Photographer Ben Cooper

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I met with Ben Cooper on the patio of Three Sisters Eclectic Arts during a Patio Pop-Up event.  Patio Pop-Ups are 11 – 3 on Saturdays this summer.  For the Three Sisters Eclectic Arts artists, this is the perfect opportunity to talk about the art we create, share it and sometimes get feedback.  “I enjoy seeing other people connect with a photo I’ve taken – it’s hugely motivating when someone else makes the same or similar emotional connection with an image and likes it enough to want to own a print,” says Ben.

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Ben is primarily a self-taught photographer.  He dappled in pottery at an early age, but his instructor was not impressed with his “Uncle Fester” sculpture.  His journey into the field of art truly began after a back injury left him searching for a career he could do on his own time frame and on his own terms.

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Ben’s photographic style is mostly landscape images. He likes to focus on iconic Minnesota locations and perspectives that he finds interesting.
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He is a natural light photographer and especially enjoys night-time photography or photos taken at Sunrise/sunset.

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Recently, Ben has started taking and selling prints taken from a 1969 Olympus Range Finder 35mm film camera that he acquired online.  He loves that film pushes him to really set up his shot and the anticipation that comes from having to wait for the photo to develop.

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His newly beloved camera was coveted so much by it’s previous owner that he etched his name, address and even his social security number on it.

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One of Ben’s first photographic ventures was at Three Sisters Eclectic Arts.  You can find his matted prints and ready-to-hang metal prints near the jewelry cases.  Ben also does St. Paul Art Crawl, Art-a-Whirl and occasional other art events and venues.  You can find out more on his Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/benrcooperphotography/

 

Photographer Ben Cooper

Alex G.

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Alex Glass has been at Three Sisters Eclectic Arts since well before our move to Grand Ave.AlexG_7

Alex got his start in jewelry many years before when the Hip-Hop scene was new to Minneapolis.  Back then Alex was an MC.  He was committed to establishing his own look and often did that with accessories: bandanas, saggy pants, and chunky jewelry.  Alex would make his own chunky jewelry. People at shows would ask where he got it.  He would end up selling his wares right off his body.  AlexG_6

When he moved on from life as a DJ, he packed up the jewelry.  Six years ago he tripped over a box in his mom’s garage.  He opened it up, put something together, and posted it on Facebook.  It sold immediately.  Dreadman Gee was open for business.

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When owner Linda Snyder first met Alex at an art fair, she was impressed by the variety in his pieces.AlexG

If you were to try and categorize Alex’s jewelry, you might say it has a dramatic flare and is occasionally chunky. AlexG_1

Many beads he uses have an African look,AlexG_2 - 2but he also incorporates healing crystals into his work.  He recognizes that not all people are interested in stone properties.  Alex says, “I know you can’t be everything to all people, but sometimes it’s fun to try.”  He believes most in the relationship a buyer has with the art they choose.  Whether it be with a style, design, stone property or some other aspect, Alex wants the customer to go home happy.

Alex not only makes original pieces, but he also repairs and redesigns old jewelry.  You can find him at Three Sisters Eclectic Arts, etsy and on Facebook.

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Marian Adcock – Art Heals

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I met Marian Adcock at her home and studio, Stonebridge Garden, which overlooks the Mississippi River.  Her corner desk, surrounded by windows, overlooks the bridge and gardens for which her studio is named and her work is inspired.

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Marian led me on a tour around her home where she has her 89 drawings framed and on display.  Marian is mostly a botanical artist.  Colored pencil is her medium.  However, she wasn’t always an artist.  In fact, she took her first drawing class in 2006, not long after retiring from a full career as a hospital administrator.

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But even that is not the beginning of her artistic journey.  Before that is a story of love and a story of grief.  A short time before her retirement, Marian lost her husband of 27 years, Leon Adcock M.D..  Leon and Marian raised two daughters and spent a lifetime traveling and entertaining at their riverside home.  In response to strong encouragement from her friends, Marian began participating in senior pageants.  Her talent?  Why drawing of course.  The pageants, which she often won, got her out of the house and socializing.

