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Ypsilanti art

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First Fridays Ypsi: An Evening with Emily Fineberg

The activity last night was bustling, in and out of the studio. Emily Fineberg and her husband Zach brought in a beautiful set up of packaged books and materials for demonstration. We had some new faces and luckily, lots of families because we brought our son Tai for his first First Fridays Ypsi opening. He had a blast, especially when artist Tim Householder showed up with an arsenal of chalks for outdoor art at each FFY venue. 

Afterward, we visited our friends at Ypsilanti Running Co. and the shiny, new salon Betty Green Salon. Another great night! See you in September for Jessica Tenbusch's Lacuna: Life Through Death opening on a non First Friday (we're going out of town the week before), Thursday, September 10th. 

Ballers in the house (or Tyler Weston).

Ballers in the house (or Tyler Weston).

Stitching signatures.

Stitching signatures.

Just a few of Emily's perfectly handbound books. 

Just a few of Emily's perfectly handbound books. 

Emily and Zach chat with our dear friend Hedger. 

Emily and Zach chat with our dear friend Hedger. 

Ypsilanti Community School's superintendent Dr. Benjamin Edmondson brings a special delivery. 

Ypsilanti Community School's superintendent Dr. Benjamin Edmondson brings a special delivery. 

Jeweler Lorraine Kolasa and Bekah Wallace from  Cultivate Coffee & TapHouse admire Emily's work. 

Jeweler Lorraine Kolasa and Bekah Wallace from  Cultivate Coffee & TapHouse admire Emily's work. 

Tim Householder beautifying the sidewalk. 

Tim Householder beautifying the sidewalk. 

#FirstFridaysYpsi

#FirstFridaysYpsi

Mark Maynard and his daughter learn about the book binding process. 

Mark Maynard and his daughter learn about the book binding process. 

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Natural Selection opening with Megan Williamson

This past Friday I got to see my dear friend and talented artist Megan Williamson. We're showing her exhibit Natural Selection, fifteen recent works,  through June 30th. She and her son Gavin drove in from Chicago for the opening to talk about a variety of landscapes, still lifes and floral paintings. (There were also two drawings done in her signature sumi ink on Claycoat paper and an abstract oil of a storm, aptly titled Storm). 

I first met Megan through a friend of a friend and was immediately taken with her aesthetic. I showed her work back in 2009 and it's a pleasure to champion her work which belongs in over 100 private and public collections throughout the world. She's been featured on Design*Sponge and has limited editions on Artfully Walls.  Her work is beautiful and immersive. 

Megan Williamson talks about her latest landscapes with Executive Director of Riverside Art Center, Will Hathaway.

Megan Williamson talks about her latest landscapes with Executive Director of Riverside Art Center, Will Hathaway.

We had enthusiastic crowds throughout the evening and lots of activity on the street – another successful First Fridays Ypsilanti!

We urge you to stop in and see this exhibit. Megan is truly a master of color, line and form and this is a show not to be missed. This is our last exhibit of the spring season and we'll highlight previous artists for upcoming FFY nights (with an art sale on July 10th and August 7th). Thanks to everyone that has been a patron the first four months of our exhibition history. It's been a blast!

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Recap: First Fridays Ypsi with Jessica Krcmarik

This past Friday we opened Feast: A Visual Spread, a collection of illustrations from Detroit artist Jessica Krcmarik. We got to show off her new series of everyday objects and delicious foods. Titles include What He Likes (which was sold that evening) and What Kids Like. Cute, eh? We were also lucky enough to have her live drawing the entire night as people watched in awe of her handiwork. 

Our artist info sheet and price list. To receive one of your own,  please email us.

Our artist info sheet and price list. To receive one of your own, please email us.

Moments before opening, the studio flooded with light.

Moments before opening, the studio flooded with light.

We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful evening. 

We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful evening. 

Delicious cookies from Terry Bakery

Delicious cookies from Terry Bakery

Jessica got right to work on a still life set up as people looked on curiously. 

Jessica got right to work on a still life set up as people looked on curiously. 

If you're interested in acquiring one of Jessica's illustrated gems, feel free to give us a call at 734-929-2498 or email us to see photos. Stay tuned for details on our June artist, Megan Williamson, before we take our summer break from art openings. 

