Eat Cheese for the Arts

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Tonight is our reception for some of our favorite artists. Everyone is invited!  I have plenty of refreshments and we are excited to see you here.  Alicia and Jim are the force behind Marshall Arts, and they are the Real Deal. When I first met them several years ago, I felt an immediate connection. They are my people! Their process involves walking in the woods to find pieces of wood that call out to them. Then he sits with the object and lets it talk to him. He dictates the words to Alicia who burns them onto the wood, and she covers every surface with illustrations that bring the words to life.

I have a few of their pieces in the shop, but they will bring more of their work so you can see it. It will be for sale tonight. Also, I have asked Alicia to decorate old, rustic furniture and sell it in the store in her signature style. Coming soon!!

I became aware of the art of Marshall Arts through Asheville potter, Andrea Freeman. You know Andrea’s work. She makes the beautiful pottery with the Moroccan designs, the whimsical chicken mugs, the dandelion designs, and so much more. She ran into them on the sidewalk outside Earthfare. They had set up a pop-up stand and were selling their work in time for Christmas.

Andrea was drawn to their work and bought some for her sons for Christmas. She was sure they would appreciate the work and would save it. She called me and said, “I know you are going to fall in love with this work!  Track down Marshall Arts!”

Andrea’s work is one of my best-sellers, but you may have noticed that I am running dangerously low on stock. She has had her hands full all summer, fall, and winter, however, and has not been making much pottery.

Her son Rohan, 15, is a gifted actor and artist in his own right. Andrea has always been kept busy driving him up and down the East Coast auditioning for movies, but early this summer he hurt his leg and was incapacitated. He seemed to be getting worse rather than better, though, but the doctors had no idea what was wrong with him. When school opened up for the fall, he was too sick to attend, and Andrea took him to another range of specialists.

Finally, the doctors had a diagnosis: Lyme Disease. By then, the Lyme had gained a strong foothold in his young body, and he is still suffering and battling the pain, weakness, and disability associated with Lyme. Until recently he has been too sick to even lift a pen, but lately he has been creating some amazing work.

Andrea is thinking about transferring some of his art onto tee shirts, and I am going to sell them in the store. All proceeds will go to Andrea’s family to pay for art supplies and other expenses associated with Rohan’s illness. I’ll be sure to let you know when they come in.

Reminds me of when Jennifer Pickering of LEAF sent Michael Franti to the Juvie prison to perform for my boys!  The private concert was going great with the boys fully engaged when the big jerk director stopped the show. He said later that he was afraid of a riot. Really?