River Arts District artists Lori Portka and Suzanne Armstrong invite art lovers to their Art of Joy Party during Second Saturday festivities on May 11. Their Riverview Station studios will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the event, which includes refreshments and special pricing. The two are “art besties” who met through social media years before they ended up with studios across the hall from one another.
“When I’m connected to my own joy, that’s when I feel most alive,” says Armstrong. Her So Totally Sue HeARTspace Studio is filled with wearable art, her original line of clothing, and, now, products such as pillows and totes with the same funky, whimsical color vibe. She calls her wearables Clothes Encounters Clothing—“colorFULL, creative and comfy clothing for every BODY.” People coming into her studio are attracted to the colors first, Armstrong says. “Color gives me my zing, a word I use to explain the feeling I get when I’m inspired, when I feel intense joy, when I know I’m aligned with my best self.”
A painter, Portka also describes her style of art as “happy, colorful and joyful.” She named her business Lori Portka – Happiness Through Art. Besides paintings on wood panels and canvas, she has developed a line of art, gifts and home décor that is carried in about 175 gift shops, boutiques and wellness centers in the US.
These days she is focusing on creating a “bright and powerful series of larger paintings. I love working really big and have found that painting large has a stronger impact visually and emotionally on my customers,” she says. “Plus, it is more fun for me!”