This site was created to promote American art and craft. This site is also a vehicle for messages sent through the inspirational photoart from my mind's eye to you and yours- to be accountable for your actions, savor life, love and laugh through all life's journeys. And to learn- about many things you may have never thought about. This is a site about me, about you. I hope you join me and the community of souls gathered for a moment in time to appreciate the creative side of life, the importance of supporting American art and craft, supporting us all....
My life journey has indeed influenced my work. It has been diverse. It has been a wonderful adventure to which I am quite grateful. I grew up in what is now termed "the rust belt". I have learned to live on the bare neccessities but I have also had the privilege of traveling internationally and experiencing what many may never afford.
My love of the arts has been ingrained since a young child- my first award, a painting of a firetruck was presented in Kindergarten. In later school years, the Junior Scholastic Art Competition awarded me ribbons for art and design works spanning a range of media: rug design and construction, watercolor and pen & ink landscapes. Many college awards included a first place, airbrushed fashion illustration and woodblock prints. Years pass and the obsession for creating, designing, and constructing works continues....
Creative business adventures began in the 60's with a tie dye business. Articles of tied and dyed clothing were sold to many boutiques in Akron, Cleveland and Kent Ohio. After a few years and a fading fashion trend my interest shifted to other types of creative jobs. I had moved to the ultimate "rust belt" city, Youngstown Ohio in 1970. Here I began dressing windows for a local clotherie. I designed logos and in-store signage. Being a bit naive to this "new" style of art I did most of the work for free- a nice alternative to the "fine art" style I had done.
In time I came to my senses and began attending Youngstown State University in 1979 with a major in graphic design- earning a BFA, magna cum laude- a second major in art history and a minor in photography. All through this time I was a Mom and wife- happily, I was young enough to endure that work load!
Upon graduating I began a freelance graphic design business. In those days there was no such thing as the computer- imagine that! I had over seventy accounts ranging from automotive companies to fine jewelry gift stores. I also taught art classes in my "spare" time- did I mention my background in art education? ... Calligraphy was taught for many years at Austintown and Boardman Ohio through the Continuing Adult Education programs. At the Youngstown Jewish Center adult calligraphy was taught in addition to children's photography and cartooning. Children's art was also taught through an after school enrichment program at Robinson Elementary in Youngstown... whew! Something's got to give but what....
In 1989 my husband and I built a new building for my husband's exisiting company, The Speaker Shop (est 1973). The business focused on professional, commercial & residential audio and video engineering, design, and installation. Due to the lack of qualified workers I stepped in and began selling residential audio and video systems- quite a departure from the creative side of things. Still, my design business continued on a steady climb. Not losing sight of the creative possibilities in the audio business I began designing furniture for the custom theaters we installed. This would combine with interior design projects and art placement. It was at this time I decided to open a gallery in The Speaker Shop featuring American art and craft. It also gave me a chance to return back to my arts and crafts roots!
The NIJAQ Gallery has endured the strains of a struggling economy. I continue to forge ahead insisting that consumers support American creativity rather than massed produced off shore "things" and to support locally owned businesses- when we don't support our own we lose a great deal. When local dealers are gone so goes your tax base for schools, etc. Then, what will remain?
Through many shared conversations with young and old, it is realized how our world is changing. Human sensitivity toward one another is strained. So- I press on offering my art and craft to uplift, to think about life, to think. In the long run supporting each other supports a greater cause- US.
Thank you for supporting my cause, our cause- and reading about me.
My world changed in 2014 when my husband and I decided that Ohio's cold, gloomy, sunless
days needed to be left behind. We packed our things and moved to Savannah Georgia!
What a traumatic experience leaving behind our building that housed our businesses since
1989, our beautiful home and wonderful family and friends! It needed to be done.
The years are going faster, we ain't gettin' any younger!!
I continue to provide my art and services though the online NIJAQ Gallery.
Savannah is already offering expansion of my marketing and design services to
established businesses. It is a region rich in arts.
The number of shops are many thus opening many doors to wholesale accounts.
I look forward to many years of continued success with my new contacts.
I look forward to new adventures and new friends in this new world of sunshine!
Here's to all of you that continue to support American art & craft!