As Kurt and Jennifer Johnson sat on the levee at White Rock Lake last fall, the brother and sister mulled what they could do to add more meaning to their lives. Jennifer was tiring of the corporate world of cubicles and fluorescent lights, and Kurt’s lighting business required commutes to California every two weeks.
The siblings came to the age-old conclusion that, in order to be happy, they needed to follow their hearts. The two had recently taken up yoga when they suddenly lost their mother to a heart attack. Says Jennifer: “It got me through that. It was that beneficial, that quick.”
While they tossed around ideas about what type of venture they wanted to start, they kept coming back to how much yoga had helped them both through a sad and stressful time in their lives.
So armed with credit cards and a prayer, the Lake Highlands residents opened Whole Life Health Center, a Greenville Avenue studio offering yoga, martial arts, acupuncture, Reiki and massage. Their vision was to bring health, balance and awareness to the community.
A cornerstone of this plan included inspiring positive energy and goodwill through creativity, Jennifer says. She and her husband, Trey, both artists, wanted to give other local artists an avenue to display their work and to develop a neighborhood art community.
“Basically, we want community art, whether it is music, martial arts, yoga, or visual arts,” Jennifer says. “We want a community vibe.”
The product of this intention, Artists Hall, has begun exhibiting three to four artists a month. By placing the gallery within the same location as yoga classes and other services, the siblings hope the art will catch the eye of those who may not typically see and appreciate art, making the experience less intimidating and the art more accessible.
They also hope it inspires.
“Everyone has the capabilities within them to create — whether it is music or visual art. Hopefully, they can see it in this type of atmosphere and then go home and express themselves in one way or another,” Kurt says.
Starting Aug. 2, there will be an opening each month, complete with live local music (they will also be carrying the CDs of local acts) and a chance to meet and talk with the artists who will be showing that month. All of the art is for sale and represents a wide range of mediums, including sculpture and photography, with part of the proceeds benefiting Pic-A-Pal, a local non-profit pet rescue organization. Prices of the works currently showing are in the range of $100 to $800, with future works expected to be under $2,000.
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