From 2002 diane’s grew and grew with delights from barely a few to a slew! As the slew grew, she needed more room than she knew. In 2008 she decided “I’ll go up” and have a gallery space! This required much to do . . . a new roof and floors too, painting walls and hanging doors, stringing lights and receiving much-needed advice! Overton Park Gallery it was to be called but then the question . . . what artwork to hang on the walls? “I’ll be the first!” said Jimpsie Ayres, so the paintings were hung and the art lovers they did come.
The artists and buyers have been coming 10 years to the day and now it’s time to raise a cheer to all who helped along the way. Come one, come all to the celebration ball! October 26th! diane
I still marvel that the philosophy of a quote from Reflections on the Art of Living/A Joseph Campbell Companion became my recurring reality. ”There is a track just waiting there for each of us, and once on it, doors will open that were not open before and would not open for anyone else. Everything does start clicking along and, yes, even Mother Nature herself supports the journey.” The first such open door was a card, from my friend Margaret Mullens, with a quote from Goethe ” Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” This inspiration literally was the catalyst for me to begin my dream.
One day soon after, I was walking my dog in my neighborhood of Evergreen Historic District admiring the recently remodeled windows of Stonewall Lodge. At that moment, a real estate agent, Les Frazier, drove by and stopped to say hello. From my inquiry about the space, he arranged for me to see it the next day. Once I entered the space, I knew – this was it! Signing that lease was BIG! As I moved further into this commitment, another open door in this process was meeting Carol Wilson, a visiting interior designer from Arizona. We were drawn to each other at a school function and agreed to meet for coffee and conversation. Her words “I would very much like to help you create the space for your new shop” felt like a divine gift as I barely had a clue how I would begin this. But begin we did. We found old architectural pieces that would become display shelves and tables, picked paints and designed tiles for the concrete floor. Most memorable was the day my sign was hung. I was star-struck!
My next challenge was navigating Market. I am grateful to my husband Gene for his stabilizing presence during this first experience. An overwhelming exercise in decision-making, I was close to catatonic from the stress! Also, I realized the power of laughter to soothe the psyche which came by way of You the Man line of humorous cards. These cards marked the first purchase for the shop and started the process of diane’s market finds. That afternoon, someone in the hotel lobby asked me what I did for a living. After 27 years of being in the health profession, I said for the first time “I’m a gift and art shop owner!” Thus was the start of my ten year journey.
finding the right place
From the moment I walked into Parson’s The New School for Design to view the selected works of photography, sculpture, painting, film, prose and poetry for the 89th National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards on June 1st, I was in awe of the incredible creative passion that went into the work of our nation’s most promising teen artists! Their achievements follow those of past winners such as Andy Warhol, Richard Avedon, Truman Capote, Sylvia Plath, Zac Posen, and Edward Sorel. Meryl Streep, addressing these young artists, said “you have not only given voice to your vision, but for all of us”.
Congratulations to my very own Sophie Laurenzi- National Gold Metalist
wrinkles by Sophie Laurenzi
This summer I had the pleasure of visiting our fabulous state of California! As I made my way south along the Pacific Coastal Hwy, I decided to check out San Luis Obispo, tagged “the happiest place in America” As I much prefer B&B’s, my search led me to The Sanitarium. I was immediately caught by the bohemian setting . . . large Turkish hand hammered silver bathing tubs right in the bedroom, shabby chic interior, and wonderful wall paintings of females in reclining poses. When I inquired about these delightful painting at breakfast, I discovered they are the creations of Suzi Bliss the B&B owner. Alas . . . now all has come full circle! Suzi will be making her very first trip to Memphis to show her work at Overton Park Gallery on May 4th. It is my hope to see you there and welcome her with all the southern hospitality we are known for. diane
I recently spent a blissful day touring the Art Institute of Chicago. The newly added Modern Wing in 2008 being my favorite! What a treat to be in the same room with the works of the 1900′s great European artists like Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Constantin Brancusi, Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, and Salvador Dalí. A collection of contemporary art, from the work of mid-20th-century American artists such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning to installations of the work of Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter, Robert Gober, Charles Ray, the Chicago “Imagist” school, and Eva Hesse are also exhibited. Standing before Mark Rothko’s paintings was awesome . . . evoking profound moods of calm and excitement. Scroll through the picture gallery below and see which artists work you can identify. diane
a view from the inside out
Give 130 artists a heart to create an expression of that rocky road called love and you have a hit gala . . . The Memphis Child Advocacy’s Works of Heart. I am in my bliss viewing these irresistible works now on exhibit at the Memphis College of Art! Join me for a delightful night at this year’s 20th auction Saturday night Feb. 11th 7pm. See you there! diane
A Time for Love Hallie Charney 2011
Each Christmas, after the market finds come in, Suzánne and I set to work to bring the wonder of Christmas to the shop (and may I say Suzánne has such a florist’s flare!). With this accomplished I am “in the mood” and beside myself with glee! This year our tree theme is made in India! From Gudari, these delightful crafts . . .vintage sari and rag cloth garland, little felted babbles and lamas, patchwork cloth stars and hand hammered tin swallows, are made during the rain season. During this time the craftsmen perfect their trade.
May you all have a splendid tree and a wonder filled holiday season! diane
This year at the River Arts Fest I purchased a shaman sculpture with a message “The meaning of things forgets what’s next.” Pondering it’s meaning, I remembered reading that Joseph Campbell was often asked “what is the meaning of life?” to which he would respond “There is no meaning. We bring meaning to it”. He goes on to say “Coming into awareness opens us to the possibilities of our own deep love and truths . As we love ourselves, we move toward our own bliss – meaning our highest enthusiasm” (the word ethos means “god-filled.”)
In a recent On Being interview, Krista Tippett asked Buddist monk Matthieu Ricard why he has been dubbed the “happiest” man in the world. His insight was that happiness is a skill that is cultivated -a life discipline. It is a way of being that gives you the resources to deal with life’s challenges.
Mitch Berg's fused glass and metal SHAMAN
What a joy it is to ride on two wheels in my beautiful neighborhood of Evergreen with Overton Park within it’s boundaries to explore! For me fall is the most spectacular time of the year to ride. I love, love, love the crisp air, bright sunshine and the fanciful dance of the falling leaves . . . whirling and swirling in a free fall ballet unique to each leaf. Cruising on my bicycle is one of the few times I can let go and be in the moment -absorbed in the sight, sound, smell and feel of all that is around me. No destination planned, just going along for the ride. TOTAL BLISS!!!
“Delight is the most serious thing I have ever felt!” taken from Carol Ricossa’s artwork The Riders
I recently went to New York City to attend the New York International Gift Fair. My thought in writing this blog was to share my experiences of selecting exciting new vendors and all the cool things NYC had to offer in between. Quite unexpectedly, what I came home with was a profound appreciation for acts of kindness offered me during some times of uncertainty and fear there. Kindness is truly the greatest gift we give to all beings. I once read in a most cherished book Edge of Taos Desert – An Escape to Reality by Mabel Dodge Luhan “It takes time to be kind”. It was so simple a sentiment but a truth that has stayed with me. Thank you Denton and Mark for sharing your home with us, for making sure I could navigate the subway from Harlem, for the ride home after walking 22 blocks in heels, for picking us up in torrential rain after a grueling 6 hrs at the airport before our flight cancelled, then nourishing us with cappuccino, pancakes and bacon before sending us off once again. To reciprocate? . . . pay it forward. diane
“The art of being kind is all the world needs“ Ella Wheeler Wilcox