Monday, June 30, 2014

Mary Pow Sews a Bit Of Whimsy into Her Bags and Pouches

Mary Pow designs and makes cute bags shaped like sharks, bees, ladybugs and other animals, as well as several styles of sleek pouches, wallets, and cases, under the business name MinneBites. Her home studio is located in Nokomis East, part of the greater Longfellow community, and that is where she will be showing for the Lola Art Crawl, which she is participating in for the first time this year.

Shark pencil cases

What inspires/informs your art?
Nature, color, and fashion


What do you like about LoLa; why did you join?
I think it will be a great way for me to connect more with my community and with other artists within my community.

A small portfolio pouch for men

Are you doing anything special for LoLa?
I plan to serve refreshments and have a kids crafting table since many of the creations I make are geared for kids.

Bug wristlet

See more of Mary’s creations in her Etsy shop and on her website, and follow her on Facebook to keep apprised of her latest creations and activities.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Seamstress and Painter ChaRee Headley Takes Inspiration from Body and Soul

ChaRee Headley and her husband, Ben, work together under the business name CherriTree Designs, to create costumes “for all shapes and sizes.”

ChaRee and Ben Headley in their Renaissance Festival costumes

ChaRee also paints with acrylics and sometimes oils, and sews other novelty items, which often incorporate metal and ceramic embellishments; and Ben works with metal and leather, as well as helping out with the sewing and design of costumes.

Mating Dance of Cthulhu, acrylic on canvas
She is participating in LoLa for the first time this year, at her home studio on Minnehaha Avenue, where “sewing happens in the living room with the presence of my two children playing and my husband, Ben, working on his projects.”

Corset-inspired cup cozies

What media do you work in?
Our main media is in fabric. We also work in acrylic paint, ceramics, leather, and metal.

Blue Sun

What inspires/informs your art?
For fabric, we are inspired by the human form and create custom clothing. Paintings are a spur-of-the-moment creation and come from that inspiration.

A corset in leather and metal
Why did you join LoLa?
I joined LoLa because it is in my neighborhood and it seems to be a fun weekend.


Are you doing anything special for Lola?
My kids are going to have refreshments and snacks available. (Or else I will end up providing them!)

See more of CherriTree Designs in their Etsy shop and on on their Tumblr page, and follow them on Facebook here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Rebecca Wicklund Crafts Silver into Zen Jewelry

Jewelry artist Rebecca Wicklund has participated in the LoLa art crawl since its beginning in 2009. She will be showing at the Riverview Cafe, along with several other artists.

She works mostly in silver, and she’s been developing some new styles and textures recently, including a series of objects with a birchbark texture.

What inspires/informs your art?
I create jewelry with simple, clean forms and lines influenced by Zen principles and nature. 

What do you like about LoLa?
I initially joined as a way to get my art out to a greater audience.  The fact that it could happen in my own neighborhood was a bonus.  I love the community feel of the neighborhood art crawl and am so grateful for the Longfellow neighborhood's support!  Year after year I meet so many wonderful people!

Are you planning to do anything special for LoLa?
No.  Although plenty of refreshments are available at our location—from coffee to wine.  ;)

You can see more of Rebecca’s jewelry in her Etsy shop, Metal Petals Studio. 

And follow her on Facebook here.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Nicole Fierce Blows Glass with Form, Function, and Light in Mind

Nicole Fierce makes blown and sculpted glass art pieces that are functional and affordable as well as beautiful, such as vases, paper weights, and bowls. She also makes jewelry she describes as “industrial,” from mixed metals.

“I truly enjoy making functional works for everyday use,” she says. “There is something amazing about holding a piece of art that someone else made with their hands.”

Nicole comes from a background in theatrical lighting design, but “fell in love with glass art” at FOCI (Minnesota Center for Glass Arts) two and a half years ago, where she now spends at least three days a week in the studio. She often demonstrates the process of glass blowing to “anyone who walks in the door.”

She is returning for her fourth year with LoLa and will be showing at her home, along with jewelry maker JeanBushey and potter Sarah Simpson, and possibly one other artist.

What inspires/informs your art?
One word: light.  It all revolves around the way light and color work together and the way certain colors and levels of reflection make us feel. I like to see the way colors play together and how the light reacts with them.

My love for blown glass is inspired by my theatrical lighting design background.  It heavily influences everything I make.  Blown glass art and theatrical lighting are both designed with the following in mind: color, shape, shadow, accents, reflectivity, and form.  For me, it has been a very natural transition.  Blowing glass allows me to express myself using my life experiences and knowledge of how light and color affect people.

What do you like about Lola?
I truly enjoy the concept of inviting people to my home to see who I am as an artist and what I do.  Our homes reflect our art and I feel that is one of the things that makes Lola so unique.  I joined after being a guest at some other folks' homes.

