Unexpected inspiration in downtown Canton happened yesterday. This place is known for The Football Hall of Fame, not public art. However, public art and a district of galleries and locally produced goods was a refreshing surprise tucked away in another industrial city of Ohio.
Upon my Canton visit with local delight, Jenny Spencer, I witnessed the art of Joseph Carl Close with this poignant metal and painted sculpture on a parking deck in the arts district alley. Executed with precision and depicting scenes of metal factory workers, political rebellion, native American traditions, and musical expression, this work speaks to the heart of rust belt residents. I was not immune to its energy of truth and beauty.
Sea Star Collection among others are 20% off in the shop now.
Sea Star Set by Yabette
If you’ve been eyeing my work because you need Earth/Sea energy and beauty in your space, NOW is the time to get it! The elemental sea star collection is on sale now, as well as other select art and accessories. Thank you for your support. xxoo Yabette
I’ll admit right away that I have been quite biased towards wood. Building, refinishing, repairing, and beautifying wood has been my artful pastime for many years now. However, metal runs deep with my family lineage of steel workers, machinists, and builders, yet I rejected it as dirty, dangerous, and rough. While it IS all of those things, I am now embracing the grit and seeing the joys of metal. For me, it was coming home. Besides working in my literal home state of Ohio this summer, I recognized the smells of burning steel, the dirt, and the intense sweaty, grungy heat emanating from this place. I thought often of my Father long ago, coming home from work with black hands and curled metal chips embedded into the souls of his heavy, black work boots.
Of course my Father didn’t work for a creative master who admits he hails from the planet “Ooob” and plays The Orb remixed by Lee Scratch Perry on the sound system. In fact, an artist like myself would not have been welcome into my father’s production steel shop where parts for the industrial/military complex were produced. But there I was, part of the assembly line for Doug Meyer’s Rustbelt Rebirth creations. Offering me an opportunity to be a part of his East Coast Showcase booth at Brimfield, he created artful frames for my oil paintings that matched his fantastic, industrial furniture. Using recycled scrap metal, he and the crew fabricate his art deco inspired designs that fit into a beautifully modern and artful home, office or studio.
“Sea horse” oil 24×18″ by Yabette framed in upcycled chocolate brown metal with a rolling serving cart of the traveler’s train era inspiration by Doug Meyer.
I have been blessed this spring and summer with traveling… keeping flexibility, mystery, and adventure in my life. This is adding inspiration and expansiveness to my world in ways I had not even imagined.
Here’s the latest chosen art to leave my hands on the way, the chromodoris willaniNudibranch in oil, still available as a print, in its new home.
Chromodoris Willani Nudibranch Sea Slug now resides in Brooklyn with Petunia kitty.
I was recently inspired as I visited a long time friend and artist, Doug Meyer in his mid-century abode, in the Cleveland area, which was full of his sophisticated, modern, industrial furniture creations. Doug and I both having grown up in the industrial “Rubber Capital of the World” Akron, Ohio, we have a common appreciation for the creative re-use of metal and wood.
Here’s his metal patchwork table circa 2009 in the Swankety Swank Grand Opening for the Divisadero Street shop window.
As a child I was fascinated by a conch shell my Mother had as a souvenir from her honeymoon in the Bahamas. For me it was always a symbol of beauty and love and made me remember my parents’ photos of their young 20′s selves hanging out in the sunshine. In Hawaii, they use conch shells as trumpet-like instruments to signal the beginning of a large community ceremony or gathering.
In looking at the photo below, you can see this dresser needed a new beginning. I found it at a yard sale in my neighborhood, where its latest leg of life had it serving as tool storage in a dusty garage. (Surprisingly, this is a common story among many dressers I have transformed). Because it was so rough, I had to really think about tackling this project. But its bones where intact and the shape was still attractive, so I went for it!
Before, After, and detail on The Conch Shell Dresser by Yabette
As May springs forward with all the Beltane promise of abundance and joy, I finished a new Art Furniture piece. In the Steampunk tradition of updating the old with swankety style, this New Growth Lingerie Chest is waiting to gracefully adorn your dressing room.
These matching sturdy wood tables are part of furniture artist and Swankety Swank owner Yabette’s ongoing Steampunk Collection. They feature a hand-painted Victorian-inspired lock and key in detailed hues of brown on its newly refinished black surface. Both rustic and attractive, masculine or feminine, they have practical drawers and shelves with their original pulls. This signed art set would be a lovely addition to an eclectic modern, artfully traditional or bohemian decor. Dimensions: 20″H x 15″W x 24″D