Sunday, July 23, 2017

An Abundant Life - Mind Mapping

A friend was talking to me recently about the concept of mind mapping, and though I hadn't specifically learned about it using those words, when he described it to me, I knew that I'd had the experience before in some of the trainings that I've done in community development. It's a way to brainstorm and a way to help ourselves think, both individually and collectively as a group, and if both free flowing and guided in a structured way, it can open our minds to new ideas and strengthen our ability to see the connections that help us get from here to there.

I met Quentin Williamston at 107 Bowers Gallery & ArtSpace where he has his work in a group show, and on one of the afternoons that the gallery was open to visitors, I sat down with him to talk and find out more about his work and his inspirations. Our conversation lasted much longer than I had expected, and when I started to think about how I would describe Quentin, the idea of mind mapping came into my mind. As we talked that afternoon, we discussed both of our histories and experiences and inspirations, and it was a free flowing discussion that moved through hopes and dreams and goals while also being structured within the guidelines of a conversation that focused on art and creativity. When I walked out the door into the golden afternoon I felt somehow lighter, the enthusiasm and creative energy that Quentin has touched something in my sometimes tired and heavy feeling mind that brought new life again and reminded me of why I love what I love and why I do what I do and inspired me to keep on doing it. Art really is life - creativity in all forms renews us. I learned just a small amount about Quentin that afternoon because we talked so much about art, but that small amount was the pure gold that is distilled by the alchemist to make a treasure. Later when I asked Quentin for some information about his training and life, he sent me the following words:

"I am a current student/teaching artist from Clinton Hill Brooklyn, NY. I currently attend Hampton University pursuing a masters degree in Architecture. As a teaching artist, I design daytime lessons using artistic and universal inspiration. I am consistently inspired by my studious students encouraging ways to maximize ways of self expression. My hobbies include exercise, model making, painting and abstract design. I strive to use my architectural background to help people in third world countries using recyclable material in turn creating sustainable construction. My long term goal is to help the overall ecosystem using effective and sustainable design."

There's so much that's so good that's packaged up in that description, that as it unfolds I'm sure it will continue to be astonishing. In the meantime I'm blessed to have been inspired by my glimpses into this beautiful mind that sees beauty in the world around him and strives to bring it to others.

The Art Of Quentin Williamston
At 107 Bowers Gallery & ArtSpace
107  Bowers Street
Jersey City Heights, New Jersey


Jannie Susan

Sunday, July 16, 2017

An Abundant Life - A History Of Beauty

I've known about the beautiful Diana Foxwell for much longer than I've known her. When I lived in Manhattan, her store Revival Vintage Boutique was a well known place for destination shopping - everyone who loved vintage shopped there, even people from other cities and towns and far off places whenever they were in New York. She sold at the Brooklyn Flea too, and created and curated beautiful vintage furnishings along with the beautiful clothing she lovingly found and restored and refurbished. Lots of people love vintage, but there are those few who know how to beautifully curate and style and design, and Diana Foxwell is one of them.

When people started telling me about a store called Revival Vintage Boutique in Hoboken, I wondered if it might possibly be the same person I'd known about all of those years in Manhattan, but I thought it was too good to be true. But one day when I walked in the door, I had that same feeling - the feeling you get when you know the owner is someone who loves what they do and does everything with a passion that makes the very doors and windows somehow gleam brighter. Her store is divine, and Diana Foxwell is a princess - I'd say she was a queen, but although she's been in the business for a long time, she seems much too young for that title. Her youthful exuberance and sweetness mixed with enthusiasm are infectious - the day that we finally met I felt like I could have stayed in her store all day. Her Hoboken store is around the block from Paul Fitzgerald's store Urban Consign & Design, part of the same artist and craftsmen and craftswomen loft building that I've written and posted about when I've posted about Paul and his store before. I met Diana with an introduction from James Barricella, the wonderful craftsman who creates the beautiful lighting designs and tables and mirrors and other home furnishings that are part of the fabric of Urban Consign & Design. James had such high praises for Diana, and James is such a wonderful person and creates such beautiful things that good words from him I know I can trust. And Diana was all that and more - a true pleasure to meet and a creative spirit that inspires, with a store full of treasures and beautiful design. Diana is so lovely and fun and she made me such lovely tea on the afternoon we met, that I thought she must have a team of hard working people wiring her lamps and building and designing her space, but she does it all herself, gutting and renovating and wiring and cleaning, all with a smile on her face even in the most difficult of weather. It's really remarkable how she creates beauty around her wherever she goes.

Revival Vintage Boutique
Curated And Lovingly Restored By The Beautiful Diana Foxwell
47 Harrison Street, Space D
Hoboken, New Jersey


Jannie Susan

Sunday, July 9, 2017

An Abundant Life - Every Little Thing

The Drop Off LLC is one of those places where you can find just about anything, and all of it's great. They have clothing, housewares, furniture, jewelry, shoes, handbags, art, paintings, sculptures, china, porcelain figurines, centerpieces, posters, vintage goods and curios, and everything and anything your heart could desire. The first day when I was there, the owner, Alberto Delgado, showed me some beautiful works of art, things he had not priced yet because he was still trying to find out their story, and the other day when I walked in, he told me he'd just received something special, a multi-tiered humidor, full of collector quality cigars, the kind of thing that some of us can only read about but never see in person. Alberto Delgado is full of knowledge, and he researches everything that comes into his store, so not only do you know what you're buying when you buy it, but he can tell you its story and add to the fun of it too.

From books to clothing to sari cloth, glittering jewelry, designer bags, and vintage crystal and china, at The Drop Off LLC, every little thing is magic, and you never know what you might find there. Stop in and stop often, because there are new treasures to be found every day.

The Drop Off LLC
1215 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
North Bergen, New Jersey
 (201) 682-7450


Jannie Susan