Laura R. Gadson is a quilt and craft artist who lives, works and exhibits her work in her Harlem brownstone. She is a member of the Harlem Girls Quilt Circle, National Quilt Association, Harlem Arts Alliance and works in close association with Harlem Needle Arts. For more on this artist visit TheGadsonGallery.com
Last month my neighbor treated me to a night of jazz at the Schomburg Center that was wonderful. This free concert was a hot ticket with many standing on line waiting to see if there was room left for them. This evening performance was sponsored by Carnegie Hall and feature the talented Sean Jones Quartet. Mr Jones presented original compositions that immediately inspired me to take part in the creativity. Good music has that power. I whipped out my iPhone to take a few pictures for future reference. When I got home I started work on a jazz series titled "Playing at the Cross Roads" and a piece entitled "60th and Broadway" after the Sean Jones song of the same name. There are now 3 works in progress in my studio that I hope to complete very soon.
Hosting artists salons at my home/gallery always costs me a little more than expected but it is worth it for several reasons. First lets talk about my latest acquisitions. As a featured artist at a salon my first mission should be to promote and sell my work however ... at my latest show, "the Harlem Aesthetics Fall/Winter Couture show", I acquired a Jerry Gant hat and coat plus 2 convertible shirts by Donna Dove before the first guest even arrived. Not a very smart business move but I will look fabulous this season! Thank goodness as the day progressed I made a few sales of my own.
It is important to note the significance of the new additions to my wardrobe. #1- I have just allowed my $$ to circulate around my community a little longer which includes that of Harlem, the African American and the artist community. #2 - I have just supported my fellow artisans so that they can live,thrive and continue to create. #3 - I will look great effortlessly since I now have a few more hand crafted and unique wardrobe items. #4 - the experience of the acquisition (yes I do think of these as collectors items) was enjoyable and enlightening since I got to dialog and laugh with the designers. After all when is the last time you got to chat and giggle with Isaac Mizrahi or the like at a Target or Macy's?
All this to say I love my position as a vehicle to bring artists and the public together and as you can see I am not just the lady in charge but also a client. All are welcomed to join me at the Gadson Gallery this holiday season for more opportunities like the one I just described or take part in a similar event somewhere near you. Make your dollars count plus look and feel fabulous doing so. This is a win - win all around.
Photo: Hand felted hats by Ahnenoi Brooks - Leo Fine Woolens & Accessories featured at the Harlem Aesthetic's Fall Winter Couture Show 2013.
A year or so ago myself and quilter Sherry Shine were in The City Quilter shop and saw a wonderful quilt on the wall constructed through a log cabin style. I bought 2 1/2" fabric strips that day and went home to create my own quilt. Mapping it out took some time and then getting a construction system to get all the colors in the right place took more. By the time I put together a few blocks and a few rows I was over the whole thing. When it immediately did not look fabulous I set it aside and went on tho the next project. Well this summer I have revisited this quilt. Needing to make a few new things for the gallery I went back to my unfinished projects box to hatch a plan. Editing and sashing was the remedy! Since I had 4 rows of 6 blocks already completed and assembled I completed 1 more row so the finished product would not be too narrow and ended with a huge sash. It is now being quilted with an all over pattern and I expect to finish it tonight. Now none of my efforts are wasted. Love it when a plan comes together even if it is a year or so later.