Acclaimed artist and longtime resident of Woody Creek, Isa Catto believes that art and design should be accessible to everyone. She has been a successful artist for 30 years, working primarily in watercolor and mixed media, and describes her style as “organic symbolism”, which she says will mean different things to different people, or maybe “nothing”. at all”.
But the fact that fine art was prohibitively expensive for most people didn’t sit well with him. She realized she wanted to do something about it.
“Not everyone can afford to buy a painting or a print. (I wanted) to make my art accessible to people on a more egalitarian scale,” Catto said.
And so it’s in that spirit that she and her COO, Jennifer Roberts, have teamed up to make this branch of her studio and business possible. Three years ago they decided to marry his art with practical design and began making textiles, paper goods and limited edition fine art prints, which they display and sell at his gallery in Woody Creek, as well as a few retailers in the middle. valley and online.
Their slogan is “Keep Art in Hand” and the goal is to create unique, beautiful and practical items like notebooks, wrapping paper, tote bags, pillows and scarves that can be used in the everyday life.
It is heavily influenced by the Bauhaus movement, which sought to level the distinction between fine and applied arts and to bring together creativity and manufacturing, uniting art and industrial design.
“I think there’s this kind of caste system in the high-end art world that I like to fight against. I want to break through that rigidity, because doing different things and getting into different areas of exploration only enriches me as an artist,” she said.
Basically, she wanted to stretch.
As a small business owner in this valley, she has encountered challenges but is grateful to be able to team up with other local businesses in Willits this weekend to bring both her fine art, prints and his lifestyle plays to the community.
The three-day event will include a Friday night mixer at Decorative Materials, where his artwork will be on display, as well as a pop-up shop on Saturday in the same space and a meet the artist event at Bookbinders on Sunday. .
She encourages the community to get out there and consider supporting not only her, but also local businesses in general during the upcoming holiday season.
“We’re here to encourage people to shop small and local. Aspen has become so brand-driven, and opportunities to showcase local products are very rare there. That’s why I love Willits; there is a really wonderful community vibe,” she said.