Tag Archives: featured

Bethany Lauren: Bela Begonias

Bethany is the artist, designer, maker and owner behind Bela Begonias.  She was born into the Appalachian mountainside of eastern Tennessee, and later immersed in the vibrant culture of Asheville, North Carolina before finding her way to Nashville. Her art is an organic reflection of the mountainous landscapes from which she came, heavily influenced by nature, earth tones, the beach and ocean, the southwest and countless other wonders this incredible world creates.  She is a walking wanderlust, having spent years exploring the world at each opportunity given.   Although she studied art, design and fashion in college, the courage to “be an artist” seemed unrealistic upon entering “the real world.”  After a decade of feeling like a round peg trying to fit into a square hole, in 2015, Bethany (with the undying support and true belief in skill from her loving husband) finally took her vision, studies, travels, ethos and experience and cultivated it into a single leap-of-faith that is now Bela Begonias.

The beginning was a humble one.  Tucked into the attic, the only space available in their tiny East Nashville cottage, Bethany set up a makeshift shop and… started MAKING!  She was terrified of failure, of putting her heart and soul out into the world and of the simple fact that there would no longer be a salaried paycheck showing up in the bank account every other Friday.  Some days were highs and some days were lows.  Some days are still highs… creating a new design that is inspired and satisfying… and some days are still lows… a vision not quite developing as intended or how overwhelming it can be to keep a thumb on every aspect of moving a business forward.

Bela Begonias is rounding the one year corner; in looking back on the launch of the website, the acceptance and success at several shows, being carried at three local Nashville stores, the growing support from the public and the continued encouragement from her family and friends… Bela Begonias is reeling and hopeful about what the future can bring!

Purchasing a piece of Bela Begonias jewelry or ceramic art is an investment in quality.  If you know Bethany, at some point or another you’ve likely heard one of her quips… “quality over quantity” or “form must follow function” or maybe “waste not want not.”  Cliche? Maybe… True? Absolutely.  Bela Begonias stands firm on the idea that your jewelry will last for years and your ceramic piece might be passed down to your child.  Quality IS more important than quantity.  Each piece is created with care, precision and a perfectionist’s eye.  The materials used have been tried and tested.

Lastly, Bela Begonias want’s to express a world of gratitude to you, the customer, for seeking unique and artful design. “Thank you for supporting the entire artist community and for passing your experience and BB finds along to your friends and family!”

Take a moment, if you will, and follow Bela Begonias on Instagram @bela_begonias, Facebook and Twitter @belabegonias

 

Michelle Fountain: Fountain Studio

Overcome with a strong urge to create, Dalton, GA born artist Michelle Fountain left a corporate job in Nashville, TN, in 1998 to make candles and one-of-a-kind gifts from beads and wire. Her gifts were sold to boutiques, unique shops and spas. It was the kindle to the fire that grew in her to be more creative.

After buying  her first home in Nashville in the year 2001, Fountain began creating unique finishes on the walls. Encouraged by others, she began her training at one of the top decorative finish schools in the country.

After moving back to Chattanooga in 2002 she soon became a leader in faux finishes, adding cabinetry and furniture to her repertoire, including more education and training.  Her business received the Better Business Bureau Torch Ethics award for high work integrity.

From her roots in faux finishing she came to have a great passion for wall art. After much experimentation and classes, she found her voice through” flow” mediums such as alcohol inks, fluid acrylics & epoxy resin. She found freedom in her release of a certain amount of control in her work producing vibrant & organic visions.

She continues her work in the faux field while exploring deeper into her love for art.

Fountain continues to learn new techniques through training and collaborating with other artists. Therefore she is enthusiastic to call Chattanooga Workspace home.

Fountain will also be using her Workspace studio to teach classes to the public.

For more information or to see Fountain’s work please visit her Facebook page facebook.com/fountainstudio and Instagram account instagram.com/simp007.

Colleen Williams

waterbearer-iiSeveral years ago, I began collecting vintage produce label art; the colors, patterns and designs used to identify product and brand would keep me visually interested for more time than was necessary, as each label was a beautiful balance between image and text. My partner, Nestor Valdes, was equally inspired by these small works of art and at my suggestion began to paint canvases and floor cloths with his own compositions as a way to connect with a simpler time.

Having relocated to Chattanooga within the year, my initial idea for a show theme had something to do with the river and its associations, since it was the main reason we chose this city over all others. However, it quickly became apparent that these re-imagined label art paintings were making us happy in the studio. With all of the uncertainty going on with the world at large, we believe viewing original art which harkens back to a bygone era of a less complicated America may provide a brief respite,

web-set-of-minis“I Am Not A Label” may be interpreted literally, as the work in the exhibit neither identifies a current product item nor brand even though compositional elements are mimicked. The title also has additional meanings which are close to my heart. Often, ceramic work is reduced to its function, whether it be bowl, cup, vase, etc. It is my hope that these labels are of secondary importance. Lastly, wherever the art-making journey takes us, both Nestor and I have experienced very circuitous paths as artists (Nestor, from ballet and Colleen, from architecture) which defy any label.