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Friday, Chilled

July 24, 2010

Relaxing artfully with 'El Payaso'

I had to make sure I left the office on time Friday so I could make it back to Riverside for the first-ever Summer Chill Out event in downtown Riverside. Part sidewalk sale, part gallery crawl, it was a fun happening that kept merchants at the Mission Inn promenade open later than normal. The last light of the day, and live music, provided the perfect backdrop for the event …

Relaxing beginning

… as these gorgeously clashing cannas backlit outside Toni Moore’s shop illustrate. This warm, colorful sight instantly caused the long, hot workday to slip away.

Final rays

Something else that helped the day fall away was the glass of sangria Ms. Toni provided in the cozy seating area outside her fashionable boutique. Placing big wicker chairs out front, she’d created an impromptu patio perfect for holding court with friends (look at the window closely and you can make out Paul’s outline). She recognized us from an earlier shopping visit, and we gratefully accepted her warm offer of a drink. After visiting for a bit, and becoming even more relaxed, we headed to Terry Elliot’s complex of shops around the corner.

A stylish facade

Terry has three shops in a row on the corner and uses them for a variety of purposes. This one, with its moderne shopfront of cool turquoise tiles and glass brick, she uses as her atelier. Formerly an antique shop, it’s a large, long space that works well as a gallery. As a designer/artist herself, Terry wants to foster artistic endeavors downtown and it’s great she’s offered her own space for that purpose. Needless to say, I was delighted that she’d offered me the chance to show my paintings here. I haven’t shown anything in a long time and I found showing here, in Terry’s non-traditional setting, less nerve-wracking than in a proper gallery. In fact, it was so relaxed a setting that at least one viewer really felt comfortable with the art (see first picture).

Part of the mix: 'La Belleza'

I also liked how some display elements of Terry’s atelier were made to interact with the artwork on display. Terry’s knack for interesting window vignettes first brought me into her shops and it was fun to see my artwork worked into the mix.

Black with bright

A mannequin slouches darkly in the corner in synch with pieces by Leslie A. Brown. Her pieces are the dark, framed ones in the company of my own brightly-hued canvases.

Dark visionary

Brown’s work is a complex compendium of mediums and techniques that includes traditional printmaking, digital manipulation and hand-drawn embellishments. The pieces on display were fascinating, but only the tip of Ms. Brown’s creative iceberg; to see and learn more, go to her website here.

Vintage treasury

Terry’s middle shop played consignment venue for vintage and antique items. Its deep-teal, art deco-style interior (which includes a curvy mezzanine) is a natural stage for a quirky melange of items. Manned by bandana-ed local bon vivant and all-round display maven, Daniel Cannorazzi, it was a fun place to visit.

Two Rs, two Ts

Terry’s stylish cornershop, Parrott, is where her vision is fully on display. It’s a one-stop shopping experience for women looking for one-of-a-kind pieces sure to set them apart. Featuring items she herself created, Terry carries designer fashions and accessories, as well as a selection of artist-produced and designer housewares. It all shares space with items from Terry’s own collection of unique objets, and it would be wise to set aside a block of time for exploring it.

The collection

The Summer Chill Out event was a great way to not only chill out, but also to meet people, take in the shops, and see artwork outside of a stuffy gallery. Future events similar to the Summer Chill Out are in the works and I’m looking forward to participating again. And, thanks to merchants like Terry, and all the others on the Mission Inn promenade, it should be even bigger and better!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Judith nelson permalink
    June 14, 2011 5:43 pm

    will there be another Summer Chillout again, and how we will hear about it?

    • reubix1 permalink*
      June 14, 2011 6:14 pm

      I’ll do my best to keep you posted with a post here … ugh! Summer! Today’s only in the low 80s and I’m already over it!

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