Friday, August 16, 2019

Less Than 24 Hours!

Meet Arpan Shrestha of Nepali Artisans...
My name is Arpan Shrestha and I have been living in Cleveland, Ohio for almost 10 years after I moved from Nepal. I owned a handicraft business back home. I had been introduced to handicraft products since I was a kid. My uncle owned a couple of stores that sold handmade souvenirs to tourists. I used to help him manage his store during winter vacations. The craftsmanship and the intricacy of the handcrafted products always fascinate me. That’s what inspired me to open my own handmade souvenir store shortly after I graduated high school. I ran a handicraft business for 11 years.
After I moved to the US, I went to a college and landed on an internship and a
contracting job for few years. However, I was never content with 9 to 5 job as I
always yearned to follow my passion, to open my own handicraft store.
I started an online business in Amazon in 2017 where I sold toys, party supplies
and products in other categories but I still had this feeling inside that I could do
much more. 

While visiting Kathmandu, Nepal this summer, I came across handmade glass bead products that are passionately crafted by skilled women artisans within and outside of the Kathmandu valley. I found that these products were beautifully made and were crocheted in different colors and patterns. The variations in colors, design and craft skills that have been put into these items really intrigued me. This is when I decided to work with the organization in Kathmandu who trains and employs these artisans that empower them to become independent. To commemorate these skilled artisans and to promote their products was born.
We were searching for a platform to showcase the handmade products and came across Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show. This will be our second event with Avant-Garde. Our first event went pretty well and I believe these handmade festivals will be the best way to connect with handmade enthusiasts like you. My plan is to participate in such festivals in future as well. With intent to give back to the community, I am hoping to donate a portion of our profit to women artisans.

Meet Katie Ferren of Wreath Maker...
My name is Katie Ferren and I am a creative wreath maker! I live in Findlay, OH with my husband, daughter, and two dogs. I am a band director and in my free time I love to create beautiful wreaths to share with others to admire on their doors, mantels, etc. I have been doing this actively for the past year now and it is so fun to do!
Medina Summer will be my second Avant-Garde Art and Craft Show.  I love going to a variety of unique places and putting together wreaths that represent that place. I recently was commissioned to make a wreath for Rich's Auto Body Show in Amherst, OH and I customized the wreath to fit their shop! It was so much fun to do! I love all the interesting signs I can find or material and create my wreaths. 
Miracle Wreaths in the Making was created to help my husband and I on our infertility journey as we pursue IVF to conceive our 2nd child. Three years ago, God graced us with a beautiful daughter, Cora Rose. She is the sunshine to our heart and the best gift that we have ever received. We have tried to expand our family but have had great difficulty. I learned that over the past two years, I am one in eight who suffer with infertility and PCOS. In all the emotions and stress that this journey has brought, I started making wreaths with my mother, Cathy. My beautiful mother is who I received my creative talent from and we work together making our wreaths and handmade towels.  This creative outlet takes away my stress and emotions and I am able to create beautiful artful wreaths. 
My beautiful mother is who I received my creative talent from and we work together making our wreaths and handmade towels.  I have always been creative and have dedicated my life to art and music. With each season, I get the creative bug when I see everything around me. I am inspired by my surroundings or the little things I find. 

I see myself continuing to create beautiful wreaths and passing my gift to my daughter and hopefully in the future her new sister or brother. I see myself dedicating my proceeds from the business to advocating for infertility coverage and supporting others that struggle with infertility. The message behind my work is Miracle Wreaths in the Making - there are miracles in everything that we make. 

Meet Heidemarie Chernushin from Communications...
I'm Heidemarie and I live in North Royalton.  Have two adult sons, a daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren.  I've worked for AAA for more than 30 years and looking forward to retirement in a few years. I began doing shows about 5 years ago, but have been hiatus for the last two years helping to take care of my Mom.  
 This will be my second Avant-Garde Art and Craft Show and I am super excited to be back! To share the beauty of the world around us is what inspires me to create. My dad gave me his Brownie camera when I was in the 5th grade and that is what started my hobby.
My talent has just kinda evolved over time.  It began to blossom when I worked in Yellowstone and a wonderful photographer friend taught me techniques for taking photographs of flowers. In five years I hope to be established enough to supplement my retirement income and provide for my travel habit.  
The message behind my work is that everyone can afford beautiful photographs, and my goal is to provide affordable art. 

