Valdosta Daily Times


April 20, 2014

Art and Soul

VALDOSTA — While Art and Soul opened recently, Angela Crance and her family have been thinking about it for years.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years,” said Angela Crance. “I'll probably retire in the next three or four years, but I’m not just going to retire.”

Crance, her daughter, Rylin Crane — yes, the names are Crance and Crane — son Stan and husband Wade had been talking off and on about opening a place for the last 10 years, something focused around art, décor, design and furniture.

When Rylin and her husband moved to Valdosta from Dallas, the family decided to seize the opportunity.

They started planning it last year; they mentioned their idea to Doug Carter. It turned out he was thinking about opening The Squirrel’s Nest and invited them to open Art and Soul inside of it.

“Our idea was to start out small and figure out what we’re doing for the first few years,” said Crane. “Then, once mom retires and my kids are a little bit older, we’ll have more time to focus on more things we’re excited about.”

Art and Soul is a family business where each family member brings a unique skill set to the table.

For Crane, an avid painter who earned a degree in interior design from Valdosta State University, Art and Soul is a creative outlet, as well as a chance to bring something to Valdosta she wanted to see herself.

“I wanted to bring some fun, happy color to Valdosta.”

That color comes out in Crane’s paintings as well as the furniture that Art and Soul offers.

“A lot of times people come and see all this color. It’s not that you need to have a green table and a blue chair and a purple this and a pink that. You just need one pop of color in every room just to make it stand out. In my opinion, every room needs one pop of color: art, furniture, pillows, something colorful.”

Art and Soul is also a creative outlet for Angela, who got into painting through her daughter. On a trip to the beach, Rylin came across some paintings she thought Angela would like and sent her pictures of them.

Angela liked them so much, she set out to create something similar and found she had a knack for it.

While Angela works for Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, she’s spent a good portion of her career in the non-profit sector, working for Red Cross and United Way, so it’s no surprise that Art and Soul has done paintings for the Hospice House and the Haven.

“We enjoy that as much as anything,” said Angela. “We’re going to have a huge part in charity in whatever we do.”

Wade Crance is a craftsman and carpenter who focuses on building barn-wood tables, repurposing wood and turning it into dining room tables, coffee tables, kitchen islands, or really whatever people want.

Custom work has been a big draw for Art and Soul, whether it’s someone looking for a barn-wood table that needs to fit to specifications or custom artwork for their walls.

Stan Crance, who works with VSU’s Small Business Development Center to help people get their businesses off the ground, has long wanted to open a business, and he handles the business end and social media for Art and Soul.

“Everyone’s got their special talent,” said Angela. “It’s brought us closer together.”

Along with selling furniture, art, porch swings (a local builder makes them) and wallpaper, they’re looking to add Annie Sloan chalk paint in the coming weeks, as well as local builders.

“We want everything to be local and made in the region, to support local craftsmen as much as we can.”

If you’re trying to find Art and Soul, it is on 1420 Gornto Road, though, fair warning, GPS tends to send you off to a nearby neighborhood. Look for the gravel path next to the railroad crossing on Gornto.

“It’s an adventure to go down the gravel path behind the railroad track and see what treasures you can find,” said Crane. “That idea was appealing to us.”

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