MLK 50 | The Fight for Civil Rights Continues

Civil rights has been in the headlines a lot lately.  Whether it’s poverty, justice, education, decent housing, the quest for civil and human rights continues today.

This April 4th commemorates the 50th  anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  How will you discuss this historic event with your kids, family and neighbors?  To assist us and further these discussions, take advantage of a new city treasure, the Center for Civil and Human Rights.  

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Mark your calendar as you can live the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with your family at the interactive exhibitions of the Center for Civil and Human Rights on April 4th from 9am through 7:30pm.  Everyone receives free admission on that day too, thanks to the generous support of FedEx.  

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Center for Civil and Human Rights

 

The whole family will enjoy activities built around civil rights such as the Live the Legacy Photo Booth, an art exhibit showcasing SCAD art pieces, theatrical performances of Dr. King’s famous “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top” speech and much more.

Wherever you are, listen for the Global Bell Ringing at 7:01 PM on Wednesday, April 4th.  Join people around the world to commemorate the official moment of the commemoration of Dr. King’s assassination.

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Human Rights Activists from all around the world

To keep this momentum alive, read the pledge for a call to peace and action.

No Justice, No peace;
Know Justice, Know Peace”
is our rallying cry.

With humility and kindness, we will come together with one another and build a community of peace and goodwill for all humankind.  This is what we need to teach our children in order to make the world a better place.

You can find the Center for Civil and Human Rights at 100 Ivan Allen Jr Blvd, Atlanta, GA 30313 as part of Atlanta’s beautiful Centennial Park.  All photos are mine as this post is not sponsored in any way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Motivation and an Update

Sometimes We Need a Little Motivation

This year, we are motivated to be present in the moment, thanks to a recent sermon from   our minister, Dr. Bill Burch.  Present in the moment means focusing your attention on your companion, your conversation, your surroundings, and not checking your phone.  All kinds of good things happen when this happens – better listening, better thinking and better relationships.  The 2018 focus for our church is “All In”, based on the book All In by Mark Batterson.  I plan to read it purposefully and mindfully.

On the flip side, sometimes you can’t be present with someone because they aren’t here.  Perhaps they moved across the country, moved on with a new job, or are gone forever.

You may remember our post last spring about our son’s fraternity brother, Weston Lee, who was killed in action.  This young man is sorely missed by his family and friends.  That’s an understatement, I know.  Now here’s the update — our son, Carter, is running the Publix Half Marathon on March 18th in memory of Weston with a GoFundMe and all money donated will benefit the University of North Georgia  scholarship in Weston’s memory.

The irony of this? Carter admittedly hates running, which he readily admits, and hopes to motivate others to keep Weston’s spirit and his dedication to service alive.  He knows Weston would be urging him on as he doggedly trains for this race.

Another reminder to cherish the time with your friends and family…

That’s what life is about, isn’t it? Connecting, making friends, having adventures together,   motivating each other to be your best self.

On a lighter note, preparations are underway for our son’s wedding in two weeks!  We’re motivated by love to host the rehearsal dinner for this wonderful couple, their supportive friends and family.  Casual, comfortable and special is the mantra for the evening with the Southern Crust food truck, table decor by Steve and more surprises.  Stay tuned for details!

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Spotlight on Art Artists Market

You know we love art, and we want to share this annual Atlanta art event with you— Spotlight on Art is the premier art series in the Southeast for both avid art collectors and casual buyers. Since 1982, its exhibitions have showcased new, original works by well-known and emerging artists.  Even more exciting, Steve McKenzie will exhibit in this venerable show!  Over 350 artists will show in this 6,000 square foot gallery space – something for everyone.  Original art adds so much to our lives!  Buy what you love ~

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Here are the dates so you can plan your visit…

January 29–February 3, 2018 Trinity School
4301 Northside Parkway NW Atlanta, Georgia

Free parking and admission

 

“…what began as a small school fundraiser has grown into one of the art world’s best-kept secrets.”
—Garden & Gun

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Top 3 Tax Organization Tips

One of our very favorite bloggers and organizational-guru is here for Tastemaker Tuesday and we couldn’t be more excited to share her feature post here with you today!

Carrie Peeples, of Neatsmart is a witty and wonderful person. We become fast friends at last year’s Southern C Summit, and she even worked her organizational magic in the steve mckenzie’s Interior Design workspace., Carrie listens to your organization needs and expertly create memorable combinations we’d never think of pulling together.

Read on to learn about Carrie’s top tax tips from the organizational point of view, saving you time, headache and maybe even some money!  I’ve added some cute home office ideas at the end too.

Continue reading “Top 3 Tax Organization Tips”

Have You Been to…?