Meet Lindsay Rheaume...
I'm Lindsay and I moved to Chardon Ohio from Syracuse New York (it’s a 4-5 hour drive from NYC) with my now husband because he got a job in his career field. I enjoy knitting, hiking, antiquing, and glass blowing. My husband is into blacksmithing!
I have been knitting for a couple of years now... 4 years I think. This will be my 1st avant-garde show and is my 3rd craft show to date! My inspiration comes from liking the hobby! I just like it and I find it fun and I gives me something to do while I’m hanging out at home or on a car trip somewhere

This hobby is is something I always was interested in knitting and had a couple people near by that knew how to knit so the helped me get started. I have always wanted to learn how to knit and took to it pretty quickly once I learned how to. When I see a skein (ball) of yarn I like I think about what I want to make with it and get, much to my husbands dismay.
In five years I hope I could have a pretty good side hustle with my knitting, and that everyone loves my items as much as I love them!

Meet Jean Wendland Porter from JWP Art...
I'm a Physical Therapist by vocation, an artist by avocation. I'm untrained, and I'm learning as I go. Sometimes the left brain needs a break, so I paint. I've been drawing and painting all my life, but only involved in shows for the past 10 years. 

This will be my first Avant-Garde Art and Craft Show and I am super excited to show everyone my artwork. 
As I've gotten older I've gotten more involved in my community and have decided to see the world. I paint from my love of Cleveland, and my travels. I work on projects when inspired. But I have too much inventory and want to keep creating, but I need more room! I started drawing as a very young child. 

At around 9 years old I had an art teacher who pushed me to start displaying my work, and had me paint a mural in my Elementary school.
When I'm sad I use a lot of black paint. This is totally subconscious; it just turns out that way. When I'm happy my paintings are full of sunshine.

I hope to retire from my job in 2-3 years. I intend to focus exclusively on travel and painting once I have more time to devote to it.
My message is just expressing myself. When I see something that inspires me, whether it's in my neighborhood or across the world, I want to put it on canvas. I also think everyone should do what they love, no matter how many people tell you it's crazy. 

Meet Carly Nicholson of The NINE 5 Gallery...
The Nine 5 Gallery was started about 6 years ago. I own it with my father and my husband Pat and I run the gallery. My husband Pat is our main designer and project manager. My brother-in-law Dan is our main fabricator. The Nine 5 Gallery is made up a collection of welder/fabricators and between all of our fabricators we have about 70 years welding experience. We have a showroom featuring our home d├ęcor, furniture and art located in the RAMP level at 78th Street Studios in Cleveland, Ohio.

We have been doing this for around 6-7 years. This will also be our first Avant-Garde Art and Craft Show, which we are super nervous but excited for!
We don't necessarily consider ourselves "artists" so it's been incredibly fun delving and growing in this world. We are welder/fabricators by trade, and have translated that skill set into creating functional art pieces/furniture/staircases/and more! We love working with customers on jobs big and small and taking their ideas, sketches, pictures, etc. and bringing them to fruition.

The reason we got into this business is because we were hired to do a few large scale fabrication projects for the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Downtown Cleveland. We made the "MOCA" sign that is outside the Museum of Contemporary Art. Our very first "art" project was acoustic panels inside the Gartner Auditorium in the Cleveland Museum of Art. We also designed, fabricated and installed the benches located inside the main atrium. Other projects include Destination Cleveland Visitor Center interior, Marble Room Steakhouse located in downtown Cleveland, Arhaus San Diego, and other public and private projects. One of our very favorite projects to date was working with NY based artists Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster on fabricating and installing their design, "Dialogue" which was a public art installation installed at the Eastman Reading Garden at the Main Cleveland Public Library. It was a circle of interlaced sound tubes. There are some really cool photos of it on our website!   
After being involved in the museum projects, we realized our welder/fabricator skill sets could be translated into "art".   I think the art/craft scene has really evolved and has allowed so many creative people the confidence and ability to follow through with creating, displaying and selling their crafts and we realized this is something we could achieve too!  As I said, we don't consider ourselves artists so it has been so fun seeing the response our work gets!
A mixture of customer's ideas and our own thoughts and ideas on design. Our process is very client driven. We have an introductory meeting with our client to gather information on their project, likes/dislikes, and we provide the expertise to translate ideas into finished products. In five years we hope to continue and grow as all businesses do. We would like to continue our architectural and art growth along Northeast Ohio as well as nationally. We love taking our customer’s vision to produce beautiful and unique pieces. We really enjoy what we do and hope that shows through in our art! 

