CHERRY’S ART EMPORIUM – PART ONE
Conversations are rich and pleasurable when we connect with others about what we most love.
In this first year of our marriage, David and I are beginning our mornings at 4:44 a.m., so we have plenty of time to talk over coffee and set our tone before stepping into each new day. Informed by our shared passions, our early morning chats (and
On a recent morning we touched on the value of a good pair of wool socks in winter and whether to have cranberry chutney on or beside our breakfast toast spread with avocado. David mentioned Magritte’s painting of a dress form with the anatomy of a naked woman. He spoke of the wood art he’s been working on and the new molding he wants to use to frame the painting underway on his easel. I told David how much I enjoyed painting the pet portrait commission I completed as a Christmas gift for a husband to give to his wife; I spoke of my excitement to begin my newest series of works on canvas to be titled “My Husband’s Elegant Body”; and I mentioned my delicious art-centric conversation with Cherry Babcock.
Cherry and I are two women with full lives and a shared passion for art. With both of us constantly twirling in our unique spheres, our opportunities for connection and conversation don’t come around often enough, but when they do they are wondrously satisfying. Fashion, food and art are typical themes for us, too.
A couple of years ago, on one of those first spring mornings when the chill still stung our cheeks, we sat on the bench outside the Deli beneath the gentle warmth of the welcome Saturday sun. Our time was brief but sweet.
Cherry told me of her extended Florida sojourn replete with ball gowns and jewels. I spoke of my years in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village designing for a small fashion house specializing in women’s fancy occasion frocks. We talked of the pleasure of a good bowl of hearty soup. I mentioned my art-in-progress and up-coming exhibits at artCentral. Cherry shared her delight for the new artists coming into her stable.
A few days ago we set aside time to meet up and have an extended visit. Settling into one of the lush sofas in her spacious gallery, our thematic conversation continued as though we’d never stopped. Members of her staff and a few customers stopped by with questions and comments. The interruptions were simply modest pauses in the flow of our dialogue.
With regard to fashion, we compared notes on the advantages of different hairdos. With a coif worn long, a ponytail is always an option, while a good cut can make a short style quick and easy. Mostly our extended talk time centered on Cherry’s candidly responding to the questions I asked about her current innovations and future plans, all of which revolve around the art and the food she’s loved all her life.
Growing up in Carthage, Cherry was eager to leave as soon as possible. “I felt so limited and confined,” Cherry explains, “I just had to get away and experience the thrill of adventure.” She did. Her wanderlust landed her in Ocala, Florida, where she spent eight years sampling “a society life”. She also began her forty year love affair with art after discovering the enchanting feminine prints of Louis Icart and the brilliant expressionist colors and suggested action in the works of Leroy Neiman.
Asked why she left her exotic Florida adventure and came back to Carthage, Cherry muses, “I had to go away to know I wanted to come home. Being away I realized how precious home is and how much I loved Carthage and how much I wanted to surround myself with the support of my family—those people who know me best and always have my back.”
Cherry’s first Carthage frame shop and small art gallery were in Lemasters Home Decorating. There, as in all of her business undertakings, Cherry relied on the lessons she learned from her businessman grandfather, owner of Cantrell’s Seed House. He taught her at an early age the importance of customer service and treating customers really well.
Next week I’ll give you more of Cherry’s business backstory that’s led Cherry to her remarkable business unfolding and expansion that Carthage is witnessing on the square through Cherry’s visionary endeavors.
For now, remember to mark your calendars! artCentral begins our spring exhibition season with a blockbuster! Friday, February 2nd, 6:00-8:00 p.m. is the Opening Reception for “Art Speaks”, the stunning, not-to-be-missed mixed media collection presented by the Joplin Regional Artists Coalition.