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But beauty pageants weren’t the only thing Marian was winning in this new round of adventure.  Marian won 2nd Prize 2011 at the National Women’s Juried Exhibition in
Buffalo, New York and “Best of Show” for her entire art collection at the Highland Art Fest in St. Paul, MN in 2012.

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With a growing collection, now including 89 drawing, Marian has developed quite the organization system for her gift cards and tags.

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She also has an amazing collection of pencils in every shade of every color.  A botanical artist needs such a collection of tools to create the layered and shaded look.

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A true botanical drawing must be scientifically accurate, created on a white background and framed with a light colored wooden frame. Marion_7

To achieve the authentic colors, the artist applies many layers of shading using a colorless pencil to blend in between each layer.  An entire picture takes numerous hours of work. Marion_8

Marian has many of her botanical drawings for sale at Three Sisters Eclectic Arts.  You will also find a framed collection of her drawings of baby animals from Como Zoo.  In addition to this giraffe, you can see her latest drawing emerging in the background.  Stay tuned for its release!

 

 

Marian Adcock – Art Heals

Lucero Designs by Sally Patrick

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Sally Patrick of Lucero Jewelry is one of our top sellers at Three Sisters.  She offers a large variety of styles, colors, and price points for our eclectic shoppers.

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Sally has been making jewelry since she was twelve years old.  What started with stretchy bead necklaces and braided leather bracelets, turned into wire loops with whimsical pieces after her youngest daughter went to school.

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What makes Lucero jewelry unique?  When you speak to Sally, you will become immediately aware of her exceptional thoughtfulness.  She is thoughtful in her words, in her movements, in her actions and, most obviously, in her artistic creations.

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Sally says that her creative process starts at antique and thrift store with found objects.  She sees things in a different way than other people. When she enters a thrift store, she can see through all the junk and find that special piece.  Above you see some trinkets she purchased on her last trip which will be used in a variety of new designs.  Sally also has many pieces that include beads she procured during a trip to the Czech Republic three years ago, a trip she is eager to repeat.

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Lucero jewelry is all one of a kind because of the unique parts for used for each design.  Sally likes African metal beads because they are often handmade.  She also loves old buttons because they are “like little works of art.”  She mostly uses brass and copper because they are warm metals and she is always on the lookout for stones with unusual cuts that present a “design opportunity.”

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Larimar, Carnelian, Labradorite and anything irridescent draw your eye to the counter,

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but the vintage jewelry parts like old coins, keys and even dominoes are what make you stay until you find just the one that speaks to you.

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Sally officially started business in 2006.  She did her first Art Crawl in 2008 and has been with Three Sisters now for a year.  We are excited to host a Lucero Trunk Show on February 6th from 1 – 3 p.m. during our Valentine’s Party.

Lucero Designs by Sally Patrick

The Turmal (A.K.A. Turman Mural)

It’s small business Saturday.  A day when small businesses hope you will leave the malls behind and turn to supporting local businesses.  It’s sunny today in Saint Paul.  A perfect day to meander down Grand Avenue and check out our new Turmal…  also known as the Turman Mural.  3 Sis Poster

Adam Turman is a bit of a local celebrity.  His posters and murals can be seen all around the twin cities.  But, if you’re in St. Paul, your best selection will be at Three Sisters Eclectic Arts.   Three Sisters is also the first shop to commission Adam to create a free standing piece.

Val & Linda BikersThe mural plans began this fall.  The idea behind “The Turmal” is to show customers that Three Sisters is a Minnesota store, supporing Minnesota artists, including Adam.  Adam’s design reflects the iconic parts of St.Paul and also Minnesota at large.  But even more poignantly, you can see patterns of three throughout the mural and you can see Three Sisters’ owners, Linda and Val, riding their bikes across the High Bridge.  Turman & The Turmal

“I wanted the mural to convey the vibrancy that businesses like the Three Sisters bring to St. Paul. Much of my art is an interpretation of Minnesotan imagery and culture. I was excited about this project because I saw it as an opportunity celebrate a business that enriches the culture of the Twin Cities. In this mural, I integrate iconic Twin Cities imagery with images that could be seen as symbolic of the Three Sisters. Notice that there are three lady’s slippers, three ducks in the pond, etc.”