2019 Medina Summer Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, April 27, 2019
Medina Community Recreation Center
855 Weymouth Rd. 
Medina, OH 44256
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on:

Friday, April 26, 2019

Tomorrow Medina!

Meet Sheri Shaffer of Fluidity…
Fluidity is a small, family-owned business that was started in January 2019, which proudly features lampwork glass and fluid paint art uniquely created by Robert Reeder Glassworks, SheriBaby Jewelry, and the blossoming art talent of 13-year old Marc Shaffer. We have happily been a blended family since 2012, with three kids, two cats, a hound dog, two guinea pigs, and a lizard. And our story is as follows:
Robert has been interested in art his whole life, and clearly remembers being the only child in class in the first grade who wowed his classmates by drawing wheel wells on his car drawings! Art was his favorite subject in high school, and credits his Highland High School Art Teacher, Beverly Melrose, for her encouragement and support of his artistic talent; especially in drawing and painting, where he excelled in his abilities. He went on to further study in art at Cuyahoga Community College by taking drawing and painting courses, and even briefly dabbled in Commercial Art Classes,

Then, in 2011, he happened to watch a YouTube video on glass marble lampwork and it thoroughly lit his creative spark. So, he decided to teach himself how to make them, and he purchased a torch, propane cylinders, an oxygen system, built himself a workbench in his garage and ordered a box of borosilicate glass rods. Over the years, he has perfected his first attempt molten blob, into beauteous, infinite-looking, sparkle-filled vortexes which magically turn mere glass spheres into spectacular pieces of marble artwork. He also creates beautiful glass pendants and unique glass wine stoppers. Robert Reeder Glassworks has been successfully selling his glass artwork on Facebook and Instagram since 2013.
Sheri, on the other hand, was never good in art in school, and it was always one of her least-favorite subjects. Never one to progress beyond stick figures and artwork that looked like a five-year-old created it, she believed for almost a decade into adulthood that she was completely unartistic. However, some of the benefits of being an adult is a higher level of self-confidence, a willingness to try different things, and becoming more self-aware of one's talents and abilities. She loved creating and planting cottage floral gardens, sewing, cooking and trying new recipes, scrapbooking, interior decorating, and making crafts; she soon realized that being able to do those kinds of activities took a certain level of artistic talent to create, and that one didn't have to be labeled as “an artist” in order to possess a natural creative ability.

Suddenly, a serious vehicle accident in early 2016 ended her beloved career as a School Bus Driver and sent her on an almost 3-year downward spiral of physical and mental debilitation. It wasn't until November of 2018 that her artistic spark was reignited with: the planning and execution of her baby sister’s “Miracle Baby” baby shower, attending her first clay sculpture class at Studio Clay in Ravenna, Ohio, and a Wine and Paint Night at West Main St. Winery presented by Blue Tree Designs. She was creating actual artwork! Were they great works of art, the likes of Michelangelo or DaVinci? No, of course not! However, “Gasp!”, they actually turned out looking like an adult had created them and she could actually proudly display them in her home! And, it was doing wonders for her mental health (the physical, unfortunately, is a permanent, chronic condition, however, there’s been some improvement with that, also); there certainly is a lot to be said for the good to your mind, body, and soul that the flow of creative energy does for oneself!
Then, a kids-are-away-let’s-have-an-adult-date-night in December changed everything! We attended an “Intro to Fluid Painting” class presented by, For the Fun of It Art Studio at Charmed Wix Candles and More in Ravenna, Ohio, and we instantly became obsessed! We then went on to create so many paintings ourselves in our own home art studio, that we decided we needed to start selling them since we couldn't possibly keep all of them ourselves, we'd run out of wall space! And, since Robert felt like his marbles influenced his fluid art, and vice-versa, we decided to incorporate Robert Reeder Glassworks into the Fluidity business. In the meantime, Sheri had discovered the joys of incorporating fluid art into stunning, one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, and SheriBaby jewelry was formed as another part of our flourishing Fluidity business. Shortly thereafter, it was realized that fluid painting could beautifully cover many other materials other than canvas, and so, coasters, photo frames, vases, clay pots, clock faces, and even magnets, have become a regular part of Fluidity’s unique wares for sale. She continues to enjoy creating clay projects at Studio Clay, along with attending stained glass classes provided by their newest tenant, Pisanello Glass Co.
As this has become family business, 13-year-old, Marc, has contributed his unique, out-of-the-box creativity to our Fluidity business by creating his own paintings on canvas and ceramic coaster sets. He has a wonderful sense of composition, is not afraid in the least to do something different by creating his own techniques or using lots of colors, and especially loves the metallic paints. He has always enjoyed art class in school, especially clay and felting, and has also participated in Robotics Club and Computer Club. And as typical with most teenage boys, he absolutely loves playing video games (So, Mom is especially glad that she can lure him away from them when he's come home from school, proclaiming, “Mom, I had this great idea stuck in my head all day for fluid painting! Are we going to paint tonight?”)!

