Lakewood's Hidden Gem
Lakewood is known for its unique stores and amazing art. One of the galleries that Lakewood is proud to call its own is Wobblefoot Ltd., 1662 Mars (right off Madison). This off-the-beaten path treasure is sure to delight any art lover! When I first meandered into this hidden gem, I was amazed at the art that adorned the walls! After meeting owner Tubal Cogar, back when he joined Madison Avenue Merchants’ Association (MAMA), I felt I had an instant friend. His warmth and charm filled the gallery, along with famous and accomplished artists’ works!
Tubal opened his gallery doors in Lakewood in May of 2004, after 13 years in Avon Lake. When I asked him why Lakewood, he replied, “this community is just a better place for art”. He loves the “artsy” feel of Lakewood, and loves collaborating with other area businesses in MAMA. In fact, he is such an active member, he opens his doors monthly for the meetings, providing refreshments, ideas, and a willingness to work together to develop the area for all businesses. Because of the connections Tubal has with artists around the country, as well as customers, he does an array of business over the internet from all over the world.
While talking with Tubal, I was shocked to learn that his background is actually in the army! He retired after 21 years in the army, and in “retirement” runs a successful gallery! When asked what encouraged him to make that switch, he said it was the encouragement of his wife to promote his first children’s book “The Journeys of Wobblefoot”, which was illustrated by Tim O’Conner. This book is a real treat for children and I highly recommend picking one up for a very special gift, personally signed by Tubal! Wobblefoot Gallery is also known for framing your precious art and boasts professional results for affordable rates! In addition, all art comes with a certificate of authenticity by the artist.
The artist featured currently at Wobblefoot is Blenko Glass, in which Tubal recently received his first shipment! He was shocked that I had not heard of Blenko Glass and proudly told me how William John Blenko, born in 1854 in London, went into business for himself making glass, primarily window panes. He came to New York in his thirties and then landed in West Virginia, built a furnace to blow glass, and started Eureka Art Glass Company. Blenko expanded from making stained glass windows to hand crafting beautiful pieces of glass tableware, for a line called “Blenko”. Blenko-ware is made using the same methods and tools that the master craftsmen of Europe used hundreds of years ago. From this very detailed skill, thousands of beautiful art pieces are created! Today the Blenko “factory” sits on 26 acres and 80,000 square feet with furnaces that can never be shut off! Of course Tubal made the field trip himself to see and select the glass! Many pieces are under $100 and make extraordinary gifts for art lovers, or the loved one who has everything!
When asking Tubal what he wants people to know about Wobblefoot, he replied “It’s free to look and open to the public” with a big smile. I encourage you to pop in and meet Tubal, check out his book, and peruse his art collection! Don’t miss him at MAMA’s art walk coming this Spring, and visit him at his website, www.wobblefoot.com.
Hours: Tues-Thurs 10-5; Sat. 10-3; 216-226-2971.