What started as a couple of offhand conversations quickly turned into an art show and sale highlighting artists from the Warren area, scheduled for Thursday from 4 to 8 pm at The Coffee Depot on Main Street.
Themed "In the Nick of Time," the event is meant to offer local artists' works for sale — just five days before Christmas.
Paula Silva, a local realtor and member of the Warren Arts Initiative, explained during an interview at the coffee house on Tuesday morning that "everything started clicking" after she chatted with local artists Leigh Medeiros, who creates prints and cards, and Tony Depoto, a painter and sculptor.
"I was talking to a couple of friends who are artists, who happened to produce some new work," Silva recalled.
Medeiros, former owner of Yes Gallery on Water Street [the current location of The Wooden Midshipman], recently created cards of Warren using the town's tax maps, Silva explained, and Depoto had just finished a painting showing a crescent moon leaping over a snow-covered roof.
Silva then described how the two conversations turned into a single, coherent idea for Thursday's event.
"People are really into maps these days, and [Medeiros] was trying to get them out there," Silva explained, "and I happened to see Tony Depoto [who] created a picture that was a poster, and I said, 'What are you doing with that, Tony? That's a great card — and then all of a sudden, things started clicking and I asked him, 'Could you turn that into a poster?' "
Depoto said "yes," and lent his design as the poster for the art show & sale — he's also performing with The Wippets from 7 to 8 pm.
After speaking with Mary Jackson of The Coffee Depot and spreading the word about the plan, Silva said the response grew.
"This thing took on a life of its own — "if somebody had come to me and said 'will you plan event like this,' I would have said 'Oh, God, I can't,' but it just kind of happened," she explained.
Now, some two dozen artists are scheduled to show their work, including "some people who have never done a show before," including leather worker Todd Moen, Silva noted.
Depoto is also offering small sculptures for as little as $50, and Deborah Hickey — whose work is currently on the walls at The Coffee Depot — will have a table at the event.
Silva said she's hoping the intimate setting, the chance to buy a variety of locally-made works, and the fact that the sales are tax-free will draw last-minute holiday shoppers looking for "cool, unique, one-of-a-kind art gifts — and there is the added benefit of support the local economy, where 68 cents of every dollar stays. It's a win-win for everyone."
Here's the list of artists scheduled to appear at the art show and sale:
Leigh Medeiros — Prints & Cards
Will Shaff — Postcards
Ellen Blomgren — Ceramics
Ed McAloon — Stained glass
Leeann Harried — Jewelry
Debra Baroness — Notecards
Debbie Miller — Paintings
Butch Lombardi — Photography, cards
Kelly MacDonald — Paintings
Todd Moen — Leather
Juliette Cassellman — Animal prints, calendars, notepads
Lindsay Silvia — Cutting boards
Patty Bowman — Book: "The Amazing Hamweenie"
Mike O'Donnell — Blown glass
Jessica Kenyon — Ceramics
Adam Ferbert — Ceramics
Charlotte Rockwood — Sculpture
Butch Lombardi — Photograpghy
David Everett — Paintings
Janet Zwolinski — Pushing buttons, Jewelry
Tony Depoto — Painting, small sculptures
Deborah Hickey — Collages, mixed media
Pat Warwick — Tiles
Tom Culora — Paintings