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It’s Daylight Savings Time…

…KEEP SMALL BUSINESSES FROM GOING DARK

I overheard a conversation the other day between two gentlemen who were discussing the early demise of a neighborhood eatery.  Being familiar with the little shop I listened as one of the men regaled upon the other how the subject business was in operation for just a little more than a year before it folded.

The man commented on the amount of money and labor that was put into restoring the old building to its former glory, updating the interior and preserving the exterior. He spoke of the ample availability of parking and how nice it was to have that little family oriented shop in the neighborhood.

It was  shame that the shop had such a short-lived existence. How sad it was when it quietly closed its doors.  And after all that was said he admitted that he himself had never set foot inside.

At this point I stopped listening, reminiscing instead about a little art gallery that was located just down the street from that small shop, the only art gallery in town.  It offered a myriad of original jewelry, pottery, sculptures, photography and paintings ranging from $30 to $3,000 – a little something for everyone.  The gallery flourished for the first year and then put up a really good fight midway through the second year before it too succumbed to a failing economy.

I remembered also, how amazed I was at the number of people who stopped in during those final days to say, “I pass by here every day and this is my first time in.  Sorry to hear that you are closing,” or “I live just a few doors down but I’ve never been in,” and  “It was really nice to have a gallery in town, it’s a shame you have to close.”  “I’m so sorry I missed your artist receptions, I heard they were really nice.”

The shame of course is that those people who dislike big box stores and thought these small businesses were good for the neighborhood, those who looked through the windows but rarely or never set foot inside, those who saw the value after the fact, are the very people who could have made a difference.

Thankfully for that little gallery the “closing” was converted into a move to a new location.  We have yet to see our heyday as we continue to struggle to balance the scales between “need” and “want” in a tough economic environment, but we push forward and for now I still own the only art gallery in town. Check us out at www.handyconcepts.com or email us to ask about our payment plan or gift cards at info@handyconcepts.com.  We support the American Diabetes Association and the Disabled American Veterans by donating 5% of all art sales to either organization.

If there is a small business in your neighborhood give it a fighting chance before you allow it to go dark. The power is in your hands.

PS. Remember, November 30, 2013 is Small Business Saturday.

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The “S” Word

There are a few things I know for sure.

I know the value of hours of tedious work. I know the quality of hand crafted items. I know the satisfaction of a job well done. I know that when it comes to artwork there’s nothing more awe inspiring than to see pure talent brought to life.  I know that to own an original painting or sculpture or piece of pottery – the only one of its’ kind – is something special.  No, it’s beyond special, its damn near priceless!

I know these things because I am an artist and a collector of art. I also know the cost of materials and tools and studio space and sleepless nights creating after work or only on weekends. I know the sacrifice it takes just to do something you love, create something wonderful, and then to give it away. So I usually cringe when the word “Sale” is nestled up to original artwork like natural bedfellows.   

Don’t get me wrong, I love a bargain as much as anyone.  However, I’ve always felt that cutting prices (that are already reasonable mind you) on original artwork is sacrilegious and that it undermines the artist’s hard work. Yet here I am offering you a sale.

I’m not so out of touch with my clientele or my artists to know that right now a sale would do us all some good. Like anyone else artists must practice their craft in order to get better, but mostly to stay sane. Collectors are watching their pennies but they still have an eye and a space for that one-of-a-kind conversation piece. So to keep my artists creating and happy and my collectors artistically engaged, I know I must sell the inventory I currently have. To reconnect with old customers and attract new I know I must offer you prices and payment plans you all can live with.

I know I have to have a sale.

The website is currently being updated with reduced pricing so if you see something that is not marked down, please call or email me for your special price.  EVERYTHING in our current inventory is being marked down. We want to share our art with you but more importantly we want you to experience the pleasure and prestige of owning an original. 

I won’t say that this topic will never come up again.  Never say never (in my Justin Beiber voice). Occasionally you can look forward to promotional events or a coupon or two, but I do promise you it will be a very long time before I mention the “S” word again. 

I know that now is the time to take advantage of a great opportunity. You won’t want to miss this. Visit www.handyconcepts.com and check out our gallery page.

Image

(“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” – original painting, acrylic on canvas. Originally $600.00 slashed to $350.00)

“Wood” you be mine?

As we near the end of the month of August my eye wanders around the gallery and I am drawn to the wood. Such a versatile medium to work with. There are soft woods, hard woods, light woods, dark woods. Rough and smooth. Young and old. Wood reminds me of people. There are so many different varieties and colors and personalities. Wood has attitude. It has character, and if you pair a good piece of wood with an artist it gains a soul.

Full Count

"Full Count" Driftwood sculpture by Bernie Houston

Decidedly, Bernie Houston is a gallery favorite. His driftwood sculptures are definite crowd pleasers. Just the mere mention of driftwood and people are oohing and aahing over the artistry that is borne of nature.

 As when we were children and looked up at the sky and the clouds turned into horses, and faces, and lions, and ships, Houston has mastered the art of bringing out the natural imagery inherent in the wood itself. Bernie’s use of finished and unfinished wood is so appropriate to the medium and quite alluring.

wood chest

Hand-crafted Rosewood, Cherry, and Tiger Maple chest by Felix Milner

Then there is the exquisite craftsmanship of Felix Milner.  His hand-crafted fine furniture are truly works of art.  Though the top drawer is fitted to hold the family’s silverware, this lovely chest lends itself to fit-in in any room. Each drawer is felt-lined in black. Constructed of rosewood, cherry, and tiger maple with decorative inlay this functional treasure is one to pass down from generation to generation. It will one day suddenly become a marvelous antique.

From representational, to literal functionality, to the abstract – there are three pieces of rain tree wood lounging in the jewelry case. Raintree woodLight in color and weight, the smoothed exteriors turn to rough and jagged interiors but with a simplicity that is sheer magic. From them I get a very calming effect and I think I can actually hear the rain. 

All are available for purchase and can be seen at the gallery at Kerry’s Green and on the website at www.handyconcepts.com. Do take just a little time to bask in the wonder of it all and perhaps choose a piece and ask, “Wood you be mine?”

WE’VE MOVED!

Handy Concepts Art Gallery is now located in the lower level of Kerry’s Green at 150 Country Club Road, Red Lion, PA 17356. Please make note of the change of venue and stop by and see us.

The Gallery is OPEN Monday through Friday from 9 am til 5 pm. and open for each event held including open mic, comedy shows, battle of the bands and other engagements that are open to the public.  Not to be outdone, private parties can also visit the Gallery during your event or better yet, have your event IN the Gallery!  Wedding showers, baby showers, birthday parties, graduation dinner, or any other reason you can think of to have a party, if yours is a small crowd of 60 or less, the gallery is THE place to be. When you make your reservations, tell them you want to party in the Gallery!

We would love your feedback on the new location. It has a whole different feel to it – I think I’ll call it quiet elegance. Let us know your thoughts.  We look forward to seeing you there.

 

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