You know we love art.  Love art, think art, talk art, see art and make art.  Last week we had the pleasure of experiencing an original exhibit at the Museum of Design Atlanta.  Perfect date night on a cold evening.

Have you visited Atlanta’s Museum of Design Atlanta ? Yes? Great! Have you seen the current exhibit, Text Me: How We Live in Language? No? You need to experience it!

First, what is this museum? MODA believes that design is a creative process that can solve problems, transform lives, and make the world a better place. The museum’s exhibitions and programs exemplify this belief. Located within the Midtown Arts Corridor since 2011, MODA is the only museum in the Southeast devoted exclusively to the study and celebration of all things design.

Now, let’s get the details on Text Me: How We Live in Language which is an original exhibition curated by internationally renowned designer, writer, podcaster and brand strategist Debbie Millman.  Over 60 designers and artists explore typography’s power and pervasiveness across every aspect of our lives.  Through interactive, immersive experiences, Text Me showcases many of the ways we use typography to document every aspect of our existence.

Elle Luna painting The Crossroads of Should and Must mural
Photo by Andria Lavine

There are site-unique murals, controversial pairings of words and things, all made to make us THINK.

MODA Hall Photo by Susan Sanders
MODA Hall Photo by Susan Sanders

You move from room to room in the house.  Text is everywhere.

MODA Photo by Susan Sanders  Sofa from Switch Modern

Date night solved!  Take your honey to this thought-provoking exhibit soon as it ends on Feb. 4th.  Get tickets here, and support this amazing Atlanta treasure of art and design.

Helpful Hint:  Check out MODA’s kids and adult camps and classes too. It’s never too early to plan your spring break and summer family fun.

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The 4 Latest… What’s happening at steve mckenzie’s?!?

If you follow steve mckenzie’s on Instagram or Facebook, you know we’ve been busy! It’s been wonderful and this fabulous fall weather we’ve been experiencing – albeit a bit warm – only adds to the fresh feeling the change of seasons brings.

We wanted to take a moment to give you a quick rundown of the four latest happenings at steve mckenzie’s…

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First up – the press! We couldn’t be more thrilled for the fantastic mentions, features and product shout-outs we’ve recently received. Thank you to those who’ve taken a moment to recognize steve  mckenzie’s and/or read about us in the news!!

  • It was such a delight to open the Sunday AJC and see a fantastic feature about steve mckenzie’s nestled in the pages of the Homefinder/Lifestyle section by our friend Linda Jerkins. We hope this fun feature gives you a better glimpse into what steve mckenzie’s is all about!

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A new greeting card line. That’s right – we’re offering an all-new greeting card line based off Steve’s original artworks. There’s something for everyone here! They’re whimsical, celebratory and even masculine; which can be a difficult style to capture in a greeting card. We hope you love them and love to gift them!

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steve mckenzie’s new art print line. You no longer have to purchase an original work to bring a piece of fine art by Steve McKenzie into your home! Our art print line is now available for purchase at a price point that makes living with fantastic art accessible for anyone.

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Lastly – Halloween Happies! Come in to the steve mckenzie’s showroom today and be inspired for the spookiest holiday of all… We have so many fanciful items that will put you in the Halloween spirit!

There you have it. The latest happenings at steve mckenzie’s! And get prepared, as the holiday season approaches, there will be more going on. So be sure you’re keeping up with our Facebook and Instagram sites and checking back with the blog. We don’t want you to miss a thing!

Museum Monday: Whitney Museum

Recently, Jill went to NYC to visit she and Steve’s oldest daughter, Molly, who lives and works in the city with her husband. While there, the duo visited the Whitney Museum, which is now located in an amazing new building (designed by Renzo Piano) in the Meatpacking District, at the start of the High Line.
Whitney Museum
Whitney Museum

Some of the highlights of the museum/their visit…

  • It’s not too big, not too small – an ideal size to feel as if you can take the time to enjoy everything, while still making a bit of a special trip.
  • The museum features American art, along with public exhibits that will change out. While there, Jill and Molly enjoyed Laura Poitras’ “Astro Noise.”

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  • There are lovely outdoor spaces, where you can experience the neighborhood, which includes One World Trade and the Empire State buildings.
  • Fantastic for families for all of the above, plus food is available within the museum with several food cart options right outside on the street.

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  • It’s very accessible for all – including those who use wheelchairs or strollers.
  • There are plenty of very pleasant and knowledgeable staff members circulating throughout the Whitney Museum, who are happy to answer any questions.
  • The pair’s favorite viewings included all the Edward Hopper works, George Bellows and the Calder Circus!

If you’re planning a vacation to the Big Apple, or are fortunate enough to reside there, but haven’t yet been to the new Whitney Museum, we highly recommend planning a visit – enjoy!!

