Monday, December 11, 2017

Welcome to Show Week Chagrin!

Meet Kelly Bolyard from Not Wasted... 
My name is Kelly Bolyard and I am the Program Coordinator for Not Wasted! I am 28 years old, born and raised right here in Akron, Ohio! I am a sports mom to a very busy boy who plays all sports on multiple teams!
Not Wasted is Job skills training program for ladies who are coming home from prison and/or coming out of addiction! We have a sewing room set up in Holy Spirit Church located in Akron. We were formed by TRY, also an employment skills training program, only for men instead! We operate Tuesday, Wed  and Thursdays every week, crafting lovely items from material that would have otherwise been thrown away!
In 2014, I joined NOT WASTED 3 days after being released from a stay at a women’s prison in Cleveland. After graduating the program I became staff and now am the program coordinator! I now get to help the ladies the same way I was helped and get to speak hope and life to them!!

At NOT WASTED we upcycle materials including, bibs, bags and wallets all made from billboards off the side of the highway. Our straps on our bags and our dog leashes are made from seatbelt and we have many styles of jewelry made from antique  clock/watch parts and bicycle chains!
This will be our second time attending the Avant-Garde shows, and we look forward to participating again! As last time, everyone was so kind and very helpful!!!

I started sewing when I was a little girl with my grandma who helped raise me! She would give me washcloths and let me sew on them until I progressed into making pillows, and then hemming my own clothes. And now making products that people actually want to buy! Not only do I sew, I teach others how to sew as well, thanks gram, lol!

Working with the ladies in the sewing room is such a joy, there is always peace and happiness there. You can always find music playing and the sound of laughter down the hallways of the church at any given time!! Its really fun to lay out a 20 – 30 foot billboard and watch everyone’s creative gears start turning and picturing how a bag will be made from what piece of a giant picture. Or to see ladies digging thru and disassembling old clocks to find the exact piece to finish off a beautiful set of earrings!!!
At NOT WASTED we not only teach ladies to sew, but we teach them how to show up to work on time. How to dress, talk and act appropriately in a work environment. Most of our ladies have never even held a job before, so they are learning valuable life lessons and we are “giving them a hand up, and not a hand out”. On top of jobs skills training, we offer life coaching, health and nutrition classes, exercise, cooking, Bible studies, Outreach opportunities, financial and budgeting classes, spiritual support and many other important tools for them to have a successful life!!!

Meet Allyson Hall from Let's Get Lit... 
My name is Allyson, I have spent 28 exciting years with my husband Michael and we made a great kid Nicholas together! I’ve always loved to tinker with Crafts! Homemade and from the heart are my favorites!  I have not done any Avant-Garde shows yet but I have shopped at just about all of them!
What inspires me is simply to put a smile on someone’s face! I think of the person and ask myself, “What would make them smile and add a little happiness to their life”. Then it’s simple!

I must give credit for my passion to my Mom, she had me antiquing and re-purposing items as long as I can remember! Thanks Mom!
Seeing so many candles and buying so many candles over the years I would always think to myself, “If I made a candle I would change this or do that so it would look like this”. So eventually I just did it! It was a real learning experience and still is. I quickly got an appreciation of all that goes into it!
My creative process would be that I choose themes I know people love and play off that concept. A little trial and error with some tinkering and I discover something new every time that will go into that piece but will blend into others as well. My process keeps evolving just like anything when learning!
I feel success is loving who you are and what you do, I’m already there!  I simply want to put a smile on someone’s face! If it doesn’t hurt a little to give it away then it’s not the right gift!

Meet Gena Davis fromThe Irish Trading Co...
I own The Irish Trading Co. in Shaker Hts with my husband, Don. We have 2 wonderful sons, one beautiful grandson and three happy grand puppies. I have been making art in one form or another since high school.
This will be my first Avant-Garde Art Show. Creativity is in my DNA. My grandmother made clothes and quilts out of necessity, but they are works of art made by hand and later on a treadle sewing machine. She also made lace and did tatting. I have many of her quilts and tatting pieces.
My mother made a lot of our clothes and now she creates art quilts, at 92. My father was a stained glass artist after he retired. I have taken classes in just about every medium. Ceramics, enameling, pottery, water color, stained glass and stenciling. Had my own stenciling business for 20 years. Trompe l’ loi, murals and faux finishes were my favorite.
Then I discovered the fiber art world. Knitting lead to spinning my own wool, and on to weaving. Making art cloth and embellished denim jackets. Ice dyeing takes over in the summer and fall. I love unique glass beads, so bracelets are in my crafting life now.
Color and textures inspire me. In 5 years I hope to be creating new and useful art with my grandchildren. My message is “Wear Your Art”. Everything I make should make you happy and be functional!

