Friday, November 9, 2012

West Elm News Release

CHARLOTTE, NC October 19, 2012–Charlotte, NC artist Janette Grassi and Columbia, SC, artist Doni Jordan, collaborators since 1999, have created a one-of-a-kind art installation in the windows at West Elm. To celebrate the installation, the artists and West Elm will be hosting a reception on November 1, 2012 from 6-9 p.m. West Elm is located at 1100 Metropolitan Avenue in the Midtown area of Charlotte. 

Known for helping customers express their personal style at home with products that are authentic, affordable and accessible, West Elm Charlotte recently established a collaborative program with local artists to exhibit art and to share their creative spirit by designing window installations. Grassi and Jordan are the first artists selected to participate in this collaborative venture. "Connecting with our community and  celebrating local artists and crafters is a priority for us," said West Elm Charlotte General Manager, Jerry Gardner. "It's amazing to be able to inspire our customers with an installation created by artists from our own backyard."

Combining color, texture, patterns, visual repetition and typography in the massive storefront windows that overlook the skyline of Charlotte, Grassi and Jordan created a wall of possibilities in home design. Inspired by the words of American poet Emily Dickinson, dwell in possibility, they created a wall of art and found objects that reflect art, architecture and create a sense of history in the home. The art installation includes individual art created by Grassi and Jordan, West Elm products and found objects. 

Grassi is an abstract painter and includes works on canvas from her character series. Jordan creates assemblages made of found objects and includes items from her current body of work, tomes, a collection of heavy books. Both Grassi and Jordan have long been creative collectors of vintage items and the installation also includes vintage printers trays, portable typewriters, textile spools and shuttles and wooden boxes.

West Elm products featured in the window include a Kuba Crescent bench, a Parsons Wall Mirror in natural solid wood, Kite Kilim Floor Poofs and a Mongolian Lamb Pillow Cover. 

On Thursday, November 1, 2012 from 6-9 pm, West Elm will host an evening of art at the Metropolitan@Midtown location. Grassi and Jordan will be present to share their work and West Elm associates will be available to aid customers in their selections. West Elm Home Stylist, Quintel Gwinn will available to assist customers with design services including space planning and art hanging.

In October of 2011, Grassi and Jordan created an art installation of 50 painted chairs titled reserve your seat to benefit Nature’s Theater, the upcoming premier 500-seat outdoor performance venue at Saluda Shoals Park in the Midlands of South Carolina. This award winning art installation brought public art into the park and increased exposure and donations to the efforts to build a performing arts venue at Saluda Shoals. 

Janette Grassi is a native of St. Louis, Missouri. She now lives and creates in Charlotte, North Carolina. She spent her childhood and teen years in St. Louis and realized at five years of age that she was an artist. She attended Webster College where she studied fine art including sculpture, drawing and painting.  Her journey to fulfill her childhood dream to study at a college devoted to art was achieved when she was accepted to the Rhode Island School of Design after raising her children and seeing them off to college. After completing her schooling she moved to Columbia, South Carolina to pursue her dream of becoming a full time artist. Renting a studio in the Vista she began her career as a painter. Her focus turned from graphic design to abstract painting and she began to build a body of work and have her first one woman show at Gallery 80808. Since then she has participated in many shows made many art donations to raise money for causes close to her heart, rediscovered her love of collage, collaborated with Doni Jordan on art installations, created fiber, book and recycled art. Janette is in many collections from private to public and continues to create art full time.

Doni Jordan is a 2001 BFA graduate of the University of South Carolina (USC). She was recently inducted into the National Association of Women Artists (NAWA) in New York City. Jordan explores multiple mediums of art. Trained as a graphic designer, her love of design and typography is reflected in the art she creates. Inspired by the works of Anni Albers, Ida Kohlemeyer, Alexander Calder, Louise Nevelson, Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko and Robert Rauschenberg, she creates assemblages, collages, book art, art installation, art textiles and steel sculptures.

West Elm Art Installation