Are you planning to do anything special during LoLa?
I feel it is important to offer proper hospitality when inviting people to my home.  Of course there will be snacks and refreshments!  Blowing glass is unfortunately not something that I am able to do at home. Perhaps some of the other Lola artists displaying at my home will be able to do something interesting.

Any additional thoughts?
My work evolves every day.  I will always consider myself a student of glass.  Blowing glass has changed my life in a dramatic way.  It continues to teach me how to be calm, patient, and focused, especially when distractions are present.

See more examples of Nicole’s glass objects in her Etsy shop; follow her on Facebook; or visit her Wordpress site.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Angie Runnels Repurposes the Found and Discarded into the Beautiful and Useful

Angie Runnels creates her artwork from found and discarded materials—or, as she describes it, “repurposing items of beauty into collage, mixed media, jewelry and sculpture.” She also does quilting.

She is returning for her third LoLa art crawl this year, and will be holding forth at Merlin’s Rest, 3601 East Lake Street, Minneapolis, about which she says, “Come for the art and stay for the amazing food and the Whisky Bible Liturgy.”

(I might add that Merlin’s can also serve a very good pot of English tea, if that’s more your bent. And they are now open for breakfast at 9 a.m. on weekends.—SP)

What inspires you and informs your art?
My work was originally inspired by the classic Rorschach Test.  It fascinated me how people can look at something seemingly amorphous and see things there.  I never sit down with the thought of creating something specific.  I divine through the materials before me what they will be.  This is all made possible through consummate observation of both the macro- and micro- universe.  What fits with what?  What could this be?

What do you like about LoLa?

LoLa is like a flower opening up only once a year.  You are able to see what beauty resides inside these houses and businesses, which normally seem like your everyday, mundane places.

You can see more of Angie’s work, and get news about any other events she may be participating in as the summer unfolds, on her Tumblr site, AngRu Art. 

Visit her Facebook page here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Brenda Peterson Crafts Whimsical Wearable Art for Geeks and Other Playful People

Fiber artist Brenda Peterson is returning for her third LoLa art crawl this summer, and her second year volunteering as LoLa's social media manager. You will find her posts on the LoLa Facebook page and can follow LoLa on Twitter via @LoLaArtistsMN.

Brenda identifies herself as the Crafty Gal at Mellow Fury, the name of her Etsy shop and Facebook page, with the tag line, "Handmade with 100% rechanneled aggression."

What media do you work in?
I am a fiber artist who knits and works with tie dye. I hand knit hats for babies through adults including monster hats, slouch hats, chemo caps, and geek-themed hats. I also create fun tie dye clothing including upcycled tie dye creations and "Big Guy Tie Dye," which are in sizes 2XL and larger. All items are handmade with 100% rechanneled aggression.

What inspires and informs your art?
When I was a child, my mother worked at a yarn shop and taught knitting and crocheting classes; I learned how to knit from her. A few years ago, after I finished graduate school, I rediscovered knitting because I wanted to knit a "Jayne hat," which is a hat featured in an episode of a short-lived Sci Fi TV series called Firefly. Since then, I've made hats inspired by different characters, including Boba Fett from Star Wars and the new Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers. 

Captain Marvel hat 

In addition to my science fiction-themed work, I create silly monster hats because they are just plain fun, chemo caps for those who are battling disease and slouch hats, which combine color and style. In my overly verbal life, I enjoy the act of creating fun and functional artwork that requires no words, and brings people joy.

What do you like about LoLa?
I like being part of an artist community. I enjoy connecting with other artists, learning from one another and helping one another to be successful as artists and art businesspeople.

Where will you be showing for the LoLa art crawl?
My husband, Michael Treat (Smirking Tiger) and I will be at Fireroast Cafe (3800 37th Ave. S.)

Do you plan to do anything special during LoLa?
During LoLa, I'll be giving away a baby monster hat. In addition, I'm sure I'll be knitting away during the whole of the event.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Bob Schmitt Paints the Spirit of the Landscape with Ink and Brush

Bob Schmitt has been painting in the sumi-e tradition for over 50 years—since he was a child—and currently paints with both Chinese ink and watercolor in his Minneapolis home studio.

A co-founder of the League of Longfellow Artists in 2009 and volunteer art crawl administrator for the group’s first five years, Bob is joining the LoLa art crawl for the sixth time this year. He’ll be showing at his home studio, called Laughing Waters Studio.

What inspires/informs your art?
The tradition of Chinese landscape painting, informed by my 17 years of weekly lessons with a local Chinese painting master.

And the beauty of the Minnesota landscape.

What do you like about LoLa?
The amazing uncovering of hidden artists and talents in this neighborhood.

One-stroke painting: "Summer"

Will you be doing anything special for LoLa?
I will be doing demonstrations both days, at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Demonstrating painting pine tree, one-stroke painting, and splash painting.

You can see more examples of Bob’s artwork and get information about classes he teaches on his website, Laughing Waters Studio.

The LoLa art crawl takes place August 23–24 throughout the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis. Maps will be available in early August, and more information will be posted on the LoLa website.