Mother-daughter duo Lois and Becky Rule are bridging the gap between what is considered fine art and great design by showcasing creative works that use or reference commercial processes. The pair opened on Sept. 2.
"One long term goal we have is trying to find a way to show the world that art done for communication reasons is still art," Becky said. "It's hard to get the public to except new things as fine art sometimes, and design has only recently started to get recognition as fine art in the art world.
"People say that art is dead, but I don't think that's the case," Becky added. "It's just about seeing the next wave, and I believe that this, design and 3D art, is it."
As we advance technologically, our methods for creating are becoming more commoditized, Becky said. Many traditional forms are disappearing and being disregarded. "We want to bring these art forms into the light for the public to see," Lois said.
2 Rules places an emphasis on techniques such as typography, stencils, imagery reminiscent of printed books or flyers, and repeating patterns. Many of the pieces at 2 Rules utilize typography that the casual observer may not notice. Ann Forman's "The Fall Collection," which will remain on display until Nov. 26, weaves type into beautiful patterns and design.
"One of our goals is to show the beauty of type and change the way people look at letters," Becky said.
In addition to work that uses commercial processes, 2 Rules displays paintings and other traditional media that reference designed or commercial items, an increasingly popular notion given society's bombardment by advertising.
"We want to make sure that everything we show is cool, that everything we have is a little bit different," Becky said. "We carry prints and photos, metal work and jewelry, sculpture."
Becky and Lois are the first parent-child duo to have attended Georgia Tech's College of Management.
"This (2 Rules) was a way for us to bring our mutual art interests and business interests together," Becky said. "It's the culmination of past our past experiences."
Lois holds a BA in sculpture from the University of Florida (1975) and an MBA with a focus in market research from Georgia Tech (1998). In 2002, Lois and her husband left the corporate world behind to start Container Science, Inc., a successful consulting firm with a strong focus on innovation, where Lois is Vice President of Operations.
Becky holds an MFA in visual communications from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2005) and an MBA with foci in entrepreneurship and marketing from Georgia Tech (2011) as well as anthropology BA from Northwestern (2000).
"There was certainly a lot of art supplies and encouragement to pursue different art forms at our home," Lois said. "Both my girls (Becky and Helen Rule) were drawing as soon as they could hold a crayon."
"Neither Helen nor I could stay away from it," Becky added. She remembers that even her father, the engineer of the bunch, would draw cartoons and leave them on the fridge.
Lois' mother was a painter. In fact, it was Lois' mother that took her to her first painting class when she was 10 years old.
While both mother and daughter still have a deep passion for art, they no longer have the time to create their own work. However, they are both finding fulfillment in their job as dealers.
"We love to meet new artists and experience new forms," Lois said.
"We just hope that we can get people to recognize what we are doing and the type of art we are showing and to appreciate it for what it is," Lois said. "Design is art."
Lois and Becky agree that they approach 2 Rules Fine Arts like any other business relationship; however, there is an advantage to working as a mother-daughter duo.
"We know each other really, really well, probably better than anyone," Becky said. "And that means we know how to work together."
This bond is perhaps the most startling, and welcoming, part of walking into 2 Rules Fine Art. Comfort and a sense of family fills the air as fresh art decorates the walls and attracts attention.
"We want people to feel at home when they come here," Becky said.
"I think they do too," Lois added. "We have the baby (referring to Becky's daughter) running around or in her pen or in one of our arms, and we're here to answer questions and share our knowledge and our love for art. We love to meet all the new people who come through."
In addition to ongoing gallery showings, 2 Rules Fine Art offers different classes every month covering both traditional art techniques and 2D design topics. November artist Helen Rule will be teaching a Beginning Chain Maille workshop on Nov. 8 and Nov. 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. Cost is $75 per class or $135 for both classes.
A lecture-style class, History of Typography, will be held on Nov. 3, Nov. 10 and Nov. 17 from 6 to 9 p.m. Cost is $35 per class or $90 for all three classes.
2 Rules Fine Art is located at 85 Church St., Marietta and is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The first Friday of every month you can enjoy refreshments and live music from 6 to 9 p.m.