Downtown clothing store Novato is providing a place for local artists to gather together with its move to a larger store.
Novato recently moved to a new location off West Chestnut Street. The new shop has a display area to showcase local artists.
Kourtnei McQuaig is one of Novato’s owners with her husband Logan.
Logan McQuaig is the artist for the Novato brand. Logan started painting in 2012. Logan and Kourtnei were engaged at the time and Logan didn’t want formal dress shoes for the wedding. He liked the looked of hand painted Vans and, after creating his own, became inspired.
“We want them to know this is an open door for them to come in and not only enjoy local art but we would love to have them display what they have as well.”
Logan started a business painting custom shoes soon after. He works mainly in acrylic painting and takes his inspiration from movies and television. Some of Logan’s work include a realistic painting of comedian Louis C.K. and a painting of comedian Jon Stewart as president.
“I think I frame a lot of my big 2-D painting in more of a cinematic framing,” Logan McQuaig said. “16.9 is the aspect ratio of movies, and I sort of naturally see art like that.”
Logan McQuaig was recently featured during the Seattle Seahawks’ Monday Night Football game against the Buffalo Bills. He painted a custom pair of shoes and hat for Matt Hasselbeck, former Seahawk quarterback and current ESPN analyst.
Logan McQuaig takes custom orders for shoes and hats and will not recreate any work he’s already done for another customer, ensuring everything is unique.
“We are always looking to feature local talent. Whether they make cards, jewelry or any kind of art,” Kourtnei McQuaig said. “We want them to know this is an open door for them to come in and not only enjoy local art but we would love to have them display what they have as well.”
On the first Friday of every month during the Bellingham art walk, Novato swaps out displayed artwork to showcase a different artist.
“I think we are going to get a really big draw in terms of people wanting to be shown here,” Kourtnei McQuaig said.
Western graduate student Bethany Drake is Novato’s artist of the month for November. Drake’s art is created with watercolors and print ink, as well as acrylic paints. Her work in Novato’s gallery displays different aspects of local geography. Some of Drake’s creations have focused on Locust Beach, Mount Baker and Mount Hood.
“I have grown up in the Pacific Northwest and definitely have been inspired by the landscape around me,” Drake said. “I think we take for granted the place we live, and it’s a gift to live in such an incredible place. So creating work allows people to appreciate and capture that is what it comes down to.”
Novato features around 26 local artists in its shop.
“Our goal here is as much to support the art community here in Bellingham as it is to make money,” Logan McQuaig said. “We can definitely do both. We are at a busy corner where everyone can see us and know where we are.”
Novato’s last shop was about half the size of its new location. It also had shorter ceilings and less store front windows.
“Basically as soon as we opened, we realized we didn’t have enough space for what we wanted to do,” Kourtnei McQuaig said.
To order custom shoes or hats, visit www.novatoshop.com.