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Fabulon Art


There is an Art to Looking at Art

Friday is our first anniversary show. It should be a fun night. This will be the first time presenting artwork for some of the artists. They might be a bit nervous. Please come and cheer them on. The work is truly quite good and reasonably priced. I have reassured the artists that I have delightful people on my newsletter list and all have been invited. Maybe you, as an attendee, are as nervous about talking with the artist as they are about meeting you. After all few people have ever been taught how to look at art. There is an art to looking at art.
We hear a lot about reading, writing, and arithmetic. But it is equally important to have a certain degree of visual literacy. As we move toward the more universal language of emojis, icons, and graphic language, it is easier to appreciate why this is important. We are more acutely aware of the fact that we learn and retain better from pictures. Some symbols and signs are easy to read. But we can learn to read more complicated images, too.  This is important for communicating, understanding, and learning.  
When I was teaching in Maine, the Visual Thinking Strategy was a hot way to approach learning and communication knowledge. This method fostered critical thinking skills and analysis by using art. Students were encouraged to look at pieces of art and ask a series of questions.
What do you see?
What is going on?
What do you see that makes you say that?
What can you infer from certain details?
The part I liked best is that the students looked longer, and they would dig deeper and then back up their answers with details based on the evidence in the painting.  Then they applied it to other aspects of life. Most of what I know and retained about history came from studying art. When I read the newspaper I look at the photos and really read into them, too. When faced with an advertisement, I dissect them and am less often sold something I don’t really want. Try it. It is fun.

Look at this painting and imagine this conversation:
What do you see
I see a man
What ids going on
He’s deep in thought
How do you know this?
Because he is looking down with his hand to his lips.
What can you infer
I think the artist wanted to show that he has had many experiences.
What do you see that makes you say that
 because she painted all of the colors and lines on his face.
What do you think? Come see this painting for yourself on Friday. Be sure and say hello to the artists. Ask some questions. I bet they won’t mind.




This piece by Jirah Perkins will be available in our Souvenirs of Summer Show. 

Come celebrate the last vestiges of summer with our new year celebration! Souvenirs of Summer II August 26, 5-8pm. 

Awesome new art, collectors wall of $50 paintings, refreshments, live music, meet the artists, and art activities.

New classes are starting September first. See details on the website.

We had such a blast with our Art Night Out that we decided to continue it every third Thursday starting in September. Each week features a different project, no registration or experiences, $20 fee includes all materials and a fun night of art making.

Coming soon Michael Hayes solo show finding the form September 23




Floor Polish


A patron who is originally from South America wanted to informed me that fabulon is a brand of floor polish in her country. I did know this but only recently.

Thirty plus years ago my college friend and I bantered about the word fabulon. Anything exciting or awesome or fabulous was dubbed FABULON. It was my favorite word. At that time, I seriously vowed that I would use our word, a word I thought we made up, for my someday future art business.

A year ago I signed a lease on that business. It started as a dull gray box. After a hot July of painting and repair work, we transformed this old space into a bright polished center for art and education. Within a flash, a year has passed. So much has developed in this year. We started with a fabulous Souvenirs of Summer show. I met fantastic artists and forged deep friendships. Fun students came to Fabulon and left feeling enlightened. Fine art was produced and sold here. We formed the West Ashley Arts Initiative to bring more art to West Ashley. All in less than a year.

My friend came to see Fabulon shortly after we opened. While studying our signage, he said. “looks good for floor polish”. He appropriated the word. All along I thought we were so witty and original.

Fabulon has grown into an original and unique place. And my own computer spell check finally recognizes it as my word. I am proud of what it has become and inspired to start our second year of fabulous awesome excitement. Lots of projects on the horizon.

Please accept my most sincere gratitude I have for anyone still reading: for attending shows, supporting the artists and the Arts in West Ashley, for taking classes and entrusting us with your children. Thank you for being part of the Fabulon family.

To my artists: I appreciate you so deeply and find your work to be so engaging.

Associating with you has made me grow as an artist. I hope to continue to do the same for you.

Thank you to Cody of Knitted City who taught me so much about promotion and marketing and getting it all together. If you are thinking of starting a business, see Cody first.

Congratulations to Jirah our executive of social media and marketing. She is the glue that keeps Fabulon together. She graduates this week! She will continue to make Fabulon shine!

There are not enough endearing words to express my gratefulness to Steve who truly is the foundation of Fabulon and also the electrician, painter, plumber, furniture mover, carpenter, advertiser, and supporter. Hope you are ready for round two because we have so much planned!

