Entrepreneurship Spotlight – Alexandra Hall
Aug10

Entrepreneurship Spotlight – Alexandra Hall

This Entrepreneurship Spotlight features Alexandra Hall, a local (wonderfully and amazingly talented) artist. She’s a member of Fort Wayne Artists Guild, Wunderkammer Company, and Artlink, and interestingly enough, holds degrees in non-art related fields. She got her start right here in Fort Wayne, at a 2013 art show at the Dash-In. She’s an inspiration for all of us to find the things that we are passionate about, pursue them, and not write-off the idea that our hobbies and talents can someday (with a lot of work and a little patience) turn into a full-time gig. What made you decide to open a business in Fort Wayne/Northeast Indiana? Before I had a location at the City Exchange my business was mobile. I attended art festivals and showed work in galleries all over the country. While other cities may have a bigger art scene, I was able to develop a strong customer base here because there is a growing desire for unique and locally made artwork. When it was time for me to experiment with a brick and mortar location, I decided to test out the Fort Wayne market; I only signed a short term lease at the Exchange. I have a summer festival season coming up, so I closed my shop at the end of May, but I have learned a great deal about running a boutique/gallery space. I hope to return in September and find a different location for my studio/gallery. What resource in the Fort Wayne area has helped you thrive in the community? There is a very supportive arts community here. I would not be where I am today without my artist mentors and support from local galleries. People like Charley Shirmeyer, owner of Northside Galleries and local artist Terry Ratliff, have allowed me to make the move from hobbyist to professional artist. The kindness and generosity in this community is the only reason I am able to pursue art. What is the biggest challenge you have worked to overcome in starting your business? I think the biggest challenge I have faced is balancing the growing clerical aspects to my business and the actual creation of my product. I have nothing to sell if I don’t remember to make time to paint! What person has helped you the most in your journey? My parents, Scott and Andrea Hall, have helped me the most. What is some advice you would have for new entrepreneurs? It isn’t easy. Surround yourself with positive people who want to see you succeed, and don’t allow obstacles to slow you down! What would be the best thing Fort Wayne could do for entrepreneurs in...

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First Stop on Artlink’s Gallery Crawl!
Mar16

First Stop on Artlink’s Gallery Crawl!

On Thursday, April 14th, Artlink is hosting its very first Pop-Up Gallery Crawl where participants have the opportunity to take a walking art tour through downtown Fort Wayne. At each stop along the way, there will be music, food, and original 2D and 3D artwork available for purchase from a variety of local artists. The first location on the tour is the Artlink gallery itself on 300 East Main Street. At this first stop, hors d’oeuvres will be provided by The Oyster Bar, featuring the blues rock band, Left Lane Cruiser. To kickoff the Gallery Crawl, you will see paintings by Jerrod Tobias and prints and watercolors by Julie Wall Toles. At the  beginning of the Gallery Crawl, Jerrod Tobias will be displaying  variety of different pieces, including paintings and drawings as well as postcard drawings and t-shirts. His work combines different mediums such as oil painting with stencils and spray paint. By using these techniques, Tobias wants to create artwork which is colorful, rhythmic, and reflects our humanity. All the pieces he will feature at Artlink contain a similar theme. “It all comes from a folk narrative of kids and animals starting a revolution,” Tobias explains. “The Coywolf Children.” Jerrod Tobias has always been passionate about art and drawing in particular. Even at a young age, he had a drive to learn more and become better at his craft. To Tobias, “Drawing and painting are endless paths of learning. Art is a mountain that has no top.” Jerrod Tobias currently operates out of Tobias Studios, an art studio as well as a homestead. Classes and workshops for drawing, gardening, and almost everything in between are available for visitors. At Tobias Studios, they are dedicated to enriching the multiple facets of people’s lives. Jerrod Tobias has been involved in Fort Wayne’s art scene very visibly. His murals can be found across the city at Wunderkammer, Catalyst Fitness, and Trubble Brewing. “The Fort Wayne art culture is a rich and vibrant light in our community,” Tobias says. “The arts are the voice of the culture.” Here, artists like Jerrod Tobias are able to have a powerful impact on their community. To learn more about Jerrod Tobias or to get involved with Tobias Studios, visit their website at www.tobiasstudios.weebly.com. Or check them out on Facebook or Instagram.   The second artist to begin the Art Crawl is Julie Wall Toles. She will display limited edition prints created from a multitude of mediums such as intaglio, woodcut, and linoleum. Toles will also be showcasing her new watercolors of native plants to the region, specially mushrooms. Julie Wall Toles owns and works at the Hedgehog Press print shop in downtown Fort Wayne which she opened in...

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