Pre-reveal

Two weeks ago, after a lot of work on the parts of Adam, Val, Linda, and our intern, Megan Reilly Zeiher, the mural reveal day finally arrived.  It was a cloudy, cold day, but supporters came non-the-less.  After a little speech of gratitude, …

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The Fansa few selfies, and some posed pictures…Poster Shopping

we all went inside to warm up with treats, drink, and SHOPPING!Sales

Remember to support local businesses today and throughout your holiday shopping season.

The Turmal (A.K.A. Turman Mural)

Kari Graven: Living Large

“Living Large.”  That’s how Kari Graven describes herself to me when I meet her in her studio apartment in Northeast Minneapolis.  By the time I leave, I can see what she means.

Photo of Kari at age six taken by her grandmother.
Photo of Kari at age six taken by her grandmother.

Kari Graven is not new to the art world.  Her life as an artist began at age three when her brother tattled on her for coloring on the walls.  Instead of scolding her, her mother enrolled her in art classes.  Kari and her mother would go to Lake Harriet and sit under a tree while they sketched, colored and enjoyed a picnic. One time her mother took hold of her hands and said, “these are the hands of an artist, Kari, use them to make good.” Kari’s mother passed away when she was young, and she has been determined to keep that promise. You may recognize the photo above from her business cards and her bio at Three Sisters Eclectic Arts.

“Each type of flower represents somebody I love.”

Kari signs all of her emails, notes, and papers, “Colorfully, Kari.”  By the end of our time together, I can also see why she does that.  One painting you may be familiar with from Three Sisters Eclectic Arts, now hangs above Kari’s couch.  The painting is large and colorful. Each of the flower in the painting represent somebody that has passed away, but who touched her on her journey.  The peonies are her mother.  The birch trees are her father.  Kari has a strong faith.  After some dark times in her life, she became driven to “show the color.”  You will notice that across the board with her art.

Florence Inspired Pottery
Florence Inspired Pottery

During her training, Kari spent a year in Florence.  Scenes from Tuscany decorate her pottery at Three Sisters.  Pottery and paintings are just a few of the things Kari paints on.  She jokes, “If you sit or stand long enough, I’ll paint on you.”

Custom House Drawings
Custom House Drawings

Kari once had a line of hand-painted figurines called Kari – The Hat Lady Collection.  She wrote and illustrated a children’s book about a lamb named Pablo.   She did a mural for the Extreme Home Makeover Show.  She painted a line of sportswear, does kids’ birthday parties, AND does custom home drawings!

Kari says the most rewarding part about being an artist at Three Sisters Eclectic Arts is “having someplace that appreciates and loves art.”  The “genuine caring spirit” and “their philosophy of wanting to share with other artists” is what drew her in.

What's next? Kilimanjaro
What’s next? Kilimanjaro

You can see Kari’s work at Three Sisters, but you’ll be lucky to catch her in person.  If she’s not painting, drawing, or cooking, she might be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.  Seriously.  That is next on her next conquest.  She is all about “Living Large.”

Kari Graven: Living Large

Amy Cousin’s Journey to Jewelry

Amy Cousin is a new addition to Three Sisters Eclectic Arts this fall.  However, saying that she is a jewelry artist doesn’t really paint a clear picture of what you get when you look at or wear Amy’s jewelry.  She is an artist with healing intentions.  Healing herself through art and healing others through the power of gemstones.  I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with Amy at a glorious Giese Memorial Library in Wyoming, MN and asked her about her “Journey to Jewelry.Amy Cousins1WM“My Journey to Jewelry is woven into my journey as a parent. When our first child was born, my husband encouraged me to get a “push gift” for myself ­ something special to commemorate our delivery. I chose a small silver­framed bottle pendant. I wore it all the time and kept my favorite fragrance oil in it.
I was constantly on the search for a creative outlet, so for the birth of our 2nd child, my push gift was a pottery class. I first learned how to make pottery in elementary school and really enjoyed it, but I couldn’t give pottery the time I wanted, especially with two children under 2 years old. Several years later after our third child was born, I gifted myself an intro jewelry making class. We covered stringing, pearl knotting, and wirework. Wirework had me at the first bend! I also have a deep connection to gemstones and their energies, so jewelry making turned out to be the best outlet for me.

