Workshop with Grace Taormina at Pinole Artisan meeting

Heart Mixed Media Collage by Grace Taormina

Heart Mixed Media Collage by Grace Taormina

Come and create at the Pinole Artisan’s March 4, 2016 general meeting! Mixed media artist Grace Taormina will lead a hand’s-on workshop exploring combining artistic media to create original designs for a variety of surfaces.  Grace will show you new ways to create pattern and textural interest with heat embossing, stencils and stamps. All materials will be provided.

Asian Mixed Media by Grace Taormina

Asian Mixed Media by Grace Taormina

The author of two books about rubber stamping, Grace is a designer and a mixed media and fiber artist who teaches a wide variety of art classes in the Bay Area, nationally, and online at CraftArtEdu.com.

Pinole Artisan general meetings are held the first Friday of every month at the Pinole United Methodist Church, 2000 San Pablo Avenue.  Meetings begin at 7 p.m., are free, with very friendly artists and snacks. All are welcome!

Visit the Pinole Artisan website to learn more about this wonderful group.

Grand Opening Village Shops and Galleries!

Start with a dream, add inspiration and a lot of luck, stir in hard work and sweat: lifting, carrying, arranging and rearranging, then combine with laughter and friends coming through big-time … and what do you get? We’ve got a brand new Village Shops and Galleries to show off at our grand opening, Saturday March 16th, from noon to 8 p.m. Please join us for wine and refreshments, music, great art, and lots more!

Village Shops and Galleries

Mixing the best of old and new, we’ve got vintage collectibles and antique furniture alongside brand new unique handmade art by amazingly talented (mostly local) artists and crafters. And we’re so excited to introduce our new gift shop featuring work crafted by independent artisans, including fine silver jewelry by designer Lis Mahnken of ME Designs

ME Designs fine silver jewelry

artful clothing and accessories by Michele Battise; wooden bowls, boxes and pens by David Earls;

David Earls' wooden bowls and pens

David Earls’ wooden bowls and pens

exquisitely designed and stitched quilts by Carolyn Earls;

Carolyn Earls' quilts; Heidi Rand's tote bags

mixed media and textile crafts and jewelry by Grace Taormina and Rachel Taormina; handcrafted soap by sassafras and Bubble Queen Soaps & Scents;

Bubble Queen soaps

and my own photo arts and craftsWe’re also proud to be the only place you can get the full line of collage artist Tamara Holland’s wonderful new line of inspirational greeting cards – and believe me, you will want one of each!

Tamara Holland's cards

Tamara Holland’s cards

The walls are bursting with color, from resident artist Mark Canepa’s metal artwork and paintings to hand-pulled linocut and woodblock prints by Rich Fowler, vivid mixed-media paintings by Rachel Taormina, large-format photographs by John Hanses, and much more!

Rich Fowler's prints

Rich Fowler’s prints

Looking for a classy, convenient meeting space for a private or public event? Searching for studio space? We have many options for rental -by the hour, day or longer. And it’s a dream come true for my co-manager Grace and myself to offer a wide variety of art workshops and classes in our brand new classroom, fully stocked with art supplies and equipment. We’re offering high-quality art and craft instruction at affordable prices in a range of subjects, for adults and children, and for all different skill levels.

Classroom

The Village Shops is at 10330 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito, between Eureka and Stockton streets. There’s plenty of free parking. Starting March 16th, we’ll be open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Are you an artist or crafter interested in learning about opportunities to show and sell your work, or to teach? If so, come on by to meet us and fill out an application.  Questions? Call (510) 525-5661 or email me at heidirand@gmail.com  

Sneak Peek Open House!

If you made it to the ArtFirst! Holiday Show and Sale, you know what a wonderful space we were lucky to be able to hold it in. We rented space for the pop-up show from Mark Canepa, resident artist and owner of The Village Shops and Galleries10330 San Pablo Avenue in El Cerrito. 

Mark Canepa's artwork

The show went so well that Mark and my fellow ArtFirst!er Grace Taormina and I decided to take The Village Shops to the next level. We’re busy plotting, planning and painting walls, and we’re very proud to announce that our Grand Opening will be on March 16th.

Grace Taormina

Mixed Media artwork by Grace Taormina

You won’t have to wait that long to see what we’re up to, because we’re holding a sneak peek Open House on Saturday February 9th from noon to 6:00 p.m., and you’re all invited! Come by for a preview of what we’re working on: new art, a new gift shop with a wide range of art and crafts, collectibles, and much more!

We’re also excited for you to check out our brand new classroom, where experienced teachers will offer a wide variety of workshops and classes for children and adults of all skill levels and interests. We’ll take you on a tour of the event and studio spaces that will be available for individuals or groups to rent.

Valentine by Heidi Rand

In honor of Valentine’s Day we’ll also have some great surprise activities, including a “make and take” where you can make a free valentine for your sweetie.

And if you’re an artist or crafter interested in learning about opportunities to show and sell your work, or to teach, come on by to meet us and fill out an application.

Questions? Call (510) 525-5661 or email me at heidirand@gmail.com

Meet Some of my Favorite Artists

I told you the other day that my dreams to expand my usual solo Open Studio to include other artisans will finally come true, at the ArtFirst! Holiday Show and Sale starting next week. Here’s a look at the work of a couple of the amazing artists in the show. (And stay tuned, I’ll introduce you to more in my next posts). First, the most well-rounded, knowledgeable and generous artist I know —kayla garelickabstract photographer and photogravure printmaker. kayla writes that she seeks with her art to communicate her daydreams. Her business name is, aptly, “daydreaming arts.”

kayla garelick abstract photograph

copyright kayla garelick daydreaming arts

kayla is also a website wizard. She took time out of her busy schedule printing her work for this show, and appearing in other shows around the Bay Area, to create ArtFirst!’s site.

How many art shows boast talented mother and daughter artists? Meet Grace Taormina and her daughter Rachel. Grace is a mixed media and fiber artist who teaches a wide variety of art classes in the Bay Area and online at CraftArtEdu, and has published books about rubber stamping and other crafts. This is Grace’s Paper Paste Accordian Book.

Paper Paste Accordian Book

copyright Grace Taormina

Rachel Taormina paints and draws, works in mixed media, and creates upcycled jewelry. This is the home page of her website – showing the amazing variety of her artwork.

Rachel Taormina website

copyright Rachel Taormina

That’s your sneak peek for today! Much more to come, and if you’re in the Bay Area, I hope you can make it to the show — at the Village Shops and Galleries, 10330 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito, from November 24th through December 2nd, from noon to 6:00 pm, open every day except Monday and Tuesday.

Come to meet us at the opening launch party, next Saturday Nov. 24, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.