Downtown’s Madison Plaza welcomes Anything But Ordinary, a shop and gallery showcasing work by up-and-coming artists. Anything But Ordinary got its roots in Washington, where its owner, Leah Baker, procured similar pieces in addition to works by children of the foster care system, a facet she is collaborating with our local Arts Center to revive.
Presently Baker is busy adorning her store with a diverse collection of art in anticipation of its grand opening on Thursday, Nov. 19. This month’s featured artist is Jennifer Kapnek, her paintings distinguished by vivid pigment and branch protrusions.
Anything But Ordinary’s current state is proof that Baker has an eye for her trade, with its eclectic arrangement of pieces spanning scenic ornaments to chained lab rats reminiscent of toddlerhood. And she’s not giving that eye a rest, perpetually shifting her collection for that perfect point of balance. That, paired with the constant turnover of local and not-so-local artists, and you can expect to almost never see the store the same.
Baker is every bit receptive. No sooner than when I related to the struggle of starting out as an artist had she offered me a spot. One thing is for sure: Anything But Ordinary is a gracious space and Leah Baker can’t wait to share it.
By Stevie Beisswanger