Vik Muniz at The High Museum

There is a fantastic exhibit currently on show at the High Museum here in Atlanta – featuring the amazingly creative works of Vik Muniz. Known as one of the world’s most innovative artists of the 21st century, Vik Muniz, works with unconventional materials, such as sugar, tomato suace, magazine clippings, dust, and junk to create what he calls “photographic delusions.”

Vik Muniz, self portrait
Vik Muniz, self portrait

Once his artworks are complete, he records many of them with his camera, often resulting in images that quote those from popular culture and the history of art.

Although this appears to be a line drawing, it's actually a work created using a single piece of wire. By Vik Muniz
Although this appears to be a line drawing, it’s actually a work created using a single piece of wire. By Vik Muniz

For Vik Muniz, it’s all about the power of the viewer’s process of perception. He explores matter in a way no one ever has before.

Vik Muniz's Mona Lisa, made from peanut butter and jelly!
Vik Muniz’s Mona Lisa, made from peanut butter and jelly!

This is an ideal exhibit to view with the family, as there’s something for everyone! The kids will love the unique use of materials, while expanding their cultural horizons. The Vik Muniz exhibit will run through August 21, 2016, and we strongly suggest making a goal of seeing it before it’s gone – it’s unforgettable!

Library Friday – Roy Lichtenstein In His Studio

We’re so happy to have steve mckenzie’s Team Member, Xavier Neuner, back with us today, sharing his most recent Library Friday post! This time around, he’s offering his take on “Roy Lichtenstein In His Studio.” Read on to learn what his thoughts are on this book about the iconic pop artist…

Xavier Neuner
Xavier Neuner

I am very excited about this book review! I’ve always loved Lichtenstein’s work.

Roy Lichtenstein in His Studio by Laurie Lambrecht
Roy Lichtenstein in His Studio
by Laurie Lambrecht

Thanks to Laurie Lambrecht the bar has been raised to a new level of favoritism. Lambrecht was lucky enough to be Lichtensteins assistant during the early 1990’s. 

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Laurie Lambrecht

One day he told her to bring a book to keep occupied while he was working.  Instead, she brought her new Hasselblad camera so she could experiment with composition and lighting.  Roy was more than supportive in her creativity learning. 

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Roy Lichtenstein

My mother always said, “Great opportunities come only once.”  In Laurie’s case, being allowed to take photos of a Pop Art legend during his last few years changed her life.  Her collection of photographs let the viewer see a glimpse into an artist’s creative process from inspiration to rough sketches, to the final product. 

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I personally thought Lichtenstein must have had a very steady hand to have such crisp edges in his paintings, but actually he covered his canvases in painters tape.  After the paint dried he slowly pealed the tape to reveal oversize comic book inspired work. 

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Again, as I flip through the pages I can’t help to think, if you approach a cross roads… Go for it. They could add to some of your most unforgettable moments in life . 

Go for it, for sure! We love seeing these books through Xavier’s eyes, and are so grateful to him for sharing his thoughts here with us.

So, what’s your take on this Library Friday selection?! Are you a Lichtenstein enthusiast like us?

Who you NEED to Meet: Augusta Wilson

Augusta Wilson, of Augusta Wilson Studio, is an artistic force to be reckoned with. And we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce you to her at an upcoming showcase of her fantastic artwork, as well as this “Who you NEED to Meet” blog post…

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Augusta is a southerner through and through – she currently resides in nearby Decatur with her husband and baby son. But don’t let that southern charm dissuade you. Her art is the epitome of modern sophistication. The textures, colors and imaginatively fun focus of her art leave you wanting more.

We hope you’ll join us and experience the art of Augusta Wilson for yourself at her show in the steve mckenzie’s showroom this Friday, October 23 from 5-8pm. Until then, please enjoy getting to know Augusta a bit better and in her own words:

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Augusta Wilson

sm’s: Can you please share a bit about your background/how you started Augusta Wilson Studio and how you gained the courage to break out on your own?

AW: I was raised in a creative environment in Mobile, Alabama—birthplace of Hank Aaron, West Indies Salad, and all fourteen of my first cousins. My mother is a graphic designer, and as the oldest of her four children I took after her creative tendencies. Growing up my siblings and I were always involved in her projects, whether it was a photo shoot for a magazine ad or mural for the Junior League fundraiser. In hindsight this ultimately had a huge impact on my career choice—I’ve always known I wanted a creative career that allowed me to spend time with my children.

Being the oldest of my family also meant I became fiercely independent—which holds pretty true today. I chose to get my undergraduate degree at the University of Georgia for three reasons: their art school seemed credible, Athens, GA was a good distance from Mobile, AL, and they had a study abroad program that would let me live in Italy for a summer. I knew one person the day I arrived and didn’t even tour the campus until orientation.

