Blog

The Ordinary

My mother always says, “Ordinary Moments make extraordinary memories.”

And of course, she is right. 

joy-comes-to-us_brene-brown.jpg

Over the past month our city, state and coast endured extensive damage from Hurricane Florence. One of the moments during Florence that stood out to me the most was seeing my homeless friend take cover in a huge single concrete construction pipe. The lined up electrical workers in their ready-preparedness trucks moved their equipment over to her pipe to help stake down her tarps and give her extra shelter. These were the same men who laid tire tracks out so she could plant her garden several weeks ago. 

Really? Yep. 

To these workers, these small acts may have seemed like an ordinary moment.....but for this woman, she was seen, she was noticed. 

Extraordinary moment. Check. Little things. Truly. 

What ordinary moments have your witnessed that you would you say helped shape the person you’ve become? 

Andrew Leventis’ solo exhibition “Mise-en-Scène” is about the ordinary. He has this incredible way of capturing moments from documentaries and films, and realistically pulling you into the scene. The moments he captures on canvas are the ‘missed moments’ or moments you may not have been most impressed by when watching the film. These seemingly mundane moments are the ones that mold the person, the movie, the character and the narrative. A recent study found that our mundane experiences may actually bring unexpected happiness in the future. We remember via Instagram and Facebook all the ‘big things’ – birthdays, weddings, births of our children, hospitalizations, tragedies – all usually captured on our phones. Surprisingly, research has found that when reminded of the small moments through discussion or reading old journals, THOSE reminders of the ordinary bring us the most joy.

Andrew Leventis : Pretty In Pink .PNG

Andrew’s work is an intense reminder of the true beauty we can discover within ordinary moments. 

Soccer carpools -an hour away 4 times a week? Bring it. Mama will sip on some tea and savor the ordinary.

Andrew Leventis: Tea .PNG

“Enjoy the little things in life...”- author Kurt Vonnegut.

Unfettered

Robert Boyd's solo exhibition 'Unfettered' is quite meditative and leaves collectors lingering over each piece. Introducing his solo show during the start of Fall season, was undoubtedly perfect timing. 

Unfetter | un·fet·ter | verb | past participle: unfettered | release from restraint or inhibition

Disappearing and Forgetting | Robert Boyd | 40x40 | Mixed Media on Panel

Disappearing and Forgetting | Robert Boyd | 40x40 | Mixed Media on Panel

 

On a personal note, the past two months were extremely emotionally tough ones for me. (Hello, My name is Hannah, and I've been defined as an empath.)  We sent our oldest off to UNC Chapel Hill, and an individual we care deeply about (who is homeless) was lawfully and gently evicted from her home and gardens of 6 years under the bushes of uptown. Salvaging possessions from her haven right before I saw it bulldozed down nearly ripped apart my heart and rocked me to the core. 

Out Of Reach l Robert Boyd l 40x40 | Mixed Media on Panel

Out Of Reach l Robert Boyd l 40x40 | Mixed Media on Panel

Unfettered. It is a reminder of letting go of things that you have zero control over. Letting go of things that control you. Letting go of loses, disappointments, fears, judgements, perfection, or even the past. 

To instead, be rooted with unfettered faith, and discover an inner peace that has been patiently waiting on your arrival.

Finding contentment. Peace. Ease. (I call that God). 

Salt & Shadow | Robert Boyd | 60x48 | Mixed Media on Panel

Salt & Shadow | Robert Boyd | 60x48 | Mixed Media on Panel

One can certainly see traces of Rothko's expressionism in Robert's works. His sultry colors and textures will have your inner voice screaming, "I need a comfy bench, please." This body of work is a reminder of contentment and releasing all those things that don't serve our well being. 

I can't control how late our daughter stays out at night, or how many times in one week she eats at Al's Burger Shack. I cannot control the fact that our homeless friend choses to live outside in the freezing cold, or the fact that she refuses medical treatment. But I CAN easily get lost in Robert's works, and rediscover that peaceful rhythm of my breath.  

Find you inner unfettered beast. She releases. She refuels. 

She wins. 

Sozo Gallery's Gift Guide For The Person Who Has Everything

Having trouble finding the perfect gift for that one person who has everything? Sozo is here to help! We've compiled a list of small works by a few of our awesome artists, that anyone would be thrilled to have waiting for them under the tree! 

BJ WEEKS | Hazel 1, Hazel 2, Hazel 3 | 12x12 | $150 ea. 

MICAH CASH | Overpass 8x8 $200 | Spillway 6x8 $150

ARTHUR BROUTHERS | Ecosystems 13.5x13.5 $545 framed | Rivers in the Sky 13.5x13.5 $545 framed | Study 3 6x6 $150 | Study 7 6x6 $150

LAURA McCARTHY | Remnant IV, Remnant V, Remnant VI | 10x10 | $100 ea.  

