Forever in our thoughts. 

This Memorial Day we honor those who fight for our freedom. And this year, this rememberance means so much more, after a young soldier we know, who recently passed in Iraq, was buried in Arlington Cymetary.  


Please take a moment to thank a member of our armed forces and remember how lucky you are to be a part of this great nation. 

And to those celebrating this long weekend, please do so safely.

Our showroom will reopen Tuesday at 10am. The steve mckenzie’s team looks forward to seeing you then!

Awards abound for steve mckenzie’s!

We’re feeling pretty astounded here sitting on the heels of two amazing titles awarded to steve mckenzie’s!

Steve & Debbie with their ASID Silver Award

A recent kitchen in a full home remodel project recently received the ASID Georgia Chapter Design Excellence Award, Residential-Kitchen, SILVER AWARD!!


Steve McKenzie, along with Debbie Blumencranz of Design Galleria, are honored to have their “Baking Kitchen Remodel” project granted the ASID Silver Award!


The big feature for this kitchen is the light blue La Cornue stove in a 1910 Candler Park home. The full project was highlighted in this Style Blueprint feature!


Another thrilling accolade for our team here – Steve specifically – was a top recognition in a floral design competition. After taking a class in floral composition with Christy Griner Hulsey of Colonial House of Flowers, Steve, along with his classmates were given a design challenge. They had to use Mayesh Wholesale flowers to create a stunning arrangement in a caraway vessel from Accent Decor. As one of only two non-florists in the group, Steve wasn’t sure of his chances, but low and behold – he won!!  Follow along on Instagram for more design details.

Each of these honors was such a wonderful surprise and really sweetened our summer!! Reach out to the team here at steve mckenzie’s if we may be able to bring a little of our award winning style into your space.

Who you NEED to meet: Elizabeth Fowler

We’re absolutely delighted to introduce you to one of the most exciting artists to come out of the South in some time, Elizabeth Fowler! And we’re even more excited to share that we’ll be hosting Elizabeth’s art debut in Atlanta on June 8th – mark your calendars now!!

Elizabeth is fun, dynamic and her work will have you using all the heart eye emoji’s you can handle. She’s a true professional; absolutely polished and totally poised for even bigger and better things. We’re thrilled Elizabeth will be showcasing some of her work at steve mckenzie’s and wanted to give you a glimpse into who she is before the big debut. We hope you enjoy this latest installment in our “Who you NEED to Meet” blog series!

Elizabeth Fowler

Elizabeth Fowler lives in Jackson, MS. She graduated from The University of Alabama with a degree in Communication and Information Sciences. She began painting in March of 2016 and has since held successful pop up exhibitions at the Mississippi Museum of Art After Hours series, Courtney Peters Design and Adam Trest Home.

In 2016, her work was included in the Fondren Renaissance Foundation’s annual Cedars Juried Art Show and she was named one of Portico Magazine’s 2016 Artists Rising. This year, Elizabeth was included in the self-portrait exhibition at Fischer Gallery in Jackson.

sm’s: Can you please share a bit about your background/how you started/how you started Elizabeth Fowler Art and how you gained the courage to break out on your own?

EF: I spent the first 13 years of my career in marketing project management, client relations and new business development. I’d always had a desire to do something more physical and more creative. To create a “product” of some sort. A little over a year ago, I left my marketing post not knowing what my next step would be. The main goal was to focus more acutely on raising my 4 year old daughter, nurture my true self, better support my husband and pay more attention to our household. But mainly nourish my then-depleted soul.

I really wrestled with what I would “do next” to make a mark, prove value or justify existence. I received the greatest gift of all…. the luxury of rest and the ability to wait. I thought about going back to school but wasn’t sure how I’d select between multiple interests. I thought about beginning to write but wasn’t sure what my goal would be with the writing and frankly was afraid I’d get lost in my own musings. Then, I remembered painting. I chose painting because I thought it might be the most reasonable way for me to export parts of my spirit.

There were many fears. But, I realized that I really had nothing to lose and just went for it. In short order, I had sold several paintings and was very encouraged to keep going. The work just started pouring out of me. The act of painting was so meditative and healing for me and I loved that it opened me up to so many new relationships with other artists, collectors, etc.

One year later, I realize that this year of painting, resting, trusting has been the best year of my life. That joy is the fuel for growing my body of work and continuing to stretch my abilities.

sm’s: What inspires you/your art? 

EF: Wow. So much.

I’m inspired by materials and processes. I love nothing more than testing new materials and processes.