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Stan Malinowski: Icons of Fashion opening

Update: These photos (courtesy Jacob Wieringa) and an article about First Fridays Ypsi can be found here

Last night was our first First Fridays Ypsilanti participation and we're thrilled with the attendance and energy of the evening. Our show, Stan Malinowski: Icons of Fashion highlighted the supermodels of the late '70s and '80s and introduced everyone to an era of glamorous images pre-Photoshop.

Yen talking to a patron about the local art scene.

Yen talking to a patron about the local art scene.

First Fridays Ypsi organizer, Kayj Michelle with a friend, checking out Janice Dicksinson.

First Fridays Ypsi organizer, Kayj Michelle with a friend, checking out Janice Dicksinson.

Best dressed couple of the night. 

Best dressed couple of the night. 

Yen with community advocate and activist, D'Real Graham. 

Yen with community advocate and activist, D'Real Graham. 

The main question of the evening was, "How did you get Stan to do a show here?" There's a lineage of Chicago photographers that have worked in the commercial realm and Stan is one of them. Nick (being fresh and naive to the city), approached him for advice. Stan graciously told him stories, shared his expertise and ultimately the two of them had an exhibit in 2008 named From Fantasy to Fashion. We're so proud and appreciative of Stan's collaboration, a piece of fashion history in our studio.

Artist Ilana Houten, regal in designer threads.

Artist Ilana Houten, regal in designer threads.

Nick speaks with artist and photographer, NIKI.

Nick speaks with artist and photographer, NIKI.

Graphic designer Anne-Marie Kim of Genui Forma checks out Iman. 

Graphic designer Anne-Marie Kim of Genui Forma checks out Iman. 

9 S. Washington St.

9 S. Washington St.

Artist Jermaine Dickerson converses with a patron. 

Artist Jermaine Dickerson converses with a patron. 

Thanks to everyone that joined us! the exhibit is up through the end of April and available to view by appointment. If you're interested in price list or details on photographs available to add to your collection, give us a call at 734-929-2498 or email us. 

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Dear Artist...

Over the last two months we've received a mound of submissions to exhibit in our humble space. Being the competitive process that it is, I've had to send more "no"s than "yes"es. And yet everyone has been gracious with the feedback regardless of outcome. What I've learned is that artists are itching not only for a place to show, but a place to be seen and possibly sell. I don't claim to be an "expert" at anything, I simply have a platform in which to sell the work. But I'll delve into that later.

I was compelled to write this post because of an email I received over the weekend. After teetering on a photographer whose work I thought was captivating and technically sound, I passed on the opportunity to show her work because she was enjoying editorial success. In her enthusiastic response, she shared that she was recovering from a recent stroke. She had lost some of the peripheral vision in her left eye but was still continuing to "get out there everyday with my little camera!" That truly touched me and made me remember my own anticipation when I was on the other side of the vetting process, how nerve wracking it was, the hope you hold to find out if your work will be seen.

Every one of you has a circumstance that I know nothing about and all I get is a small snippet of your life experience in a digital folder. For that, I am incredibly grateful. "Thank you" to each and every one of you that submitted.

I'm really humbled by this experience and feel I can lend some advice and hopefully help some of you to gain some understanding on how to continue the path. I'd also like to shed some light on how I make the decisions I do and what you should look for in a gallery and dealer. 

Dain Mergenthaler

Dain Mergenthaler

Traditionally, galleries sustained artists with a stipend so they could live and create art until the opening of a show and beyond. There are still a handful of high-caliber galleries that practice this model but most simply don't have the capability to function at this level. We certainly don't. I do not represent artists in an ongoing manner, but I do publicize, market, advocate for, live, breathe, sleep that artist's work during the months leading up to the event and the entirety of the exhibit. (And we do have contracts which allow for us to keep and sell work past the exhibit but relinquish upon the artist's request).  

From my understanding, the few galleries serving this immediate area have shuttered their exhibition programming or moved on. And there are even fewer chances to be highlighted as a solo artist. We are a small operation but we've had big experiences in the past. I've worked with contemporary artists like Julian Stanczak and Jerome Witkin and curated traveling museum exhibitions. I understand the practices to get work seen and I'd like to apply that to this market.