The true joy that fluid painting brings to us, is that it’s so unstructured and unpredictable, but it always brings about fabulously interesting results. No two paintings are ever alike, and with as many different techniques as there are to incorporate, it never gets boring to create. And even though there are basics to the fluid painting process, we’ve each seemed to develop our own styles: whether it be boldly abstract, nature-inspired, or just contrastingly colorful. Our Fluidity business might just be getting started, however, it has sparked a desire to have art be our lifelong work!

The Avant-Garde Art and Craft Show in Medina will be our first show with Avant-Garde. We are truly looking forward to vending at the Medina Community Center on April 27th, as we have heard nothing but good things about the first-rate quality and high attendance of the Avant-Garde venues. Fluidity is especially proud to be a part of their philanthropic endeavors and we look forward to seeing all of the good that the proceeds to the Cleveland Animal Protective League (APL) will provide for all of its rescue animals (Our dog and both of our cats are rescues themselves!).

Meet Maria Falorio from Maria Falorio Kindness Creations...
My name is Maria Falorio and I was born and raised in Cleveland, OH. I am a full-time preschool teacher, but I have a love of creating and crafting. I have tapped into many areas of crafting, from painting to crocheting, but have recently found a love of creating household items and jewelry for friends and family to enjoy. I am excited to begin to share my talents with others!
I have had a creative side for as long as I can remember, but I really started creating for other people in college. Since graduating, I find that crafting and creating gives me a sense of joy and relaxation from the “real world” stresses and find myself creating in my free time.

I am inspired to create when I think about the joy that art can spread between people and with an entire community. My hope is that when someone wears my handmade jewelry, they are reminded of how powerful their thoughts, words, and actions are and choose to have a positive day. I also hope they are a reminder to the customer to spread some kindness that day, whether that be through a random act or a small conversation. I hope the same for my household items. The purpose behind them is to serve as a reminder or just bring a smile to someone’s face.
To be honest, I discovered my talent through trial and error. I fumbled through multiple mediums until I found the one that truly showed me that my creations were not just for me, but that they can bring joy and happiness to those around me if I share them!  As I stated earlier, crafting became a big part of my life during and after college. I have always found it to be a stress reliever and an enjoyable hobby. Once I was gifted my Cricut, I soon realized the wide variety of items that I can create and personalize and I took off from there! I do not have a clear plan of where this tiny business will be in the next 5 years, but I hope to spread kindness through my work and hope it is shared with others! I plan on exploring other products to create as well as find a way to use this business to give back to the community. This is my second Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show. I am so excited to share some of my work.
I try to create things that I feel would serve as good reminders to choose happiness. I enjoy creating items (such as pillows, dish towels, and makeup bags) that I know people can look at each day, in common areas of the home, and make them smile. I think it is so important for people to remember that they have the power to decide how their day is going to go every single day. You have the opportunity every day to decide to have a good day and to use your own positivity to lift others. I hope that my work is a reminder to everyone who sees it to choose happy, to spread kindness and to find the positives in each day. I hope my work becomes a reminder to share kind words or participate in a random act of kindness. We have the power to make the world kinder, let’s do it.

