Betsy Lenora, Owner
All my life I have been involved with creativity in some way or other. I've taken many classes but essentially I consider myself self-taught. I come from a creative family. My great-grandmother sewed in order to raise her 2 daughters. My grandmother went to the prestigious Pratt Art School in NYC before settling down to raise a family. My mother was involved in craft projects, sewed clothes, took oil painting classes...it's too bad that in those days the women ended up stuck raising families. But at least my mom tried to express herself artistically. And she encouraged me, too. My father was a woodworker, like his dad before him. Of course, he had to earn a living so the woodworking was a hobby. My 2 sisters have been creative thruout their lives. Right now, the younger one is making button 'paintings'. Amazing to see. I admire them for all the projects they've completed while working and raising families.
My appreciation for the craft world dates back to an experience I had when I was 12. I went with my mother to a craft festival where I was amazed by the beautiful and interesting hand-made objects. The feeling was transforming, almost magical. I came home with a ceramic incense holder that I still treasure today. Little did I know that the craft world would be my future career.
As a child I drew constantly but later, in my early 20's, my attention "focused" on photography. It gave me instant gratification to be able to capture my view of the world's beauty. Reflections in puddles and other forms of water became my way to interpret photography in a very realistic and yet impressionistic, painterly way. I've had several solo exhibits and won Best of Show for my surrealistic "Fish-Wall-Art", and had 2 pieces accepted in the Danforth Museum's Photographers' 2001 Show.
My professional experience in the world of fine crafts began in 1994 when I started working at the award-winning Cambridge Artists' Cooperative in Harvard Square. We selected, displayed and sold the work of over 200 artists in a wide variety of media. I was involved in helping choose the work for the store and, for seven years, I managed the gallery.
As the new owner of Blue Cloud Gallery in Somerville, I am looking forward to incorporating all the knowledge I gathered while working for so many fine craftspeople in the past. I strongly believe in promoting local artisans, and am thrilled to bring their talents to the attention of my customers in the form of unique, handcrafted gifts that they can't find elsewhere. My personal expertise as a fine art photographer gives me a strong visual sense perfect for designing displays for art and craft work so as to show it off to its best advantage. As I curate the work for my gallery, I specifically look for fine workmanship, salability and especially, uniqueness.
owner, Blue Cloud Gallery