Blog

To Be Healed

Our petite art gallery is blessed to call Uptown home. 

We pride ourselves as a splash of creativity in a part of Charlotte known for pristine, bustling streets and shiny windows. But, Sozo is more than that. 

During our three years in Uptown, we've learned to seek and strive to do more than selling 'great art'. 

We are community. We are relationships. We are love. 

That's the Uptown we call home and this is the Uptown compassion we will continue to perpetuate...

Healing Water, 24x24, Wan Marsh

Healing Water, 24x24, Wan Marsh

Gracie, Hillary and I have grown so much from our friendships with many of our fellow small business owners, homeless neighbors, CEO executives, janitors, bank managers, servers, hotel managers, and chefs -- all of different races, ethnicities, and religions. 

All of us are hurting to see our beautiful city in this turmoil. 

We are firm believers in healing. And, that's our prayer. 

In fact, that's our name. 

Sozo in Greek means to be healed by God. In Japanese, it means artistic and creative. Our petite gallery is not only a haven of creativity, but it is also a haven of healing. 

Sozo = healing.

This healing now must start here, in Uptown.

We are committed to using our gallery, and our relationships, to heal our beautiful city-- to heal our home. We hope you join us.

Be creative. Be healing. Share compassion. Share empathy. Share Love.  

We'll Figure it Out

Parked, waiting by the train tracks in a field for my friend and her dog. I wait. I breathe my deep yoga breaths and I pray. Some call it Dharma. I call it Jesus and Yoga. It's basically connecting and compassion. (the root of dharma)

I see her figure in the distance, hobbling along with her two walking canes and her sidekick and trusty dog companion. My mouth curls up into a smile and I exhale some relief. She's safe. She's here, and today we get to just be and enjoy our passion together.

Art. 

We got our own private tour of Matisse's works at  The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. She's 5'5, thin and in her oversized plaid shirt, dirty apron, scarf and hat-- her hands covered in old paint and she carries the aroma of earth. Me- 5'8 and curvy, dressed 'down' for comfort, palpating heart, anxious and hopeful that today we'll laugh some more, learn together and most importantly build trust.

blog-2015-03-10-bechtler.jpeg

We studied Matisse's works, enamored with the love he had (like my friend has) with poetry, read poetry, and savored his use of figures and introduction of modernism to our world.

He created most of these works from his later years in his wheelchair. I noticed the tilt in her head and how her eyes light up when we discover this. This was a period of intense suffering for Matisse. His artistic cut-outs were created while confined to a bed or wheelchair, hiring assistants to help him and using a long stick to draw and point. Despite the physical agony Matisse endured during the works' creation, they appear as boundless and carefree as freed animals in a colorful field.  

Tears filled my eyes and my stomach had that heart wrenching gut pang. I cannot even explain the deep correlation here. If you don't get it, please repeat college Psych 101. 

After she selected a book on Matisse's art, I bought it and told her we'll share it and study more of his works and his figures.

Together.

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Trust and friendship.  I'm sure we'll figure it out.  

While we're on the topic of FIGURES. New York City's claim to fame, Inslee Fariss' figurative drawings are on display starting March 27th. Bold figures with brilliant bright ink designs. Elegantly full of heart and emotion. Please join us and meet our darling new artist Inslee at her artist reception on Friday, March 27th from 530-830. These figures will fly out the door.

No doubt Henri himself would have been impressed with Inslee's figures.

I'm also betting money he would have joined our laughter and conversations today at the museum while reviewing his works and would have been the type of artist to roll up alongside my artist friend and relate. And paint. 

Together. 

You Can't Always Get What You Want

I know, I know. Rolling Stones again? It seemed pretty fitting considering Christmas is over and by the looks of our children's faces  I should have blasted that song throughout our house Christmas Day.

Brown (10) wanted some hi-tech smart soccer ball that measures how fast it's spinning and it's trajectory, Charles (13) wanted a Go Pro 4, and Virginia (16) all she wanted was a car. I mean 'Like, EVERYONE else gets a car when they turn 16!' Right? Just to clear it all up…Santa brought none of the above. 

I remind them of one of my favorite quotes by Pablo Picasso. "One of the greatest things in life is to find your true GIFT. The purpose of life is to give it away." They roll their eyes and insinuate I've been doing too much yoga and overdoing it with the kombucha consumption. 

All I wanted for Christmas was a hormonal free home with no fighting and everyone to stay out of Mom and Dad's shower and stop using MY towel, no double dipping in the peanut butter jar, and peace and love and harmony. Right?

… But if you try sometimes, you just might find ... you get what you NEED. 