Tune in to the website or like us on Facebook to see more details.

Starting June 1 until late August, the Gallery will be open for camp, special events, and by appointment only. Call 843-566- 3383 and leave a message.


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Been Really Busy


All of my experiences affect and influence me and my work. They jumble in my head, touch my heart, stimulate my brain, and come out in my conversations. I try to string them together, call it a blog, then send it to you as a newsletter. I hope you read it. This week there is so much to share.

Every week I see beautiful works of art at Fabulon. Some are the phenomenal pieces brought in by the artists, and some are created before me by my students. Oh if you could see the look in their eyes when they feel that surge of brain moving hand until images emerge. The people I meet are the most amazing creations. Just met folks visiting from my old home town, never knew them until now. They were so delightful. There was the most amazing older woman who walks with a cane but once did a yoga retreat at the Kripalu Center. She taught teachers to be teachers and went to Harvard when it was still primarily a school for white men. I met a woman who survived a brain tumor and now actively speaks out for people in our community. 

I had a meeting with community members, civic leaders, artist, and teachers who are united to bring more art for everyone to West Ashley and we started a Facebook page for West Ashley Cultural Arts to network. Spread the word for us, please. 

I've been so busy that I am having trouble getting my brain to shut down long after my body requires me to rest. So late at night I watch back to back episodes of Naked and Afraid. What? Why? Two strangers remove their clothes, take only one utilitarian item, then proceed to survive together for 21 days in some remote location. What? Why?

Apparently the people have some previous survival experiences and they want a realistic test for their skills. There is no prize or cash reward at the end. And now there is a newer version, the people get to take a pack of gear and specific survival items but they are alone. All alone for a month. In the wilderness of Vancouver. With bears. Alone. 

This fascinates me. At first glance my captivation with this theme is out of my character. It perplexes me why, when I abhor reality TV of every incarnation, am I glued to these shows. 

Then I heard a fascinating statement that clarified the enticement to this genre. One of my business advisors said, referring to himself “I am so vulnerable.” And “I love it”. 

What? Why?

He explained that his position of launching entrepreneurs means that he is working with graphic designers and using all social medias as tools so he reads blogs by colleagues that detail the ups and downs of careers and reveal the insecurities that come with the territory. He can relate.  In an emerging small business each day brings the fight for survival and so many unknowns.

I’m from New England. We don’t share like that. I grew up with the expressions “Never let them see you sweat” and “Put your game face on”. Why would I ever reveal my uncertainties? 

Celebrate and publish them.

Oh wait. I am an artist! That is exactly what I do everyday!  I pour my soul out on a canvas and share it with the world. Please like me. Give me money for what I made. I am standing here naked and afraid. 

And I love it.

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Art is Powerful


Riverbed by Hampton R. Olfus, Jr

Riverbed by Hampton R. Olfus, Jr

“Art is powerful”
“Art saved me.”
“Art School was the best thing I ever did.”
“Making art keeps me healthy.”

All of the above statements were spoken at Fabulon in the same day but by different people. I concur.

We are born trying to express ourselves. It becomes a life quest. For many, the best way of communicating ideas, thoughts, or complicated feelings is through some form of art. Dancing, singing, painting, sewing, crafting, sculpting, arranging flowers, drawing, playing music. Ask any artist, something happens when we are engaged in any of the mentioned endeavors. Try something and see for yourself! Don’t wait to be good at it to give it a try. Don’t worry about doing it right, having the best equipment, or being vulnerable. Just play. Remember play? It was the work of childhood. We experimented and experienced. It was all about the process. And we weren’t stressed out.

As adults we started to edit ourselves and become so goal oriented. Goals are great and self critique is important too. But don’t lose sight of the play and the process. Artists have a lament that what we do is called artwork for a reason. And I do work at it but fortunately for me it is closer to the work of childhood. Each time I create something, I feel happier, healthier, and more connected to everything I have ever experienced or learned. I feel rejuvenated and need to channel that youthful exuberance.

Aspiration is like water, it needs a place to flow.*

(*Another great quote I heard on NPR this week from an author who’s name I did not catch.)

April 6th at 6pm People will be gathering at Fabulon to discuss how art can create unity and harmony. Artists, teachers, and civic leaders who are hoping that the arts will flow in West Ashley will join minds and share ideas to see what we can do together to realize the potential of the area that is inclusive and healing because art truly is powerful.
Please join us.