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Artist Interview

Troy David Mercier

October 11, 2013

Troy David Mercier projects a self made possible and made better by art, movement, and an exuberance for life. He perceives beauty in the way humans physically interact with the world--interactions many would pass by without thought. It's in this attention to life's minute movements, and in this sensitivity to human nature that Troy David Mercier embodies the idea of a true artist. He lives and breathes it. He shares it with others magnanimously. He dances. We think you need to meet Troy David Mercier, who will be performing at Ode for October's Arts Night Out with his Intimacy Dance Project.

Troy David Mercier

How did you get started?
Every day that I choose to continue with this artistic life is a new beginning. For me it's a choice. The first choice was when I declared my major in college. Through the study and practice of theatre, I was discovering how I wanted to be in the world and how I wanted to create the world around me.
There have been times when I have shelved every theatrical or dance related project in order to take much needed time in creative quietness, and to establish a basic, monetary balance of survival. I am open to the possibility that the rewards and gratification of a different life path may outweigh a creative life, but for now my soul thrives on creating new theatrical and dance work, teaching, and performing.

What do you love about your job?
I love that the challenges presented in my line of work are ever changing, teaching me to be ever present with the shifting needs of a moment.

Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in music, in written words, through images, through current and past teachers, through dreams, through movies. The list goes on.  I carry a journal just in case I catch a moment of life unfolding that I want to remember. The most recent was watching two parents letting their young one find his balance and walk unaided down the sidewalk of Northampton, golden curls bounding in the chilly autumn air. For words of inspiration I return again and again to Kahlil Gibran's THE PROPHET. And musically, my most played song in iTunes is MINNESOTA, WI by Bon Iver.

What are your plans for the future?
My plans for the future are to be happy, to love, and to teach others to find it in themselves to do the same.

What's the best advice you've ever gotten?
I was once told that "planning is essential but plans will always change. Those who are better suited to adapt will be the ones to continue moving forward." So it's been a life practice to remain malleable to life's changes, but to have clarity of what it is I want to manifest.

When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
Wednesday, October 9th 2013. I spent the morning at Mount Holyoke College. I was watching Paul Matteson, Jennifer Polins, and James Morrow rehearse for their upcoming dance performance in Boston. I laughed so hard I cried. I don't think there was a moment where at least two of them weren't laughing while dancing. There was so much joy in the studio.

This image is inspiring because it speaks to me about hope; about how hope can lend to new life when given space to grow, and to the pain of hope when stifled.

Artist Interview

Gail Travis

September 12, 2013

Think of it as Transformers for the fashion forward. That's what New Yorker Gail Travis has created in her N:F:P line of sweaters, dresses, and accessories. The pieces in her collection can be worn differently depending on mood or whim. Gail herself takes in many forms: designer, entrepreneur, sculptor, artist...and now a good friend of Ode. Meet the mastermind behind all the beauty and innovation.

How did you get started?
After working for high-end fashion houses in NYC for 8 years I was ready to begin something that represented my interpretation of fashion.  After studying for a year in Italy learning the technicals of sweater design, I fell in love with the mathematics and geometric possibilities of fully-fashioned machine knitted sweaters.

What do you love about your job?
Interacting with customers and seeing how each person integrates the designs into their personal lifestyle.

Where do you find inspiration? 
The initial designs are created and inspired by my interest in architecture, sculpture and seeing form in the 3D.  Then through listening to customers I am then inspired further to morph the shapes into designs that offer the comfort, mobility and design elements I hear people are searching for.

What is the most exciting part about your job?
Being able to create a new vision and have it shared and enjoyed by others.

What are the 5 most listened to songs on your iPod? 
Varies all the time, but right now I find myself shuffling between the artists: Brahms, James Blake, Lhasa de Sela, and Corky Siegel and Kirshna Das….definitely varied! 

If you could have dinner with any three people, whom would be seated at your table?
Tilda Swinton, Zaha Hadid and Naum Gabo

Guilty pleasure musician you would normally never admit to liking?  
Ha!  Don’t really have any artist I wouldn’t admit to liking…!

One (or two) things every woman should have in her closet?
Cozy Sweater and leggings.

What's your favorite line from a movie, song, or book? 
"You are what you love and not what loves you back”

If you were a piece of clothing, what would be and what color/pattern?
The NFP Wrap neck cardigan in black…represents my mind of constant change and a clean solid base in preparation for anything. 

What's the first line in a book about your life?
“Embracing constant change”

What's your go-to "happy" song?
Rolling Stones “emotional rescue” or Sheryl Crow’s “All I Wanna Do”

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten? 
“Always make sure your goals stay true to your integrity”

Join us for Arts Night Out, Friday, September 13th from 6-8pm!

