November 5, 2015 • Behind The Scenes, CULTURE, PEOPLE
Meet the Artists
When it comes to making a house (or in our case, a shop!) feel like a home, perfectly appointed fixtures and furniture are lovely and essential. But it’s the art—that final finishing touch—that makes all the difference in personalizing a space. That’s why it was important to Reese to curate the walls of our Draper James store with thoughtfully chosen pieces.
Interior designer Mark D. Sikes, the visionary behind the decor of our Draper James boutique, took the helm on selecting the art for our store. “From the very beginning, we wanted to imbue the Draper James store with the welcoming feeling of a modern Southern home,” Mark says. “As we conceptualized the store, it felt so right to feature Southern artists on our walls.”
Mark and the Draper James team turned to Southern artists whose work, says Mark, “feels both appropriate to the brand and like something Reese would put in her own home.” Many of the featured pieces are even for sale in the store.
Mark continues: “First and foremost, the art is beautiful. Second, there’s the story it tells: All of these artists are Southern, but they have such a different sensibilities. Nevertheless, when you put all their work together, it creates a wonderful eclectic story.”
Quite a bit of the art in the store is hung on the gallery wall behind the cash wrap. Done on a wall papered in a striking navy raffia wallcovering by Phillip Jeffries, the installation has a collected feel that comes from the a variety of mediums (photography, abstracts, new pieces and flea market finds) and a mix of different frames.
As for the artists?
If that bright yellow painting on the gallery wall catches your eye when you walk into the store, that was Mark’s intention exactly. Richmond-based artist Lindsay Cowles, who is known for her large-scale abstract oil paintings, was commissioned to create this piece for us. “I love the way the color draws you in,” says Mark. “It reminds me of Reese and the sunny optimism of the brand.”
Susan Hable did the the large inky blue pieces to the right of the piece by Cowles on the gallery well as well as the one shown below. Born in Texas and currently living in Athens, GA, Susan is known for work that’s inspired by nature and her surroundings. “When we needed more graphic elements for the store, we immediately thought of her,” says Mark.
Photographer Amy Neunsinger lives in L.A., but it’s her family’s southern roots (Georgia, specifically) that drive much of her work. She created a collection of classically Southern motifs exclusively for us—from barns to green lawns to architecture to elements (like a horseshoe and magnolia) that are part of the Draper James brand imagery. “Her photographs add a warm and inviting visual layer to the store,” says Mark.
Kayce Hughes is a Nashville-based painter (and mom of seven!) whose lyrical abstract paintings pair back to the navy and signature Draper James blue throughout our store. One of her pieces can be seen above the white floral oil panting in the banquette area pictured above.
Chelsea Petaja’s work offers “just the dose of whimsy that we needed in the store,” says Mark. The Nashville-based artist and calligrapher (who we profiled previously) hand-lettered a selection of our favorite #Southernisms for us. Bless her heart.