At Takohl Gallery in the west loop, Chinese artist Dr. Catherine Yi-yu Cho Woo and jewelry designer Tammy Kohl offer good fortune and good health this holiday season. In keeping with the principles of feng shui—the ancient art of designing one’s environment—these artists create stunning works which serve to subtly enhance the positive energy in our everyday surroundings. In celebration of Woo’s and Kohl’s artistry, Takohl Gallery will host a holiday-inspired extravaganza on Friday, Nov. 30.
In Chinese the word “feng” means wind, and “shui” means water. Balancing these elements is associated with achieving positive “qi” or “life force.” While dark, brooding art abounds in many galleries these days, the tenets of feng shui suggest that the pieces you select for your home should be representative of what you’d like to achieve in your life. Choose melancholy pieces of art only if you enjoy feeling melancholy. The poetic, life-affirming paintings of Dr. Catherine Woo project peace, happiness, and wealth. Splashes of soothing colors, sometimes embellished with gold Chinese calligraphy, emanate light and harmony with nature. Standing before the images, like standing before a mountainside vista, can lead to a place of calm and well-being.
Born in Beijing, Woo is an accomplished poet, composer, painter, teacher, writer, and feng shui practitioner. She is the first Asian American woman to serve on the National Council on the Arts. By appointment from the National Endowment for the Arts, she serves as Ambassador for the Arts. Woo’s paintings have been shown in galleries and museums throughout Asia and the United States.
While displaying one of Woo’s paintings will boost the energy of your room, jewelry by designer Tammy Kohl offers a unique way to improve your personal energy. Kohl’s artfully crafted pieces feature precious metals, rare stones, and clean, understated designs. Clear quartz crystals, which are thought to purify the energy surrounding them, are showcased in uncomplicated rings and bracelets of sterling silver. Inspired by light and energy, Kohl’s elegant pieces can help bring about a sense of clarity and tranquility.
Award-winning designer Tammy Kohl came to understand the power of jewelry when she was given a necklace by her grandmother. The meaningful personal connection embodied by the heirloom inspired Kohl to pursue jewelry design and craft equally special pieces for her clients. This design philosophy also led her to create the “Takohl treasure ring collection” in which the recipient selects every aspect of the ring, including a message which is engraved inside the piece. “I’ve always thought that jewelry needs to have a high sense of style with an equally high sense of meaning,” Kohl says. Her celebrity clientele includes Ellen Degeneres, Steven Tyler, and President Bill Clinton.
The Friday, Nov. 30 gallery event is held in conjunction with Takohl’s 25th anniversary. The holiday inspired celebration runs from 7-11 p.m. at Takohl Gallery at 110 N. Peoria Street in Chicago. Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and surprise giveaways will be offered at this magical shopping venue. The exhibition runs through the end of January.