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