Tired of being told what she can and cannot do in an art exhibit, local artist Lydia Kramer has opened her own art studio and gallery in Old Town.
The new Third Street Gallery is at 816 Third St., one block from Rosehill Community Center.
Kramer said the gallery is a place for expression – her own and others’.
The current exhibit, “Expressions,” includes Kramer’s original art prints and works by her father, Gideon Kramer. The gallery celebrated its grand opening on Dec. 3.
Gideon Kramer, 94, is an internationally recognized designer and philosopher who recently moved to Mukilteo.
“It’s a very special kind of place where the artistic spirit of Mukilteo will be able to express itself in a kind of letting-it-happen way,” Gideon Kramer said of the gallery.
The gallery is a family project of sorts. Lydia Kramer plans to exhibit the works of several artists in the family – she and her father aren’t the only ones with the creative gene.
(Even the matting and framing were done by Kramer’s brother-in-law, Rich Colello, with the help of her sister Rebecca Colello.)
“I wanted to have a place to display and sell my artwork, and I wanted to also have a place where all the different artists, photographers and designers in my family could display and sell their work,” she said.
She also plans to sell copies of her father’s book “A Life Becoming,” which is available through OM Press, a family company.
The gallery is located in her brother Guy Kramer’s house. She converted what used to be storage space in the house into a space for art. (The property is zoned both residential and commercial.)
“It seemed like a natural space for it,” Kramer said. “It was basically unused.”
The gallery is a venue for other local “visionary” artists not in her family as well, she said.
And by “visionary” she means eclectic artists who express themselves in unique ways and using a variety of media.
“They are expressing themselves not necessarily one movement or another movement – not one individual expression – but they’re looking for their own path,” Kramer said.
Lydia Kramer is a member of the Mukilteo Arts Guild. Mukilteans may recognize her work from her booth at the Holiday Art Mart.
Her art – which focuses on the organic to the abstract – combines strong colors and textures in watercolor, gauche, oil pastel, colored pencil, ink, oil and multimedia collage. Many of her works are inspired by trips to Mexico and Spain.
She recently received the Crown in Town Award for Best Graphic and Web Design in Seattle.
She has a degree in art and textile design from the University of Washington and a degree in graphic design from Shoreline Community College.
Gideon Kramer is most famous for devising the first truly ergonomic chair in 1946 and for conceiving radically new truck designs in the 1950s.
His art – paintings, sculptures, jewelry, sketches, photos and movies – reflects his thoughts and feelings and help to tell the story of his life, or his “becoming.”
He graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago, the Akron Art Institute and Chicago’s Institute of Design.
“Lydia invites all in this community to come, to experience this place and be part of its becoming,” he said.
With a background in both art and retail, Lydia Kramer said she likes the freedom she gets with her own gallery – she alone can decide on the exhibits and on the overall artistic direction of the gallery.
“It’s sort of whatever,” she said of the art in the gallery. “I’m not limited by someone else telling me, ‘Well, you can’t do that.”
Starting Jan. 2, the gallery will be open 10-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, or by appointment only. Call 206-422-2477 to set up an appointment.