Augusta mixing paint

The first reason, UGA’s Lamar Dodd School of Art, is how I really got into painting. Painting had always come naturally to me, but I had never taken it seriously. It was pure hobby before college. I played around with different fields of study at Lamar Dodd—graphic design (you’re welcome, Mom), photography. It wasn’t until my sophomore year that my drawing instructor, Jen Bandini (who is an awesome painter in her own right—check our her blog, Escape to New York. So good), pointed out the gestural marks I was making. “You are such a painter”, she told me. At that moment it just clicked. I signed up for my first oil painting class the next quarter and never looked back.

I love a hypothetical question, especially at a dinner party (side note: I really just love a good dinner party!). My go-to hypotheticals are: “If money were no object, what would you do?” and the slightly more morbid, “If you could choose, what would you have for your last meal on Earth?” The answer to the first, for me, has always been that I would have my own painting studio at home and paint my days away.

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Of course, starting my studio was not as ideal as money being no object for me (Far from it, in fact. I’m an artist, y’all!).  I’ve been painting on the side of my day job since college. When I was pregnant with my first child a couple of years ago, my creativity went through the roof. I had to paint everyday. I suddenly had so many more ideas for paintings and couldn’t wait to get them on the canvas. I started posting images of my daily (or really, nightly) paintings on Instagram, and my followers started buying them! There were some instances when I would get up early and finish a painting before going to my day job, post it on Instagram, and it would sell by lunchtime. It was incredible, and (obviously) a huge point of encouragement towards going full-time in my studio. I couldn’t help but think that if I were to put all of my efforts towards creating and marketing my work that this could be a viable source of income and creativity for my life.

The other point, unfortunately, was that my employer at the time was not encouraging of my pregnancy.  Of course, that’s a whole other story.  Nevertheless, I found myself thinking that (as naïve as it sounds) you do only live once. I wanted my child to be proud of the profession I had chosen, I wanted to be proud of the profession I had chosen, and I knew that my contentment with what I did for a living would translate towards his attitude in life.

I started my studio shortly after the birth of my son, and it’s been one of the most challenging and best decisions I’ve made. YOLO, y’all.

Paint Upclose

sm’s: What inspires you/your art?

I’m a painter’s painter. I love the texture of oil paint, the juiciness of it, the history of it.  I love the whole process of layering oil paint, finding the right medium to mix it with, finding ways to manipulate it. The paint in itself inspires me!

Painting too, of course, is also tightly entwined in history. I find that every mark I make or color I mix is reminiscent of those who have gone before me, and thus I’m constantly reminded of my own history. Inevitably, the South, my life, and the design world around me find their way into my paintings.

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My current series for my Fall collection is inspired by approaching storms on Mobile Bay. Growing up in the hurricane target zone of Mobile, Alabama, the coming of Fall also meant the coming of storms. For those of us who grew up on the water, these storms hold tight to our memories. The salt in the air, the instantaneous dropping of temperature and sweeping of winds, were all a part of the sensory overload as we watched the horizon line disappear with the onslaught of rain. For me, these memories bring a sense of solitude, which I poured onto the canvases of this series.

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sm’s: What is your vision, not only for Augusta Wilson Studio, but also the individual pieces you create?

I am interested in art that is both accessible and thought provoking. I want to bridge the gap between paintings that belong in MOMA and paintings that match your sofa. I believe you can have the best of both worlds.

Augusta starting canvas

sm’s: What’s on the horizon for Augusta Wilson Studio?

I’m currently working with a handbag designer in Indiana to create hand-painted leather clutches for the studio! I have a weakness for fashion, so this is a perfect blend of worlds for me. They’ll be ready in time for holiday season and available for purchase on my website as well as a handful of Atlanta retail locations. Stay tuned!

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sm’s: As an artist/business person how do you recharge?

Painting/Running a business is such a mental game, so I try to get in a daily long run or yoga session to get out of my head. Also, if you haven’t caught on already, I’m a huge nerd. I love to read. I’ve been trying to read a book a week, which is a total luxury. I’m currently reading ‘Fates and Furies’ by Lauren Groff. So far, so good.

All that being said, my favorite way to recharge is with a great meal and even better company. My husband and I love to cook, so a nice glass of wine (or two) as we make dinner and catch up is something I really look forward to during the week.

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Cheers to relaxing with the one(s) you love over a weeknight meal and nice glass of wine! Thank you for the candid responses, Augusta!

If you didn’t fall a little in love with this wonderful artist and her unique works, we assure you, viewing them up close and in person at her upcoming show will ensure your appreciation for Augusta and her paintings.

We look forward to seeing you in the showroom soon!