What's in Store
Summertime, summertime, sum, sum summertime! June 06 2012, 0 Comments
Emerging Artist Profile: Audra Azoury
The conjunction of nature and industry is what shapes the work of Audra Azoury. She is a local artist who specializes in jewelry and sculpture where these natural and man-made elements combine. Audra says that her love for art and nature has been intertwined since a young age, and that industry has always been a part of nature in her memory. Her work achieves a harmonious balance between the natural world of creation and the modern world of innovation.
Her first line of jewelry was commissioned by the estate of Falling Water, after she held a successful sculpture exhibition at the famous Frank Lloyd Wright house. This collection is directly inspired by the architecture of the house; the suspended stairs leading into the stream below the house, the red steel windows that provide the illusion of being part of the forest and the local rhododendron flowers that grow on the land around Falling Water.
Audra is a Pittsburgh native whose passion for the city is evident in her work. Her ‘Steel Town’ collection is inspired by the architecture and design of Pittsburgh bridges. A graphic designer by day, the graphical simplicity of her work draws on geometric shapes and patterns. Audra uses locally sourced materials; her jewelry is made from Pittsburgh steel and 80% of her jewelry is made from recycled materials. The natural materials utilized in her sculpture, such as wood and rocks, are found by the artist herself on her walks in the forests of Pittsburgh where she first discovered her love of nature.
The Westmoreland has a beautiful industrial art collection called BORN OF FIRE and Audra's Steel City Jewelry line will fit in perfectly!
I also met (and order merchandise already!) from a great artist in California. I will post more tomorrow about her great wearable art when I have pictures!
Also tomorrow I leave for the Gettsyburg Festival in historic Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (www.gettysburgfestival.org) for three days of artists' market, music and food! This will be the first time I have attended this venue so I will be sure to post more great pictures and previews of coming merchandise when I return.
Can life get any better than this???
Yours, feeling festive,
Technology and Turtles - or the trials and tribulations of being a long distance mom! May 24 2012, 0 Comments
Those of you who know me, know that I have two grown daughters that live very far away from Southwestern Pennsylvania where I am living in beautiful Greensburg. Becky is in the Dallas/Forth Worth/Plano area and Jamie is in East Bay San Francisco. If you are a parent too, you know for a fact that parenting never ends. So, you can imagine how I felt learning that both of my girls minorly injured themselves yesterday, and here I am, sitting hundreds of miles away, unable to comfort at all. What a drag, what a dilemna!
So what do you do when you can't be there to kiss the boo-boos? You send a gift, of course and this is where the technology and the turtles come in. Yesterday, as I was straightening up the jewelry cases, I notice these cute little earrings that, for the life of me, I always thought were just pretty green beads. Upon closer examination, I noticed they were turtles!
And guess who likes turtles in our family (although her brain addled mother - me - can never remember if it is turtles or frogs) - Becky in Texas! So since I was thinking about her and her dog walking related injury yesterday, I thought I would send her some earrings to "make it all better." Now, if you have adult children (or non-adult children, regardless of their actual age), you know that they will have developed tastes and preferences of their own. So before I bought that cute pair of turtle earrings, I decided to run them past Becky to find out if she would be caught dead in them. No reason to spend money for a gift that will not be used and appreciated, right?
Off I go to the office of my friend and colleague, Charlene who is the Communications Specialist at the Westmoreland, and she snaps a picture of the earrings for me. Hey Becky, I write on facebook, would you like these earrings that I want to send to you? Success! She thinks they are great and out in to the mail they go, winging their way to Texas as we type!
Now, of course there is a point to this story. They don't pay me around here to tell you stories about myself and my family without it being Museum Shop related, right? So here it is....retail is about the relationship and customer service is everything. If I can pick out the perfect gift for my daughter, get it approved by her ahead of time, and get it on its way to her in under an hour...if I can do that for me, I can do it for you!
Need a gift for someone special? Let me help you pick it out!
Need a photo of it sent ahead of the purchase? I can do that for you!
Need it gift wrapped? No problem and NO CHARGE!
