Practical Art’s HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE (Vol.1): Geek Love!

When we were growing up, we’d never have thought it possible that being SMART and being into things like comics, sci-fi, gizmos, and robots would be the “it” thing; that being a geek would someday be cool. (Despite Revenge of the Nerds, we had remained skeptical.)

But lo! The future has arrived and it is gloriously nerdy– so we KNOW you’ll be needing at least one of these gifts this holiday season (along with maybe somethin’ from our neighbors at All About Books & Comics?):


Vintage Camera Light by Chad Schimmel

Arcade-Inspired Cutting Board by Ryan Nelson

Glass Monster Lazy Susan by Marilyn Cohn


Wooden Robot Box by Jordan-Alexander Thomas


Ceramic Sci-Fi Plate by Tom Budzak

And there’s plenty more where that came from! More monsters, more ‘bots, more quirky characters and inventive gizmos! Swing on in and ask for more recommendations! And until then, live long and prosper!


“Unleash Your Wild” – The Art of Tawny Gamboa


14Local artist Tawny Gamboa mixes the psychology of color, her meditation practice, and the influences that come from motherhood together in her brand new series, “Unleash Your Wild”. These vibrant mixed media works are combination spray can art, dripped paint, and bold brushstrokes that depict the spirit of their featured animals– peacocks, monkeys, elephants, and, of course, lions. (It’s like a zoo in here!) The color, whimsy, content, and pricing of these pieces make them perfect as a small series to jazz up your yoga studio or to strike the fancy of a Youth Collector– so make sure to bring the whole family!


“Unleash your Wild” by Tawny Gamboa
Exhibition: September 1-30, 2014
eception for the Artist: First Friday, Sept 5th, from 7-9

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Photo Essay: A Studio Visit with Practical Art artisan Jeanne Fellow of Tucson, AZ


Humans are attracted to color. The freshest fruits are brightly toned, the loveliest flowers are vibrant red and pink and purple and orange, and so unsurprisingly, much of our art is about our intense psychological connection to the hues of our environment. Abstract watercolor artists like Jeanne Fellow seek to create eye-catching works that sing with a chorale of spectral light, that pluck at our subconscious response mechanisms.  She works intuitively, employing a variety of techniques– dripping, salting, staining, spraying– guided by her own responses to the work as it lives and moves before her, building up one layer at a time.

fellow7C44A3805fellow5 fellow1fellow2fellow4fellow fellow3fellow-lamp1-02Catch that twist ending? For years, Jeanne’s work was created with Italian cold-press watercolor papers, metallic acrylic inks, and was matted and framed for display; while she still uses these high-quality archival materials, Jeanne’s jumped off the wall into sculptural forms that she then lights from within to create stunning, luminescent, room-making lamps– LumenArt. They look completely different during night and day, so they’re almost like two art pieces in one– and both equally brilliant.



Pre-Show Sneak Peek! Gayle Parent’s “Don’t Be Frightened”


Close your eyes and picture the vibrantly colorful, inky washes of Helen Frankenthaler. Then, imagine that luminescent stainwork enveloped and contained by an Agnes Martin compositional schema. Or… just open your eyes and enjoy what will be hanging in front of you, on display as of May 1: the cheerfully meditative paintings of Gayle Parent.

Lisa visited Gayle in her studio as she was preparing pieces for her upcoming exhibition at Practical Art, “Don’t Be Frightened”. Through Lisa’s lens, you get a sense of the process, of Parent’s ‘maker space’, and of the essential ‘artist’s hand’.






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The paintings of Gayle Parent are quietly playful works that create a space of gentleness, joy, and brightness. From the relentless mental din of our stresses, worries, and concerns, she offers her work as a respite. The graphite geometries that create each framework hint at our responsibility to order and structure, but as the aqueous paints seep into the raw, unprimed canvas, and as the presence of the artist’s hand becomes undeniable, we are able to observe these works as long psychic exhales.

“Don’t Be Frightened” 
Exhibition: May 1st-May 30th 2014

 Join us for the reception for the Artist: First Friday, May 2nd, 7-9pm

The Buffalo Girl Art Auction….closer and closer!

And the week keeps moving! More days, more art! The Buffalo Girl Dinner & Art Auction is right around the corner. The attendee envelopes are being stuffed, the food trucks’re orderin’ stock, the coolers are loaded with bevvies, and we’re on the 4th reveal day of the art auction works!


Can you believe 2008 was SIX years ago? I guess with our Anniversary shinding coming up on the 19th, that concept should be fresh in mind. That was the first time Jay Hardin’s paintings graced our walls; the next? 2011 and with decidedly different monochrome works. His newest work merges the two modalities, bringing the organic, flowing repetition of natural and applied rhythms to the surface of a photograph using mixed media. Having this kind of enduring relationship with an artist, seeing their work, their lives, and their families growing and changing, is one of the loveliest aspects of our longevity as an arts organization.



Rich Fairborn was a friend of Jane’s and has remained a loyal regular to the shop. We love seeing folks who knew Jane come through (also part of what this event is about); it reminds us of the connection she still has with this world through those relationships and memories, as well as how useful and appreciated Practical Art remains to folks daily lives. Rich has that appreciation for craft as he is an artisan himself; this work is a superb testament to that. The size and shape of a small cantaloupe, there is something extremely satisfying about the balance, weight, and proportion of this fine work. And we’re thankful for his donation that honors Jane and her mission to support our local art scene and its infrastructure– it’s a wonderful addition to the auction.

That’s today’s unveil, and there is a few more yet to come! Don’t forget to order your ticket online! We’ll hold your ticket packet here for you at the shop until the event, this Thursday April 10th from 5-8pm!