With remodels and build-outs at Aveda’s New Reflections Salons, the three locations in Plymouth, Maple Grove and Minnetonka were looking rather bare with uniform white walls and museum-like feel. Instead of buying generic pictures to hang, Linda Thomas, vice president of operations of New Reflection Salons, and her coworkers got an idea: coupling the everyday artistry of New Reflections’ stylists with prints by local artists.
“When I look at what they do every day they’re artists, hair stylists, nail artists... It’s really all about art and art is all around us,” says Thomas. “Yeah, we could buy something and slap it on the walls, but that’s not who we are.”
A fan of local art shows, Thomas reached out to local artists and vendors to get things going. After the first round of paintings went up in January 2015, more people expressed interest in displaying their work.
Oil painter and Japanese calligraphist Meiko Yamazaki heard about the opportunity through a friend and New Reflections client. Drawing from her emotions and memories, Yamazaki’s abstract paintings were on display for the winter at the Maple Grove salon location.
Normally showing her art in galleries and studios, she was drawn to work with New Reflections after learning of the joint support of the charity Hello Gorgeous. This national charity organization grants women who are struggling with cancer an opportunity to get away from their health struggles and enjoy a glamorous makeover spa day.
“I learned the proceeds for [artwork] sales would go to help people with cancer. I thought that was very good, so that’s why I’m displaying my work. I’d like to cheer people up,” Yamazaki says.
Throughout the year, New Reflections hosts several of these special salon days, often complete with a reveal party for the women, their friends,and family, says Thomas. All of the displayed art is available for purchase by patrons, with 20 percent of the sales benefitting Hello Gorgeous and the rest going back to the artist.
Another oil painter, Michele Combs, was the first to sell a piece, entitled "Minneapolis Skyline," through the local art displays. Combs first shared her art at the Ridgedale location, and has work on display in Plymouth for the spring. With an impressionistic style, her paintings often feature themes familiar to the area, with landscapes in and around the Twin Cities, nature landscapes, and other vibrant scenes, from farmers markets to florals.
“I love the outdoors and I’m attracted to a variety of things. Water is definitely one, whether the city lakes or a fountain,” Combs says. “I think painting is kind of a meditative good-for-the-soul activity, and I enjoy sharing and inspiring others.”
The local artwork displays have gotten positive response from salon patrons as well. “[Clients] love it. It’s a whole different conversation. A lot of times, they like it because it’s something new each time they’re coming in,” Thomas says.
For Thomas, the local artwork also reflects back on the artistry being done every day at the salon. The stylists and therapists promote creativity, curiosity and passion, in much the same ways as traditional artists.
Looking ahead, Thomas hopes the New Reflections program will become involved in the local art communities. She is also interested in featuring more art pieces of various media, whether painting, photography or weaving, she says, as long as it can be hung on a wall.
If you’re interested in featuring your work, contact Linda Thomas at email@example.com.
To see Meiko Yamazaki’s work, visit her gallery space at Homewood Studios.
Michele Combs’ work can be seen at the Northrop King Building, #391. 1500 Jackson St. Northeast, Mpls. michelecombs.com