The Power of Imagination Captured in Glass
Arleen and Michael work as a team in the design and creation of their line of handcrafted stained glass art jewelry. Arleen has been an artist all of her life. For many years she filled her palate with various paint mediums and, now, she paints with glass. “Glass gives me boundless artistic potential. With an unlimited array of hues, textures and patterns, I am able to produce one-of-a-kind creations. I recognize that I am creating each piece for a special individual. It is such a joy when the jewelry and the person come together.” Meet the Parkers this weekend at the Siesta Fiesta!
Arleen Parker’s art career began at age four when her Grandfather, who was in the scrap business, would bring home boxes containing treasures which would stimulate her imagination. These surprise boxes contained everything from feathers to sequins and lace which Arleen would in turn design her “art projects”.
Arleen studied art at the University of Cincinnati. In 1982 she developed a line of hand painted apparel which was carried by Macy’s. Her love of painting spread to canvas, as well as faux marbling endeavors. She was introduced to stained glass by her good friend and artist, Denise Cahill. Denise would always say that ” I taught Arleen the basics and she flew with it.” Arleen constructed larger stained glass windows and doors. This art form evolved into smaller wearable pieces of art glass which she currently exhibits. Denise died of breast cancer in 2007. Arleen contributes a portion of each show to the Susan Komen Foundation for the Cure in her honor.
Arleen showed her art at local shows in and around Atlanta for many years. One day in 1998 she mentioned to her husband, Michael, that she would like to travel and do art shows all over the country. He said, Sounds great, let’s do it”. The rest is history. The Parker’s travel year round from southern FL to northern MI and points in between under their canopy named “Serendipity Studio”.Serendipity means an “unexpected gift”. When designing a wearable piece of art, we never know who it is being made for. It is always a “Serendipity” when the piece chooses its owner.
The name Serendipity came to us this way: On the day we discovered our dream home in the North Georgia Mountains (June 1988), our horoscope read, …”seek to live your life as in Serendipity!” When we pulled into the driveway of the last home the realtor had scheduled to show us, the house sign read “Serendipity”. Somewhat in shock, we looked at each other and said, “this must be home!”
Arleen and Michael also give glass “wish stones” to their show visitors. They are told to make a wish on their stone and told that every time they do a good deed they can make another wish. They are also told that when they touch their wish stone, they show be grateful for something. This custom began the week after September 11th. The Parkers estimate that they have given out over 50,000 wishing stone.
“Never Let Go Of Your Dreams!”