Other artists. The more I paint, the more I hunger for imagery created by others.  I love it when I think that I’ve seen great art and then I’m introduced to a new artist and my entire paradigm for “good work” is shattered and recreated.

I’m inspired by beautiful weather. I paint out of doors at my home. The light filtered through the tress in my backyard on a 70 degree day is irresistible.

I’m inspired by the forces behind the development and sustenance of the natural world.

I’m also frequently inspired by Instagram photos before they fully load. You know when they’re still blurry and abstract. The most mundane subject matter becomes SO visually interesting when blurred! I always want to paint after seeing those — thank God for slow internet connection!
sm’s: What is your vision, not only for the Elizabeth Fowler Art brand, but also the individual pieces you create?
EF: I don’t consider myself to be a brand. About 8 months ago, I tried to think of myself/ my work in that way and I learned that it took the life out of it for me. So now, I just paint what I paint. Even though my pieces vary in color and theme, they usually all carry the mark of my collective experience. I’m not sure quite how that happens, but the marks end up relating all of my paintings to each other.
I paint intuitively, so I don’t go into a body of work with an expectation or vision. Correction…. Sometimes I do and my intuition takes over, yielding something that in NO WAY reflects my original intention. The piece comes out and it is what it is (forgive the overused expression!). What I hope for each piece is that someone will be drawn to it, appreciate it, buy it and enjoy it.

sm’s: Do you have any “mainstays” in your work – is there something you’re always drawn to? 
EF: If you asked my mentors and art advisors, they’d say “YES!” but, my answer is that I’m so new at this that I couldn’t say there are elements that I cling to. Of course there are tools in my kit that I pull out. Drizzling, dripping, spraying, doodling.
sm’s: What are the differences in your collections – i.e. how do you create such unique pieces that remain a part of one, cohesive line? 
EF: I  paint collections in sessions. On any given day, I’ll put down 3-10 pieces of paper or canvas and paint in succession until they’re complete. Once those are finished, I really can’t replicate it. The work itself is a record of the weather that day, my mood and the materials that were available to me at that moment.
The pieces are cohesive because they all come from the same point of origin, me.

sm’s: What do people need to consider when looking to purchase one of your pieces? 

EF: I think that the only thing that is required to purchase one of my pieces is connection. A connection with the piece. The owner’s connection with the piece, which might be completely different from my connection with the piece. The painting is like a person…. It’s allowed to have different connections with different people.

The second thing that would be nice is a connection between the buyer and me. I love people. I love when I really get to know who they are. I realize that the more work I sell, the harder it’ll be to truly connect with every buyer. But I’d love it if that were possible. I want people to look at my work in their space and feel a warmth because they love the work but also to feel as though they’ve purchased a spec of my being and are able to celebrate the moment I made the piece.
sm’s: What’s on the horizon for you/Elizabeth Fowler Art? 
EF: The thing that I MOST love about life is the unpredictably of it all. Two years ago I was working to help proliferate a casual dining brand with NO IDEA that I’d be painting. Six months ago, I couldn’t have imagined that I’d meet and connect with some of the artists with whom I’ve been fortunate to form unique bonds. LIFE IS AMAZING! That being said.

In the next year, I’d like to amp up my presentation and land a two-person or solo gallery show. I’ve just hung my first solo show in a community gallery. My next step is to work with a full-time commercial gallery on a show.

sm’s: As an artist/business person how do you recharge? 
EF: Funny. Painting is the recharge for me. I paint about two days a week and it is such a catharsis for me. It’s important for me to maintain a balance in my life. Elements in that balance are quality time with friends and family, travel, afternoon cocktails with my husband (Mint Juelps), play with my daughter…. And sleep. I love to sleep. It’s the only time I can get my mind to stop. 🙂

sm’s: Anything else you can think our readers would enjoy learning about you/your business/artwork? 
EF: Come see me! I want to meet you, hear from you, get to know you!
And she means it – and we’re offering the perfect opportunity for you to interact with the artist. Her Atlanta debut on June 8th… We look forward to seeing you there! Contact the team at steve mckenzie’s with any questions.

Sharing Something Personal

We want to share a personal, yet somber, highlight from last week. Two weeks ago our 24-year-old son, Carter, a first year high school history teacher, tragically had an active duty fraternity (Sigma Alpha Epsilon) brother killed in Iraq. This rocked his, ours, and many others worlds’.

1st Lt. Weston Lee

Within hours of his passing, our son and his close friends determined that they’d like to honor Weston’s memory with a scholarship at their school, the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, using a gofundme account. The goal is $100,000 and  to date, $60,000+ has been donated.

