Artists Band Together To Brighten Homes
A Lancaster Online Article

This article original appeared on Lancaster Online, Aug 17, 2015. Written by LAURA KNOWLES | LNP CORRESPONDENT


Beth Ross was frustrated that she couldn’t find an attractive shower curtain for the bathroom she was decorating.Then she had an idea.

“Why couldn’t a shower curtain be like a piece of art?” the Lancaster businesswoman and art lover asked — a real piece of art by a local artist.

Thanks to Ross’ new business venture, Lancaster Art Collection, you can bring local artists’ “Off The Wall Art” into your everyday life with decorative items such as aprons, place mats, pillows, shower curtains, coasters, cutting boards and wine bags.

“It’s a fun idea, not unlike the way Andy Warhol was a master of marketing his art on mugs and posters,” Ross says. “That’s what made so many of those images iconic.”

In this case, Lancaster Art Collection draws on local talent to give people an opportunity to own a work of art by Trevino, Ameen, Wertz, Staz, Freiman Stoltzfus and husband-and-wife photographers Chris and Carol Beverly. If an original painting is out of your budget, you might be able to afford an artful $99 shower curtain, a $55 decorative pillow or an $8 place mat.

‘More accessible’ art

“My work is meant to make people feel good, with happy characters and bright colors,” says Iraqi-born Ameen. Ross’ collection “makes my art more accessible, so that everyone can see it.”

Wertz, who does both fine arts painting and decorative artwork, calls on past experience as a designer with Armstrong World Industries to create works for the Lancaster Arts Collection. Her bold sunflower painting lends itself well to a sunny apron or a glass cutting board.

For Trevino, it’s a way to make sure his graffiti-style art gets some in-home exposure. His murals are spray-painted with lacquer for extremely rich colors. His goal is to cover the entire city with “legal” graffiti.

“There isn’t a color I don’t like,” Trevino says. “I use them all in my paintings, and I like the idea that somebody would have a shower curtain or a pillow or a wine cooler with my art on it.”

Carefully selected

Ross points out that she carefully selects the art that works best for Lancaster Art Collection. Some paintings might be too complex or too subtle. Strong graphics and vibrant colors have more impact.

“I love the work of Elizabeth Staz, a watercolorist who does bright and colorful abstracts with a whimsical flair,” Ross adds.

Each of the artists has several designs from which to select, and most are available in everything from shower curtains to coasters to pillows. They get a percentage of the sales of each item ordered.

Ross has an eye out for other artists and products to add to the Lancaster Art Collection.

Her background in graphics printing for plastics makes it possible to print designs on cloth, glass or neoprene.

The Lancaster Art Collection is on display First Fridays at Miesse Candies, 118 N. Water St. “Off The Wall Art” can be ordered online at lancasterartcollection.com.