Northwest Museum of Arts + Culture

Loop is very excited to introduce The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, whose collection of art, artifacts and primary source material is impressive and inspiring. The Works on Paper collection includes contributions from students and instructors at the Spokane Art Center, funded by Roosevelt's New Deal, which brought free art insruction to the Spokane, WA community from 1938 - 1942.

One fantastic artist from that period is Vanessa Helder, whose creamy color pallette presents the landscape-changing Coulee Dam and illustrates the vernacular life in the town created to support it. Helder has an impresssive resume, but I was intrigued by her inclusion in the "Realists and Magic Realists" exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1943, a show that included artist Edward Hopper. I'll have to research that next !

[ shown above, watercolors Grand Coulee Heights, 1939-1941 : Coulee Dam, Looking West, 1939-1941 : Sunday Morning in Grand Coulee, 1939-1941 ]

I was also love the work of Northwest Modernist, Kathleen Gemberling Adkison. I am interested generally in how one's landscape influences their sense of self, and moving to Spokane seems to have been pivotal to Adkinson's artistic development. As the Museum notes, "In 1948 she moved to Spokane, becoming steeped in the stark geological landscape of the Spokane area where she was able to begin "thinking, seeing, and painting with a heightened sense of self." In the basement of her house she brushed, pooled, poured, and dripped paint onto fully stretched and primed canvases set on the floor. Kathleen Gemberling Adkison is considered, after Clyfford Still, the major modernist painter to emerge from eastern Washington ... " . I love 'Moss Wraith' from 1977, a silkscreen shown here :

The Museum also has an incredible program called Art At Work which encourages individuals and businesses to bring art into their homes + offices on a rotating rental basis... The Museum delivers and installs your selection of local art, and after three months, replaces it with something new! If you fall in love with the piece [ and how can you not ?! ], then you can apply your rental fee to a discounted purchase price. What a fantastic way to bring art into everyday life, while promoting artists and supporting their community...

The Museum also has podcasts about highlights from their collections and new exhibits. I am going to try and take a break later to listen to Contested Ground: The Landscape Redrawn.
PS : Loop and doodlespark are honored to be part of the MAC giftshop ! Thanks, Lori !


La Porte is La 'Bomb' ...

What else can I say ?
My new assistant, Holly La Porte is amazing and I wanted to introduce her to you. One of the biggest challenges to this new business has been deciding what kind of help one needs and when - and just when I needed it, Holly appeared ! She found Loop through our 1% For The Planet membership; she was returning to live in the area and wanted to work for a 'green' business. How lucky is Loop ?! Holly brings to Loop her sense of style, her keen research capabilities, and her knowledge of branding + marketing - having worked for Nicole Miller and Tiffany's - as well as her sweet disposition and eagerness to help. She'll be posting regularly with eco-baby picks, design highlights, and sneak peaks, but she also has her own blog, Green Bean .... Thanks for all of your hard work, Holly !

katagami inspires me

My nemesis Procrastination has exerted its influence this morning and I found myself picking through old bookmarks in search of inspiration. I found this link to a Japanese Arts and Culture Magazine called Kateigaho : International Edition whose 2005 feature on katagami re-captured my imagination.
Katagami are Japanese paper stencils from the Nara Period, 710 - 794 AD. [ let's review, that's nearly 1300 years ago ! ]. Created using a variety of tiny blades and tools in the dogu-bori method, these stencils were used to apply designs with dye to leather goods for itinerant traders. They developed into use for dying kimono fabrics like yukata, a single layer cotton fabric. The image of the carp above is one such example, "the carp has long been praised as an auspicious creature, often appearing in old axioms such as 'a carp climbing up the waterfall to become a dragon,' which signifies success or promotion in Japan." .

How incredible ! I am just astounded at the craftmanship and intricacy.
I wonder if I was Japanese in a previous life ?!