One of the first pieces I made was a gemstone chain necklace for my bottle pendant. I used to change the necklace according to my favorite gem at the time, when our fifth child was able to participate, I asked each of our children to choose a bead for my necklace and and I’ve worn it this way ever since. I also started making jewelry as a sideline item for our book and gift shop (Sirius Mind and Body). Then other shops started carrying my jewelry (Sirius7 Jewelry). When I closed the brick & mortar shop in 2012, I launched my own line under Amy Cousin Jewelry.”Amy CousinThe necklace is stunning in person, as is all of her jewelry.  The colors the children chose create a beautiful spectrum around her neck, which is fitting given the variety of color she uses in her work.  Amy’s art is more than beautiful, though.  It is also eco-friendly.  I asked her about this during our meeting.

“I was introduced to recycling metals when one of the local jewelry supply companies asked me if I’d like to try some wire. I have to admit that at first I wasn’t too keen on the idea, but this company was also a refinery, and explained how devastating mining for metals can be not only on the environment, but also for the communities where mining occurs. They explained the process of creating new wire from scraps, and how they maintained producing high quality wire. I was sold ­ and this was way before dirty metals and blood diamond became mainstream social issues. The same thing happened with upcycling: my husband challenged me to make something beautiful out of an old car part (a ball­bearing ring). I made a pendant, which I wore until a woman convinced me to sell it to her. Lately I‘ve been making pieces from orphaned flatware, especially earrings from fork tines. I also make pieces with vintage elements I’ve found or have been given, like Czech glass Mardi Gras beads and hand enamelled sterling silver. My favorite shopping stops are hardware stores and yard sales!Amy Cousins ToolsWhen I’m working on a piece, I think of it as a treasure in the making and each element is part of its story:  these beads came from ___; the metal is eco­friendly; Amy used my grandmother’s favorite earring in this necklace.​I think the story of a piece of jewelry is just as important as how it looks.”

This brings us to the thing that makes Amy unique and special from many other jewelers out there.  She describes her jewelry as “intentional.” That is not to say that she creates with purpose, though she does.  Her jewelry is intentional through the intentions she sets as she creates and the receiver she often has in mind.  The stones are chosen for each piece because of the properties that may enhance those intentions.  She writes about such topics on her blog.Blue StoneSound far out? Actually it’s not.  As you would expect, Amy has always been intrigued with the stories behind gemstones and their properties.  She explains “…most religious/spiritual practices mention the importance of gemstones too … (for example) …Exodus 28:15­20 which describes The Breastplate of Aaron​; R​evelations 21:18­21 describes the holy city of crystal with walls of jasper, roads of gold and gates of pearl; gold, silver, rubies and garnets in The Seven Heavens of Islamic belief; Buddha sitting on a diamond throne beneath a Bodhi tree; ​and T​ibetan Dzi beads.”

“We sold tumbled gemstones with lore cards at our book shop, and I would make pendants for customers. Then they started asking me to create custom pieces based on the gemstone’s energetic properties. I always caution customers that the gemstone’s won’t do or make anything happen for you ­ that would be a manipulation ­ instead, I say wearing gemstones is a way to remind the wearer to tap into the vibration or properties associated with gemstones and incorporate those qualities into their lives. I get as much satisfaction sharing the gemstone connection with people as I do making jewelry intentionally designed with those properties in mind.  ​Some of my favorite stones are a rare or not well know ­ like Moldavite, which only found in Bohemia (the Czech Republic). Moldavite is either a meteor that crashed to earth, or a tektite ( the product of a meteor impact) the debate rages on, but I just like the bottle green color and its unique vibration.”ChandelierI have renamed the above earring “Chandeliers for your Ears.”  You can see these and more of Amy Cousin’s beautiful jewelry in the jewelry counter by the main desk at Three Sisters Eclectic Arts.  Stop in!

 

Amy Cousin’s Journey to Jewelry