Need it shipped out? We can do that (for a slight charge - the postman must be paid!).
Can't make it into the shop? Call me, write me, send me an email, comment on this blog or better yet, order here in our on-line store - I will take care of it for you.
Mission accomplished! Let me make your life easier and I know we will have a good time doing it too!
Yours with superlative customer service,
Another weekend, another great Westmoreland event! April 24 2012, 0 Comments
Well, we are just barely recovered from the fantastic Juried Artist Market last weekend and it's time to gear up again for another great event this weekend. Please join us Friday night, April 27 from 6:30 - 8:00 for the opening of the Juried Biennial 2012 exhibition. Works of art from area artists will be on display both in the galleries and in An American Marketplace, the Museum Shop at the Westmoreland. Many of the artists will be in attendance; light refreshments will be served, cash bar. Juried pieces and art from the biennial artists will be for sale during the exhibition which run April 27 - July 22, 2012. This is a wonderful event and you will not want to miss it.
Reservations are appreciated (gotta know how much food to make!) so please call Darlene at 724 837 1500 x 29 or Pat at extension 27 to let us know you are coming. I will be busy hanging the new art in the shop all week so if you stop in, I may put you to work!
Yours on a ladder,
You say "Good-bye" and I say "Hello" April 24 2012, 0 Comments
Today is a bittersweet day at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art and in An American Marketplace, the Shop at the Westmoreland in particular. Nan Loncharich, long time receptionist and greeter at the museum, is leaving after many years to pursue her Fancy Wool Flowers business with a new website (www.fancywoolflowers.com) and a new future - teaching and demonstrating her fiberart. If you have been in the Museum Shop, you will know Nan's gorgeous wool flower pins and kits. Also new from Nan this week are handbags and totes, which you can see hanging on the wall behind her in this picture. See more of Nan's great art below:
While we say goodbye for now to Nan, she will not be gone long. She is a very popular artist in our Spring, Fall and Holiday Artist Markets and I am even planning to rope her into volunteering with us as a shop sale associate.
I'm so exited and I just can't hide it! Spring Juried Artist Market this Saturday, April 21! April 18 2012, 0 Comments
Do not miss this event - our Spring Juried Artists Market. Seventeen regional artists will be here. 20% off on everything and refreshments!
See you at the Westmoreland!
What’s in Store – It’s more than a blog title! April 06 2012, 0 Comments
Hello Shoppers and Art Lovers!
What a gorgeous Friday out there on the other side of my
Museum Shop windows in downtown Greensburg, Pennsylvania (well, almost
downtown, considering we reside on a hill).
It is the start of a long weekend for most people, and I find myself in
the Museum Shop hosting the first of several “What’s in Store” events here at
the Westmoreland. Intended to coincide
with the last weekend of an exhibition (when attendance is high!), in this case
The Art of Seating, “What’s in Store”
is a shop event that gives our customers a 20% discount off everything in the
Museum Shop, a chance to win a great gift basket, free gift wrapping and yummy
refreshments. This promotion runs through Sunday, April 8, 2012 so get yourself in here!
I love talking to the people who show up at the museum. Since it is Easter vacation for most schools, we have been seeing (and hearing) plenty of kids in the Museum this week and our backpack program is getting lots of takers! If you have children and don’t know about our educational programs, come check us out! The backpack includes a scavenger hunt throughout the Museum, which when successfully completed gives the child an overview of American Art …and, perhaps more importantly to the kids, a prize. The backpack also includes a coupon for an additional prize from the Museum Shop and 10% off any purchase. Who could ask for more?
Other childrens' activities here at the Westmoreland include Studio Saturdays (reservations required), Studio Sundays(totally free and drop in status), Family Days (free and fun for the entire family) and Summer Art Camps(registration required). Information for all these activities is available on our website www.wmuseumaa.org.
