Wow, blogging is dead huh? It has been over a year since my last post… but we have been busy busy all the same! We keep our website update (except for the blog) and our instagram/Facebook fairly updated too. Another reason there is not time? Right now as I write this, my (nearly) 5-year old daughter is yelling from the living room “Mommy I need you!!!” I yell back “What do you need me for?” and she says… “I want you to rub my feet while I watch TV.” lol really…?!
2014 Bear and Bird Business Cards are off to the printer (finally)!
Thank you to the amazing Mab Graves – Her Waifs and Strays for making this year’s card artwork magical.
From wlrn.org on March 12, 2013
Bear And Bird Boutique Gives Budding Collectors An Easy (And Affordable) Entry Point
By TRICIA WOOLFENDEN (/PEOPLE/TRICIA-WOOLFENDEN)
Between Art Basel, Art Palm Beach, and the American International Fine Art Fair — plus dozens of galleries from West Palm to Wynwood — South Florida’s well-heeled art collectors are pretty well covered. That leaves room for niche galleries like Bear and Bird Boutique + Gallery in Lauderhill to cater to fledgling art buyers and up-and-coming artists. “Our goal is to introduce people who don’t collect to how they can create a collection,” said Amanda Magnetta-Ottati, co-owner of the 700-square-foot gallery located on the second floor of the ever-popular Tate’s Comics .”We have lower priced art that’s good.”
The gallery opened in 2007 and has showcased a mix of South Florida and national artists, some of whom had their first show in the budget-friendly gallery. Magnetta-Ottati said she is happy to see artists “outgrow” the gallery — whether in stature or commanding price — and said “I think they look back fondly on their time with us.”
As Bear and Bird has come into its own, Magnetta-Ottati said the gallery is starting to build a local collector base. Art fans know to anticipate shows featuring artists who are “new enough and talented enough” to be both affordable and worthwhile, she said. “They’ve seen over the years that I can find people when they’re at the start of their careers,” Magnetta-Ottati said.
The gallery’s current show, “Girls vs. Boys,” has a straight-forward but playful theme. Four female artists (Sashiko “wishcandy” Yuen, Mab Graves, Danielle Estefan, and Erika Taguchi-Newton) go head-to-head with four male artists (Ryan Hungerford, Tripper Dungan, Greg Kletsel, and Aurian Redson) on the gallery walls. Magnetta-Ottati asked the artists to submit their best work and the results, 50 in all, were enlightening: “They were really true to their genders.” Pieces in the show are priced anywhere from $20 to $775 and some of the pieces are available in the Bear and Bird online store.
Upcoming shows stick to the gallery’s theme of serving both local artists and art buyers. “Starter Art 2” runs April 26 to June 22 and features pieces priced at $100 or less, for the “beginning collector.” Later in the summer is “The Little Golden Years: Modern Artwork Inspired by our Favorite Golden Books.” The show — June 28 to August 10 — is guest curated by Heidi Kenney, of My Paper Crane fame. Participating artists will receive a vintage Little Golden Book from the gallery and are asked to reinterpret the books as if they were illustrating for them today. The big fall show, “Mysteries of the Unexplained: Exploring the Supernatural,” is a “local artists mega show” open to South Florida artists of all ages.
“Girls vs. Boys” continues through April 20 at Bear and Bird, which is located at 4566 N.
University Drive in Lauderhill.
Link to original article, may or may not stay viable over time:
Ever since I was a little girl I liked to amass “similar & intriguing” objects and got a sense of satisfaction out of displaying them in fun ways, I had one of those little shadowbox shelves with all the little cubbies in it that had my more delicate treasures each in their own little box… some specific items that come to mind worthy of being housed within?…. hmmm… a little taxidermy mouse in a pink dress & bonnet (remember those?!), some fuzzy penciltoppers that broke off their pencils, a porcelain pegasus and a teeny tiny glass unicorn with a shiny sharp gold horn, a couple of my favorite smurfs, a handful of grey pewter creatures, a tiny 6 pack of 7-up bottle crayons and a tiny working metal baby crib and bath tub. Wait! I just remembered where I put all of that stuff (they were in an old Keds shoebox in the closet for many years!!) Do you want to see? They are all contained in a glass jar above where I work when I’m at home… See the lil hand pointing to it just below?
I find that large clear jars are a great place to corral my large assortment of lil interesting things. I can’t bear to give them away or toss them out… so I have to put them SOMEWHERE! I just love little cute things, especially weird lil things! I have jars like this all over my home honestly, but this specific one is FULL of stuff from my childhood. Let’s take off the dusty lid and take a look inside together…
Ahhhh! There it is… the taxidermy mouse in the dress and bonnet (center bottom) and I forgot all about the taxidermy mouse in the pink sleepsack too! Lol, gross and awesome! I seem to still have a bunch of my old Charmkins too… those are still adorable! Ha…! There’s my old blue unicorn velcro wallet, it always annoyed me that his magical horn was curved.
I collect a number of lovely things still – but as I am (much) older and (somewhat) wiser the things I seek out to add to my collections are more obscure and rare. Over the years the things I actively collect always evolves, it is not that I get “bored” with them… I think I just get ENOUGH of them! …or sometimes almost ALL of them… haha! Things like mounted insects, Alice in Wonderland paper advertisements, vintage sideshow photos, rubber squeak toys and arcade tokens are all still a PART of my collection, but I very rarely add new finds to them at this point – they would have to be VERY special! I’ve simply seen too much. I currently collect: Wooden Carved Figures; Needle-Felted Creatures; Cacti and Succulents/Plants; Original Artwork and Crocheted Dolls/Things – in addition to any particularly cute random thing I find! My dear Anna Pants is always on the lookout for interesting objects that she thinks I would like… since I don’t get out searching much anymore! She’s a super good finder.