I look for thematic confidence. Meaning, how well do the pieces look together? After all, hanging a retail exhibit is very much about merchandising. For our Virtuous show, Jermaine Dickerson produced new graphite drawings, mixed media paintings and charcoal sketches, but all on the same topic - modern day media coverage and the state of sexism, racism and injustice - based around the comic book genre.

I'm a stickler for presentation so even if your work is on extravagant paper or your sculptures stand seven feet high, I have to consider how that translates in our space — a storefront with a track hanging system and approximately 11 foot ceilings. It is unlikely, but not impossible, for me to hang works on paper with metal clips and nailed to the wall. I don't think this looks professional nor inspires confidence in a buyer, no matter how exceptional a work is. You may think this is snobbery, but I'm trying to strike a balance between the museum guidelines I once adhered to, the gallery presentation of American works I'm used to and the early 20th century architecture of our building with a combination of cement, plaster and drywall surfaces.

We only show solo exhibits right now and that's what I intend indefinitely. Could you imagine an album that only had one or two songs from each artist? This type of compilation dilutes the aesthetic vision of the artist and understanding the intent and curating a good show takes time and exposure to a theme. My father, who is also an artist, once told me that a good painting means you can imagine the whole world in the style of the work, like you opened the front door one day and everything was saturated Gaughin. Since we're familiar with big names like Van Gogh and Picasso, we know what to expect. But with an unknown or contemporary artist, we need time to cleanse the palette, recalibrate and adjust to their vision. I believe solo shows are the only way to do this.

We enter into a contract where I have responsibilities to publicize and market you in the best light, in a way that's honest to your product. There are certain costs I will cover including print materials and signage supporting the opening, food and drink costs and occasionally supplies and/or framing depending on the deal. A dealer should always be able to disclose what pieces have sold and for what amount during the duration of a contract. They should also be able to relinquish your pieces when you request them, if, this was part of your contract as well. 

As the artist you also have responsibilities to deliver the caliber and number of works discussed, on time. They can't be owned by anyone else, unless they're on loan for a show with explicit understanding by all parties. Requests (whether it be for supplies, framing, extensions, what ever it may be) should be asked for in advance when possible. 

In terms of the submission process itself, following directions is of utmost importance. We (curators, dealers, gallerists) sift through dozens of submissions weekly and standardizing the process makes us able to consume images and keep track more easily. I recommend hiring or swapping with a photographer to take the best lit photographs possible against blank, unfussy backgrounds. I've received CVs and resumes in Word, text and jpeg formats but PDF ensures things don't get scrambled and look how you intended them to when you sent them off. 

And as you may have guessed, salability is keyBecause our exhibiting venture is still in its budding stages (our first show and panel discussion was only two weeks ago, selling five out of nine works), we're testing the waters to see what people will buy and whether sales will come via online and phone. But we're hopeful our expertise will drive people to buy in-person over what the internet has offered the last couple decades, much like the craft beer movement is sweeping big grocery store staples. There's nothing like seeing a piece in person (which is why I schedule studio visits when I can), so I'm hoping to capture the group that would normally purchase on Etsy or a reproduction from a site. 

Dennis Jones

Dennis Jones

I'm also keeping in mind what's easily consumable for a first time art buyer, a corporate collection, a longtime collector. Each show will test out a different price point as I'd like most people that enjoy art to be able to add something to their collection while seasoned buyers will be challenged with contemporary art that's not just "decorative" but authentic and well-executed

Finally, it's true. It does come down to what I like — what I find interesting, engaging, challenging. When I look at a submission, I have to believe there is a journey of longevity and collaboration. I'm a proponent for the arts and therefore, a fighter for the artist. 

Even though the submission season has ended, please don't hesitate to ask if you ever have a question.  The images in this post are a few of the artist submissions I've accumulated over the last two months. Enjoy. 

 

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The Wurst Challenge 2015

Just a couple blocks from the studio is this incredible organization called FLY Children's Art Center. And it's just like it sounds. It's a place for kids and families to let their imaginations take flight, possibilities are endless with courses in drawing, painting, theater, costumery, robotics and we're so lucky to count them as creative neighbors. 

