Interactive art by Sheila K. Hrasky

In Monday’s newsletter, I mentioned my stop in Bozeman last Friday. I encouraged you to visit the HomePage Café for coffee and Nova Café for dining. What I didn’t mention was nestled right in between the two: Sheila K. Hrasky Fine Art.

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That’s Sheila above with her art.

What I loved about Sheila’s gallery is that I got to play with the art!
Sheila is a painter and ceramist. As a former museum educator who always looked for ways to get people involved in the art, I was quite taken with Sheila’s ceramic flower bowls. Stephanie, my 18-year-old cousin, loved being in there because Sheila was glowing and smiling and, when we commented on the bowls, she was obviously a proud mother. She said, "They’re very happy bowls!" Stephanie had never before thought that bowls could be happy, but she was convinced that if any bowls were happy, these certainly were.

The bowls were everywhere. They were in the front window (probably too bright for more delicate paintings) and lined the walls and center space. The way she had them displayed was designed to encourage people to mix and match and form their own sets. You wanted to touch! You wanted to see what you could do with the various sizes, shapes and colors.

The sections were grouped by colors. Above is the "hot" table. Below is the "cool" table, where I spent most of my time (and money). There was a pink-and-black section and a red-and-black section and more.

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It was like picking out fabric in a quilt store–mixing and matching to try to find the perfect combination just for you.

They touch and begin to imagine your art in their lives.

Allowing people some control in selecting their art (matting, framing, pedestals, etc.) is one way to reel them in. People that are this involved become fans!   And they order more from you.

Of course, not all art can be touched. But you can still encourage more interaction. How do you do this? Or how could you do this?

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