Laura Brown Egan and Bailey VanKirk, co-owners of Desdemona’s
Lake Erie is a powerful inspiration for artists and those doing some exceptional work are represented by Desdemona’s Art Gallery in Marblehead.“We often hear new customers exclaim,‘You have such beautiful things!’,” said Laura Brown Egan, who co-owns the gallery with her daughter, Bailey VanKirk. The artists, who excel as oil painters, opened the gallery16 months ago with a dozen local artists.
“We now have 32 local artists consigning their work with us,” said Brown Egan. “We’ve worked hard to accept only the best work available in the Lake Erie Island Region, and we’re thrilled with the success we’ve enjoyed.”
Both owners can be found painting in the shop’s studio when they are not busy with clients or arranging the constantly-changing displays as artists bring in new pieces.
“We’re open through the holidays, and then we’ll take off January and February to recharge,” says VanKirk, “This time of year weekdays can be pretty quiet, but we don’t mind. It gives us time to catch up on our commissioned work.”
The focus of the gallery is to showcase art celebrating Lake Erie. Visitors will enjoy a wide variety of depictions of local landmarks offered in oils, as well as in watercolor and photographic prints and cards. The beloved Lake Erie sheepshead is represented by Beth Akins’ popular Lucky Stone jewelry. Denise Gallup creates fun earrings and pendants with beach glass.
The stable of woodworkers at Desdemona’s has grown to include eight talented craftsmen. Lake Erie driftwood is the medium for Teri Gannon’s mobiles and John Brabander’s vases and lamps. The lathe is the magic tool for Alex Matyus’s lovely candle holders and for Ralph Oxley’s gorgeous bowls. Terry Overmyer works in intarsia, (inlaid wood images), as well as using driftwood and beach stones to construct artful birdhouses.
Nautical tables and shelves that look like lap-strake boats are Greg Boltz’s specialty. Greg Funk also does furniture, repurposing teak swim platforms and hatch covers into unique tables. Paul Wilford completes the group with graceful, hand carved seabirds.
“We’ve started carrying a few books of local interest and would like to have more next season,” says Brown Egan. “We began with my husband D’Arcy’s vintage ‘Guide to Ohio Fishing’ then added Tom Koroknay’s great book on Lyman boats.” In August Leslie Korenko joined in with her four volume set on the history of Kelleys Island.
Desdemona’s is open every day except Tuesday. It is located in the same plaza as Allure Printing and the Canoe Club at Buck Road on Route 163.
Visit www.desdemonas.net for more information.