The Local Loop

This post is a special 'thank you' to my local ladies who are sharing Loop with our fair city... Namely, Char Vandermeer, whose 'What We Heart' nod to Doodlespark has made me smile from ear to ear. Here is her Citypaper 'Heart' :

"Intricate doodles line the edges of my grad school notes. In fact, I take great pride in my artistic endeavors and liked to think I was a pretty top-notch scrawler. Then I stumbled upon Doodlespark note cards. Dammit, I can't even scribble my way through that theory class anymore.
Doodlespark is the brainchild of mother-and-daughter duo Christine Brown and Elissa Brown Barbieri. Their unique version of the weekly college phone call encouraged the two artists to get creative while keeping in touch. Mailed back and forth over a period of many years, the dreamlike lines, colors and swirls speak of seasons, love and life. Enjoy the simple thrill of writing a letter. Show someone you're thinking of them. Heck, start your own creative correspondence. They're printed on recycled paper with soy ink, so no excuses for you. "

$20 for a set of eight note cards and envelopes, at Linu Boutique (1034 Pine St., 215-238-0747, linuboutique.com) and Arcadia Boutique (819 N. Second St., 215-667-8099) [ courtesy of citypaper.net, published : Mar 18, 2008 ]

So, get your Spring 'sneaks on and walk over to Linu Boutique. Owner Karina Sotnik has an impressive collection of exquisite European linens, home accessories + jewelry - and she's designed a line of baby linens as well ! Perfect early Mother's Day gifts abound !

And while there is tons of buzz about Northen Liberties, Arcadia Boutique is the real deal. Not only has owner Ali McCloud gathered the best of eco-fashion that is sure to keep heads turning this Spring, but she also features work by local artists and has launched a new eco-travel service. Getting Spring fever? Ali can hook you up wth a go-lightly globe trot that will inspire you while sustaining our planet.


Loop's Eco-Baby Finds!

Here at Loop, we are always keeping an eye for great design and environmentally friendly products. And, no joke, almost every day in the past month, I have gotten the news that a friend or a friend of a friend is expecting! With all these new-moms-to-be in our circle, I got to searching for eco-baby items online and came across the most fabulous finds!!! My favorite is Amenity Nursery. Modern and organic, these nursery items are adorable! So cute, in fact, that I am keeping on file for whenever the day may come that I will need a nursery!

Another great product I came across is Baby Bear Shop. They have wonderful gift sets (how convenient since I will be needing many baby gifts)! Their products, like Cheeky Baby Butter and 'All the better to kiss you with' Lip Balm, are all made with 100% plant-derived ingredients and are 99% organic. They also plant a tree for every purchase! How great! Be sure to check out their website and read about how their company was formed. I found it very interesting and informative. I was very happy to find such adorable and easily-accessible eco-baby products. I'm sure our friends will be just as elated for their little 'green bean' that is on the way!


Domino Magazine Picks from design*sponge

The uber-resourceful and sweet Grace Bonney of design*sponge has compiled a wonderful list of eco-friendly home accessories for under $100 for Domino Magazine. Thanks, Grace ! for thinking of Loop's painting-series note cards and for linking to their home at MoMA Store.

Other notable eco-goodies include :

Mio Culture's 'Capsule Light' : Unison's 'Reed' Organic Blanket :

Perch Design's "Container for one Thing"


Loop De Loops

Naming this business was not an easy task - just ask anyone who received the e-mail invitation to 'vote' from my 5 top choices ! In the end, I went with my instincts and chose Loop - and so did MANY other people, apparently....

Here is a list of some of my favorite 'other' Loops !

[ add your favorite 'loop' if you've got one ! ]

Loop Yarns [ yay Philadelphia ! - brimming with cozy color ] :

Loop Organic [ gorgeous organic cotton with style + substance ] :

Loop NYC [ pop handbags ] :

My Loop represents the cyclical relationship of inspiration and support; I love our natural world and I am endlessly inspired by its lush and varied forms, by its unique + seasonal personality, by its bountiful energy and power... Therefore, I feel strongly that it is my responsibility to care for it, to use its resources sparingly - to replenish Nature as Nature replenishes me.
This is our loop : Healthy Planet.

Loop also embodies the joy we feel from being in touch with those we love. The 'loop' of an embrace, the 'loop' of give and take, the 'loop' of time that is created when you communicate with someone far away. Taking time to write someone a note, to send someone a special gift, creates an intimate loop.
I believe the ‘less is more’ adage is more true now than ever : enjoy having fewer things but enjoy each of the things you have more fully. This requires remembering to slow down and enjoy the moment, something that is often difficult to do in this crazy world we live in.
This is our loop : Happy People.