Submitted by Glen Aaron on January 12, 2013

Excited!! That’s the word that immediately came to mind when I met Nina Noel. And it’s no wonder why she is so excited about her new venture. She and her husband, Charles Noel, have opened the ArtiZen Outlet across Loop 250 from the mall at 3404 W. Loop 250 North.

Nina’s excitement is contagious as you wander around the two-story facility filled with wide-ranging quality art from oil, pastel and water color of many different genre to eclectic jewelry, photography and pottery. There is also quality crafted furniture. In short, there is just no other place like it in Midland.

With a BA from Brooks Institute in photography, Nina has been in Midland about fifteen years. For seven of those, she taught photography at Trinity School, where she designed their initial program. She would tell her students, “a homemade cake is better than a microwave cake,” the inference being that they must learn photography from scratch, using 35mm, rolling their own film, using only black and white, and developing their own film in the dark room — in other words learn from scratch.

“Visual people can’t just walk by a thing of beauty without wanting to take a piece of it with them,” she says as she points out the interrelation of principles and elements of design in all art — painting, poetry, writing, photography, drama or any other medium. While elements cover what you are going to put into your “cake,” such as line, shape, size, color, texture or value, the principles are how you are going to arrange it, that being balance, contrast, proportion and pattern. The displays at the ArtiZen are perfect for getting a feel for how an artist brings together the elements and principles of design.

Nina and Charles named their place “ArtiZen” for the reason that all who display their work there create by hand; they are artisans. And each artisan seeks enlightenment through the creative process — Zen. The ArtiZen not only allows the contributing artists to sell their works but will be hosting events throughout the year to benefit charities.

At the West-end of the property is a wide-open artful area Nina and Charles are calling Zuma Beach. It was originally the Company Stone Store but will now be offered for special gatherings. It, like its counterpart the ArtiZen Outlet, is unique in its artistic offerings and ambiance with a dual waterfall and numerous stone sculptures.
It is a wonderful opportunity for Midland to have a central location where artists and artisans from the local area can display their creativity for the pleasure of us all.

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