One of their big annual fundraisers is The Wurst Challenge at The Wurst Bar, where contenders raise funds, eat LOTS of delicious sausages while dressed up in their best garb and make a name for themselves. You really can't go wrong when the thread for the event is #20feetofmeat. Yep.

Here are just a few of the momentous highlights of last night's event. 

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In the Studio with Jessica Tenbusch

Last week I got to visit our September artist, Jessica Tenbusch in the studio while she prepped some of her luxurious objects for our show. I first discovered her work during a post for DIYpsi and was taken with how beautifully organic her pieces are, as if they sprung from nature themselves. 

Much of her work is derived from animal parts but she only uses objects that have been found deceased or gifted by friends and family. Jessica is a master of melding materials and creating surfaces that are at once awe-inspiring and slightly macabre. In her "menagerie" that day, I got to see skulls of deer, coyote, raccoon, possum, a few teeth, casts of cicadas, and other various insects. 

I was in awe of the myriad of hammers and supplies in general that Jessica uses for her metal, plaster, woodworking practices. She is truly a jack of all trades. 

Measuring her wood slabs to be cut in the wood shop.

Measuring her wood slabs to be cut in the wood shop.

A frog suspended in layers of resin and encased in metal. To the right, a fitted wooden palette which will house the piece.

A frog suspended in layers of resin and encased in metal. To the right, a fitted wooden palette which will house the piece.

From conceiving the idea on paper to creating the real thing, this piece   includes such materials as   resin, wood, cicadas, cast bronze and various metals  .

From conceiving the idea on paper to creating the real thing, this piece includes such materials as resin, wood, cicadas, cast bronze and various metals.

Check out Jessica's intricate jewelry for purchase at her Etsy store, equilibria. And save the date September 4th, 2015 for her opening party with her exhibit running the entirety of the month, September 1-30, 2015.  We can't wait to unveil the exceptional craftsmanship and splendor of her work. More to come!

 

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Virtuous: Panel Discussion & Opening

Update: A full video of the discussion can be viewed here

Our first opening took place this past Thursday and we couldn't be happier with the turn out and support we received from the community. Virtuous, is a series of illustrations by contemporary artist Jermaine Dickerson, focusing on comic book style technique and content. I was first drawn to his work because his technical acumen but was blown away by the stories behind the content. He's very committed to the genre and wanted to create new work surrounding the Michael Brown and Ferguson incidents and how they were conveyed in the media. 

Our landlord was nice enough to let us use the vacant space next door (now leased - yay, neighbors!) for the panel discussion which got filled and was standing room only by the end. Here are some highlights of the panel which included Richard Rubenfeld, Professor Emeritus of Art History at Eastern Michigan University; exhibiting artist Jermaine Dickerson; James Conniff, resident comic book expert of Fun 4 All Comics; Jesse Rubenfeld, illustrator and artist; and Curtis Sullivan, co-owner and founder of Vault of Midnight. 

Dr. Richard Rubenfeld moderated an hour of topics in comic books including diversity, real life superheroes, powers and women in comic books.

Dr. Richard Rubenfeld moderated an hour of topics in comic books including diversity, real life superheroes, powers and women in comic books.

Exhibiting artist Jermaine Dickerson. 

Exhibiting artist Jermaine Dickerson. 

We even had a professional filmmaker in the house!

We even had a professional filmmaker in the house!

The panel closed out with a Q&A session. 

The panel closed out with a Q&A session. 

Curtis Sullivan gets his point across.

Curtis Sullivan gets his point across.

Our dashing panel. 

Our dashing panel. 

A successful night indeed! #Virtuous

A successful night indeed! #Virtuous

The show is open through the end of March and there are still a few pieces available for purchase. The first hour we sold four pieces from the exhibit. Very successful, we'd say! For more information about our upcoming events, check out our exhibitions page here

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Art, Lately

After the winter hibernation, spring is one of my favorite times of year for art-seeing. There's revived energy, excitement and the exhibition season is taking off with high expectations with our first event tomorrow night. 

This past week has been a packed schedule of artist visits and just some cool pieces along the way. 

A detail of a painting by Molly Diana, our November 2015 artist.

A detail of a painting by Molly Diana, our November 2015 artist.

