CAOS breaks out in Tuscola art community

By Kayleigh Rahn
The local art scene is adding another shade of color to its canvas with the arrival of CAOS (Creative Arts on Sale (Street)) to Downtown Tuscola.

Owned by Gina Smith and Jeff Bell, the new studio and gallery will showcase handmade art in all its forms.

“We are going to be one-of-a-kind, exclusive artists,” Smith said. “If you buy a piece you will never get that again. Everything is handcrafted. Whether it’s handcrafted gloves, bracelets, or pieces to hang on the wall.”

However, CAOS will have more to offer than ready-made art, the crew will welcome guests to venture in for original commissioned pieces as well.

“Everyone here can refer everyone else for specialty, custom work, whether you have a painting or piece of furniture you have in mind–we can make it happen,” Smith said. “I want this to be place not only to buy art but to collaborate to create projects. We have so much integration here.”

Smith and Bell returned to Central Illinois five months ago after spending several years in Arizona. They came back to the area to reconnect with family and for the opportunity to grow their business. Smith and Bell will use the CAOS gallery as a showroom for FauxFection, a custom painting business that specializes in handcrafted finishes on home surfaces (walls, cabinetry, and furniture).

“We’ve done a lot of projects and a lot of homes, bars, restaurants, and we’ve been featured in a magazine,” Smith said. She uses VOC compliant, quality product, she added.

“We only use the good stuff; we don’t use anything that is toxic, no lacquers,” she said. “We just know it works, it bonds, it seals, it’s durable and reliable. We do everything modern, we keep up with the design industry.”

Smith raised her children in the Arthur area before moving to Arizona; however, she’s returned to be closer to her now adult children and grandchildren.

“I also didn’t have the opportunity to find a place like this,” Smith said of the 124 W. Sale St. building. Bell, who has spent his professional life as a contractor, has helped reorganize the space into a shop, office, storage space, and gallery space.

The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Dec. 6 edition of The Tuscola Journal.

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