GIFTWARE NEWS

January 2003
Vol. 28 No. 1

Class of 2003
An ongoing series profiling the stationery industry´s newest additions.

By Pamela Graves

This edition of the "Greeting Card Gazette" celebrates 2003 and all the new products awaiting us during the early spring selling season. And the first installment of "The Class of 2003" follows suit, introducing two artists worth watching this year. So here they are ... the first Class of 2003.

Carol Wallace is a gallery and commission artist recognized for her ability to recreate not only the character and beauty of historic places, but also their hidden dimensions, whether it is the mystery of an old barn or the romance of a Victorian cottage. One senses the people who have passed through, and imagines what might have occurred there.

"I try to capture the romance of a country lane or the mystery of a weathered barn," Wallace says. "I want to inspire people through my art, to search within themselves and bring back their own memories."

Wallace found a way to combine her interest in travel and historic preservation by creating the Preserve America Collection in 1998. The Preserve America Collection is an exclusive line of note cards and posters. One of her partners in this venture is Crane and Company and their printing division, Excelsior Printing Company. Much of the artwork is reproduced onto three-paneled note cards by Crane. Other prints are commissioned by owners of historic properties in America.

The collection "tells the stories of Americana" through art and written history. To do this, Wallace travels across the country to find interesting stories of history and preservation, and does paintings and drawings of the various sites on commission.

One of each of the prints in the collection is used by the Smithsonian Institution´s National Museum of American History (Cultural History Division) for research and educational purposes.

Wallace´s elaborate watercolor and pen-and-ink poster, "Historic Bucks County" is in the permanent Poster and Print Collection of the Library of Congress and is sold throughout Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Her 2' x 3', two-sided "Country Stores of Vermont" poster, which was formally introduced at a press conference by Vermont Governor Howard Dean, is in the collections of every school and public library in the state of Vermont.

Wallace´s inspirational travels have taken her to all corners of the United States. The artist has explored Red Rock territory in Sedona, "got her kicks on Route 66", and rode an antique steam train 400 feet above the Animas River to a remote resort in the heart of the San Juan Mountains near Silverton, Colorado.

In addition to private, corporate, and public collections, Wallace´s watercolor paintings and pen-and-ink drawings, produced through her own Sycamore Studio, have been published onto book jackets, wine labels, calendars, menus, limited edition prints, posters, travel brochures, cookbooks, stationery, and note cards. A new venture is her recent collaboration with a stationery store in Washington, Connecticut, to offer one-of-a-kind social stationery and holiday cards in limited quantities -- a unique concept that the artist plans to spread to other locations this year.