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Category Archives: Staff Favorites

Rug Foliage

What Better way to get your home ready for fall than with a cozy and luxurious rug?  Here are some of our fall favorites, that will also work all year round. Choose from brilliant, highly pigmented hues, to rich, calming neutrals.

RZ40042__01670.1416433893.500.659ra39711__86832.1416420986.500.659

rc131011_28__67179.1416434965.1280.1280

rc33491__40256.1416420978.500.659rc131011-37__91644.1416420968.500.659
RR42537b__11003.1416434553.1280.1280

rfa36468__20927.1416420951.500.659rz33386__09519.1416420846.1280.1280

RR43769__68937.1436457592.500.659

RR42540b__50653.1416434556.500.659R4941__80465.1416433831.1280.1280

rj42661__33507.1416421364.500.659

rp42184__98573.1416420880.1280.1280r872__10364.1416421000.1280.1280

Style Saturday

A dreary Saturday is the perfect time to do some shopping. Luckily we have all sorts of new accessories to brighten your day, including heaps of handmade jewelry, kimonos and shawls. For some style inspiration, check out our own Mary Cashman modeling the loot.stitch 1 final

mary close up hat

Afgani necklace Lapis or dyed coral-43329
Vintage teardrop earrings– smooth glass set in brass, with gold plated hooks-43239
Patchwork Floppy Hate-43423
Stylish jacket made of cotton voile-43433
Assorted Rings and Bracelets

All available now in our showroom! Product number included for reference.

Handcarved Soapstone Supports AIDS Orphans

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Above: Mohr & McPherson’s store manager Karole Moe with students at the Okari School in Kinsii, Kenya.

Margaret Okari started taking in orphaned children when the AIDS pandemic hit Africa. She knew these children would thrive with education and the right advocates, so she searched for sponsors and boarding schools that would take the orphans in. As the number of orphans increased, so did Margaret’s dedication and ideas. Unfortunately Margaret died of hepatitis, but her sister Kwamboka continued to work towards their shared vision.

During the AIDS pandemic, Kwamboka Okari lived in America, importing soapstone from Kenya and selling it in upscale boutiques. Many of the soapstone carvers began to die, leaving orphans behind. Because of her work, Kwamboka was acquainted with the workers families and she used her network in America to help Margaret support and advocate for the children.

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Soapstone carvers at work on The Okari School campus. This tiny chair was carved for Karole to resemble the life-size one at the work site.

After seeing the success of the children who the Okari sisters had helped, the town of Kisii Kenya donated 5 acres of land to build a school, primarily for children who lost their parents to AIDS. They built classrooms, two dorms, and a dining hall. Today, the Margaret Okari Children’s School provides 200 orphans with a home and an education. Although there are many programs dedicated to helping orphans in Africa, the Okari School stands out because of its effort in providing a sustainable future to the children. They do this through a focus on education, health & human services, leadership and sustainability.

Our store manager, Karole Moe, spent time in Kenya, working as a teacher at the Okari School. The  school supports the local carvers by exporting their work and using the profit to support the school. We are lucky enough to sell a number of soapstone carvings at Mohr & McPherson.

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People have been working with soapstone for three millennia. It is a pliable stone used for carving and decorations. This art started in Asia – mainly China – and spread through the rest of the world from there. In ancient Greece, the Cretans used soapstone to make stamps and receptacles. The vikings used soapstone carvings in their jewelry. In Africa, Zimbabwe is known for producing many large soapstone sculptures. The height of Zimbabwe’s soapstone production was between the 11th and 16th centuries. Europeans began using soapstone in the 17th century, and the material became most popular during the Art Deco period between the 1920’s and 1940’s.

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Soapstone figurines,dishes, trays and display pieces available at Mohr & Mcpherson. 100% of profits go to supporting The Okari School.

Karole Explores Art Basel Miami Beach

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Just a couple of weeks ago from December 5 to December 8, art lovers from all over the world gathered in south Florida for the annual Art Basel Miami Beach. This is a festival drawing over 75,000 national and international visitors that showcases work from 250 of the world’s best art galleries. Referenced below is some info from the Official Basel website, explaining how Art Basel began, how it operates, and why it works so well.

