Evanston artist gets national exposure from Crate & Barrel
National retailer Crate & Barrel selected one of Jodie Richter's works, a painting of an orange poppy, to appear in the company’s fall catalog. | Bob Seidenberg~Sun-Times Media
NAME: Jodie Richter
BEST KNOWN AS: Crate &
Updated: October 15, 2012 11:18PM
EVANSTON — Like many artists, Evanston’s Jodie Richter has used a number of different venues to get her work out to the public.
Over the years Richter has exhibited her work at the Chicago Botanic Antique and Garden Fair, Randolph Market, Lake Forest Antiques in the Field, even in shows at her coach house.
She recently found another venue, much more by chance.
National retailer Crate & Barrel selected one of Richter’s works, a painting of an orange poppy, to appear in the company’s fall catalog.
“It’s a little surreal,” she said. “This was something I didn’t see coming down the horizon.”
The company is featuring the artist’s 44-inch-square giclée print of an orange poppy in the catalog, as well as its stores.
Moreover, Crate & Barrel has purchased additional paintings from the artist to be played up in the future.
Richter said a Crate & Barrel representative stopped by her exhibit at the Chicago Botanical show a year ago in April and showed interest in her painting of a poppy.
She exchanged emails with the company off and on going on six months, and then came the request: Would she send the original painting so it could be scanned and printed?
The print, presented in a white mat framed under glass in matte black wood, is priced at $499.
The poppy was not drawn wholly from imagination.
“It’s actually a poppy flower that grew in my garden,” Richter said.
She explained: “A lot of my work is from observation even though it comes out looking somewhat abstract.”
Another work Crate & Barrel plans to feature is a blue prairie thistle Richter harvested from the side of the road and placed in her garden.
Richter, 43, started a small antique business in Evanston following a career as a teacher. In 2003 she graduated from the School of the Art Institute’s Master of Painting program. Her drawings are not strictly representational, “but for me it’s actually truthful or honest to what I saw or experienced.”
Key “is really listening to what is important to me in the making of art,” she explained.
She uses calligraphy ink painted with a brush to produce that lush effect. She buys her multipurpose paper from Dick Blick’s, Evanston’s downtown art store.
Some of her work is on exhibit at Shine, a store on Green Bay Road in Highland Park, described as holding a collection of acquired objects, vintage and antique furniture, jewelry and art.
Still, it’s hard to top national exposure.
“One gentleman from Philadelphia said ‘It’s hard for me and my wife to agree on any artwork,’ ” Richter said. “He said ‘I’ve tucked money away to buy this picture. It’s really charming.’ ”
For more information go to Richter’s store website, http://www.welcomeshine.com and also http://www.houzz.com/pro/jodie-richter/shine.