These are just two random shelves showing a tiny little slice of my “stuff”. You can see some adorable and weird Needle-Felted creatures on the left there… a couple by artist Kit Lane and that green bunny is by Violet Pie. Hand carved tiki head by local Tom Fowner and a stunning small painting by Naoto Hattori. On the right, you see a couple glass domes filled with random small cool things and a lil windup mouse that looks sooo “modern” to me. Also… check out the adorable fat booty nesting doll versions of us that was a gift from our dear friend Sas Christian. The tiny pink one on the end is Rosemary as a baby! Priceless!!
So what was my purpose in writing this looooong rambling blog post? Hmmm…. oh yes! I wanted to show you a couple of very special new items we have in the boutique & it got me thinking about how I always try and carry (whenever possible) unique items that I think are special enough for MY collection and hopefully YOUR home as well!! Usually that is a pretty tall order, since the things I most adore seem to be one-of-a-kind or rare these days… but if I try hard enough I can sometimes find things that are just the right fit in terms of price and awesomeness! Here are two new additions the the boutique’s selections (and additions to my personal collections of course):
The lil darlings you see above are the truly adorable and impossible to kill crocheted cacti from Toshwerks out of California! I find these extremely appealing to the eye and to the touch, they are all unique and totally adorable. I really can’t fathom any plant lover not being thrilled with getting one of these as a house warming or holiday gift. They are just PRECIOUS! I want them to sell super fast so I can order more, they give me smiles. Seeing as I collect actual cacti and succulents along with interesting crocheted items, these are a must have for me. I really want to hoard them ALL for myself, but that just isn’t practical… LOL
These cute lil weirdos are also currently available in our boutique and are handmade in Olympia, Washington by the talented Kristen Etmund. Needle felting is one of my favorite kinds of craft and when its done well the creations are truly adorable or other-worldly! These guys here are solid and about 5″ tall, I really can’t choose a favorite… though I may be a bit partial to the Wolf in Sheep’s clothing since my lil baby boy’s middle name IS Wolfgang.
Also, while on the subject of needle-felting, check out this magnificent masterpiece by needle-felt artist Kit Lane… it was a part of our Peculiar Playmates exhibition a few years back. Even though it did not sell during the show, we went ahead and purchased it and made it a part of our ‘gallery collection’ – in the hopes that it will find just the right home one day! I wish it for myself, but I simply don’t have the space… it is quite large for a needle-felted piece! Needle-felting is a craft/art that I one day hope to tackle and make some interesting creations of my own, as of now I have never tried it and only have a dim grasp of how it even works… I think there is some sort of magic and a fair amount of smooshing involved.
I have to admit that when I started out writing this blog, I didn’t intend for it to be an epic rambling of what I collect and what I like/think… but maybe that ‘s what I need to do more of. Anyone who knows me knows that a large portion of what we sell, especially upstairs in the boutique is a direct reflection of our family and the things we enjoy/appreciate. Sometimes that works out well for us and the objects sell to our customers, sometimes it doesn’t. Quite often it doesn’t… Things I love the most may end up sitting on the shelf for years and years… Which is a bummer – but we will never stop trying to bring to South Florida a wide variety of interesting items that carry our own personal seal of approval.
I hope that a few people take the time to read this long ass blog, since it took me a while to write it, and I will do my best to do more blogs like this in the future … giving a little bit of background information and insight on why we are carrying certain items which will also probably help to highlight them!
Star Wars Celebration VI, August 23-26, 2012 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida was host to a very special booth put together by Bear and Bird Gallery patron & Star Wars super-collector Steve Sansweet. We were truly proud to see that included among these most treasured items from his collection, were a number of pieces that he acquired from our Stitch Wars and Stitch Wars Strikes Back exhibitions. There was a long line of eager fans waiting to walk through the impressive Rancho Obi-Wan Experience all weekend long… and it really brings a smile to our faces to think of how many more people were able to enjoy and appreciate even a small part of our Stitch Wars shows!
As described on his website, “The Rancho Obi-Wan Experience (booth #1235) at Star Wars Celebration VI, exhibited items ranging from the first prototype Boba Fett laser rifle (1978), to unproduced Star Wars action figures, to an incredible two-foot high pinata of Luke on a tauntaun. About 300 special pieces from the world’s largest private collection of Star Wars memorabilia, owned by Steve Sansweet, will be on display at the 800-square-foot exhibit. Rancho Obi-Wan is a nonprofit museum depending on the generous support of the public to share the excitement, fun, and friendship that Star Wars has brought. Its motto is “Inspired by the Force of Imagination.”
We (Amanda, Tate, the kids & Anna) spent the week in Orlando for the duration of Star Wars Celebration VI because our “parent” store, TATE’S Comics, was running the Dark Horse Comics booth during the event. Rosemary had a really great time meeting all kinds of “bot-bots” (as she calls them) and playing in the huge pile of Lego Duplo blocks they had setup there for the younglings to enjoy. We really got a ton of amazing photos, I’ll include a couple of the best ones here just to give you taste!
That’s all for now… signing off with full intentions of posting more often (as always)!