MUSE Series / Designer Feature

MUSE: Gail Travis

September 12, 2013

MUSE: Gail Travis
View Photos

We were honored (and totally smitten) to be able to spend a day with Gail Travis, designer of N:F:P (New Form Perspective), a collection of luxe sculptural sweaters that can be worn numerous ways. According to Gail: "I create the New Form, and the wearer chooses the Perspective." The Muse has spoken.

Designer Feature

Love Heals

August 10, 2013

[Designers Gunnar, Elise, and Adriana]

At Ode, we call it a "Power Piece." A Love Heals necklace makes you feel like a warrior, an adventurer, an artist, empress, and philanthropist. Family owned and hand-made in America, Love Heals is a company committed to creating the kind of beauty that gives back.

For every piece sold, 10 fruit-bearing trees are planted in Ethiopia. Co-founder Gunnar Lovelace (yep, real name) has also formed partnerships with organizations committed to ending child slavery and child blindness. How good can a company get?


Well, they keep getting better. Recently, Love Heals added Maria Angela Perna to their creative design team. Perna has worked as a Senior Designer, creating collections for the likes of Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier, Fendi, Versace, Etro, Kate Spade, Calvin Klein, Sergio Rossi and YSL. She brings just another element of power to the already inimitable collection. Ode couldn't be happier about our long-term relationship with the heart, spirit, and beauty of Love Heals.

Come find your Love Heals Power Piece at Ode. 




Artist Interview

The Dire Honeys

August 7, 2013

The Dire Honeys are as American as trucks and pie. Part sugar, part salt-of-the-earth, this folksy trio plays the kind of music that gets to down to the root of what makes one swoon and cry. Mia Valentini, Vanessa Kerby, and Lena Schmid (even their names are dreamy) got decked out in Ode attire and trekked into the swampy, mosquito-infested road for a photo shoot at dusk. The light was right, the music dulcet, the jokes a little dirty. There was a tart sweetness to the air. We don't blame the bugs for wanting a bite. 

Vanessa Kerby

How did you get started?
Escape. Friendship. Art. New Skills. Songs. 2 liter bottles of wine.

What do you love about your job?
MV: Being outside. Sweat. Labor. Mud. The best food I’ve ever eaten. The best sleep I’ve ever had. I’m a farmer.

                                                                  Mia Valentini

Where do you find inspiration?
MV: I find inspiration from my cat. Edward. She’s a girl.
VK & MV: Shitty men.

If I wasn’t doing this, I would be...
MV & VK: Having band practice.
LS: Painting.
MV: Farming.

What's your favorite line from a movie, song, or book? 
LS: I’m not sure, because Van Morrison just mumbles all the time. But everything he says on the album Astral Weeks is my favorite.
VK: “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” – Still Life with Woodpecker.
      “Here’s to swimmin’ with bow-legged women!”-Quint from JAWS .
MV: “Ever dance with the devil in the pale moon light?”- The Joker from Batman
      “I will drink your MilkShake!” – There Will be Blood 

Lena Schmid

If you were a piece of clothing, what would be and what color/pattern? 
MV: A pair of boots- tan. 

What's the first line in a book about your life?
LS: “She was crying in her car, again.”  
MV: “My mama always said, no one’s gonna love you till you learn to love yourself."

What is your favorite word, and why?
VK: Flubber.
MV: Flabbergasted, because my friend Tobin, when we were in first grade, said it was his favorite word and it always stayed with me. Though It took me a few years to differentiate it from flatulent, I think that is why it stuck. And Pamplemousse. It’s fun to say.
LS: I don’t have a favorite word. However, my least favorite word is pocketbook. Specifically when my mom says it in reference to whatever bag I’m carrying.


What's your go-to "happy" song?
LS: My go-to happy song is “Get Rhythm” by Johnny Cash.  Or “Come Go With Me” by the Del Vikings.
MV: I don’t necessarily go to a “happy” song, but genre. I love New Orleans Jazz.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
LS: My painting teacher once cornered me behind my giant painting and insisted I buy a truck.  I did, and it has worked out really well. 
MV: This too shall pass. Good or bad.
VK: “Don’t let it bring you down, it’s only castles burning..” Neil Young 

When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
LS: Last week in the car with Vanessa. She was doing the best, most pathetic impression of a cat in heat.  The mewling and yeowling was outrageous. 

*The Dire Honeys will be performing at Ode on August 9th, from 6-8pm as a part of our "Sugar, Love, & Honey" Birthday Bash.

Clothing: Ode. Styling: Kristin Kelly. Makeup: Jenessa Cintron. [Chattman Photography]