Thursday, July 8, 2010

'Woodchip': Furniture Artist Chip Gadek

30" Glass Top Cocktail Table
Dyed Maple with Wenge Accents

Carnival Foyer Table
31" x 22" x 42" Color Dyed Curly Maple

Off-Kilter Mirror
21" x 34" Satinwood and Wenge

Raised in the shadow of New York City and deeply influenced by two older sisters who were highly involved in the arts, Chip Gadek learned at any early age the intoxication of creativity. “When I was a teen, I would play hooky from school and go to all the great New York museums — the Met, the Museum of Modern Art the Guggenhiem — I’d spend the whole day there," he says. "And even now, with 25 years of building high quality furniture, I still consider myself, first and foremost, an artist.”

Gadek's schooling took him to Colorado State University where majoring in Painting gave him absolutely no real world job abilities. After college, he moved to northern Michigan. While working as a graphic artist at a small printing company Gadek was selling two-dimensional work at regional galleries. Slowly, the paintings he was selling evolved into unique mirrors and tables. After 15 years, Chip left his job as a graphic artist to put all of his time into building ‘art furniture.’ Now with more then a thousand pieces under his belt, furniture is still what he wants to create. “I still paint for myself, but I really enjoy making things that can be used on a daily basis,” he says.

The artist now sells work in galleries throughout Michigan, Florida, Arizona and California. This is where he can work on new ideas, creating furnishings that push the envelope. And of course, this is where potential customers that might order special items, can see the beautiful handcrafted work that he offers. “My work is contemporary, but not modern. It has the ability to look good in any surrounding.” Like all fine craftsman, he only uses traditional joinery methods, such a mortise and tenon and dovetails; doing as much of the work as possible, by hand, including layer upon layer of hand-rubbed oil finishes.

For more information on Chip Gadek, or to see some of his incredible art furniture, visit either of our Gallery Fifty locations: 321 East Front Street; 231-946-0610 or 800 Cottageview Drive; 231-932-0775, Traverse City, Michigan.

Here are some examples of the kinds of work that have already sold. Ask about a commission.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Gallery Fifty introduces Kristen Jongen

Attempting Flight
24" x 36" Mixed Media on Canvas, $5,200

We've admired Kristen's work for years and have recently ironed out details for gallery representation — not only for her best-selling line of books and prints, but also her gallery wrapped canvas giclees and a few large original mixed media paintings. We plan hang her work at our Downtown location to start and then possibly do a larger show in the Mercato at the Commons in the fall.

Flying High
16" x 20" gallery wrapped canvas giclee, $525

Love is Still Bigger
24" x 32" gallery wrapped canvas giclee, $795

Trying Yes
24" x 24" gallery wrapped canvas giclee, $575

Kristen Jongen's inspirational work has rocketed to the forefront of the American art movement. She has been featured in national magazines and won acclaimed recognition for her raw and uncanny poetry. Jongen owns Soul Soup, a creative enterprise that features her original large format paintings, prints, limited editions and books. The artist and writer currently lives in northern Michigan with her three children and a host of unruly pets.

Kristen's work will be available after July 12th. For more information, call or stop into our downtown location: 321 East Front Street, Traverse City, 231-946-0610.