Scary Art – ArtMares 2011

Opening tonight and culminating with a reception on Friday evening as part of East End Main Street’s Annual Halloweast activities is the spookiest art show to come to Charleston each year – ArtMares.

Featuring artwork from nearly 40 artists, this years event is proudly sponsored by The Purple Moon and Modern by Design. The show is being held at the Kanawha Players Theater at 301 Beauregard Street on Charleston’s East End. Hours of the show are:

Wednesday – October 26 – 6pm to 9pm
Thursday – October 27 – 6pm to 9pm
Friday – October 28 – 6pm to 10pm

Friday evening will be a free reception with beer, wine and live music by Tofujitsu.

Participating artists include:

Amy Williams . Bernice Deakins . Bill Price . Charly Jupiter Hamilton . Chase Henderson . Chuck Hamsher . Clay Sayre . Dale Morton . Dave Thomas . Eric Holstine . Gary Stewart . Ginger Workman . Glen Brogan . Hannah Stone . Hannah Toney . Ian Bode . Jenifer Sheets . Joe Bolyard . Keith Allen . Kelly Bryant . Kristen Costello . Laura Wilmoth . LeAna Paxson . Mark Wolfe . Matthew Thompson . Naomi Bays . Nik Botkin . Rebecca Burch . Rob Cleland . Rob Hrezo . Rudy Panucci . Sandra King . Sarina Reed . Sharon Stackpole . Shayne Workman . Staci Leech-Cornell . Tara Bradley . Vasilia Scouras

50% of all art sales go directly back into East End Main Street public art and development initiatives.

Come out and enjoy some of the scariest art you will see from some of the Kanawha Valley’s top artists!


Mikasa Samovar Coffee Server by Ben Seibel – Holiday Gift Idea #3

Ben Seibel designed some wonderful dinnerware in the mid-20th Century and one of his most stunning works is this wonderful Samovar Coffee Server made by Mikasa as part of the Duplex line in 1972. This simple, almost architectural, design is a real head turner!

Perfect for serving coffee, tea or virtually any hot or cold beverage, this Samovar looks as good as it functions. A great gift for that person on your list who loves to entertain with style!

This piece is available at The Purple Moon and in our online shop – but we only have one so act quickly! If you purchase this item by December 15th you will get 10% OFF in the shop and 10% off and FREE SHIPPING (in Continental US) if you buy online.

The online price will reflect your discount during this period – you will have to tell us you saw it at to get the in-store discount.


Felix Krasyk to Release Print Series of 1950’s Work

Mrs. Wassenberg & Esprie - 1954 - Felix Krasyk
Mrs. Wassenberg & Esprie - 1954 - Felix Krasyk

Charleston artist Felix Krasyk will be releasing limited edition prints of six of his 1950’s paintings on Friday, November 27th, during this month’s Downtown Charleston ArtWalk at The Purple Moon.

Felix Krasyk spent the period of 1952 to 1959 in New York City working and learning textile design. He spent his days working at B. Altman’s and his evenings painting.

Speaking of those New York years Krasyk says, “I painted to keep myself from going nuts. Whenever I went home at night I closed and locked the steel apartment door and it felt like a prison. After all, I am a ‘country boy’ and I missed West Virginia.”

In 1959, Felix returned to Charleston, caring for his parents and working at Woodrum’s Department Store as a designer. He later co-founded Interior Design, Inc. in Kanawha City. Krasyk’s New York paintings were stored away.

There they remained until a 2006 exhibit at the University of Charleston’s Frankenberger Art Gallery. This inspired the artist to once again return to art after 47 years at age 80.

The Thinker - 1957 - Felix Krasyk
The Thinker - 1957 - Felix Krasyk

In February 2007, The Purple Moon presented an exhibit that mixed Krasyk’s 1950’s work with current pieces entitled Past & Present: a half-century of art. The majority of his 1950’s work and many of his new pieces quickly sold.

In The Charleston Gazette’s review of that show, Amanda Miller stated, “As someone directly influenced by the apex of modernism, Krasyk brings a quality of work back to Charleston reminiscent of West Virginia modernist Blanche Lazelle.”

Felix Krasyk and his work has been the focus of profiles in Charleston Magazine and in this piece for West Virginia Public Boadcasting’s Outlook Show.

These mark the first prints released by the artist and are limited to an edition of 10 for each of the six pieces.

The Purple Moon will also have on display original works by Mr. Krasyk.


Red Spots Lead to Pink Elephants

Morning at South Carolina Red Dot Store – C. Hamsher – 2008

Liquor or “package” stores in South Carolina are prohibited from utilizing signage telling what they sell so for years have utilized large red dots.  I remembered this from years ago but thought maybe this had changed with the times. On my last drive through I found this is not the case. This one is along Rt. 301 near Olanta, SC.


Hank Keeling’s Summer of Love

The Purple Moon to show artist’s 1968 psychedelic mural.

Make Love, Not War – Hank Keeling – 1968

In the summer of 1967, while teaching at Marshall University, artist Hank Keeling began work on a three piece mural to chronicle the tumultuous times. Originally planned for use on Marshall’s campus the work was deemed by University officials as too controversial upon completion and was not used.

After decades of being stored away, and through special arrangement with Mr. Keeling, The Purple Moon will be displaying the three-canvas mural beginning September 18th with an opening from 5 to 8 p.m.

Measuring a monumental 5 feet by 12 feet the artwork captures the mood of the times through depictions of drugs, war and free love. In what was a significant departure by Keeling from his primarily abstract impressionist work this oil and collage mural demonstrates his adeptness in the psychedelic style in a manner rarely seen outside of the West Coast at the time.

The opening coincides wit the monthly Downtown Charleston ArtWalk.


Russel Wright Chrome Corn Set by Chase

Chrome Corn Set – Chase Brass & Copper Co. – 1934 – Designed by Russel Wright

This set and I recently crossed paths and I just couldn’t let it go by. I had seen this often in books and had run across pieces of it over the years but this was the first intact set I had come upon.

Made by by Chase, this chrome pitcher (for drawn butter), salt and pepper shakers and cobalt glass bottomed tray are known collectively as a corn set. Design by Russel Wright this set demonstrates how, even early in his career, Wright was able to join form to utility to create a work of true art.

Parade of New Metals – House & Garden Magazine – April 1934

The corn set can be seen in the excerpt from House & Garden Magazine above in the second row, second from the right.

Chase produced wonderful chrome housewares in the period between the two world wars. After WWII, Chase ceased production of consumer items and focused on industrial items only.