History

In 1970 Art Basel was founded by Basel art gallerists Ernst Beyeler, Trudi Bruckner and Balz Hilt. At this time there were 90 galleries and 30 publishers from 10 countries who exhibited at the inaugural show.This first Basel exhibit drew 16,300 visitors. By the time Art Basel was 6 years old, it had grown to 300 exhibitors, which is where it stands today. In 2002, Art Basil debued in Miami Beach. This spot is considered the “nexus of North America and Latin America.”

“The show reflects the city’s multi cultural identity, presenting a diversity of work from the galleries and artists of the region. It immediately establishes itself as the premier show in the Americas, and ranks among the favorite winter-time events of the international art world”

The Role Of Basel

“The dynamic relationships between art galleries, their artists, private collectors and public institutions play an essential role in today’s art world, and connecting the international art community has been Art Basel’s goal since its beginning.”

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About The Shows

“Three annual shows bring the artworld together in some of the world’s most exciting venues: Basel, in the heart of Europe; Miami Beach at the nexus of North and South America; and Hong Kong, the gateway to Asia”

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Who Runs Basel

“Behind Art Basel stands a team of individuals with a range and depth of experience in the artworld and related disciplines. Each member channels his or her expertise into making Art Basel shows the most prestigious platform for artists, gallerists, and collectors. To learn more about our team, including employment opportunities offered by Art Basel and its parent company, MCH Group.”

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Many SOWA area gallery directors and artists were in attendance this year at Art Basel, including our own store manager and visual artist, Karole Moe. Karole jet-setted to Miami for a two day tour of the winter’s most exciting art festival and some coveted vitamin D… we are jealous! Here are Karole’s thoughts on what she saw, and some of the photos she was able to snap of her favorite pieces.

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Have you ever been to this show before?
It was my first time at Art Basel!

According to the internet, Miami Beach was crammed with around 75,000 spectators. Describe this scene.
The scene was CRAZY!  All kinds of people, artists and buyers alike.  In fact, each building had special “collector’s room” that I peeked into where they were serving dessert and champagne to those who purchased.

I know there were Several SOWA area galleries participating as well. Were you able to see their exhibitions? How do the Boston Galleries compare with what you saw from the rest of the world in Miami? Not better or worse, but were there any aspects that were different?
I did not see any of the SOWA galleries there but I do think that they would compete very well. After being at Basel, I confirmed that Thayer Street has a very good scene here!  Yay, for us!

Advice for anyone participating- anything goes!  The art was really wild.  Some of it may not be right for everyone, but super unusual.

In conclusion I would say that I wished I had gone for a week vs. 2 days.  As an artist and designer, I can never get enough.  Of course my head might have exploded after a certain point!

Favorites:

Yayoi Kusama – she is the polka dot artist from Japan… look her up!

Yayoi_Kusama

Markus Linnenbrink – The white art room- see the straws!

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The repros of Basquiat and Rothko made up of small portraits of themselves:

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 Pieces made up of moving parts and lights were also really interesting as well.

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAb10bCMLFE]

Warm, Plush & Unique Gifts for the Holiday Season!

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The weather outside is… actually not that bad. But if I know New England, it’s due to get frightful any minute now. Snuggle up this Holiday season with the fluffiest pillows, coziest scarves, and an array of ornate hand woven blankets, Indian fabrics, Indian Poufs, and assorted pillows!

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Hand Embroidered Wool Scarf/Shawl
India, $68
#40140

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Kantha Stitched Scarf, Kimono Fabric Edge
$65
#131106

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Kantha Stitched Blanket
India, 60 x 86, $125
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Embroidered Indian Poufs
$136

#NC39496

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Cotton Pillow with Design
18 inches, Thailand, $65
#40690

Blue Pillow with Feather Insert
18 by 18, $195
#41110

Assorted Pillow, Yellow Flowers
22 by 22, $225
#41071

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Silk Cushions
$19

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