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SMARTSHOP Poster 2010 by PaulSizer SMARTSHOP Poster 2010 by PaulSizer
Here's some art done for a sad reason, but one filled with good memories...

SMARTSHOP is the brainchild of Holly Fisher, a local metalworker/artist from the Kalamazoo. She built this massive metalwork studio/complex from the ground up, giving classes for kids and adults about forge work, metal arts, sculpture and art in general. Holly is a big, strong-armed ass-kicker of a woman, who is fiercely dedicated to the arts in our town. On the monthly Art Hops, the SMARTSHOP was the place to be, with Holly booking bands and DJ's to play while she and her crew did forge and metal work along with the music. She even did a blacksmith demo in a prom dress last year. Now THAT is bad-ass.
My wife Jane took a welding weekend class with Holly and was the first to catch herself on fire from a stray spark from the MIG welder. Holly patted out the small flame on Jane's shirt, gave Jane her own shirt, and continued the class.

Holly recently had to announce that SMARTSHOP was closing down, due to the shitty economy in Michigan. She just could not get enough people in for classes, and a lot of federal arts grants dried up as well. While there is a slight possibility of some funding coming through, it looks like a certainty that this vibrant place for art and culture will have to shut it's doors for good. This poster is my love letter to the years of hard work that Holly and her crew put into this place for art, metal and culture. Here's her blog for people to post memories about the place

Pencils/Inks: MangaStudio EX 3.0
Graphics: Freehand MX
Color: PhotoShop CS2
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soulfreeze Featured By Owner May 5, 2010  Hobbyist Artist

Well that just sucks. Sorry man. even from across the pond i can understand how much that sucks a$$.
wytherwing Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2010
beautifully done! :thumbsup:
PaulSizer Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
GenmaKragoth Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2010   General Artist
Great piece as always Paul, but man, I can feel your pain about the reason for it. It's happening all over the place. A lot of "counter culture" and small art galleries have gone the way of the winds down here in the last 2 years for the same reasons. Sad to see what sounds like a really great place go.
PaulSizer Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for the good words.
Pathshaper Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2010  Student General Artist
That sucks big time, sounds like it was truly something. Metalwork/sculpture has always been one of those "things to learn when I'm idly rich", quite sad for such a wonderful resource to be lost.
PaulSizer Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, Holly busted her ass to keep the place running for nearly 8 years, and it just got to be too much.
Y88 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2010
I'm too young to have ever taken classes there, but my metals teacher mentions Holly Fisher every now and then; having only good things to say. It's too bad a metal work shop has to get shut down, let alone one in my native Michigan.
PaulSizer Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
I agree. The arts always have a hard time of it, and the current economy is making it really tough.
Gneekman Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2010
I was bummed to hear Smartshop was closing up! I interned there a couple summers ago, and it was a blast.
Holly really had something special going, and I hope it can go again when business is better.
PaulSizer Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Me too. She is a really passionate person, and she's willing to put a lot of effort into sharing her love of art with the community. That's something we need more of.
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Submitted on
April 25, 2010
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