By Amy Wenk
amywenk@reporternewspapers.net

Since they met in 2000, Buckhead residents Debi Lamb and her husband, William, have shared an appreciation for the arts and frequently attended galleries. Their circa-1938 house near Mount Paran Road is filled with handcrafted treasures from their travels together.

“We are huge advocates and huge supporters of everything original,” Debi said. “What I began to see over the last 10 years was that more and more everything was the same. If somebody found something that worked, they duplicated the effort, and it was sold over and over again.”

Hoping to promote unique creations and their artists, as well as to benefit local charities, the couple decided to open up the carriage house behind her home as a part-time gallery space.

The first formal show was held in October at the 1,000-square-foot space, called The Art House (www.TheArtHouseAtlanta.com). Twenty-five artists from around the Southeast showcased their creations.

The Lambs will hold their second open house Dec. 5, 6 and 7 from noon to 6 p.m. at 1574 Cave Road NW in Buckhead. They will present the work of 32 artists.

“We try to bring in different artists every time,” Debi said. “There’s a wealth of them out there. They are wonderful, and they just appreciate an opportunity for people to see what they do.”

The charity

The Art House plans to host four shows a year, each with a different charitable pursuit.

The December show will benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Proceeds will support programs such as assisting families in the neonatal unit and providing for Big Apple Clown Services to entertain the patients, said artist Margaret Hathaway.

The Vinings resident has been a supporter and volunteer at Children’s for 23 years since her son was diagnosed with hydrocephalus.

“The day he was born, he was there,” said Hathaway, who creates whimsical watercolors. “He is 23 now … but the doctors still let us come. I love it. It’s a part of my life. It’s my cause.”

The art

Various media and styles of artwork will span the 10-foot walls in The Art House at the open house. Visitors can expect everything from modern to traditional paintings, glasswork, jewelry and textiles.

“What we love is everything kind of different, unique, funky and a mix of styles,” Debi said. “We just love supporting artists that take that chance, take that time, take that effort to create something that is all theirs.”

Among the artists who will display their work:

• Ayse Durankan will be one of five jewelers at The Art House.

The Sandy Springs resident fashions items such as chunky silver bracelets and intricate copper-and-turquoise necklaces. She handcrafts her jewelry using gold-filled materials and semiprecious stones.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to be here,” said Durankan, who is just beginning to show her craft to the public. The viewing at The Art House will be her third exhibit since she began classes at the Spruill Art Center in Dunwoody three years ago.

Originally from Turkey, Durankan was a professional singer before moving to the United States 20 years ago. She also has a degree in interior design.

• Longtime artist Nancy Everett will display several of her oil and pastel works. The Alpharetta resident paints in an impressionistic style, integrating fresh color schemes and bold lines into natural scenes. She also creates figure drawings.

“Landscapes are my favorite passion,” said Everett, who has a degree in graphic design from the University of Georgia.

After a career in advertising, she now participates in juried art shows and has work displayed at galleries in Stone Mountain and Norcross.

• Dunwoody resident Beth Emery is influenced by Vincent Van Gogh. She layers paint in scenes depicted from life, including landscapes, portraits and figures.

Emery has painted oils for the past 10 years but “probably was born an artist,” she said. Encouraged by her father, who is handy at do-it-yourself projects, she was free to paint her room or dresser as she pleased as a child.

Emery first obtained a degree in education but went back to college for her bachelor of fine arts. She spent time painting decorative rugs before moving to canvas. She has work displayed at The Copper Pig in Dunwoody.

• Laura Watson of Roswell earned a degree from Georgia State University, then embarked on a career as a graphic designer. Her love of painting drove her to travel and live in Florence, Italy, in her 30s, where she studied at the Lorenzo de Medici Art Institute. She also studied at the Pratt Institute and the New School in New York.

Today, Watson primarily paints in oils.

“My work is characterized by the exploration and development of color and texture in my paintings,” she said. “In using deep, complex tones, I try to capture the essence and beauty of ordinary objects.”

Watson will display some paintings from her series “The Courtship Strut,” which explores the history of women’s shoes like the Chinese Lotus shoe that led to the severe foot-binding of young girls.