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Feb. 14th: Heart Bombing Downtown Tyler

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City of Tyler to Host Second Annual Heart Bombing in Downtown

What are Heart Bombs? They are love letters to historic places that appear at historic sites nationwide, on local landmarks, and around places both safe and threatened. Unfamiliar with the concept? It’s simple, really. Heart bombing is the act of showering an older or historic place with tangible expressions of affection and devotion. The Heart Bomb initiative is part of the “This Place Matters” program, through the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Event Details

The community is invited to help advocate the revitalization of historic Downtown Tyler through the creations of paper hearts to place on the outside of the historic Downtown Cooperative Savings and Loan Building. The historic building is the future home of the Wilcox Lofts developed by Invest in Tyler. Free public creation stations will be available the week prior to the event. Those who are unable to attend the creation stations are encouraged to still design hearts and bring them to Gallery Main Street. The size and design of the hearts are only limited by your imagination.

The morning of February 14th, the outside of the building will be covered in all the hearts created over the week. A public open house from 11am-1pm. will be held at the future site of the Wilcox Lofts, allowing the public to get a glance of the inside. Invest in Tyler representatives will be present to share their vision for the property. After you had a chance to check out the building make sure you check out the pop-up green space where you can enjoy a celebration reception with light refreshment from Strada Caffé.

February 5th-9th (9am-6pm) – Free Creation Station – Gallery Main Street (110 W. Erwin St.)
February 8th (5-7pm) – Free Creation Station – Strada Caffé (302 E. Front St.)
February 10th (12noon-2pm) – Free Creation Station – ETX Brewing Co. (221 S. Broadway Ave.)
February 14th (11am-1pm) – Open House & Reception– Wilcox Lofts (230 S. Broadway Ave.)

Visit www.TylerHistoricPreservation.com for more details on this event and information the “This Place Matters” program.

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Art

 Call for submittals for the “Elephant in the Room” exhibit

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Artists are invited to submit their work for the jurying phase of Gallery Main Street’s “Elephant in the Room” fine art exhibit. The deadline for entry is midnight on Sunday, Feb. 25.

“The Gallery Committee wanted to offer a theme that sparked some free thinking and a little risk,” said Amber Rojas of the City of Tyler Main Street Department. “The theme ‘Elephant in the Room’ allows artists to let their creativity run free and interpret the theme in their own style.”

Artists should visit www.DowntownTylerArts.com and click on “Gallery Exhibits” and then “Gallery Exhibit Information for Artists” in the left-hand column of the page. That link will lead artists to a page that provides all of the information they need, as well as links to the actual entry service site.

The description for “Elephant in the Room” offers the following: “Be inspired to create artwork that defines a very large issue that everyone is acutely aware of, but nobody wants to talk about. Perhaps a sore spot, perhaps politically incorrect, or perhaps a political hot potato, it’s something that no one wants to touch with a ten foot pole.”

Gallery Main Street is a project of the City of Tyler Main Street Department in cooperation with the volunteers of the Downtown Tyler Arts Coalition. The Gallery opens a new juried exhibit approximately every eight weeks.

Information on Gallery Main Street hours and rules for entering the exhibit jury process can be found at www.DowntownTylerArts.com or by calling (903) 593-6905.

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Art

“Shape and Form” on Exhibit at Gallery Main Street

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Featuring Work by Jessica Sanders and Cierra McGuckie

An art show featuring two emerging local artists, Cierra McGuckie and Jessica Sanders, will open February 10th in Downtown Tyler and be on view until May 31st, at the Martin Walker Law Firm, 121 N. Spring St., Downtown Tyler. They will host the exhibit in its award-winning facility, which historically served as the Arcadia Theater but now serves as the law firm headquarters.

Pieces to be displayed at the show will include paintings by Cierra McGuckie and sculptures by Jessica Sanders. Cierra’s work comprises large-scale oil on canvas psychological portraits which depict fictional women from the mid century era. The paintings are reminiscent of the mood and color palette of that time. Cierra will be showing a new body of work within her series. Jessica’s sculptures and her practice are based on an assemblage of small handmade fired and glazed porcelain tiles using wire. The labor-intensive work generates fluid, fabric-like irregular shapes which are mounted on the wall creating abstract compositions.

The show is curated by Dace Lucia Kidd, who has recently produced second edition of the annual international juried Arcadia Art Show (AASH). The event has been sponsored and couldn’t be possible without the generous support of Martin Walker P.C.

