YLNI Farmers Market – M Bar M Leather Design

#sundayshoutout To whomever owns this door… it ends up in a lot of our photo shoots. #mybag #mbarm #leather #handmade #bag #downtown #fortwayne #dtfw #atelier #details #oneofakind #dtfw #atelier #custom #street #photography #picoftheday #capture #alley #moments #models #midwest #fashion #accessories #edc A post shared by M Bar M Leather Design (@mbarmleatherdesign) on Jul 9, 2017 at 4:55am PDT Emily Brown’s passion for leather craftsmanship has led her to create quality leather bags that much of the community now owns and recognizes. Emily’s journey to success started at just ten years old, when she first started working with leather. As she continued to perfect her craft, M Bar M Leather Design was born while Emily was working at a ranch in Colorado. She was building saddles and taking on projects for the staff. It has been six years since Emily initially launched M Bar M Leather Design, and she has received support and inspiration from people at every step of the journey. This inspiration embodies her goal to create bags that the strength and style of the people who carry them. When Emily started M Bar M Leather Design, she was working another job, while pursuing her leather designing passion in her basement. However, the success of M Bar M Leather Design has allowed Emily to pursue her business full-time for the past three years. Today, she will see her customers sporting her bags out in public. Emily loves when customers get excited to see her, because they are carrying something she created, though she doesn’t “know who gets more excited – them or me.” When Emily is not with her customers or making the next bag, she spends a great deal of time with her 28 nieces and nephews and being an avid Crossfitter. Adventure is out there. The Duffel #mybag #mbarm #leather #handmade #bag #downtown #fortwayne #dtfw #details #fashion #business #edc #atelier #lifestyle #style #duffel #mensfashion #photography #picoftheday #classic #craftsmanship A post shared by M Bar M Leather Design (@mbarmleatherdesign) on Aug 10, 2017 at 5:47am PDT Over the years of being a small business owner, Emily has learned not to try to appeal to everyone, and to just be herself, doing what she does to the best of her ability. This focus has helped her value her time. While a small business owner never runs out of things to do, she has learned that some things can wait. Emily feels that she has accomplished what she set out to do, and her adventurous spirit always is looking for the next challenge to pursue. Come out to the YLNI Farmers Market this summer to check out M Bar...

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Fort Wayne HeART of the City Hosts First Event at Three Rivers Festival
Jul06

Fort Wayne HeART of the City Hosts First Event at Three Rivers Festival

The local art scene is alive, and it has a pulse. Fort Wayne HeART of the City is an artist-run initiative that collectively supports artists of all types, mediums, and skill levels in the greater Northeast Indiana area. The group hosts its first event at the Three Rivers Festival on July 8th and 9th in the Freimann Square parking lot, where festival-goers can check out an assortment local art, music, and food. To learn more about Fort Wayne HeART of the City and their upcoming event, I spoke with Daniel Church and Tricia Cavender, two of the founding artists who are involved with coordinating events and operations.     It all started when group of artist friends wanted to bring attention to other local artists. However, they noticed a divide in the community. “From what I’ve experienced in the local art scene here in Fort Wayne, there is a great disconnect. The established artists and galleries are on one end of the spectrum and the newer unestablished artists are on the other. I would love to see those two worlds come together and learn from each other,” said Tricia. To bridge that gap, Fort Wayne HeART of the City was born. Local artists are supporting other local artists through new events and an online database.     Emerging into the art scene can be daunting. Often, newer artists don’t know where to start, and there aren’t many opportunities to showcase their work. To resolve this issue, HeART of the City is connecting established artists with new artists. “We want to help them learn how to better promote their work and give them events that will provide opportunities for them to show their work,” Tricia said. “We want to make some super fun events without the pressure of meeting juried requirements and booth approval. We want artists to be able to be themselves and show the art the way they choose to in a creative and free way. I think that is what makes HeART of the City special.” The group also offers ways for artists to promote themselves online. Their website hosts a calendar of art events and maintains a local artist directory, where anyone can submit examples of their work and links to their social media and websites. “It’s a hub for local artists to support local artists and a way to connect with each other and our community,” said Daniel. “Due to information overload, things can get lost in the mix, and you don’t even know what’s in your own backyard.”     Though this weekend is their first event, HeART of the City is already seeing their efforts pay off. Tricia...

