This slogan isn’t exactly what you’d see posted in a typical art gallery, but Cambria’s Gallerie Lulu is anything but typical. Established by retired Seekers Glass Gallery founders Lynda and Mike Adelson, the gallery exists only for their pleasure.
For example, you won’t see just a few pricey paintings on the walls; but art crammed together until there’s little wall space left. Displayed are very eclectic pieces in bright colors; in media ranging from photography to multi-textured collages and note cards. Many creations combine photos, paint and fabric into works you’ll never find elsewhere.
What’s really unique is that prices range from $39 to $295. Lynda explains: “The only reason we’re selling anything is to cover our expenses. At this stage of our lives, we just want to play.” They would doubtless earn more if they elevated their prices so that they could rent a shop in a high traffic area, and consign art to urban galleries.
But the Adelsons are through with aggressive marketing programs. They sold Seekers in 2005, and are now benefiting from their vast worldwide travels. Mike explains that being in exotic places and meeting their flamboyant inhabitants has inspired their art and their inclination toward bright colors.
His framed photos depict subjects like Brazilian Carnival dancers and African women garbed in bold clothing and jewelry. Mike and Lynda haven’t seen much of the U.S. though, so they plan to go searching for domestic inspiration. The Adelsons are primarily self-taught through reading many art books, analyzing others’ work, mastering software like Photoshop and attending artists’ workshops on Crystal Cruises. Locally, Lynda credits prominent artists Art Van Rhyn and Jeanette Wolff as mentors. Wolff’s collage class was the springboard for Lynda’s bold adventures into media and textures.
Her studio looks like a cyclone zone, with bits and pieces of fabric, paper, buttons, thread, jewelry and newspaper clippings covering almost every surface. Lynda proudly proclaims that nothing is wasted, although she must take care not to overdo. “The scary part is determining when a collage is finished. There’s always the danger that adding just one more element will ruin the piece.”
This is especially concerning for a commissioned collage. Lynda showed me a lively one crafted around the photo of a beautiful young lady who had died. Her mother and best friend wanted something uplifting that included her smiling face and representations of her interests and activities.
If you'd like to view the “fun things that got dun” — Lynda and Mike’s avant garde artistry — visit www.gallerielulu.com on the Internet. Virtually every piece on their walls is featured. To eyeball the art up close, stop by their upstairs gallery at 2450 East Main, between The Olallieberry Inn and The Cambrian. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on most days, but calling 927-5800 first is recommended. Then stop by the Cambria Chamber of Commerce to pick up a Cambria Welcome Map, since it contains a coupon for 25 percent off your entire purchase.
E-mail Cambria resident, business writer and Chamber of Commerce member Vicki Clift at vlclift @charter.net.