“The Apple & The Tree” a Family Group Show

Have you ever heard the phrase, “the apple doesn’t fall from the tree?” Well, this month Practical Art is putting this idiom to the test! How, you ask? This month’s show features a collaboration of works from a few of our favorite local artists and their children. Representing a wide variety of mediums and modalities, the work represented is thoughtful, inspiring, playful, and endearing.

We asked a few of these wonderful creatives to give us a little perspective about what it was like working with their family for this show.

Lori and Sydney (14) Fenn reflected on the similarities and differences of their artistic styles.

Lori Fenn

“We both enjoy using color and looking at things from a different perspective. Lori’s paintings are more abstract, focusing on patterns, whereas Sydney’s photos are more nature oriented. However, we are both perfectionists when it comes to what we create.”

They each inspire the other to be more creative. As for Lori, “I’m inspired by Sydney’s humor, her timing is perfect and she has a way with turning an everyday comment into something comedic.”

Sydney is inspired by, “My mom’s creativity and ability to make a boring situation exciting…Her creativity allows all crazy ideas to become a reality and I find that very admirable.”

Lilly (10) and Bella (9) Pearson appreciate being raised with and around art.

Lilly says that “[My parents] inspire me by raising me with art. I love art because it gives me so many ideas and I love creating things. My favorite part about making art is doodling and drawing, it helps me get ideas for my comic books.”

Bella states “They all help me by when they do their paintings it shows me some new ideas for my paintings. My favorite part about making art is that it lets me bring out my creative side. It is different working around my family but in a good way because I learn new things.”


Their parents, Kristin and Emmett have purposely and poignantly raised their children around art. “We raise our kids around lots of art and they have been growing up around art studios, museums and galleries since they were young. We believe very much that the best way to support their artistic instincts is to give them space, time and materials to make work, and to support what they are doing. We avoid giving too much instruction or suggestions. Children have such a pure unfiltered way of approaching creativity and we just want to foster that above all else.” After seeing the great works created for this show, we couldn’t agree more!

So, how would these talented individuals describe their pieces for the show in three words or less?

Lori: colorful, complex
Sydney: perspective, perspective, perspective!
Bella: Sunny, beautiful, creative
Lilly: Crazy, fun, ridiculous


Meet these artists, and the others represented in this month’s show this Friday, May 6, 2016 from 7:00-9:00pm. Their work will be up throughout the month of May, so that you can determine for yourself, does the apple fall far from the tree?

Reception for the artists:
First Friday May 6th, from 7-9
May 1-31



Mother Dearest

Because I feel that, in the Heavens above,
The angels, whispering to one another,
Can find, among their burning terms of love,
None so devotional as that of “Mother”
-Edgar Allen Poe

May 8, 2016 is reserved especially to celebrate Mothers. At Practical Art, our Mothers– whether they are our biological Mothers, our Grandmothers, our Mothers-in-law, or our friends who are Mothers– have helped shape who we are. They mark our beginning. They mark the very best of ourselves. They mark who we choose to become.  We invite you to celebrate all of the Mothers in your life with one-of-a-kind gifts from Practical Art.

“I will look after you and I will look after anybody you say needs to be looked after, any way you say. I am here. I brought my whole self to you. I am your mother.”

―Maya Angelou, Mom & Me & Mom

Does your mother enjoy gardening? Browse our collection of planters, big and small, or peruse the bee habitats and hummingbird feeders that will encourage the helpful pollinators of her flowers.



“My mother… she is beautiful, softened at the edges and tempered with a spine of steel. I want to grow old and be like her.”

―Jodi Picoult

Does your mother have killer style? Search our vast collection of jewelry and find the perfect necklace or earrings to complement her inner fashionista. Or buy her a jewelry bowl to hold her growing collection.


“Mothers and their children are in a category all their own. There’s no bond so strong in the entire world. No love so instantaneous and forgiving.”

