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Multi-room 'Function and Design' exhibit highlights innovative interior art

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Function and Design
Opening reception 5 p.m. Friday
On display through March 27
[Artspace] at Untitled
1 N.E. Third
www.artspaceatuntitled.org
815-9995

Statement-making homeowners willing to pay more to ensure their decor does more than fill space have an opportunity to see innovative, unique creations from local artists who collaborated for "Function and Design," opening Friday at [Artspace] at Untitled. Unlike 2009's "Dinner in the Deuce," which featured artful dining room tables, "Function" spreads the vision to the rest of the house.

"There are six different rooms that you would find in a house," executive director Jon Burris said. "Each room has its own group of artists that drew upon their own strengths in terms of types of design. Some might be doing textiles, some might be dealing with glass and they will be making everything that goes into the room. The rooms will have more of a dramatic character to them. Our media room has a futuristic, almost sci-fi feeling. Our dining room has a Moroccan theme."

A unifying thread of recycling and sustainability tethers the rooms together. One takes the theme quite literally as Rick and Tracey Bewley joined with six other artists to produce an entire living room set "? from ottomans and chairs to end tables and floor textiles "? using found or recycled material.

"We used this as an excuse to do some things we've never done before, such as creating some floor clothes out of printed canvas, so we have a giant picture on the floor," Rick Bewley said.
"The couch and chairs Tracey and I designed were well out of what we normally do, since we are typically glass artists and mixed-media artists."

Every element featured can be purchased separately, with prices ranging from under $100 for decorative pieces to $6,000 for a sofa. Bewley admitted that finding the right price point for each piece was tricky.

"It's a balance since it took a long time to produce, but nobody is going to pay a million dollars for a couch," he said. "We want to sell it. All our art is priced to move, since there is no reason to make more art if it is just piling up."

Bewley believes there is a demand for handcrafted furniture in Oklahoma City and is toying with the idea of sectioning out space in his studio to sell furniture made by local artists. Burris agreed that there are a number of buyers looking to skip the big-box retailers in favor of something more interesting.

"There is an advantage to offering something unique and we are an arts center and these are artists, not furniture manufacturers," he said. "These are unique pieces that are not mass-produced"? you are going to get a unique bed. You can really come in and buy an entire bedroom set that will be unique, or just buy pieces and create your own space from these different rooms.""?Charles Martin

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