Today we’d like to introduce you to Vanessa Parker.
Vanessa, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
After years in the civil engineering business as a computer draftsman, I had the opportunity to change careers. My husband signed me up for a silversmithing class through the Art League of Houston and I was hooked. From that point forward, I educated myself in classes, learning new techniques in jewelry making to enhance my designs. I joined the Houston Gem and Mineral Society and the Houston Metal Arts Guild to further my experience.
I started my own business and began selling my work at local craft shows, but my ultimate goal was to get my jewelry into Houston-area galleries. In the last fifteen years, I have shown my work at the Houston Potter’s Guild Shop and Gallery, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Rotunda Gallery, Hanson Gallery, 18 Hands, and Sugar Land Art Center and Gallery. I am now in my sixth year at Archway Gallery and, as of this year, am a featured artist at the Eastman Gallery. I live in west Houston with my husband and son, and I market my work under the name Betoj Designs, an acronym for “Better Than an Office Job.”
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I am a jewelry artist who incorporates many different aspects of jewelry making into my one-of-a-kind art jewelry pieces. I am a trained metal smith. I have studied the techniques of Precious Metal Clay (PMC), Fused Glass, Enameling, Wire Wrapping, Keum-boo, Lapidary, Faceting, Chasing and Repousse, and Cold Connection Riveting. I enjoy escaping the hustle of everyday life by disappearing into my studio and allowing my creativity to flow. I love making a connection with customers when they see something I have created they just cannot live without. “That’s what it’s all about: bringing joy to people through art.”
Have things improved for artists? What should cities do to empower artists?
Houston has a wonderful arts scene. There are many venues, both large and small, available for artists to show their work. The internet, however, is a double-edged sword. Yes, it provides a platform for any artist to show and sell their work. But at the same time, local galleries–where you can visit and see actual artwork in person and interact with fellow artists and enthusiasts–struggle for attendance. Sadly, several well-known galleries that I aspired to join have closed down. I believe a person-to-person connection between an artist and a buyer is important and is missing with internet sales. Personally, I would love to see more artisan markets where the focus is on handcrafted work.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
To view my work and stay informed on upcoming events, visit my website: betojdesigns.com.
You can see and purchase my work, visit:
- Website: betojdesigns.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org