Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Featured Artist: Real Fruit Jewelry

Zoe Einbreiner makes jewelry from delicious slices of real fruit! She carefully preserves the fresh beauty of nature in her jewelry designs. After all, she says what else can compare to the exquisite style of nature?

Real Fruit Jewelry is sealed with a hard, waterproof coating before being joyfully made into your earrings or necklaces. The finished piece is durable and absolutely unique - you won't find anyone in the world with the exact piece of jewelry.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Featured Artist: Suzanne Francis

Suzanne Francis has been selling her paintings and prints in Philadelphia for 15 years. She has pursued interests in paper ephemera, pattern design, local history, horticulture, architecture, and miniature painting techniques. She finds the local landscapes, flora, and fauna, compelling.

“I believe that it is the Artist’s role to step in and help us gain a clearer picture of ourselves, our environment, and our place in time. I seek to reflect the story of Philadelphia; its founding, development, deindustrialization, urban flight, and urban revival. To show the 19th Century building in the 21st Century landscape; a survivor of the vulgarities and economic disparities that have ravaged our city and parks. Yet much survives, the sentiment expressed by the Victorians and ourselves, that our city would prosper and be a place of beauty, abides.

"Having myself purchased and renovated an abandoned row-home, I have encountered the effect of the built human landscape and it connection to quality of life. Allowing myself to be geographically rooted rewarded me with an opportunity to reflect on Philadelphia’s seasons, landmarks, architecture, history, and to feel a part of that history. Baudelaire wrote of the ‘true painter’, who would be able to ‘Latch on to the epic character of the contemporary life and comprehend how great and epic we are...’. By choosing my surroundings as subjects for my art, I hope to prove myself worthy of that role.”
 A resident of West Philadelphia's Parkside neighborhood, Suzanne spends her time cultivating gardens and fixing up her house when she is not making art. She strives to make her art affordable to everyone by offering hand-colored prints of her own hand carved linoleum blocks, in addition to one-of-a-kind originals. Check out her cards and framed works at GO WEST! Craft Fest in Cedar Park, right across the street from the Firehouse building shown here. It's home to Dock Street Brewing Co, Satellite Cafe, Philadelphia Community Acupuncture, and Firehouse Bikes (stop by there too, they're having a sale!)

Suzanne's work is also carried by VIX Emporium and a handful of other boutiques in Philadelphia.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Featured Artist: Communitea Clothing

Communitea is run by Justin Arawjo in friendly West Philadelphia. He and his partner offer original clothing, accessories, and posters, hand printed with 100% non-toxic, environmentally friendly inks.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Featured Artist: Corina Dross

Quietly but steadily, Corina Dross's finely detailed, haunting images have earned her a strong presence in Philadelphia's DIY art scene. I met Ms. Dross in 2007 when she began showing some of her work, wood block prints and small magnetized reproductions of pen and ink drawings, at VIX Emporium. At that time, she had completed a handful of "protection" illustrations, each meant to be one in a deck of magical playing cards. The full set of 54 illustrated cards, Portable Fortitude, was finally published last fall, and the protection spread like wildfire. It's already almost out of stock (the feature on Daily Candy certainly helped); but never fear, a reprint is in the works.

Corina will be vending her wares at GO WEST! on April 9 and has been kind enough to answer a few questions for this post.

Where are you from originally? 
"I grew up in Chicago where my mother, also an artist, took me to life drawing classes from a very young age. I remember drawing animal skeletons in a dark, vast museum as part of a class through the Art Institute of Chicago and thinking, finally, something interesting." 

How long have you lived in Philadelphia?

"I moved to Philly in 2004 and lived in a few warehouses dedicated to studio and show space before I settled in West Philly. I've found my family here; it feels more like home than anywhere else I've lived."

How would you describe your artistic process and/or inspiration?

"When I was growing up my best friends were books, and I always intended be a writer so I could pick up and continue the kind of intimate conversation that happens when you read a an artist I mostly make work that you can hold in your hand, like a book, and most of it you can read... I think my creative urge is bound up with intimacy and continuing a conversation from the voices who have shaped me. I'm also very inspired by my friends in Philadelphia -- the artists, musicians, writers, performers, activists...people here are making some imaginative, daring, and technically accomplished work coming from a very different place than the art I've seen in other cities. I'm grateful to be part of it."

What else would you like people to know about you or your work?
"I work very, very slowly. It takes a long time to get an idea right, and I have more ideas than I can ever develop in one lifetime. I keep a book of schemes to hand off to whoever's around when I die, in case they want to make any of them. Oh, and I love doing commissioned work, but as I said, I work slowly."

Many thanks to Corina for the interview. Come out to GO WEST! April 9 to see her work in person.

PS. We're planning a solo show for Corina at VIX Emporium on June 11 - stay tuned for details.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Featured Artists:
Manor House Creations and Ellie’s Attic
Mike and Wilder Scott-Straight

Recently featured for a green fashion article in the City Paper. It all started when Mike broke one of Wilder’s favorite plates from 1903, an idea formed and the rest is history. Mike searches junk shops, flea markets and beyond for discarded vintage and antique plates to bring a new life to in his jewelry.
“Something I love about my jewelry, is how it spans the ages, literally. Hip urban 20 something’s, their moms and grandmothers, all wear and love my work.” Mike also makes stained glass earrings, river glass pendants (which he finds on the shores of the Schuylkill) and is designing a new line of vintage silverware jewelry.

Ellie’s Attic combines quality thrifted children’s clothes, embellished with unique retro patches, and hand sewn skirts, dresses and pants made by Wilder, whose love of thrifting has taken her to new and exciting heights. “As a Mama I wanted to find fun, interesting and affordable things for my daughter to wear, then quickly realized I should just make them myself, and share them with everyone.”

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Go, West!

We are proud to announce Philadelphia's newest craft event: GO WEST! Craft Fest. Presented by VIX Emporium and the West Philadelphia Crafter's Network, GO WEST! is the best that Philly's local craft scene has to offer. Find jewelry, accessories, visual art, ceramics, clothing, cards and more by up to 40 artists, plus live family-friendly music by Jay Sand of All Around This World. The Fest is in Cedar Park, located on Baltimore Avenue between 49th and 50th, from noon to 5pm. The music is at 3:30. The GO WEST! Craft Fest, formerly known as Satellite Second Saturday, will occur again in the fall and also in December.

Afterwards at VIX Emporium, join local illustrator Pragya Kothari for "The Things Spring Brings", an exhibition of some of her latest prints and one-of-a-kind 3-D artworks. Her work is characterized by  bright pops of vivid color and whimsical motifs like birds (often in unlikely poses), flowers and food. It has been a great success at VIX and we are happy to welcome Ms. Kothari to help us usher in the Spring. Meet the artist and enjoy wine and light snacks from 5-8 at VIX Emporium, 5009 Baltimore Avenue, 1/2 block from the Craft Fest.

Stay tuned for profiles about some of the artists we're excited to welcome. Want to vend your work? See this page for details.