Regardless of age, no trip to the museum is complete without a final stop in the Museum Store. Little hands like to touch so we put our Children’s Area right up front (away from the breakables!) where there are plenty of art and history-related books, games, and toys. A child-size table and chairs welcomes kids to have a seat and check out our very own children’s art activity book, Imagine American Art. Also available for play is American Art Bingo, the ever popular children’s game based on our American art collection. Both of these items can be purchased for many hours of fun and play at home.
I can hardly wait until my grandson, Wyatt, just one year old, is ready for a Museum experience here at the Westmoreland. His parents have already taken him to a cool museum in Berkeley, California called HABITOT Children’s Museum (http://www.habitot.org/)
Of course, I have already started the campaign to teach him all about art and artists, American and otherwise. Wyatt and his parents live very far away from us in San Francisco. Any gifts I bring have to fit in my suitcase so books are always the first choice (probably would be the first choice if he lived down the street, to be truthful). When he was born, I bought him the Metropolitan Museum of Art books on color, shape, and numbers. His parents are very avid book lovers too so they have been reading to him since birth. This year, I sent him Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh, an entertaining tale of three white mice and several buckets of paint in an easy-for-little-hands board book. I am sure I will be sending the companion book, Mouse Count out to Wyatt very soon.
Because I believe you are never too young (or too old) for poetry, two of my favorite children’s book here in the shop are I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More, written by Karen Beaumont and illustrated by David Catrow and Paint Me a Poem: Poems Inspired by Masterpieces of Art by Justine Rowden.
And for total wordless fun, check out Art & Max by David Wiesner.
All of these great books can be found in our museum store or on-line shop: https://americanmarketplace.myshopify.com/admin
So until the next time I can get out to San Francisco and tell Wyatt all about the wonderful world of art, bring your kids into the Westmoreland Museum of American Art and stop in to see me in the Museum Shop so that I can tell you.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
Welcome to "What's in Store," the American Marketplace blog! April 04 2012, 0 Comments
Whether you arrived here intentionally or quite accidently (often the case when I'm web searching...I call it serendipity - good things that happen along the way!), welcome to "What's in Store," the American Marketplace blog. This is my very first post and as always, I've got something to say.
When we (the staff at the Westmoreland) decided to update our on-line store (thank you Shopify for making it sooooo easy!), we also decided we wanted to include a blog. The Westmoreland publishes a very nice narrative piece called "Behind the Walls," which takes our members and fellow travelers back to see how the Museum operates on a day-to-day basis. An insiders' look, so to speak, you can find it and other great stuff about the museum on our website www.wmuseumaa.org. Similarly, the purpose of my blog is to take you along with me as I manage this totally cool Museum Shop called An American Marketplace.
When I tell people I shop for a living, the usual response is (from the women): "That has got to be the coolest job in the world!" From the men, not so much. But managing the shop is more than shopping for great museum collection-related (what a mouthful!) merchandise to sell to you, our members and visiting public. It's displaying and merchandising those products (what goes well together, what should be on the front table, stuff like that), marketing and promotion (making all those signs and coupons and getting the word out via social media - thank goodness we have a great marketing team to do the heavy lifting!), working alongside some super people (shop volunteers and Soji, my sales associate), participating in special events (and coming up with a few of our own), developing new products that promote the mission of the museum, keeping my office tidy (believe or not, this is one of the most challenging tasks!) and paperwork, paperwork, paperwork.
Was it always my goal to grow up one day be a Museum Shop/Shopping Maven? Actually no, I thought I wanted to be a full-time mommy but once I did that, I went screaming back into the work world. I served my time in the payroll field for 28 years before finishing a History Degree and landing in the museum world. BEST DECISION EVER! Say what you want about making money, (it's nice, it's necessary), you just can't beat the psychic benefits of working in a place with great art!
So here I am, working at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art and lovin' every minute of it. So many exciting things are happening here that, if you don't know about us, you will wish you did. And guess what? We want you to know about us and think of us as your own place, where you belong. Hey! It's American Art, folks and we are Americans! That makes it our art! Come check it out and when you do, stop into the Museum Shop and tell me hello. If I'm not out on the sales floor, I'll be in my messy office, trying to straighten it up!
Yours in commerce!