Aug 20, 2011

Pictures from The Art of Artisans

Looking to furnish your home, office, apartment? Don't you dare go to a big box store to buy mass produced, disposable home furnishings! That was a bit harsh, wasn't it? Sorry about that. But you would feel passionate too if you saw the pieces in The Art of Artisans. Each piece is worthy of gracing a pedestal in a fine museum yet it tells you it wants to go home with you instead.

To see more of an artisans work, buy or commission a piece, simply click on their name. If there isn't a link then contact Wall Eye and we'll happily get you in touch with the artist!

Cristian Schmitt

David Smith

Bottom: Walnut Credenza by Michael McMillin
Top: Stained glass rubbings by Peter Billington & David Smith

Left: Jason Radcliffe. Right: Michael McMillin

Lou Erste & Grant Smrekar
Back left: David Smith. Back right: Peter Billington

The Art of Artisans is up through September 4, so give us a call or e-mail to set up an appointment to see it in person!

Aug 18, 2011

Interview with Peter Billington

We here at Wall Eye are pretty excited for the next show, The Art of Artisans. It's the first show featuring furniture (of the functional kind) and art from craftsmen. Particularly impressive are the stained glass pieces by Peter Billington. Each piece is a testament to the harmony of craftsmanship and art through the obvious hard work involving glass to the hand painted vignettes in its panes.

Wall Eye Gallery:
Tell us about your background and how you came to be an artist. And specifically a glass artist. You don’t see too many artists working in that medium.

Peter Billington: I was always interested in the arts, since a toddler when my grandfather would draw caravans and circus animals over my finger painting. I went to CSU for liberal arts majoring in painting. Had a summer job working at Whitney Stained Glass studio when I was about 19. After graduation, I floated around for a few years, working at an art supply store and a movie theatre. Aside from learning lots of technical details about art supplies, which is truly helpful, I learned one thing. That I hated working retail. After about 4 years, I went back to my old boss, who was a friend of the family, and asked for a job and he reluctantly hired me first part-time then shortly full-time. Jim encouraged me to delve deeply into the craft and sent me to a number of intensive workshops to further my education. Jim passed away from cancer about 6 years ago and I purchased the studio from his widow about 5 years ago. The majority of projects that my studio works on is church work, both restoration and new work.

WEG: It's interesting that you had a formal education in painting and then glass came later. When you create a piece, what comes first? The idea of the painting or the glass?

PB: Depends. Sometimes I will do a pile of quick paintings or thumbnails, either in watercolor or gouache on black board, in rapid sucession and then decide which ones would work within the medium of traditional stained glass. Sometimes I will start with a specific idea and work with it. Sometimes I will arrange some glass on the table and just spontaneously paint. And sometimes I will have something hanging around the studio for years before being struck with how and where to use it...

WEG: Tell us a bit about your work we are going to see in The Art of Artisans.

PB: The work I put in the show is mostly traditional painted and stained glass, with non-traditional, non-church related subject matter.

WEG: Which Cleveland area artist(s) do you like/admire? Artist(s) outside of Cleveland area?

PB: I admire a lot of artists, but am mostly curious about glass painting and take yearly workshops with some of the best glass painters in the country. That being said, the majority of older glass work is unsigned and more or less anonymously done by craftspeople who probably never considered themselves artists at all. I have a great deal of admiration for these people who built and decorated churches and cathedrals since medieval times.

~ Thank you, Peter! You can learn more about Peter's studio at

Come to the opening reception Friday, August 19 from 6-11pm to see the equally impressive way Peter's pieces have been hung [Oh, yeah, we're patting ourselves on the back] and the fabulous furniture and art.

Aug 5, 2011

Saying Goodbye

It is with mixed emotions to announce that Wall Eye Gallery will be closing in October of this year. After much deliberation we have decided to end our two year run. The seven partners have either had a life change, new job, new opportunities involving more responsibilities, or the desire to focus on artistic careers. It has been difficult to balance these changes while continuing to organize Wall Eye’s shows.

Although Wall Eye Gallery will no longer be a brick and mortar space, we will have an online presence to share news of other shows in Cleveland, competitions, news about the art world and interviews with artists. But maybe you’ll see us pop-up from time to time.

We have been humbled and flattered by everyone’s love for the space and our shows. Whether you have attended our shows, bought art from us, or have been our cheerleader, we thank you. We thank the wonderful artists we have worked with. We are honored to have been a small part of your artistic life and we wish all of you much success. We also thank the guest curators and organizers who have brought us fun and challenging shows and awesome community events. We were in awe of your hard work.

Please join us for our two remaining shows, Art of Artisans opening August 19 and Playing House opening September 23, and lift up a glass and let’s make a toast to making new friendships and strengthening old ones, to art, to working our butts off, taking chances and trying out a dream.

A Write Up!

Thanks, Scene, for the write up!

And if you'd like to see the show, we'll be open Sunday, August 7 from 1:00p-3:00p.