Meet Jenny Campbell from Campbell Cartooning...
I’ve been a freelance cartoonist and illustrator for almost 30 years.  Originally from Arizona, then California, I migrated to Philadelphia when I started freelancing, and eventually landed in Chagrin Falls, where I’ve been for the past 21 years.  In those 29+ years of freelancing, I’ve illustrated more than 15 children’s books, more than 200 educational textbooks and done a myriad of other freelance artwork from spaghetti sauce labels to tattoos to artwork on the sides of vans.  I’ve also been the cartoonist/writer for the nationally syndicated cartoon strip “Flo & Friends” since 2002.  Having gotten a syndicated cartoon strip just as newspapers were beginning to die, I’ve never made it past 30 papers, but my strip runs as far west at Kailua Kona, Hawaii; and as far east as Newark, NJ.  I’m also an avid animal person, and have done all the artwork, including the logo, for Rescue Village in Geauga County, since its opening in 2003.  In addition, I did the artwork on the Ohio “pet plate” license plate; all the artwork for PetFix NE Ohio, including the characters on their mobile spay-neuter van; and I’m now contributing my artwork to the City Dogs program at Cleveland City Kennel.  In the past few years I’ve started doing a lot of painting just for fun, mostly ridiculous animal art, and have been donating them to fundraisers for my animal welfare groups, and most recently, for The Gathering Place.  Much of the work I’m hoping to put into the Avant-Garde shows are new paintings.
Personally, I live in Chagrin Falls with my partner of almost 30 years – a Pulitzer-prize winning photographer. We live on three acres on the edge of a ravine, with Rizz, a rescued former-feral cat who’s grown WAY too fat and happy since she found her forever home; and a brand new puppy, Tanner, who recently came to Rescue Village on a transport from Alabama, and who we figure is a mix of no fewer than 14 breeds.  My passions are drawing ridiculous artwork; hard laughter; good, cheap pinot grigio; family and friends; and tennis. This will be my first Avant-Garde show!
I’m a people pleaser, and there’s nothing I love more in the world than making people laugh, and occasionally, cry.  And being a cartoonist, I’m in a unique position to be able to do both of those things with the characters I create.  I also feel like I’ve got some good stories to tell, and my artwork is a great way to tell those stories!

Very early!  When all I wanted to do in school was draw cartoons.  In Kindergarten, we got a mimeographed scene one day that we were supposed to color:  trees, grass, sky.  And I remember thinking, “what if other kids don’t see things the same way I see them?  What if ‘blue’ to me, is actually ‘red’ to another kid?”  Pretty deep thoughts for a 5-year-old.  But I tested my theory, and colored my grass blue, my trees purple and my sky orange.  And, I got an F in coloring.   Anyway, drawing when I should’ve been paying attention was a trend throughout my early school years.  My first crush was a boy named Connie in first grade, and I expressed my interest in him by drawing comic books for him… The Adventures of Fox and Rabbit.  It worked.  He liked me.
My mom was an artist, too, so she nurtured this instinct in me, and I got some great home-schooling in art!

My creative process is like anything else; it’s hit or miss.  I find that some days I’m TOTALLY in the zone, whether I’m painting, working on a commercial cartooning job, or writing gags for my cartoon strip.  Sometimes you sit down and it’s literally just falling out of you.  But there are a LOT of other days when I allot the time, and sit there for hours with NOTHING happening.  So, the creative process is basically carving out the time, arming yourself with whatever you’re going to need, and then just hoping it’s one of those GOOD days.  I’m also a night owl, so a lot of those times when I’m in the zone happen late at night when everyone else is asleep.  That’s a wildly creative time for me.
Well, I’m 62 and plan to be doing this until my arthritic fingers can no longer grip a pen.  But in five years, I’d love to be doing more artwork for FUN, for me, and for shows; than HAVING to take every job that comes along just to pay the mortgage.  It’s been a wonderful lifestyle for almost 30 years, but it hasn’t always been easy, and I still have very lean months.  I think I’m on track, though, in the next few years to be able to pick and choose what I work on a little more than I have in the past.

The message behind my work is that if you can’t laugh at yourself, and at the world around you, then you’re screwed!  My cartoon strip is about an ensemble cast of senior citizens who are “aging with an attitude”.  And since I’m becoming my own demographic group, I’m learning first-hand that aging  is one area where you have GOT to find the humor, or life will be much harder than it needs to be.  And, my other artwork, I hope, will just make people smile, and occasionally laugh out loud… animals doing what they do, and people doing what they do, and sometimes, vice versa!

2017 Chagrin Falls Winter Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday & Sunday, December 16 & 17, 2017
Saturday - 10:00am-5:00pm
Sunday- 11:00am-5:00pm
Federated Church Family Life Center
16349 Chillicothe Rd.
Chagrin Falls, OH 44023
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
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