―Gail Tsukiyama, Dreaming Water

Does your mother adorn her walls with fine art? Add to her collection with a beautifully handcrafted encaustic masterpiece by Lara Plecas. The colorful inspired work with surprise and enchant her.


“Mothers, I believe, intoxicate us. We idolize them and take them for granted. We hate them and blame them and exalt them more thoroughly than anyone else in our lives. We sift through the evidence of their love, reassure ourselves of their affection and its biological genesis. We can steal and lie and leave and they will love us.”

―Megan Mayhew Bergman, Birds of a Lesser Paradise: Stories

Does your mother love to relax with a hot cup of tea? Snag her a-one-of-a-kind mug and a delicious blend of Wisdom Nectar Tea to brighten her morning routine.


“Motherhood is a choice you make everyday, to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is…and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong.”

―Donna Ball, At Home on Ladybug Farm

Does your mother host amazing parties and entertain guests? Find the perfect serving bowls and platters that highlight her unique style and favorite dishes. Or make hosting even more enjoyable by purchasing one of our fabulous Lazy Susans.  


“Because even if the whole world was throwing rocks at you, if you had your mother at your back, you’d be okay. Some deep-rooted part of you would know you were loved. That you deserved to be loved.”

―Jojo Moyes, One Plus One

Does your mother love personal piece made by YOU? Come to Lara Plecas’s ice-dyeing workshop Saturday April 30th, and make your mother a personalized textile in colors and patterns of your own design! Find out more here.

Lara ice dying

Show your Mother how much you appreciate her by finding something as unique as she is. Whatever hobbies and interests she enjoys, we have a gift to suit. Practical Art is the perfect one stop shop for all of your Mother’s Day needs. We can’t wait to see you soon!



“We can all be free…” works by Lara Plecas



When you explore the works of Lara Plecas, you may find it hard to believe that she is a self-taught painter, originally trained as a dancer. However, her expressive paintings seem to evoke a rhythm, perhaps connected with this history. This month Practical Art is excited to host her latest collection in the show, We Can All Be Free…” Her work will be displayed throughout April, with an artist’s reception held First Friday, April 1, 2016, from 7:00-9:00pm.

Lara Plecas04

Lara Plecas03

Plecas’s inspirational works typically explore themes of place, and she explains in her blog that, “we have a deep and personal connection with the places where we visit and live, as well as the experiences that may have endured there.” The pieces for this show expand upon this subject by exploring place and its connection to freedom. It is a series inspired by an article from Wired entitled, “The Amazing Art on These Communist-Era Houses Was a Rebellion Back Then.” It is an editorial describing an artistic movement of freedom of expression during a time of “homogeneous, community-centric thinking.” 

Lara Plecas05

We asked Plecas to give us some additional insight about this month’s extraordinary show:

Q. How would you describe the theme of this particular show?

A. This series really explores freedom and the struggles we overcome to find peace of mind.

Q. If you had to describe your show in 5 words or less, what words would you use?

A. Minimal,  bauhaus, geometric, color, folkart

Q. What processes/materials did you use to create the pieces?

A. In all of the work in my show I used oil paint and encaustic medium to create the imagery. It was the first time however that I used powdered pigment when mixing my colors, it has so much more depth to the color.

Lara Plecas06

Q. Do you have a favorite piece in the show? If so, what is it?

A. Yes, the tree piece is my favorite piece in this series. It symbolizes the displacement of my family when they left their homeland Lithuania during WWII.  They were displaced for five years until they immigrated to the U.S.

Lara Plecas

   “Displaced/Relocation”, encaustic on panel

Q. What other artists (any local?) inspire you?

A. Agnes Martin, Bridget Riley, Betsy Eby

Q. What is your favorite part about making art?

A. I really enjoy the process of painting and watching my ideas evolve in the studio. It is a meditation, and it involves clearing your mind in order to let the flow happen.

To find out more about this historically inspired show, visit with Plecas at Practical Art, April 1, 2016, from 7:00-9:00pm. We can’t wait to see you there!