“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” is a mantra most often encountered in classrooms or on the side of recycling bins. But if you enter CJ’s Design studio you’ll find a collection of art on display that might have you reciting the three R’s of the 21st century.
  The collection, known as “Winhouse,” consists of a variety of handmade pieces created by local artists Susie Godwin and Lisa Lofthouse. Godwin and Lofthouse first partnered together, not in an art studio, but in a yoga studio. Lofthouse, who owns Breathing Space yoga studio on Raeford Road, first met Godwin when she began yoga classes several years ago. Their relationship quickly developed into a friendship in which both their creative natures found breathing space of their own.
  {mosimage}After returning from a trip to Paris, Godwin told Lofthouse that she wanted a creative way to showcase some photos she had taken on her trip. Lofthouse invited her friend “over to play” in her at-home art studio. The two discovered that their creative ideas inspired and enriched one another. They soon began to combine their efforts to create a variety of three-dimensional pieces showcasing photographs of some of Fayetteville’s best-known landmarks. Some of their early pieces can be seen at Huske Hardware and The Cameo Art House Theatre and can be purchased at City Center Gallery and Bookstore in downtown Fayetteville.
  Godwin and Lofthouse share a love for the eclectic, used, passed-over or discarded. Where most people see something worth throwing in the trash, these two creative conservationists see art in the making. After using local inspiration for their first efforts, they began to mine a different vein after visiting Tucson’s well-known Gem and Mineral Show last February.
  The two returned to Fayetteville with a collection of rocks, beads and ideas. They began to piece together some of their Southwestern treasures with Southeastern overstock, creating unique pieces that are a juxtaposition of time, place and experience, much like the artists themselves. Godwin, a Fayetteville native, enjoys adding touches of green and splashes of red to the pieces while Lofthouse, whose family is in the Southwest, prefers the palette of the painted desert.
  “One of us will start something and the other one will just add on,” says Godwin of the artists’ ability to build upon one another’s work. Their raw materials are as varied as their final products. They use overstock items such as cabinet doors, desk drawers and discontinued fabric swatches, as well as unique details — ranging from beads to keys to sticks they found in the yard. The overall effect is something that is completely unique.   Each piece is hearty, hand-made and hard to resist.
  While the artists are thrilled about their emphasis on recycling the once-used or overlooked, one thing they do not reuse are their ideas. Their pieces are as diverse as they are detailed. Some pieces, such as Mirrored Monks, are simple reflections of the peaceful philosophy behind their shared practice of yoga. Others, such as the piece Ab-Original, which subtly portrays the bold beauty of originality, are statement makers.
  For these artists, the creative process is their passion, their motto being “we’re happy to sell enough to pay for our art supplies,” which means that you won’t have to recycle too many aluminum cans to be able to afford one of their original pieces, which range reasonably from $25-$200. One thing is certain, with such a collision of creativity and conservation, the “Winhouse” collection will certainly have you recycling your smile.

Contact Meredith Mitchell at tim@upandcomingweekly.com

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