If gallery etiquette be known, normally it’s a no-no for an artist to walk in to a gallery with one of their paintings under their arm. But when Geri Eubanks came in to our Home store, carrying a painting that she had done for her daughter and looking for accessories to go with it, the crowds stopped in their tracks and gathered around her! I got a quick summons from the back room, and the next thing I knew, we were shaking hands with our next artist. (OK, it didn’t happen that quickly as there was the usual courting back and forth – but we were pretty sure of her talent from the first painting.) Geri wasn’t looking for gallery representation, but we didn’t let her leave without it.
It’s not usually that easy. As we’ve noted previously in our blog, “So You Want to Be an Artist,” finding new artists is one of the most challenging and rewarding parts of our job. We often talk about the je ne sais quoi that speaks to us, and of course we can’t put our finger on it. After all, this is the furthest thing from a science! But sometimes we look at something and just know that not only is it well painted and pleasing, but also a perfect fit for our gallery and clients.
And that’s why we’re so excited to introduce these three new artists whose work will be unveiled at our Grand Affair show Friday, January 22nd.
First, meet Geri Eubanks: The talented tri-lingual artist from Miami, who started painting at age 15, when her father bought her a box of paints and asked her to paint some murals for his building business. Soon she was the adopted high school muralist, enlisted to decorate the halls of a new building. A career in finance followed after college, and it wasn’t until she had raised her kids that she had time to return to her first passion: Painting.
With a love of blurring the lines between abstract and figurative paintings, and a sensitivity towards blending palette, form and texture, Geri is primarily a self taught artist who is a member of Oil Painters of America and American Women Artists. We are so thrilled that she has chosen our Gallery as her new Atlanta venue.
Augusta Wilson burst onto the scene quite literally with a burst of energy. We had heard about this lively Alabama native from a few friends, and had seen enough work to pique our interest. But it wasn’t until we saw the original work and met the artist in person that we understood the energy behind her paintings! With a BFA from the University of Georgia and an MFA from SCAD, the artist is as well trained as she is talented. She works fast and furiously, to produce highly textured energetic paintings with a great eye for composition and the juxtaposition of warm and cool colors. She says that she will probably never be able to live in any other house, because between her two year old son and her own limitless energy, all the walls and floors are covered with paint. Now our walls are covered with her paintings, and we are happy to keep them that way!
In addition to being our star jewelry buyer, and championing new products at our Home store that are immediate best sellers (think Swell bottle), our Allison Wagasky has a great eye for art — especially when the artist hails from her own home state of Louisiana. So when Allison brought Kelli Kaufman to our attention, it didn’t take long for us to look, listen and see for ourselves that this was an artist we wanted to represent.
Kelli uses mixed media to produce graphically bold, highly contrasted and colorful marsh scenes that invigorate and romanticize her native Louisiana coastline. Her ability to paint in series, while making each one dramatically different, adds a new dimension to her work. And her soft evocative nudes are like a tapestry of layered colors, producing an abstracted scuptural effect.
The only problem with Kelli, when we contacted her, was that she was entirely sold out of work. But the professional that she is agreed to paint a series of smaller, mixed media oil and wax paintings for our Grand Affair, with the promise of more to come in her usual “grander” size. Her love of the Southern Louisiana landscape comes through in all her work and we’re thrilled to have the series of Live Oak trees, while eagerly awaiting a new body of work that will be unveiled later this spring.
Our Grand Affair opens Friday, January 22nd, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Huff Harrington Fine Art. In addition to introducing the new works of our three newest artists, we are featuring over one hundred works by all of our gallery artists priced at a $1,000 or less. Now that’s a Grand Affair!
Stay tuned and we hope to see you January 22nd.