For more info find it on Facebook or call (903)258-7274.

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Around East Texas

Moss: “Where Flowers are Fair”

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Moss-“Where Flowers are Fair.”

By Barbara Greenbauer

Imagine a business that creates floral works of art, that combines the heart and thoughtful mission of fair trade flowers.

In the heart of Tyler, two women are creating unique and earthy arrangements that are works of art within themselves. The mother-daughter team of Paige McGuffey and Meagan Lissner are owners who work in tandem, relying on each other’s strengths to provide East Texas with a new kind of florist.

Recently expanding from a 1,300 square foot space to their new current location – encompassing 4,000 square feet, located on Broadway Downtown – Meagan says, “We now have the space to really showcase all we can do and offer more classes and hands-on plant experiences.” The shop is indeed a family-run business. Front and center is Meagan’s great-great grandfather’s countertop from his grocery business, where the magic is created. “The front counter is almost like our own bar,” explained Meagan. The client can place an order, talk and watch and give input while we mix up our elements into a bright and beautiful concoction.”

There are lots of philosophies and visions woven into this flower business. When asked about the distinctive name, “Moss: Where Flowers are Fair,” Meagan responded “I just adore everything about the moss plant itself; it is so lush and gorgeous. But over and above that, the literal meaning for the word ‘moss’ is charity and is also the symbol for maternal love.”

Owning and operating a small business involves not only hard work and long hours, but for Moss, everyone is involved. From Meagan’s grandmother, to her husband and three kids (aged 5, 7, and 9), the whole gang is involved in this one-of-a-kind business. “You really have to be passionate and love people,” said Meagan. “It is worth all the time and investment to be able to do what we love. It can be a balancing act, but we all pitch in and make it work.”

Most folks won’t be familiar with the term fair trade flowers, but it is at the heart and soul of everything they do. 80% of the world’s flowers sold in the U.S. are grown in Latin America, South America, and Africa where female workers are often exploited to keep costs low, leading to severe abuse and mistreatment.

Fair trade creates a sustainable business model that guarantees social justice for the workers, and certified fair trade flower farms ensure the safety and good conditions for workers, which are typically vulnerable young women.“It can be difficult to find sources and farms that are certified, but we do our research, and our mission is to support something greater than ourselves,” explained Meagan. “We want to educate others to the plight of the workers and how we can make a difference.”

The arrangements that are created and designed at Moss are unique and no two are ever the same. The team hunts for seasonal and unusual flowers to create masterpieces that will have everyone in awe. “We want to create a piece that reflects you and in that way is totally unique in itself,” Meagan explained.

Client Amy Harbottle Carter said,“Their creative, organic, and vintage vibe is my favorite. Not only does Moss have gorgeous fair-trade florals, I can’t get enough of the shop’s collection of house plants, décor, gifts, and locally-made products. It’s reassuring as a consumer to know that shopping there is also an investment in an ethical and meaningful mission.”

You can play a huge part in the process at Moss. Come in with your dream and they can help make it happen. Bring in your favorite vase, pot, or container, and they can help you create a beautiful floral takeaway for your home, right then and there. Moss is known for their unique gift boxes, filled with coffee, treats, and succulents that will wow the lucky recipient.

Moss will work with you with blooms for your big wedding day, baby shower, corporate event, anniversary, or just a special gift to say thank you. Moss also has classes on all kinds of hands-on projects listed on their website at welovemoss.com. Grab a friend and come play with flowers!

Wandering through the shop is a feast for the eyes, with everything from fig trees, cacti, succulents and local pottery to geodes for terrariums and air plants.

Moss delivers locally, and gathers, forages, and hunts for local seasonal flowers that will really make your arrangements spectacular. They are truly excited about new ideas and visions, and will work with you through a consultation to pin down styles and colors, incorporating your favorite florals as well.

Frequent client, Traci Dixon sums up Moss,“I love the people and the heart behind this wonderful business. They are fabulously talented in handcrafting the perfect floral and greenery pieces with depth and character for everyone that walks through the door.”

They truly do design arrangements the way nature intended them to be. When you choose to shop at Moss, you will always get a thoughtful creation that is anything but typical.

For more information, call (903)787-8822 or go to their website at welovemoss.com. You can also find them on find them on Facebook at mosswhereflowersarefair.

“Moss: Where Flowers are Fair,” is located at 237 S. Broadway in Tyler. They are open Monday-Friday 10am-5:30pm, Saturday 10am-3pm, and closed Sundays.

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