From Yelm’s InGenius! Local Artisan Gallery & Boutique:
- Ed. note: I visited with co-owner Andrea Levanti at the gallery and received a tour.
- I encourage blog readers to stop in for an amazing view of the fine works from our local artisans
InGenius! Local Artisan Gallery & Boutique has made it through the opening months of life and finds itself excited to celebrate the holiday season. Twenty-four local artisans currently have work on display. There are fine art originals, affordable framed print reproductions, fiber arts, jewelry, and leather work, down to small gift items and stocking stuffers like honey, candles, soaps, art stickers and magnets.
Follow @ingeniusyelm on Facebook and Instagram to see a featured InGenius! artisan post each day. Virtual Shopping is available as the holidays approach for folks who want to stay close to home this year. You can schedule a Virtual Shopping tour to see up close whatever piques your interest; make your purchase over the phone or by invoice and do either curbside pickup or, for a small fee, local delivery. “We want to make it easy for people to buy special gifts without stress,” says co-owner Diego Fleitas. He is keen to emphasize the need for us all to focus on the things that are most important right now, like connecting with family and loved ones in whatever ways possible.
Co-owner Andrea Levanti says, “We want everyone to have access to high quality art here in Yelm, to know they can come to InGenius! and find the perfect unique, locally-made gift for anyone on their list. The word ‘gallery’ should never make people shy away from walking through our door. That $1,500 original painting on our wall took the artist over 60 hours to create, but you can take home a 5×7 fine art print for $16, or a $4 fridge magnet to mail to someone special in a greeting card made by a local artist.”
The InGenius! artisans are already gearing up for the holidays, delivering ornaments and special gift items you’ll find nowhere else. Andrea explains, “Because we work so closely with our artisans, they’re creating collections and pieces specifically for InGenius! Just one example is our potter Sherry Kirk of Sidhefire Arts (pronounced she-fire), located 5 minutes up the road from InGenius!. Her initial collection for us included flower fairy cups and other nature-inspired pieces like honey bee mugs and coffee pour overs. She’s making pieces that match the strong nature influence of much of the art we offer. And a little bird told me her InGenius! holiday collection arriving in early November will knock our socks off! Keywords: “wine goblets”…
The class/workshop schedule is growing by the week. Already there have been yarn pottery and drawing classes led by InGenius! artisans Linda Shea and Ian Ricker, respectively. Certified Intentional Creativity Coach and InGenius! artist Michelle Osborne has taught a popular 5-week Intentional Creativity Acrylic Painting class and will begin another class series in early November and a third in December, all with different themes. Andrea Levanti teaches one-day Fluid Acrylic “Pour” Painting workshops periodically on Mondays when the gallery is closed. Meleno Lovato will teach a 4-hour beginner native PNW woodcarving class where students aged 13 and up will learn carving safety and techniques and then carve their own small canoe. On November 21st, Judy Chapman will teach a Beginning Sacred Geometry Workshop. Ian Ricker will be back teaching a Learn to Draw People & Faces 5-week course starting November 16th. Class sizes are very small to provide personalized instruction and allow plenty of space to work.
As circumstances allow, the goal for Small Business Saturday which this year falls on November 27th (the day after Black Friday), is for InGenius! artisans to be on hand doing demonstrations, meeting the community, and discussing their classes.
InGenius! plans are in the making for December 4th to complement Yelm City Park’s tree-lighting and other festivities. More specifics will follow but the general idea is for community members to create their own handmade ornaments to hang on the gallery’s Tree of InGenius! Dreams. This will be a drop-in afternoon workshop with our artists facilitating and with ornaments to be retrieved when the tree comes down after the holidays. Being right across from the park makes this a fun day and evening for families.
Andrea adds, “A big part of what jazzes me about this whole InGenius! adventure is finding that we’re quickly becoming a hub of local artistry on many levels — the community has access both to appreciate and to learn art; collectors can acquire hyper-local art and support the dreams of artists they may even know; and artists meet other artists, which everyone is, ultimately. Watching them meet each other, seeing how one idea ignites another and then another, that’s really what art is all about–mutual inspiration to personal self-expression.”
InGenius! Local Artisan Gallery & Boutique is located in the former JZ Rose location at 207 1st St. South, Yelm, across from Yelm City Park.
New Workshop Now on the InGenius! Schedule!
Learn the basics of PNW native wood carving under the expert guidance of InGenius! Artist Meleno Lovato.
In two two-hour sessions, he will teach you how to use traditional native carving tools, starting with a detailed lesson about safety practices that allow for a worry-free carving experience. You’ll begin by practicing the techniques step-by-step on a piece of cedar. Your class project will be a small PNW-style canoe.
DATES: Saturday November 13th and Saturday November 20th
TIME: 1:00-3:00 PM
TUITION: $75/person includes all your supplies Protective gloves will be available to borrow.Limit 5 students, ages 13 and up. A signed disclaimer will be required for participation.
Click here to register.