BRUCE NELLSMITH | Cross Configuration XII 13x15 $450 | Kite 12x12 $125 | Native 12x12 $125

DENNY GERWIN | Handmade Ceramic Cups | $48 ea. 

DENNY GERWIN | Handmade Ceramic Cups | $48 ea. 

CURT BUTLER | Epicenter, framed, $350 | Bechtler Museum, framed, $350

Inhale - Exhale

Inhale, Wan Marsh

Inhale, Wan Marsh

Merry Christmas! As we come to the end of 2015, I wanted to express how overwhelmingly grateful I am. Despite losing my father this year and some other recent family medical emergencies...I look to hope. And gratitude. And breathing. 

Breathe. 

(If I were to write a ‘braggadocious’ Christmas letter…here’s how mine would go this year.)              

I lost my beloved father this year to Alzheimers yet he leaves with me the legacy of remaining a faithful servant to God and charged both Charles and me (at our rehearsal dinner) to forever be Good Samaritans. (If you need a sweet snoozer...I’ve got the 20 plus minute video of  for proof! He could talk. :) ) In May we watched him take his last breath on earth, as he gained his first breath in Heaven.

Shoulder surgery in November took a toll on my physical spirit leaving me without my most addicting and beneficial love of Yoga (the asana part at least…the physical practice) But no one can steal my 'yoga breath'. 

A week ago my dear mother was just diagnosed with a large carcinoid tumor (cancer) in her lungs. You should see her tackle her lung 'exercises'. Believe me, YOU are no match for my Mama. 

Breathe. 

I've attended labor classes on all 4’s learning how to breathe through childbirth,  pranayama training through my yoga teacher Johnna, and paid money for a workshop on breath work from Johnathan Winn. I even heard Brene Brown recently speak on breath work. Box Breathing…In for 4 seconds, Hold for 4, exhale for 4. Try it. Like now. 

Breathe. 

It gives energy, helps us sleep better, aids digestion, lowers blood pressure and stress level, improves our awareness and even our personal relationships. I've got research to prove it. 

Despite the detours life brings, our Sozo business has tripled, and we continue to plant our roots into Uptown. At Sozo we commit to leave an imprint not only on the collectors that run through our doors and easily whip out their credit cards, but also to the friends on our streets that huddle under bushes for shelter and deserve more than any of us have to offer. We are forever indebted to our incredible team of artist, our collectors and our community of friends.  Here's to a peaceful Christmas full of hope, laughter, and memories. 

Remember.... “inhale for 4, hold for 4, exhale for 4."

For the Spirit of our God has made me, and His breath gives me life.
— Job 33:4

-- Hannah and Gracie 

Exhale, Wan Marsh

Exhale, Wan Marsh

Our 5 Senses and Art

Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.
— Oscar Wilde

Recently our family of five road tripped to Charleston (home of my college alma mater). As we crossed over the infamous bridges into the Holy City, I rolled down the windows and breathed in that magical sulfur breeze, instantaneously dropping my blood pressure and soothing my soul. “NASTY!!!…..OOHHH….roll up the windows MOM…WHO passed gas?!” (they used another word/I don’t like to repeat) Seriously children, that stench does not soothe your hormonal teenage souls? 

Tragedy.

Fall has arrived and I’m feeling a bit nostalgic lately. My sweet hubs caught me red handed last week with bathroom doors closed, sitting on the bathtub, and crying. I was sniffing (totally legal kids) my Daddy's after shave and craving his scent, his strength. I needed him near me. 

Fall is the time to harvest and reconnect with our sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. We all have certain senses that ‘take us back’ to a prior time of either freedom (childhood/college), relaxation (BC- before children), tension/heartache (poor relationship decisions), bliss/happiness (beautiful relationships), or ecstasy (non proper posting material or possibly retirement/ traveling)? 

Cool breezes and the smell of Tea Olive (it’s blooming now folks) -smell of security- my parent's bedroom (they had it planted all around their windows and frequently kept the windows up)

Hearing Prince and The Revolution- High School cheer routines/and thinking we ‘owned’ it. White gloves and all. I can still recite parts of 'When Doves Cry'. (but it would take a few martinis to show you)

Sound of a steam escaping the hole of a pot lid…the ‘dinging’- please be my Mom's infamous homemade vegetable beef stew

Smelling like The Bus Station- (for real) the best meat and three in Winnsboro….and the scent identified where you've dined

Musky scent of Bonfires- Beachside college Oyster Roast (heaven)

Halston cologne for Men- boyfriends that broke my heart (stench) 

A whiff of Mustela baby lotion- sweet days of mothering a newborn

Hearing Bagpipes - my father’s graveside service

Experiencing these senses is exactly how we want you to feel and experience art. We intend you to feel freedom, relaxation, ecstasy, and help take you to a place in your past or possibly a place you’ve never been. We all have different time periods of our lives that molded us into the beautiful human beings we are. Art can be enjoyed as a sentimental reflection, a mystery, thought provoking or a hope for something new to experience. I challenge all of you to ask yourself these questions next time you ‘double take’ a piece of art. What do I SEE? What do I TASTE? What do I FEEL? What do I HEAR? and What do I SMELL?

