We're very excited to announce our latest collaboration with Well + Wonder, a collective that features artwork by emerging southern artists. With the help of the Well + Wonder team, we worked with Susie Bettenhausen, Kellie Lawler, and Melvin G. on a new pattern collection that turned their original works of art into textiles! Follow along to learn a little more about Well + Wonder.
First off, tell us a little about yourself and how Well + Wonder got started!
I am Mollie Creason, founder and Chief Curator of Well + Wonder Artist Collective. I am also a wife, Mom to two children who keep me very busy, a Southerner who lives back in her hometown of Louisville, KY and a lover of all things art and design.
I started Well + Wonder seven years ago after about five years of representing portrait artists and contemporary artists. As I helped friends and clients place artwork in their homes I heard the same sentiment over and over. “I am too intimidated to shop in an art gallery. I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like. I can’t buy original art – it’s too expensive.” I thought to myself there has got to be a way to showcase original art at various price points on an e-commerce platform. I also was very passionate about introducing the artist behind the work, and wanted to be transparent about what the inspiration was, why it costs what it does, etc. That is when we came up with our core philosophy at Well + Wonder. Art collecting shouldn’t be confusing or intimidating – it should be fun, soulful, and add to your sense of wonder.
I am incredibly lucky to work with a group of immensely talented women everyday. We are a team of four women at our corporate office and we represent nearly 40 female artists. And who doesn’t love being surrounded by original art and color each and every day?
How do you select the artists and artwork for your collection?
Great question! It’s tough. I’ve learned through the years that there is no shortage of talented female artists across the country as well as concentrated in the southeast and while I’d love to represent ALL of them I know that we must first best serve our current artists as well as our clients. Our clients love to discover new artists through Well + Wonder but they also love to continue to collect from one of their favorite long time Well + Wonder artists such as EmYo, Susie Bettenhausen, or Morgan Walker. When looking for a new artist I am looking for a fresh perspective - perhaps an artist that works in a different medium for example photography or ceramics rather than painting. I am looking for a style that I know our clients will gravitate to and I am looking for someone who isn’t afraid to take risks.
What is the benefit of buying art through a collective?
Buying through a collective should give a customer confidence that the artwork they are about to purchase has been vetted by a team of curators and the added bonus of course is the ability to continue to discover new talent and add to your art collection!
I liken buying art through a collective to working with an interior designer on your home or a wardrobe stylist for your clothes - we can help put your art collection together by giving you the confidence that the art you are investing in is right for you.
In your words, what makes Well + Wonder and Pepper a good fit?
I have long been a fan of Pepper Home and think our brands align so well with each other. Well + Wonder and Pepper both want to empower our clients to build a beautiful, comfortable home that can fully express their own design style. Is there anything more exciting to layer in your home than original artwork and beautiful textiles?! Artwork and textiles can help bring a space to life. And with this collaboration with Pepper the textiles are truly a work of art!
We loved working together on the Well & Wonder collection! Can you tell us a little bit about each artist?
Of course! Susie Bettenhausen is an Alabama native, who has lived in Texas and now calls the beautiful 30A area of Florida home. Painting and living near the beach and the water she considers an absolute dream and an endless source of inspiration. Susie’s work is constantly evolving while she maintains that when it comes to art and design I just freely create and set the rules aside. Being that she is both coastal and southern Susie says “the culture and soul in the south feed the imagination like nowhere else. Geography, water, and wide open spaces make their way into my work time and time again.”
Kellie Lawler is a Maryland born and bred artist who now lives and works in Anniston, Alabama. Kellie is inspired by structured design, patterns and textiles, and combines that intrigue with the freedom of a Picasso style continuous line technique to create a graphic perspective on human figures, nature and other subjects. This process offers both the recklessness in creating a subject in one continuous line without constraints of proportion or perfection. Instead, in the end, with its imperfect form, one of her paintings might unfurl differently in the viewer's eyes than it did in hers when it was created. That moment is when the imperfect form meets the perfect interpretation.
Morgan Walker, also known as Melvin G. is a contemporary artist who lives and works in her hometown of Florence, SC. The work created by Melvin G. focuses on control. She has observed the stark contrast of her late father’s awareness of his declining penmanship due to Parkinson’s Disease and with her young daughter’s oblivion to her lack of control. Morgan attempts to emulate the intentionality of his tiny marks with the freeness of her large chaotic scribbles into her abstract work. There is a beautiful and natural balance in the two forming a unique paper background, which she then cuts to form into collages applying a fresh form of control into each and every piece. Morgan received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Clemson University. She currently lives in Florence, South Carolina with her husband, Michael, daughter, Liza, and son, Ward.
Each pattern we created is truly a work of art! What is your favorite print from the collection and why?
Gosh this feels like picking a favorite child as I love them all!! If I must choose I’d say I’d have to go with Georgia. It is a print that I could see in any room - from a beautiful powder room to a primary bedroom, to a foyer. I love the elevated feel of Kellie’s print paired with that beautiful soft blue.
What advice do you have for picking art for your home?
Buy what you love and you will always find a home for it!