Linnaea’s Cafe held its Hang it All event this past Sunday, inviting local artists to display their original artwork to sell. “There are so many different perspectives of unbiased art,” attendee Thomas Zaldivar said. “It’s probably one of the best gatherings of community support. It’s a cool way to reach out to the community and give to the artistry and talent out there.”
Linnaea’s Cafe’s doors wouldn’t open for another 10 minutes, but men and women of all ages had already begun to queue before the coffee shop. They stood impatiently, muttering to each other and gripping large boxes, garbage bags and frames filled with their original artwork.
A woman with short, silver hair swung open the front door. Wearing a utility belt, rectangle-framed glasses and a bright purple shirt, she addressed the line of people.
“I’m doing things a little differently this year,” Linnaea’s Cafe owner Marianne Orme said.
Orme went on to describe to her audience the new and improved organization of Hang it All, the cafe’s annual informal local art show, held this past Sunday night. Contributing artists were to enter the shop’s dining area and hang their pieces on the walls in designated areas, as opposed to its previous 19 years, in which they would simply hang their contributions wherever they seemed to fit.
“No matter how much art we get, we’ll find a place to put it on the walls,” Orme said.
On the back of each contribution was an informational card including the artist’s name and contact information as well as the name of the piece and its price, she said. Buyers would simply remove their purchases from the wall and place their payment in the piece’s corresponding envelope, attached to the wall. All profits would go directly to the artists.
“It’s to support local artists and promote the giving of art for the holidays,” Orme said.
Each contributor is limited to two original pieces, each of which must be priced below $100, she said.
Orme stepped aside and artists filed into the narrow coffee shop, pushing past the then-closed register and counter and gathered in the dining area. In the large, square dining room, tables and chairs normally clutter the floors and frames crowd the walls. For Hang it All, however, the tables were pushed into the center of the room and most of the house’s usual artwork was cleared from the walls, replaced by two rows of hanging wires with hooks attached to their ends.
Each artist claimed a hook or two and began hanging their art.
Motown hits streamed from the coffee shop’s speakers, drowned beneath the crowd’s murmur of comments on one another’s artwork. Pieces of praise occasionally jumped from the hum of voices — exclamations of, “Oh, that’s fabulous,” “This is a magnificent piece,” and “You’re so talented.”
No two artists’ works were alike. Pieces on display varied from tapestries, to photography, to canvas paintings, to sculptures. One artist’s contributions consisted of cut-up cardboard strips, arranged in frames to look like the faces of a king and queen.
Orme buzzed from person to person, helping hang art and answering questions for artists from all levels of experience and pretention. An artist interrupted one of Orme’s ongoing conversations with complaints about the color of the walls.
“Excuse me,” the artist said, “This color looks really terrible next to my piece. Can I hang a piece of white paper behind it instead?”
While Orme did what she could to accommodate the requests of more seasoned artists, she was also in the presence of contributors with no prior art show experience whatsoever.
For local artist Matt McGill, Hang it All was his first public show of his artwork, even though he’s been drawing since he was three.
“I’ve just never been offered before,” McGill said.
McGill heard of Hang it All from a friend, who signed him up for the art show.
However, McGill forgot about it until the day of the event, at which point he dug through his artwork and grabbed two contributions at the last minute, he said.
McGill didn’t know until his arrival that he was supposed to title his works, so he was brainstorming names for them. His pieces, both large, framed drawings, hung side by side in the corner of the dining room. The piece on the left was a comic book-style collection of drawings of women, who McGill said were his close friends. He decided to entitle it “Femme Fatale.”
“They represent strong women,” he said. “They all have strong personalities.”
The piece on the right was a black-and-white drawing of a woman’s face, her mouth set in a stern line and her hair blowing in front of her eyes.
The woman was McGill’s ex-girlfriend, with whom he remained friends, he said.
The drawing, created after McGill and his girlfriend broke up, originated from a photo taken when they were still dating. He wanted to call it “The Past Never Changes.”
“We’re both different people,” McGill said. “We both changed after the relationship, but we look at what happened fondly, even though it didn’t work out.”
The drawing was a tribute to the relationship, he said.
McGill enjoyed the variance in the event’s art display.
“I love the mix of everyone’s different styles and mediums,” he said.
Local musician Thomas Zaldivar attended Hang it All in support of McGill, he said. Although Zaldivar’s art medium of choice was not fit to be hung on a wall, he wanted to be there for McGill’s first art show.
“He’s always gone to my stuff,” Zaldivar said. “And he’s vastly more talented than I am.”
Zaldivar said he appreciated that Hang it All gathered so many different types of local artists in one common area.
“There are so many different perspectives of unbiased art,” he said. “It’s probably one of the best gatherings of community support. It’s a cool way to reach out to the community and give to the artistry and talent out there.”