Screenprinted fabrics at Stamps School of Art & Design

Screenprinted fabrics at Stamps School of Art & Design

A piece from the MFA at Stamps

A piece from the MFA at Stamps

Another piece from the MFA show

Another piece from the MFA show

A few of the pieces from Margaret Hitch's 24 piece series. See it in its entirety this October.

A few of the pieces from Margaret Hitch's 24 piece series. See it in its entirety this October.

A piece from the Graduate show at Ford Gallery at EMU

A piece from the Graduate show at Ford Gallery at EMU

John Murrel at Ford Gallery at EMU

John Murrel at Ford Gallery at EMU

Get out there. See some art. Be inspired.

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Partnering with Ann Arbor Art Center

Back in 1999, I transferred to the University of Michigan School of Art & Design, after conceding to the fact that I wasn't "cutthroat" enough to handle fashion at SAIC. I was feeling a little glum about the whole thing. But Ann Arbor Art Center paved the way for my art career in many ways that Fall. 

I started working as an intern in the Office of Education with an incredible group of people, many of which I still consider dear friends today. First, I learned how to manage a supply closet and move easels and tables and chairs around. Then I was given the responsibility of calling models for life drawing class and brainstorming for fun, new classes for kids. From there my administrative responsibilities sprouted into running quick workshops, then birthday parties and ultimately, classes in painting, drawing and ceramics (clay on the wheel). Over five years, not only did my understanding of art education and administration grow, but I also learned an invaluable lesson about myself. I was meant to do this! 

Now, 15 years later I'm back and equipped with knowledge and excitement in being able to help with this priceless organization. 

As the third oldest arts organization in Michigan (it even precedes UM's academic arts program), it serves thousands of children and adults annually with classes, events, outreach, exhibition opportunities and more. Recently, our friend Omari Rush mentioned partnering on a consulting basis. As Director of Public Programs, his role is to find and place resources advantageous not only for the Center but for the arts community as a whole. 

The Center receives requests regularly for art consulting and buying. And now I'll be the person to execute those requests! I'll handle private and corporate consulting issues including acquisition, assessments (and some appraisals in my field of specialty, American impressionism and modernism), selling, framing, maintenance and studio visits. Our foremost priority is to endorse and draw from the wealth of local artists. 

I have a lot of familiarizing to do and I can't wait to do it. Beyond that, clients can request research on art outside of the area, but we're going to strive to sell local first.

And now comes the best part — I'm asking that if you have an art consulting request, you call the Center for a referral. Why? Because every one originating from them will result in a portion of proceeds going straight to them. I love being back in the area and I see this as a wonderful way to return the generosity of knowledge the Center equipped me with years ago. 

If you're looking to finally choose a piece for the foyer, start a collection or build upon an existing one, I urge you to call the Ann Arbor Art Center at 734-994-8004 and they'll send you my way. 

Thank you!

 

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Big {Art} Announcement



Happy New Year! We hope everyone had a safe and memorable celebration to ring in 2015. 

We are excited to announce that we'll be exhibiting artists starting this March! While showing work in the new space seemed like a natural progression for us, we didn't prioritize it when we found the studio, simply because we weren't sure of how we would formalize what kind of gallery we would be and what type of art we would show. And then we realized, there are so few venues for consuming retail art in the area, we couldn't shy away from something we love doing and are good at. 

Here's the roster of artists for 2015.

We met Jermaine Dickerson as the resident graphic designer for a campus office at Eastern Michigan University. His style is steeped in realism, anatomical accuracy and suspension of reality as he delves into worlds of superhero status. I was immediately drawn to his meticulous linework and it didn't take us long to ask Jermaine to be the first artist to exhibit. As an emerging artist with an infectious laugh, we see unmistakable promise in Jermaine's work ethic and talent. You can see some of his digital design skills on his website and follow more of his projects (and the occasional still life) here on Facebook

Stan Malinowski has been a friend and mentor to Nick ever since we lived in Chicago. They had a collaborative show in 2008 and he's shared a wealth of his experiences in the fashion photography world. Starting in the '50s at Playboy, Stan moved on to fashion magazines in world markets, working with the likes of Anna Wintour, Christie Brinkley, Gia Carangi, Iman and many more. Stan is the preeminent perfectionist (and superb dinner mate), overseeing every process of his prints and negatives. We plan to show a carefully chosen group of photographs from a 20 year span, 1970-1990. This is a show of works exclusive to us and we're very proud of this.

