Discover Artists — Owning A Piece of Local Art and Culture

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Photo: Mensreverie.com

Here at Krrb we embrace those years when the painting from your local art fair wasn’t worth a fortune or a curated spot in Museum of Modern Art, though it should be. The fun is in the discovery, like when you first notice that the autograph in the lower left corner of a painting appears in Google images. Or take that time when you inherited a tiny landscape painting, moody and simple, only to find out that the piece depicts a critical turn in American culture from an artist who was turning it. Haven’t experienced that, yet? Just wait. In celebration of the good times ahead for local artists, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite pieces—from a few of our favorite places—that are bound to be family heirlooms.

The Brightest Waiting – $215. Photo: Krrb.com/johnwshanabrook?auto=format

John W. Shanabrook lives in a small house in Alexandria, Virginia. We like to think that he paints dreamy landscapes like this one just for us to dream about.

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The Mathematics of Despair – $250. Photo: Krrb.com/johnwshanabrook?auto=format

Here’s another one of our favorites by Shanabrook, wrapping a beautiful image of Virginia in a clear, Southern night.

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French Garden Landscape – $1,800. Photo: Krrb.com/CathySavels?auto=format?auto=format

Artist Cathy Savels resides in France, where she has been revered as #1 in innovation. Her lived experience of France manifests in the coolest of cool-color palettes, knots of fabric, and geometric shapes.

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Lichen Abstract in White – $850. Photo: Krrb.com/CathySavels?auto=format?auto=format

Savels, often inspired by the natural beauty of France, creates textures that are intricate, delicate, and bold—all at once.

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Dogs, Series #56 (90) – $950. Photo: Krrb.com/MCR?auto=format?auto=format

Mid-Century Rehab, a one-stop-art-shop located in Seattle, Washington, houses some of our favorite pieces on Krrb, such as this oil painting by the talented Tom Hamilton.

The Party (101) - $450. Photo: Krrb.com/MCR?auto=format?auto=format

The Party (101) – $450. Photo: Krrb.com/MCR?auto=format?auto=format

A leader in exceptional art and design, Mid-Century Rehab polishes yet another gem: a 1973 original ink print, signed and numbered.

Photo: Krrb.com/agv?auto=format?auto=format

Untitled Abstract 4 – $20 OBO. Photo: Krrb.com/agv?auto=format?auto=format

Anduin Vaid, creating from the Big Apple, conveys his experience of human emotions through warm, vivid abstracts.

M-PI - $40 OBO. Photo: Krrb.com/agv?auto=format?auto=format

M-PI – $40 OBO. Photo: Krrb.com/agv?auto=format?auto=format

Capturing movement with his unique approach, Artist Vaid gets the detail in the texture.

Photo: Krrb.com/112104?auto=format

Hugs and Kisses – $98. Photo: Krrb.com/112104?auto=format

Barbara Lavallee, best known for the American children’s book Mama Do You Love Me?, portrays the warmth of human relationships for children and adults alike.

Photo: Krrb.com/inkeddesigns?auto=format

Eartha – $25. Photo: Krrb.com/inkeddesigns?auto=format

Elayna Speight is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Maryland. Focused on the female experience in American culture, her work takes us back to a time that’s as jazzy as it is sensual.

Tell Us

Who’s your favorite local artist? And where do you go to discover up-and-coming talent?

 
  • To respond to the other part of your question: I have a number of pieces of artwork in my home that are not framed. If the art is an oil on canvas, it is possible to simply hang it, as is. Many large canvases do not have frames, as it can be quite costly. If you have a smaller canvas, you can set the canvas on a lucite (table-sized) easel. I display a few this way, and the easel tends to ‘disappear’ leaving the focus on the art itself. I also have some art matted in acid-free mats and shrinkwrapped in clear plastic wrap (your framer can do this). I then set the art on furniture so it rests against the back of the furniture/ mirror/ wall. It looks very attractive and buys you some time before you feel ready to spring for framing. Because I am always focused on a sustainable solution, I try to look for moulding remainders from large gallery-sized framing jobs. The larger framers who cut their own mouldings will have these ‘extras’ available. A framer in Danville, CA, Image Design & Framing, takes this a step further by cutting all of their remainder mouldings into standard size frames, then offers them at a substantial discount. I will post some photos related to our discussion on my Twitter: @KMDMCR. Have fun, Alex!

  • Hi Alexandra! Congratulations on already having started a very rewarding interest/ hobby. I, too, travelled a lot, and I find that each piece of art reflects a certain time and place of my life. The cultural and historical value of my artwork only deepens my sentimental feelings toward them. I found myself collecting and storing most of my original art for many years, prior to framing. My only investment at that time was to mat everything in acid-free mats for protection. In general, large pieces will require that you pay full price for your mat, but medium and smaller-sized art can be matted with remainders left over from larger jobs. Annies Art & Frame, here in Seattle, offers these at a large discount to artists and savvy customers who inquire. Check with your local framer and see if they offer this sustainable alternative, as well. After matting, I then wrap everything in kraft or moving paper and place them in boxes sized to fit. Moving companies sell boxes designed for artwork, or you can always make your own. Smaller pieces can be stored in tubes. Just be sure to label everything to decrease unnecessary handling. Although I have a great deal of framed art on walls, I still have many pieces in storage. Pulling them out and looking at them is like seeing an old friend!

  • Alexandra Riess

    Thank YOU for being such a great resource, MCR. I traveled a lot as a kid and have collected various pieces over the years. None of them are framed, and I’m not quite ready to take this next step. Do you have any suggestions for displaying them in the home while also protecting them?

  • Thank you so much for including Mid-Century Rehab (MCR) in your article. I could not agree more with the importance of taking steps to acquire an original art collection. Personally, I started my investment in local, original works back in my teens. So I know firsthand it is the gift (to yourself) that keeps on giving… a source of inspiration and delight for years to come. And now, thanks to the internet, you can explore the work of talented professional artists outside of your immediate locale. Please check out my Krrb corner for more great artwork by Tom Hamilton, along with the colorful whimsical work of Audrey Mabee: krrb.com/MCR