Being a man of action, Carter took this story to his history students at William and Reed Academy, in Johns Creek GA, reminding them we have active duty soldiers in harm’s way despite being in a peace-time setting. He challenged them to collect items for care packages to send to these service members. Listen to what happened next:

What’s the takeaway of this story? Cherish your friends and cherish your freedom.

One person can make a difference and that one person is you.  Listen to what tugs at your heart.

Simple things and handwritten cards brighten a service member’s day

Read here to learn more about Lt. Weston Lee, his ultimate sacrifice and what’s being done to honor and remember this young soldier and remember to thank the next service person you see.

Make some Mother’s Day memories!

To all those in our life who mother – thank you!! For being there for the ones you love and doing all you do, sometimes with little recognition, this one’s for you…


We hope today is a day full of wonderful times, which will become beautiful memories!

Much love to all the moms out there – today and every day!!

En Vogue with The Vine

Please meet our latest obsession – The Vine. A combination landscape design, event design and garden market located on St. Simons Island, The Vine offers a distinct approach to curating some of life’s most special events.

 

We’re so pleased to have the opportunity to partner with the team behind The Vine, Bryce Vann Brock and Kelly Revels, on a couple very special events at the steve mckenzie’s showroom this week. An evening of Wine with The Vine Thursday and a terrarium making class Friday morning.

Learn a bit about Bryce and Kelly and how The Vine came to fruition:

The Vine was created in 2008 by Bryce Vann Brock and Kelly Revels. This marked an exciting new chapter in a wonderful story that was already being written by their work together at The Sea Island Resort. Bryce served as the resort’s Landscape Director for several years while Kelly specialized there in landscape container design. Together they designed and created spectacular events both small and large at the resort while dreaming of one day combining their talents and energy to form their own business. Today, that talent, energy and vision is embodied in The Vine. So as wonderful as our history is, we are convinced that the chapters yet to be written together will be even more compelling!

Spaces in the terrarium making class are filling up quickly, so reserve your spot now! And how timely is this class with Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday?!? Or, choose to keep your terrarium – they’re a stunning way to add a bit of life and a pop of green to your home or office!

At each of the events with The Vine, you’ll have an chance to preview the new Oyster Containers (available in three sizes), designed by the duo behind The Vine. Inspired by the abundance of natural beauty of the marsh, sea and sky that surrounds St. Simons, owners Kelly and Bryce worked with a local artist to create this organic container that reflects beauty of the area. A limited number of each size is arriving in mid-May.

Contact us today to reserve your Oyster Container or with any questions. Looking forward to enjoying Wine with The Vine Thursday evening and creating some spectacular terrariums in Friday morning’s class!

A Delicious Jaunt in Jackson – A Visit to Cathead Distillery!

On our trip to Jackson, Mississippi to visit Kristen Ley and Thimbelpress to learn how to letterpress, we also had the opportunity to learn about Cathead Vodka. Steve loves a nice vodka, and to learn about a small maker was exciting; we couldn’t pass it up!

As you’re well aware by now, we love all things southern, and a southern-made vodka is no exception. Located on the edge of downtown Jackson, near the Mississippi Museum of Art, Cathead distillery was fantastic!

Mississippi ushered in prohibition in 1907 and it was not repealed until 1966. Fast forward to 2011, when Austin Evans and Richard Patrick first opened as Cathead. These boys not only love their vodka, but they love the delta blues of the region. In fact, the distillery is named after the legend, Son Thomas, known for his cathead sculptures he sold at his blues performances.

Because of their love of Delta Blues, Cathead’s founders incorporated a fantastic philanthropic element to their business, which makes the story even stronger. They support many foundations by giving a portion of their sales to different organizations, which support preservation of the blues heritage. In fact, on the Cathead website, you can view some of the amazing blues videos and see great commercials featuring legends of the Delta region.

Some of the southern flavors being produced by Cathead are Pecan and Honeysuckle. They’re absolutely delicious, and over the next few weeks Steve will be sharing some new recipes he developed using their vodkas. In the meantime if you are in a hurry, you can check out other recipes here.

If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Jackson, take a tour of Cathead and try a tasting Thursday – Saturday. Until you can visit,  here is a photo-tour of the distillery…

We’ve also sampled their Gin and it makes the perfect Summertime Gin and Tonic! Next up is the Hoodoo Chickory Liqueur (barrel pictured above). We are excited to see where this spirit will take us.

Please enjoy responsibly.

Distillary photos by Richard Patrick