As an artist, Constance Vlahoulis has heard many an art lover utter some variation of the following comment : “Boy, I really like that, but I don’t know if it will match my sofa.”
Vlahoulis, owner of the Conn-Artist Studios & Art Gallery in Hendersonville, has one piece of advice for people who find themselves in this art-buying predicament. “Buy art because you love it, because you can always make it work somehow. Throw in a pillow or whatever,” she says.
It is this way of thinking that led Vlahoulis to organize her first Please Match My Sofa art show. She put out the call for artists to submit their best work in a variety of mediums with her simple theme. Some of the art incorporates a sofa into the piece, like the painting of a dog caught in the act of tearing a cushion to shreds. The art, however, doesn’t have to feature a sofa. She’s told the artists to “just go for it, have fun, and bring us your best work.”
Vlahoulis and the artists plan to reveal their creations during an artists’ opening reception from 6 to 9pm on Thursday, June 10, at her gallery. Anna Parker-Barnett, owner of Gallery Minerva Fine Art in Asheville, will serve as juror of the show, which runs through August 6. Top prizes include $250 toward furniture at both Old Towne Market and Design Avenue and a $100 gift certificate at Black Bird Frame and Art. The work will be judged on creativity, sense of humor, design and its ability to be functional artwork “or just look great” inside a home.
“We want this to be a real win-win, positive experience for the artists,” she says. “Sagging art sales have been a problem nationwide, but we wanted to change the subject. Instead of having a serious show, I thought of the Please Match My Sofa theme. I’m just determined to help artists sell in a real positive, fun atmosphere. We’re just hoping we sell a lot of art that night, and we want everybody to come.”
Vlahoulis opened her gallery and studio after a 17-year real estate career in Michigan. She says she has two goals: helping people choose affordable art for their home and helping area artists reach their creative goals. “My original mission to open up this studio was for me to become a better artist and help others do the same,” she says.
To learn more about the Please Match My Sofa art show, visit www.conn-artist.com or call 828-329-2918. Conn-Artist Studios & Art Gallery is located at 611 Greenville Hwy (in Atha Plaza), Hendersonville.