Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Goodnight, Virginia...

Wow! Look at all these amazing instructors we had at our Virginia Beach retreat for another uplifting, creative, soul-soothing week of mixed media workshops at one of our all-time favorite locations. So much talent in one room! Our time alongside the Chesapeake Bay was delightful as always, although it was also bittersweet... but we'll get to that in a minute. Let's talk about all the fun we had first...

As always, there were a fantastic array of classes on how to make mixed media jewelry, assemblage, dolls, painting, books, metal etching, sewing, collage and so much more at our event this year. The wide range of offerings brings in an even wider range of attendees, who are always up for going outside their comfort zone to learn something new. One of the things I absolutely love about our Art & Soul tribe!

Take those brave and willing students and combine them with dozens upon dozens of the most talented, patient and nurturing instructors and what you get is some gorgeous artwork. I absolutely love to see what each of the attendees creates, because every one of them brings their own personal tastes and experiences to the projects being taught. It's kind of mind blowing! And also very rewarding. It makes my heArt sing!

The overall vibe at Virginia Beach this year was filled with the usual camaraderie of friends and love for the sacred time we all take to feed our creative souls. But this time together was a bit more precious than in previous years. You see... the Virginia Beach Resort Hotel — that we've called home for a week each year — has been sold and will be completely refurbished. An endeavor that may take almost 2 years. At that time, it will become part of the Marriott franchise.

The hotel was beloved by so many of us. It was old, quirky and, eventually became in need of renovation, but it was also a quaint beach resort. A little hideaway small enough that we didn’t overlap with many guests and pretty much had the entire facility to ourselves. The staff became family to us and took excellent care of Art & Soul. Even with much of the hotel in a state of inevitable pre-closing repairs and limited staff (as their jobs would be over at the end of our stay), we all had a remarkable event. We relished our time together and grew in so many ways that week. I cannot even begin to thank all of those who joined us for that cherished time together.

Boy, not only will we miss the hotel, but how about this gorgeous view? But it's time to say goodnight, Virginia... at least for now. Once the new hotel is up and running, whether they will be willing or able to accommodate Art & Soul is an unknown. But fret not! We have done our homework and found another seaside location for you in Ocean City, Maryland...

That's right! We are so fortunate to have contracted the next 2 years with the Princess Royale Oceanfront Resort Hotel. They are so excited to have Art & Soul, and have already connected us with The Ocean City Center for the Arts, who will be hosting an open house one night during the retreat next October. It's really a remarkable location and I hope that many of you can join us there! We are currently working on the final details, class information and schedule and hope to have our inaugural Maryland retreat live on the website mid-November. If you want to stay up-to-the-minute on all the details, be sure to get on our mailing list so you can receive our newsletters.

And once again, a huge hug of gratitude to each and every one of you who joined us in Virginia recently, or any other year for that matter. We know your time is precious and that you choose to spend it with us speaks volumes! We look forward to seeing you in Portland, Colorado Springs and Ocean City in 2019!


photos courtesy of Lynne Suprock, Jen Crossley, Jacqueline Sullivan, Virginia Beach Resort Hotel & Princess Royale Oceanfront Resort Hotel.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Announcing our 2019 Theme... Red Carpet!

Lights... Camera... Action! We are so excited to introduce our Art & Soul theme for 2019... Red Carpet! Can't you just see the flashbulbs popping as you walk down the runway dressed from head to toe in glitz and glam? All that fancy fun is what inspired this new theme. Well, that and group I belong to had a New Year's Eve party last year with a Hollywood theme.... and it was a fabulous time. So, no worries... I've done the dress rehearsal for us. It's gonna be grand!

This year's theme was created by Michelle Bernard, who also just happens to be Art & Soul's in-house Graphic Designer and a mixed media artist herself. She was able to take our idea and turn it into an exciting yet sophisticated representation of our theme. Michelle's process starts with extracting everything possible from me about the what and why I like the chosen theme. Then she does lots of research on the subject, followed by brainstorming and sketching out of ideas...

I'd say she hit the nail on the head. And it's so sweet to know that in this digital age — where everything's created on the computer — that there is some old fashioned drawing going on out there. Thanks, Michelle!

So, of course you know that we're going to have a smashing opening night party! I can't wait to see how you all play the part of red carpet celebrities in your best event attire. Heck, who are we kidding... I'm expecting ball gowns in class! The whole week long! Bring your whole wardrobe and your confident, self-assured, awesomely amazing selves. You are all stars in my book!

Glenny xo

Monday, October 1, 2018

Don't Forget The Groceries!

We're so excited to boast that LeBrie Rich — one of our very own amazingly talented instructors — currently has an exhibition of felted works! Grocery, is LeBrie's series of life-size branded food products, such as Fritos, Ritz Crackers, and Reese’s, that were lovingly felted and stitched with painstaking attention to detail. The almost irresistibly soft texture of wool felt and the many hours of labor clearly spent on each piece invite you to slow down and (re)consider your connection to these familiar products. This particular body of work is both a tribute to and a critique of not only the foods that have shaped our lives and our memories, but also their branding. Through her careful rendering, each piece becomes a precious, tactile totem of our throwaway culture and an opportunity to reflect on our relationship to it.

Felted Artworks by LeBrie Rich
on exhibit now through October 28, 2018
Wolff Gallery • 2804 SE Ankeny St • Portland, OR 97214
So if you are in the Portland area, do yourself a favor and go check out LeBrie's Exhibit... it's the most adorable gallery show I've ever seen! And in the meantime, to find out more about her exhibit, processes and inspiration, here's a great article about the work.

And now that you know what an impressive artist LeBrie is, check out what she has in store for you this Spring at Art & Soul Portland....

Your Perfect Felted Handbag - Sunday - March 17 
Felted Slippers - Thursday - March 14 
Welcome Spring! - Sat Eve - March 16

LeBrie Rich is an artist and educator living in Portland, Oregon. She is the proprietress of PenFelt, a line of felted accessories and objects that are available in select craft galleries nationally. Her work has been featured in a variety of publications, for print and web, including The New York Times and 1000 Artisan Textiles by Lark Press. Her work has also been shown in diverse settings, including museums, storefront windows and art vending machines. LeBrie has been teaching feltmaking for 10 years and loves to introduce people the miraculous and fun process of transforming raw wool into felt! To find out more about LeBrie, her workshops and all our classes at Art & Soul, visit our website!