Leaving a print on Eau Claire


Photo by Elizabeth Jackson

Story by Katie Bast, OP / ED Editor

There are two sides to every art scene, Volume One owner Nick Meyer said. There are the artists and there are the art appreciators.

Meyer said Eau Claire is rich with talent on the artists’ side, but it goes unnoticed too frequently. That’s why he started the Ink and Paper sale last year.

The 2013 Ink and Paper sale opened Friday with more than 100 local artists and 400 original titles on display and for sale at the Local Store and Volume One Gallery, which Meyer also owns.

“We were wondering, ‘What’s the way we can expose the most artists to the most people all at once?’ and that would be doing a sale like this during the holidays,” Meyer said.

Anything that is ink on paper qualifies, Meyer said. This means the works are affordable, usually between $15 and $50. Prints of photographs, screen prints, wood-cut prints and many other types are available. There are several copies of each work.

Last year, Meyer said the Ink and Paper sale sold quite a bit and the gallery only keeps a small portion of money earned.

“Thousands of dollars went back to the artists from the community,” Meyer said.

The Ink and Paper sale is one of several events Volume One sponsors to support local art. By hosting events such as Chalk Fest in the summer and poetry readings throughout the year, Volume One strives to expose the community to art of all kinds.

“People are always really in awe of what these people are producing right in front of them,” Meyer said. “A lot of people might assume a smaller community like Eau Claire wouldn’t have a robust art scene, but when they come to a thing like this and get out of their routines, people are floored at what can be made here locally.”

While Meyer said the art gallery scene may seem intimidating, for those with a keen eye for art, gallery openings have an exciting purpose. Erik Johnson, a senior graphic design major at UW-Eau Claire and a Volume One employee, got an early look at what was for sale and attended the gallery opening to get some hard to find prints by one of his favorite artists.

“I also want to check out a lot of the local artists and prints,” Johnson said. “I’m very interested in print-making. I think Eau Claire’s art scene is really poppin’ right now as far as music and every aspect of art. There are a lot of events that are really bringing artists together.

Meyer said it’s difficult for the community to be exposed to very much art if they aren’t seeking it out, but said events like Ink and Paper try to get people familiar with art as an entertainment option.

“A lot of art shows have a really fun energy about them,” Meyer said. “You can show up whenever you want and leave whenever you want. You get a bunch of food and some wine or punch and take a look and go.”

As a local artist himself, Johnson said he recognizes the importance of having support.

“I know how hard it is as a starving artist to make money,” Johnson said. “I can connect with them on that level.”

Odrok Osirion, an artist involved in the sale, was in line to buy a piece of art by a friend, the same friend who originally informed him of the sale. Osirion thought it was a good opportunity to get his work out there.

“Otherwise we’re all just slaves to the daily grind,” Osirion said. “We don’t get to live our lives and imagine and be the beings on this planet we’re supposed to be.”

Osirion said his favorite part of being an artist is allowing others to interpret his work.

“Being able to convey messages from your brain that you can’t put into words and letting other people expand on those with their own (thoughts),” Osirion said. “A lot of art doesn’t exist until it’s shared and that’s a gorgeous thought.”