Woon Sein Chin is my dad. He studied fine art in Taiwan during the '70s right before he emigrated to the States. While he and my mother worked odd jobs to make a living, he has never stopped painting. In 2011, he started working at the Museum of Contemporary Art in security and is surrounded by the artists that have inspired him over the years, Bacon, Matisse, Picasso. Last year, he was invited to show his works in the 3rd floor gallery of the MCA. His style is steeped in expressionism, with broad, electric strokes of oil and we'll be showing works on paper and canvas.

I met Megan Williamson when she visited Madron Gallery (where I served as director) on the recommendation of friend. It turns out the artists we had hanging on the wall (American greats such as Reginald Marsh, William Glackens, Frederick Frieseke), were the influences to her influence, Nic Coronas. I had never met anyone that knew so many of the styles and artists so intimately. We've been friends and collaborators since. Megan's canvases are constructed of elements that play upon each other and rely on how our eyes interpret those intersections of color and shape. During our weekly conversations, we talk about possibilities, ideas, dreams (a few shared on her Facebook page). It is our pleasure to show a series of Megan's still lifes and landscapes.

While perusing the various holiday fairs last month, I stumbled across an intriguing piece by Jessica Tenbusch (image above). Made of bone, copper and a method of hand hammering metal called repousse, I was immediately drawn to the perfect execution of her precious, organic pieces. Using only animals and parts found deceased, her pieces are are multi-step processes in experimentation. When I met her during the bustling DIYpsi fair, she was gracious and humble and I had to collaborate with her. We will show a new series of her fine art objects next Fall but you can admire and shop from her Etsy shop, Equilibria in the meanwhile. 

I'll have more information about each exhibition each month before. We can't wait to share our vision of fine art, design and photography with you. Happiness and health to you in 2015. 


Artist Submission Process (accepted January through March 2015)   

Chin-Azzaro is committed to a high standard of marketing, publicity and exhibition practices. With our years of experience in the fine art retail world, we strive to offer a breadth of high quality works to our audience. If you are interested in submitting your work for consideration, please send the following in a zipped folder titled with your name. 

1. CV and/or resume

11. 6-10 images of your work 

111. Artist statement (previous statement acceptable)

1111. Optional: website address, social networking links, references

Please send to: info@chin-azzaro.com and allow 2-3 weeks for a formal response. 

Incomplete submissions will not be considered. Thank you!



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Moved In, Jumping In, Upcoming Events

Wow. We just ended the second day in the studio and we are just dumbfounded by the support and love we've felt from the community and our friends. It's incredible. 

Some of the highlights so far include:

  • Watching people look in the window and turn away, running away quickly when we offer to show them around. 
  • Our awesome landlord, Hedger stopped by and told us he really likes our style. We like your style too, Hedger.
  • Friends popped in and had their portraits taken. 
  • We finally got a tablecloth for the dressing room/kitchen area and cleaned off all the doodads that were hanging out there. And Nick installed a wavy mirror.

And over the last couple days we also agreed to the following events.

We brainstormed last night to participate in our first Small Business Saturday but more specifically #ShopYpsi on Saturday, Nov. 29th to offer $10 portraits to families. We'll blame this on sleep deprivation, yes.

Nick believes that every family deserves a professional holiday portrait and he loves working with kids. 

First Fridays Ypsi is a fun-filled evening with sales and special events and exhibits all around town. We'll participate at our first one on Friday, Dec. 5th with prints from Art Around Town.

We're partnering with Art Around Town again for the Winter Auction, which I'll be auctioneering on Saturday, Dec. 13th from 6-9 pm. (It's the same day at Tiny Expo but we're happy to miss it  to support Ypsi public school arts). 

It's a lot of dates and logistics but this is truly what we've been working toward all these years. The furniture in the waiting area (which we had been hoarding and keeping in the storage unit) proves it. 

We hope that you'll stop in and visit us any time. We're so excited to be a part of the growing Ypsi community and taking the world by storm. 

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