We at Sozo got to enjoy the beauty of the season uptown (not downtown) in Charlotte. Besides 'making the sale' and breathing a sigh that we can still pay a steady salary to our new gallery coordinator, Annemarie Weekley, we got to see and experience some fabulous things uptown and 'got exactly what we needed'. 

We gained new friends-ones that bought and ones that couldn't quite yet. We connected more with our uptown executives, restaurant owners and managers, hotels, and builders. The wait staff and chefs give us the royal treatment when we dine with them.  But even better, we know our security officers and janitors by name. We've purchased hot meals for homeless friends and 'bought art' so they could buy a bus ticket. Our reception bartender is now like our sister and she has a testimony that will blow you away. We've helped start Grier's Gallery at Hemby Children's Hospital and Blume clinic and have seen firsthand the effects of art therapy on children and how creating helps with their suffering. 

We are representing some of the finest and most soulful artist in the US and Canada and have made some tremendous connections all over the world. Nope, I haven't paid off college for our three and still haven't remodeled our 1950's bathrooms, and Annemarie isn't buying her first home yet, however in 2014 we got what 'we need'. 

New friendships, relationships, Gary's gold tooth smile, encouragement, tears of joy, catching a glimpse of a child's toothless grin while creating art after receiving their 14th round of chemo, uptown breezes, and Port City Java's unsweetened apricot iced tea. 

Sure, I'd love to buy our sweet 16 a new car and pay in cash! But, working hard gives us exactly what we need. 

Experiences. LIfe. Messy homes. Too many take out meals. Relationships.

And some pretty good damn art.

Grateful and excited for what 2015 brings and hoping we all 'GET WHAT WE NEED'. 

Gift Giving

Christmas morning circa 1975. Santa delivered a 3 story barbie dream house, WITH an elevator. Hands down the BEST.GIFT.EVER.  

My bff and next door neighbor Abby and I would spend countless hours playing with that dream house.  As we grew up we moved on to performing 'live' shows on our swing sets for the entire neighborhood (and yes we sold tickets), Wonder Woman, Lost In Space in our tree fort, and then acting out Charlie's Angels (while we fought over 'The Six Million Dollar Man'). Sweet childhood memories. ...and why ask?! Of course I always got to be Farrah! We waded through the streams in our hood (and found a missing 2 year old boy/that's another blog) rode bikes uptown without helmets, and spied on neighbors.

Abby and I spent hours in the kitchen making magic healing potions of oil, flour, salt, and sugar for our friend Bozi (our sweet 70-something year old neighbor) who was dying of cancer and actually allowed us to spread magic 'potions' on his skin.

We wanted to heal him. And we believed we could.

Sozo's heart was stirred up a bit this fall (I like to claim the Holy Spirit) and decided to move forward with an idea and do a little gift gifting ourselves. 10% of all our sales this month will go to Cookies For Kids Cancer where 100% of funds go to research in finding cures for pediatric cancers. 

Carmella Jarvi is an outstanding fine art glass artist and former art teacher who has been working incredibly hard on her masterpieces. You won't find glass with outstanding colorful layers and detail anywhere else in NC. She's even prepped some works with extra orange layers honoring our special friend Grier Christenbury and CFKC.

Carmella Jarvi fine art glass details

Carmella Jarvi fine art glass details

We don't have magic potions for sale or salves that claim to cure cancer, but we have created something (along with one of our new favorite peoples Trish Rohr and Rohr Rockstars) that we are incredibly proud of. Through faith, visions and a little yoga we're creating grier's gallery at and grier's gallery artist residence program at  Blume Pediatric Hematology & Oncology and at Hemby Presbyterian Children's Hospital.  We want to remember our hero Grier Christenbury, his love of art, and keep his ongoing legacy and spirit alive through this gallery. The awareness of pediatric cancer that he and his family have brought to Charlotte and the Carolinas is unfathomable.

So do come out on Friday, November 14th from 530-830 and find inspiration through this fine art glass made right here in Charlotte.  Help support these programs, do a little Christmas shopping and give one of the best gifts that keeps giving and giving.

Healing art. (no salves needed)

Juan Francisco Adaro: Dec 4 - Feb 28

Opening Reception: December 12, 2013

  • cider + cookies: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • wine + cheese: 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Exhibition continues through February 28, 2014.

Juan Francisco Adaro is an Argentina-born painter living in Florida.  We are thrilled to exhibit his multi-media works in Charlotte.  Please join us for one of our opening reception gatherings! 

Learn more about Adaro here.
Find and share this event via Facebook here.