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FWFAC Turns Art Appreciation into an Adventure
Jul18

FWFAC Turns Art Appreciation into an Adventure

Sometimes you have an idea that lets you combine your most cherished passions and share them with friends. At the very least, that’s a recipe for a great pastime. But if you’re really lucky, the right idea catches on, growing into a fledgling community organization with hundreds of followers. That’s exactly what’s happened for the Fort Wayne Free Art Collective (or FWFAC). Jon and Lissa Brown initially established the organization as a simple Facebook group with a few dozen followers and a mission to make local art more accessible. To connect people with local art, they give it away, dropping donated pieces every few days in various spots throughout Fort Wayne. Once found, the art is free to any follower or passing stranger who discovers it. Each FWFAC drop is like a guerilla-style gallery opening. First, each art piece gets wrapped into an art bundle with a note explaining the mission of the FWFAC. Then Jon and Lissa choose a spot to do the “drop,” typically on the side of a building. After securing the package with blue painter’s tape, they take a photo and post it on Facebook, without revealing the drop location. Followers must use visual clues to find the art, as long as it hasn’t already been found by a lucky stranger. Each drop takes place in a new location, giving Jon and Lissa the chance to highlight unique local landmarks, historic buildings or tucked-away neighborhood spots. The unpredictability of the FWFAC process makes it exciting for everyone. “Every time we see the post from the person who makes the find, we think that it can’t possibly get more exciting or gratifying,” says Lissa. “But – it does.” As busy parents and artists themselves, Jon and Lissa describe the FWFAC as their “artistic love child.” The organization’s mission and purpose grew out of the couple’s belief that an accessible local arts scene has the power to unite our community. “We have always been passionate about the arts,” says Lissa. “When we decided to open our hearts and share that with our community, it seemed natural to share our artwork too. When others started to follow our lead, we saw that it was something that Fort Wayne was craving. So we just answered the call.” To accommodate the growing interest, the FWFAC page recently expanded from a Facebook Group into a Public Page. The influx of members means that the biggest challenge may be finding ways to let more people experience the fun of found art. “People are now starting to recognize our signature blue tape, and are looking for us on the streets,” Lissa says. “We have to be very stealthy and quick about our drops. Most...

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Artink’s Gallery Crawl Recap
Apr14

Artink’s Gallery Crawl Recap

Tonight is Artlink’s first ever Pop Up Gallery Crawl through downtown Fort Wayne where vacate businesses will become art galleries for one night only! Come and join us from 6 to 9 pm to experience local food, musician, and original artwork available for purchase. There will also be a cash bar at each location. The walking tour will showcase a variety of 2D and 3D creations by artists born and raised right here in our small, but thriving art scene. For anyone who has been tuning into Living Fort Wayne’s Gallery Crawl series the last couple of weeks, some of the artists and locations have changed. But below includes the finalized list of all the artists, vendors, and where they will be located on the walking tour.     Location 1 Venue: Artlink Contemporary Gallery Artists: Jerrod Tobias and Julie Wall Toles Musician: Left Lane Cruiser Restaurant: Oyster Bar       Location 2 Venue: Old Journal Gazette Building on the corner of Main Street and Clinton Street Artists: Jeffrey Crane and Molly Stronczek Musician: Paul Stephens Restaurant: Bar 145       Location 3 Venue: 123 W Main Street Artists: Jason Swisher and Daniel Dienelt Musician: The Fierce Invalids       Location 4 Venue: 127 & 129 W Main Street Artist: Justin Johnson Musician: West Central Quartet Restaurant: Club Soda   Location 5 Venue: MKM Architecture & Design Artists: Jeremy Stroup and Gary Travis Musician: David Todoran Restaurant: JK O’Donnell’s Location 6 Venue: The City Exchange Shops Artist: John Leavell Musician: James & The Drifters Restaurant: Hall’s Restaurant     Location 7 Venue: Cinema Center Artist: Theoplis Smith Musician: Alicia Pyle Restaurant: Calhoun Street Soups, Salads, & Spirits   Hurry and get tickets online here before it’s too late! They are available at $15 per person and $25 per couple. You must be 21 years or older to participate. There are only 500 tickets available and time is running out! For anyone posting pictures on social media during the Gallery Crawl, please use #gallercrawlfw to share the event with the rest of the city. For more information, please visit Artlink’s website. Or follow them on social media at Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We hope to see you...

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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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