Meet Lindsey Mitchell and Matt Becker of White Fox Black Koi Candle Co...
What began as a love of candles and obsession with collecting them, turned into a passion of creating our own. In the summer of 2018, we began this adventure with the thought that it would be a fun hobby and nothing more. That quickly transformed into a business idea when we realized how much we loved the process of candle making. Since then, we have worked hard to develop a brand that you can trust and love as much as we do! When we decided to venture into the wonderful world of candle making in August of 2018, we had a couple goals in mind. First, we wanted to create candles that would be as sustainable as possible and to use non-toxic and phthalate-free fragrances. Second, we made a commitment to use fragrances sourced locally right here in Ohio, and only work with 100% natural soy wax grown in the U.S.A. Our mission is to spread creativity, good vibes, and great smells.
We both have a huge passion to create, whether candles or other forms. Matt – who has a day job in software development – finds creating physical, tangible pieces of work inspiring, especially since he works in a field that doesn’t produce physical things. Lindsey has always had the urge to create and holds a B.A. in fine arts. She finds inspiration in all things, colors, books, music, baking, smells and imagines each has its own story to tell, which she does in watercolors. For White Fox Black Koi Candle Co., she was in charge of designing the logo and branding package. 
We discovered our talent by accident! We had no idea what went into the process of making candles when we began, however, as we practiced and perfected our work did it become something more than a hobby. Attending craft shows and realizing that we were buying tons of candles is what gave us the idea! We decided that we wanted to learn more about making candles and started making them on our own.
Our philosophy is that everyone deserves to have their room smell awesome, so it all begins with a smell. With that mission in mind, we want to help people find “that smell” that will brighten their whole day, bring back good memories, or help them relax. We go to our supplier, located in Ohio, and sample fragrance oils by the tens and hundreds before narrowing down our choice, which is easier said than done. We take notes on the pros and cons for each, thinking about what will connect with our customers and will it fit with our vision. Once that is finally accomplished, we sit down and brainstorm a name and think of a color for the scent. We want to find a unique and creative name that also fits the overall notes of the fragrance.
Because we primarily sell our goods online, we don’t get many opportunities to interact on a personal level with our customers That means our five-year goal will be to get our product and brand in front of an ever-growing audience and connect with our customers face-to-face. Ultimately, we aim to build wholesale relationships with retailers who are looking for well-crafted and visually striking candles to put on their shelves. White Fox Black Koi Candle Co. was created with the mission to spread creativity, good vibes, and great smells. We believe that everyone deserves to have their room smell awesome

Meet Deirdre Gerowitz of Sprite Hollows...
It all began in my garden with a few fairy houses for my 3-year-old
grandson and 18-month old granddaughter. It’s fun to make stories
about fairies, sprites, elves, and gnomes and share with them. I founded Sprite Hollows this year and will be attending my first Avant-Garde Art & Craft show in April. I’ve always loved myths about fairies and other mystical creatures. By recycling nature’s items, I create homes for the magical folk to live in.
I start with a piece of tree or root and using the natural contours and knots, create doors and windows. Each of my homes is lit so the wee ones have light in the evenings. I use other natural materials and eclectic items that catch my eye as embellishment for the houses. Each one is unique and has it’s own name. They are designed to use indoors or outdoors in gardens and patios. They are all treated with polyurethane to withstand the elements. Recently retired, this has become a wonderful hobby for me and my husband. It has allowed us to express our creativity and let our imaginations soar. I hope that my creations inspire people to dream of fairy princesses and elfin kings.