When you purchase a piece of art from us, we want you to connect to your senses every single time. 

work by Mary Rousseaux 12x12 

work by Mary Rousseaux 12x12 

Don’t wait for a tragedy, or a loss, or a clean or quiet house, or to be ‘perfectly’ organized to relish in your 5 senses. Pop your trunk, pull up your soccer sideline chairs in your yard this evening, and huddle up with some loved ones. Enjoy the sight of our lunar red moon and let us know what you experience.

Consciousness is inherent in each one of us. 

Be alert.  Connect to your senses. If you're having trouble, let us know. Pop in to Sozo and we'll help you explore.

But let's keep it real. You are not allowed near my after shave.

Preconceived Notions

I was a big surprise for my parents. My mother always wanted a big family, but after 3 children and a few miscarriages they thought they were 'done'.

Mama turned 40, her father passed away, her mother was dying and their nest was full with a 15, 13, and 9 year old. And BAM!...they were blessed with MUAH. When choosing a name for me, my mother wanted to name me Caroline, and the rest of the crew 'out voted' her and named me Hannah (after my Mama). So she lost. (and, today as a mother myself, I'm like 'WHAT??'...I think push votes outweigh sibling votes any day.) 

In the south we true southerners name our littles after a family member or a biblical name.

Period. 

We don't choose a name by the place we 'fell in love' or our favorite actress or the month we conceived. 

Growing up with the name Hannah was pretty cool. Then my friend Esther ruined it. 'Hannah the big fat banana'. Violin~ please. I was the one who had to order her clothes from the Chubbies section in the back of the Sears Roebuck catalog. (for real) I won't even go into detail what we called Esther. (despite the name rants, she is still one of my oldest, truest and dearest friends)

Hannah (already dreaming about colorful Art Basel Miami) and Esther /circa 1974 or so

Hannah (already dreaming about colorful Art Basel Miami) and Esther /circa 1974 or so

This month Sozo is introducing Wan Marsh at Sozo and she is fab. Before I met Wan I envisioned a tee-tiny petite hispanic or oriental gal with beautiful long black hair, quiet in nature. Right?

Far from it.

Wan is a primo talented abstract artist. Her background is in interior design and she is a gardener and giver to nature and birds. She is a HOOT. Wide open, full of life, bubbly, in LOVE with what she does (people like that give me the biggest high), over 50 something years old, confident and curvy.

She's the type that likes an ice cube in her chardonnay. Sassy and owning it.

After being rejected from show after show she decides to change her name. And then the magic began.

She dropped the DA.

Wanda became WAN overnight. Wan was accepted into the next highly acclaimed art show and won 1st place. She's been on fire and selling to collectors all over. 

Garden Path 60x48~ Wan Marsh

Garden Path 60x48~ Wan Marsh

You must stop by Sozo and check out Wan's layers and layers of mixed media and collage fabulousness this month at Sozo. And please don't forget about inviting your friends named Linda, Sandra, Brenda, and Wanda. 

No judging here. 

My nieces (and sisters/one of them named Hannah Brown/refer to paragraph three and Ruthie) are due with their 4th and 2nd babies just a few weeks a part. Not too many good names left on the ole' family tree. We're down to Killough (pronounced KILLA) Ivor, Gladys, and Narcissus. 

I'm voting for Killough. Killough Henry to be precise.

Preconceived notions? Ehhh.

Nobody's gonna push that boy down on the playground.

It Takes 2 To Tango

Juan Francisco Adaro…Juan Francisco Adaro…Juan Francisco Adaro…..

Drop your southern accent, throw in a little latino flavor, say his name over and over and BAM!….you will instantly fall in love with him. Besides the fact that he's (sort of) tall, dark, crest white teeth and ultra handsome….he's one heck of an artist. Born and raised in Argentina.

He's Sozo's vintage artist with a unique flair of modernism. His works are charismatic with life and big energy. The three dimentional touches are the extra bonus that bring his babies to life. It's like the toy in the box of cracker jacks or the prize in the bottom of the cereal box. (what happened with that?) Wooden wine boxes. Juan Francisco's wife Brooke is a sommelier and has a plethora of them. By carving the boxes with just the right curves and touches, Juan Francisco magically adds these to his canvases and TADA! the works come to life!

To top that- he's adopted a mantra that he sings while he paints. Even better, (settle down ladies) it's an Argentina tango love song. Poorly translated into english it's basically….

'First you suffer, then here you learn to truly love, next you learn how to let go, and finally you can just 'be'.' (and yes, I shared this in a yoga class I taught)

Most of his works have these soulful words around the edges written in his fluid spanish handwriting. You can truly feel his paintings and each one tells a different story.

Wooden boxes bringing canvases to life. Ying and Yang. Peanut butter and jelly.

Art collectors, REJOICE!

Tango anyone?