Gracious Artists

Written April 1, 2013

Not too long after we moved into our home, we sorted out where and how to hang our artwork. We have a fair amount of art considering my personal creations, Joel’s Centliver collection, and a smattering of other folks’ beauties. Even so, we ended up with some key areas without art which was considered a problem in this artis’s home. We had a few pieces in the works – both waiting to be framed and waiting to be created – but nothing that was going to manifest in a hurry. Christmas with its strategically place trees and wreaths offered a month of filler, but once the house was de-holidayed we were back to emptiness.

I resigned myself to just living with some empty spaces for some time and moving on, but dang it! Those spaces just kept calling me. So I called the library about their art loan program. Do you remember that program? It was wonderful to be able to check out a piece and then exchange it a month or so later. Good thing I talked to a long-timer at the library because apparently that program ended about 15 years ago, right about the time that I stopped needing it. Lol.

So, again, I resigned myself to living with empty spaces. And then one morning during that period of half-asleep clarity I thought of the collective of local artists that I call friends. I wondered if THEY would be interested in being a ‘library of artwork’ of sorts, allowing some of their creations to leave on loan for a time and grace our empty spaces. The benefits for us would be enormous, of course. We’d get to enjoy up close and personal their beauties, sitting with them, passing by them, allowing them to add their love and juice to our home.

But I wondered what the benefit to the artists might be. We do get a fair amount of traffic through our house with neighbors, friends, family, and the occasional contractor. It’s not like having their art in a gallery, but it would be seen by more people than if it was leaning against the wall in their studio, right?

I also had the awareness in my early morning hours that there might be more in it for them. This home is the largest creative project I’ve ever taken on – a 4000 square foot canvas, I like to say. Every inch of it was touched and restored, cared for and loved, and listened to. We followed our hearts and our vision in creating it. It’s also the largest thing Joel and I have done together. (OK, I suppose you could argue that raising three kids was the largest thing, but let’s not get off topic here.) We acted as our own General Contractors and were most often interchangeable in that role as we dealt with the village of folks who helped us bring it to fruition. It was the most clear manifestation of a vision that I have ever witnessed firsthand and it has allowed me to really understand what that means.

I realized that all of this led to the sacredness that is our home, the gratitude that flows to her and from her, and the support we have given and received from the process and from her. Might it be gift to the artists’ creative beauties, their own works of art, to be in this space and soak up the love and energy that is here?

Apparently the answer was ‘yes’ because we immediately had eight artists lined up for the year, two at a time in two and a half month intervals with any and all artists interested hanging something during September, the month of the Home and Garden Tour. Boom! Empty spaces filled by happy artists.

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To see their works in our home as well as their respective website links, please click on each artist’s name below.

Ann Beeching

Lloyd King

Mary Lazoff-Fyfe

Michael Mettler

Regina Leffers

Jane Ferguson Meredith

Cheryl Spieth-Gardiner

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Regina Leffers McCaleb, Ph.D.

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