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Artisan House To Host "Meet the Artist" Event In Las Vegas

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Imagine the thrill of being the "boy-from-New-Mexico-who-makes-good!" Of maturing from a 13-year-old by the moniker of "SLik" who experimented with graffiti art in Albuquerque's South Valley neighborhood, to the enviable position as one of the nation's top metal artisans and head artist for Artisan House, Inc.(r), California-based designers and crafters of unique, fine-quality metal sculptures for wall, floor, tabletop and table. Laidback and personable by nature, metal artist Shawn Coffey will drop by Artisan House's permanent Las Vegas showroom during the Las Vegas Market's summer show to talk about the comprehensive selection of metal art sculptures he has created for Artisan House. Artisan House president John Shilling is excited to give Coffey the opportunity to do his first official "meet and greet" with Artisan House customers. "We've received requests from clients to meet our artists since day one!" Shilling says. "Customers like to know about an artist's background and his or her inspiration for particular pieces. Since story telling plays a key role in interesting customers in our 'metalworks of art,' we decided it was time to have one of our artists share the Las Vegas spotlight." Coffey's Journey From Street to Studio Art As hip-hop music mushroomed in popularity in 1983, Coffey and his friends began painting their hip-hop inspired graffiti artwork. "I was given the name 'SLik' because I was a great color blender with spray paint - in other words, I was 'slick' with color. I painted on a wall in my local park and did some things I shouldn't have done," he admits. Eventually, local homeowners asked Coffey and his friends to paint the walls surrounding their homes to discourage local gangs from covering over their colorful artwork. "All in all, I'm thankful that I experimented with graffiti art because it really taught me how to use color." After teaching himself to weld and create metal artwork, Coffey left Albuquerque to travel the United States showing and selling his art pieces. Coffey's designs have been showcased in studios across the country, and more than 150 pieces of his original artwork are on display in private homes and businesses. Shilling "discovered" Coffey while was he was teaching art to sixth and eighth graders back home in Albuquerque. Recognizing his awesome talents, Shilling convinced Coffey to move to Burbank and accept the head artist position with Artisan House. Calling Coffey a "very gifted" artist, Shilling counts Coffey's use of color as one of his many artistic strengths. "Shawn is also very familiar with working on the shop floor and constructing his own metal art pieces. He knows what will and won't work in the construction process." As head artist, Coffey has also gained the respect and confidence of his fellow artists. "The team collaborates, shares in the creative process and other artists seek Coffey's opinion, especially on ideas related to color," Shilling says. Coffey Debuts Six New Designs for Las Vegas Market Artisan House will offer Las Vegas show attendees a rare opportunity to meet Coffey and view his featured works - including his latest pieces created especially for the Las Vegas Market. Coffey's new sculptures include a trio of the firm's first-ever table art sculptures. Made of brushed stainless steel, these cool and contemporary pieces include the "Cubicle" and "High Voltage" coffee tables and "Free Flow" sofa table. "This Summer" is Coffey's follow-up piece to his exceptionally popular "Last Summer" flip flop wall sculpture introduced by Artisan House in Spring 2008. Coffey created a "family" of flip flops - new, brightly colored and ready for the summer season. "I wanted it to look like a mother, father and son just got to their beach house and kicked off their flip flops at the door." "The Odd Cup" is Coffey's four-piece wall art rendition of silhouette clip art that features three white coffee cups and a single black one. "I made this design just so people would ask, 'Why did you paint one black?'" Coffey laughingly says. Standing an impressive 4' tall, Coffey's "Ring Toss" (shown above)is a freestanding sculpture that can be placed indoors or out. Coffey says that a childhood game of ring toss and the rainbow of colors at a carnival were the inspirations for this piece. Retail prices for sculptures in Artisan House's 2008 collection range from $395 to $1,500. For Fall 2008, the company will introduce 45 new pieces at High Point. In the future, Artisan House plans to schedule additional "Meet the Artist" events for other company artists. Artisan House pieces are sold in home furnishing stores, art stores, outdoor furniture stores, and at billiards, pool and spa retailers. Commercial customers include major department stores like Nordstrom, restaurants, bars, hotels and casinos. The firm's permanent showrooms are located in High Point (IHFC Design Center, Space D208) and Las Vegas (World Market Center, Space A-300). Artisan House has also exhibited at the Tokyo Furniture Market; Interiors Birmingham; Atlanta Gift Market; New York Art Expo Show; Maison et Objet; ASEAN Furniture Show (Singapore); Ambiente Frankfurt; Furnitex, Melbourne; and Interiors UAE (Dubai). For additional information about Artisan House, contact the company at 800.354.6873 or artisanhouse.com. About Artisan House, Inc.(r): Founded in 1964 by partners Jerry Fels and Kurt Freiler and headquartered in Burbank, California, Artisan House designs and crafts unique, fine-quality metal sculptures for wall, floor, tabletop and table. Sculptures are handcrafted of rich metals like copper, bronze, brass, steel, aluminum and chrome. Each piece is hand finished with intriguing surface treatments, paints and patinas. The company's vibrant, versatile designs have been recognized as multi-dimensional "metalworks of art." Artisan House has successfully closed the gap between pricey offerings from exclusive art galleries and mass-produced decorative pieces by creating original sculptures with unparalleled designs at affordable prices. The result infuses today's indoor and outdoor environments with dazzle and dimension.

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