Thursday, February 28, 2013

You can't spell Heart without ART

"You can't spell heart without art" via Keep calm o matic.
February is the month known for the heart. With Valentine's Day falling at the halfway point in the month, the CDC creating awareness of Heart Disease by proclaiming February American Heart Month and the American Heart Association's: Wear Red Day on Feb 1st. Hearts abound and  surround us during this month long tribute to hearts everywhere.  Even in Llano, Texas at Lou Quallenberg Studios the heart takes center stage as annually on February 14th Lou creates a mesquite heart for the quote "love of his life".   You can't spell heart without art!  This month I wanted to show support for a few wood Artists with heart that we are trying to support through KickStarter.

If you are not familiar with KickStarter it is an online funding platform for creative projects similar to IndiGoGo another online crowdfunding platform that is a bit more global and less specific project oriented. Both sites have their advantages but we seem to be drawn to KickStarter projects for some reason. The KickStarter funded film  Inocente — the story of a 15-year old girl from California who refuses to give up her dream of being an artist — just won an Oscar for Best Documentary (Short Subject). It was one of three KickStarter films that received Oscar nominations.
Lou Quallenberg's Mesquite Heart for 2013

The first KickStarter campaign that we contributed to was our artist friends Al and Mary Hone's Freedom in a feather project to purchase  PMC clay, tools and a kiln. We have always loved the wood carving and artwork of Al Hone and credit him as the reason Lou started doing the Western Design Conference in Cody, Wyoming.  The project was unfortunately unsuccessful at funding but it got us hooked. We began regularly looking at the projects to see if anything new was of interest.  We were hugely disappointed to miss out on Joshua Harker's 3D printed filigre skull Crania Anatomica Filigre: Me to You.

We were excited to discover the work of James McNabb of  McNabb &Co. with his City Series. Even more excited when we realized that he would soon be doing a KickStarter Project, which meant we could have a small piece of his amazing work. We also felt it necessary to support him winning a Laguna Tools Band Saw in their Show us your Love Contest.  A great bandsaw is a required tool for the kind of work he is doing.  We love the fact that he works with his wife and has his dog featured on his KickStarter and website. As we post this he is less than $100 from his $5000 goal on Kickstarter and with 16 days to go we think you should go sign up and support him and his amazing work.

James McNabb
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The next artist we discovered on KickStarter was Gustav Reyes with his unique bent wood pieces of furniture and jewelry. He was looking to purchase a  wood compression machine for $135,000 and we had hoped to really help push him the next two weeks of his project but as I started to write this we discovered that he has canceled his project. :(  He is still a very talented artist and we won't be surprised to watch as his work increases in popularity. 

Gustav Reyes
Chicago, Illinois

The thing about these two wood artists is they each have unique vision and an obvious passion, putting their HEART into their work.  We truly love to be around and support talented artists in as many ways as we can. I know that if we had unlimited resources this is where it would go. With that said an idea has been brewing. As we outgrow our current location and begin the work of finding and relocating to a larger property and  pace. Perhaps it is  an opportunity to create a place of  art. A place  of  learning and sharing between artists and our rural community.  A place for artists to reside on location in guest houses to pursue their passions.  As the dream or vision comes more into focus perhaps a KickStarter project will help make it into a reality.