Meet Pat Simkanin from Pat's Rock'n Art...
My name is Pat Simkanin and I’m a self-taught artist. I probably started drawing way back when there was a "Draw Me" page in the back of comic books. I have always enjoyed drawing and painting and doing artsy type things for my children. I finally got serious in 1991 and started doing woodworking. I made calendars, shelf sitters, potty chairs, cradles, and much more. I painted on them as well. About the same time, I also did wall murals. 
In 1996 I changed to painting with China paint on ceramic tiles for kitchens. I had a kiln that I fired them in and sold them through kitchen cabinet stores and tile stores. Then, in 2008, my husband and I moved to Florida where I started painting canvases. I became very interested in colored pencil and graphite pencil drawing about four years ago. My other interests are my husband, family, friends, and golf!
We returned to the area in October 2018. This will be my first Avant-Garde Art and Craft Show and am very excited to be part of it. I have been displayed in several galleries in BlueRidge, Ga., Bellview, Fl., and now displayed in the Tallmadge Eye Center. I’ve also been featured in the Akron Beacon Journal many years ago, plus our local paper in Florida.
I’m inspired to use this gift from God to show my appreciation! I continue to be interested in learning new ways to use my gift. Since I’m 77 years old, in five years, I hope to still be doing what I’m doing!! My message would be “If you have it use it!” Be grateful!

2019 Medina Spring Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, April 27, 2019
Medina Community Recreation Center
855 Weymouth Rd. 
Medina, OH 44256
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on:

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Media, Meet Your vendors!

Meet Andrew & Cassy Quillin of Home Slice Pies…
Hi there! We are Andrew & Cassy Quillin. We live in a cabin in the woods and bake pies! We specialize in four-inch mini pies that are baked fresh daily. We also bake up full-size pies for the holidays and special orders. We focus on seasonal flavors and use local and organic ingredients to the highest degree possible. From our all-butter crusts to our fresh fillings, every piece of the pie is made from scratch, with love. Launching in October 2018, Home Slice Pies is a roaming pie shop, which means you can find us at local farmers’ markets, craft shows, breweries, and other Cleveland area events. We love to cater weddings and parties too! We are brand new to Avant-Garde, but we are excited to be participating in 3 shows this year! 
What inspires us? We love pie! In fact, we believe pie has special powers - it can heal, comfort, say thank you, apologize, and congratulate. It is such a cozy and nostalgic treat! We also believe that pie is meant to be shared. And that's what really inspires us: sharing our pies with our community! We have a large collection of pie cookbooks that we read for inspiration. We also love to brainstorm ideas for new pies based on the seasons and holidays. We have a lot of fun coming up with seasonal flavors and spending a weekend testing them out.                                
We wanted to find something that we could do together and really enjoy. Since cooking and baking has always been our number one shared passion/hobby, we knew that was the direction we wanted to go in. The idea for Home Slice Pies came up in one of our brainstorming sessions and we just fell in love with the idea and ran with it. We cook together every night and we love to bake up new treats on the weekends. After Cassy was in a bad car accident 2 years ago, we got really into pie making - it's very therapeutic and healing! It really became a passion for both of us and the feedback we got from friends, coworkers, and family who sampled our pies made us realize that we could be onto something! In five years, we would love to have a food truck. A larger commercial kitchen space and savory pies are also on the wish list! Overall, our message is that pie is a simple (and delicious!) pleasure in today's chaotic and complicated world - share it with those you love! 

Meet Cara Dulaney of Cara’s Creations...
Hi my name is Cara Dulaney and I am 52 years old.Me and my family moved back to Medina, Ohio in 2018. I'm married to a wonderful guy whose name is Scott. We've been married for 5 years. I also have a beautiful 19-year-old daughter. Her name is Lexi. She works part-time and is going to college for Radiology. We have a sweet and pretty Aussie named Sadie. I work full time and make floral and crafts on the side. My dream has always been to one day own my own business and just make crafts and floral. I am excited to do this show and hope to see and meet many more people. So I hope to see you in April.
I've been doing Florals and Crafts for over 30 years, but this is my first Avant-Garde Show. I love, and always have, making things, it runs in my family. I have a great imagination and very creative, so the more things I make, the better I get. When I make things for people they always love them so that makes me happy. I just wish I had more money to do it. I have a great imagination and very creative. 

My inspiration is just imagination and fun! I love making new and beautiful things. My dream is to own my own business. I have many messages in my work: believe, hope, love, and dream for a great future. I believe in myself, hope my dream comes true and love what I do.

2019 Medina Spring Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, April 27, 2019
Medina Community Recreation Center
855 Weymouth Rd. 
Medina, OH 44256
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on: