in Seattle, I haven’t yet.  But when I do ( and when I visit! ), you can bet I’ll be utilizing the recently launched site, Artsyo to find local artists and their work.  The brainchild of Sarah Brooks and Stella Laurenzo, Artsyo is a searchable site providing users with ways to find the kinds of local artists and artwork they love, connect with those artists and ( hopefully! ) buy a work of art they adore.

Co-founder Sarah Brooks gave me a little time yesterday to chat about the how, what, why of Artsyo–

Artsy Forager | How did Artsyo get started?

Sarah Brooks |  When I moved to Seattle in 2007, I had my first apartment and my first real job, and I was really excited to buy a piece of original art for the first time. I was going to art walks and loving the art scene here, but it was harder than I’d expected to find a piece that I both loved AND could afford. I knew that somewhere out there in Seattle, maybe at a coffee shop in Ballard or a studio in Georgetown, there was a perfect piece for me that was also in my price range…but how would I ever find it? I was working a lot, and I didn’t have enough time to visit every gallery and every art walk, and I was wishing for some way to see a bigger visual of what was out there to guide my search. I finally decided last year to leave my job and start working on building this big visual map of the Seattle art scene for real.

Free Fall by Tracy Boyd, available on Artsyo

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AF | What do you see as the biggest challenge to connecting would-be art collectors with artists and galleries?

SB | One big challenge I see is that there are a lot of people who don’t think of themselves as collectors. Because it’s historically been this thing only for the really wealthy and the people-in-the-know, the prospect of buying art is intimidating. And the way most of the avenues are set up now — you have the gallery that’s only open by appointment, for example — reinforces that very formal, art world exclusivity feeling. Which is great for some, but I think there are a lot of people who would rather be able to get familiar with pieces in a stress-free setting, like in their own home. I think more and more people are starting to realize that anyone can be an art collector, and that not every piece costs $20,000. There are a bunch of great people working on the same problem in Seattle right now: Sharon Arnold with LxWxH, Wynne Greenwood with SeaCat. It’s an exciting time, and the more people who realize that they can be appreciators and owners of art, the better for everyone!

War Horse by Rachel Denny, available through Artsyo

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AF | What is it about Seattle that attracts so many artists?

SB | Good question! I think it has something to do with the freedom to be different over here, and that’s got to be linked with creativity. I’m from the northeast, and one thing I love about Seattle is that out here, you can be weird. And that’s cool. I think it’s also the reason that we have such a great tech community here…there’s room to be creative and weird and try new things, and the whole culture out here embraces it. Look at the Solstice Festival! I can’t imagine that happening where I grew up…

Connotation No. 29 by Shaun Kardinal, available through Artsyo

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AF | Have you purchased any Artsyo featured work for yourself yet?  Any particular piece you’re coveting?

SB | Not yet! I knew I was putting myself in a dangerous spot with all of this amazing art right in front of me all day every day, so I made a solemn promise that I wouldn’t buy a piece until I found a way to make Artsyo financially sustainable. Right now all of my expendable cash is tied up in getting Artsyo off the ground. But there are so many pieces on the site that I would love to take home with me. Ryan Molenkamp’s Cut Bank in particular (but you might have guessed that from the Artsyo home page design).

Uptown by LR Odette

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AF | What are the hopes and dreams you & Stella have for the future of Artsyo?  Any plans to expand to other cities?

SB | Our hope is to make Artsyo the site that we were dreaming about before it existed: a new way to discover art in Seattle that makes it easier and more fun to find art and buy art and live with art. With that in mind, we’re working on an art map (so that if you’re going for a walk in your neighborhood, you can see what’s up at every place nearby and drop in if something catches your eye). We’re about to add “last mile” services, too — the whole process of framing and installation is daunting for a lot of busy people, and so we want to take care of that and make it as easy as possible. In terms of new cities, we’d love to try Artsyo in Portland and San Francisco in the future…actually, I think there are a lot of cities that need an Artsyo. But first, we want to make sure we’re doing it right in Seattle.

Thanks, Sarah, for taking the time to chat– now here’s a fun little announcement for you!  To commemorate its launch, Artsyo is running a Pimp My Wall contest for Seattle art lovers!  Basically show Artsyo that your wall is in major need of some art lovin’ and you could win an Artsyo work of art of your own choosing ( worth up to $500 ).  See the Artsyo blog for more details!  Sorry, the contest is only open to those lucky enough to live in Seattle. 😉

Artsy in Print: New Feature in Arbus Magazine

18 Oct

I am super excited to announce that Artsy Forager is now a regular feature in print!  Arbus, an arts and business magazine in my old ‘hood of Northeast Florida will regularly be running select Artsy Forager features beginning with their October/November 2012 issue ( see it here!! ).

October/ November 2012 issue of Arbus Magazine

Arbus features the best of what’s happening in art, culture and design in the Northeast Florida area.  But publisher Cinda Sherman knows that there is a great big world of art out there, so each month’s Artsy Forager feature will showcase artists from around the world, introducing Arbus readers to a whole new set of artists to love.

As a blogger, it’s a special kind of thrill to see my words in print, but for me, it’s especially wonderful to see them in a publication I’ve read since my college days.  I hope you’ll check out the issue online ( or pick it up in person, NEFL Arsties! ), lots of great features in this issue, including a spread on one of my Florida faves, sculptor Joe Segal!

Headed Down to Cali!

30 Sep

Today, Mr. Forager & I are packing up and early Monday morning, we’ll be leaving Coeur d’Alene, ID, our home for the last ten months, for a new adventure in Joshua Tree, CA.  We’ll be hanging in SoCal until mid- January and I’m looking forward to bringing you lots of new adventures in artsiness!  We’re taking our time on the way down to do a little camping and visiting with friends in San Diego.

While I’m away, I thought you might enjoy some reruns of what have ( so far! ) been the most popular Artsy Forager posts.  There’ll be some peppering of new stuff, too– we’ll change over to a new Facebook Featured Artist and a couple of new Artist Watches for Escape Into Life!

I’ll check in occasionally, especially once we hit San Diego.  Love and Artsiness!

Exciting News!!

15 Nov

Yours truly is now a weekly contributor to the Escape Into Life website.  Escape Into Life is an online arts journal showcasing visual arts, literature and music.  My first post is up and you can check it out here.  For my inaugural post, I’ve featured the work of one of my favorite artists, Susan Hall.  Susan’s work haunts me in the best possible way.  Hope you love it as much as I do.

Please take some time to poke around the EIL website.  You’ll be inspired!

Cheers and great art,

Lesley

The Artsy Home: Show-ing Off

25 Oct

As promised, here’s our 2nd Christina Baker feature of the day.  The fabulous Mrs. Baker has four (!) pieces of artwork featured in the Nashville Southern Living Showcase Home.  So I thought it would be fun to give you a peek at her work in this beautifully designed space.

Commissioned work for master bedroom, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, acrylic on canvas, 48x48

Master bedroom, Lazy Day, acrylic on canvas, 30x40

Master Bedroom Inspiration Board, Southern Living Showcase Home

Coming in September!!

7 Aug

Featuring posts on fashion-designer artists, jewelry artists, artists with style for miles, fashion inspired art, art inspired fashion and much more!

Be runway dressed and ready to brave the paparazzi for Artsy Forager’s very own artsyFashion Week!

Hands-On vs Hands-Off Artistry

27 Apr

In my daily reading of Artinfo.com this morning I came across two articles, seemingly unrelated, until the Facebook comments regarding one of the articles tied them together for me.  The first article, found here, poses the question, “Should Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia Remain Unfinished?”  The Barcelona basilica, begun in 1882 by renown artist-architect Antonio Gaudi is still under construction eighty-five years following the architect’s death. 

Sagrada Familia under construction in Barcelona, Spain

 Though Gaudi left plaster models and drawings, many of his notes were destroyed during the Spanish Civil War, leaving his vision open to interpretation by current sculptors, architects and designers.  While some critics feel the current direction doesn’t jive with Gaudi’s original vision, even during his lifetime, there were many sculptors working on the basilica.  Like any monumental undertaking, “it takes a village” to bring Gaudi’s creation to life.

Close-up of one of La Sagrada Familia's spires. Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.

Should Gaudi’s original design be so open to interpretation?  He gave artistic license to those working under him while alive, would he so object to modern interpretations now being imposed?  Unlike other types of sculpture, cathedrals are often the product of centuries worth of work by multiple architects, artists and craftsman. 

The star-studded ceiling of the east wing of La Sagrada Familia under construction. Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.

As Gaudi was aware he would not be alive to see it to completion, wouldn’t he have known his original design would be open to interpretation by those who came after him?  Does the fact that Gaudi is not here to personally oversee the work negate the additions?

Artists using apprentices and assistants is nothing new.  The art world of the Renaissance era, which produced such celebrated masters as Michelangelo and DaVinci was built upon the concept of apprenticeship.  But what about now?  The second article I read this morning was regarding the approval of a Dale Chihuly museum at the site of a former amusement park in downtown Seattle ( now the Seattle Center ).

The museum in itself is the subject of controversy, but that isn’t what I’d like to address here.  Instead, I’d like direct attention to another Chihuly controversy– his use of others to craft his designs.  One Facebook poster thought it necessary to point out that since losing the use of his left eye due to a car accident, he is no longer the person actually blowing the art glass he is so famous for.  ( In reality, Chihuly continued to blow glass for three years following the accident, until a body surfing incident dislocated his shoulder, so he was no longer able to manually manipulate the glass ).   The poster’s statement that “His employees make everything.  Just sayin’.” seems to somehow fault Chihuly for continuing to create in the only way he physically could, by having others help him.  The artist himself has said that his role, more of a director, allows him better perspective on the work.

As stated above regarding Gaudi, the practice of using assistants and apprentices to create monumental works of art has been done for centuries ( and yes, many of Chihuly’s creations are monumental in scope ).  So as long as the artist himself continues to design the creations with his name on them, what’s the big deal?

And what about so-called “production originals”?  You might be thinking of the ones advertised as “hand painted original works of art”, usually being sold out of a hotel ballroom.  But what I’m talking about are the production art studios– where perhaps one “lead artist” is creating original works of art, which are then being recreated & reproduced by the hand of “assistant artists”.  There are more of these studios around than people realize and the work can be found in galleries, corporate and private collections all over the world.  While the savvy gallerist, art consultant, designer and art afficionado knows production art when they see it, what about the collector who thinks they are buying a true original work of art, only to spot an almost exact replica when in their hotel while on vacation in Hawaii?  Do we lump Chihuly in with these?

These are three examples of artwork being completed and accomplished without the direct hand of the creator.  What are your thoughts?  Is it ever OK to put your name on something you didn’t actually physically create?  This is definitely a gray area.. would love to hear your thoughts!

DoGooders: Helping Kids with Cancer Through Art

20 Apr

Hospitals can be scary places.  Especially if you’re a small child being poked and prodded and put into scary looking machines when all you want to do is play. 

Art proves a great distraction to kids at Shands Jacksonville | jacksonville.com.

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