Fair Fellow Coffee showcases local artist
TNE Editor

Fair Fellow Coffee showcases local artist

Published 9/6/16

Kelsey Baucom

TNE Writer

Many coffee shops have become a hub for local artists to meet and share their work with the community. Musicians and poets perform on open mic nights, and painters and photographers showcase their work in galleries. One of these shops, Fair Fellow, strives to support locals in Tulsa by facilitating a way for different artists to be featured each month.

“We have a program in which we try to do an artist of the month,” said Taylor Mitchell, Fair Fellow employee. “It can be canvas paintings or photography or textiles, anything really. There’s a wide variety of stuff, but we try to keep it consistent and interesting from month to month.”

The artist of the month for September is a Tulsa-based photographer named Emily Steward. Steward does a wide variety of different types of shoots, but her passion lies with music and concert photography. This month-long showcase at Fair Fellow gives her the chance to have her work shared with others and sell prints from multiple different local bands she has photographed at shows. This gallery is an example of one way community members can show support for their local artists.

“There’s always going to be artists who are really well-known, but I think it’s really cool to give people who don’t necessarily have that platform a chance, because there’s so much untouched talent,” said Steward. “Since I’m a local artist, I always try to support local art.”

Aside from attending showcases such as this one, there are many ways to focus on local artists and support them. In the music scene, this means attending shows, purchasing music or merchandise and sharing the bands with others.

“When it comes to supporting local photographers, that means paying for photoshoots, like family photos and engagement shoots, which helps photographers pay the bills so that they can do what they love,” said Steward. “Buying prints of something you saw on their site or on Instagram is helpful, too.”

Supporting local artists is beneficial to the artist, as well as the person investing in the art. Getting involved means fostering a community of creativity and passion that grows in one’s hometown.

“Not only are you feeding back into your community, but it’s also really rewarding to see people chasing after what they love,” said Emma Watts, Tulsa-based music photographer. “I’ve met tons of people who I’m now friends with in the local scene, and we all support and encourage each other. There’s no downside to showing your locals some love.”

Since artist-of-the-month Emily Steward is so passionate about local art, last year she started a blog called OK Hustle. The blog focuses on local artists, especially musicians. It also spotlights local businesses and features different articles about music outside of Tulsa. However, the main focus is on music in Tulsa and the surrounding areas.

“I care so much about the local scene and about giving these artists publicity, so I started OK Hustle, which is a project dedicated to local artists,” said Steward. “It gives them a chance to do interviews, have show reviews and to have a more professional way to spread their name around.”

Steward’s photo gallery will be on display at Fair Fellow for the duration of September. A special showcase will take place from 5-7 p.m. Sept. 15. She will be at the coffee shop with prints and other smaller items for sale. There will also be an acoustic performance by The Lonelys, one of the local bands that Steward features in her gallery.

Fair Fellow is located at 1 N. Lewis Ave. in Tulsa.

To learn more about Emily Steward and view her portfolio, visit www.emilysteward.com. To read her blog, visit www.okhustle.com.

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