The Galleria location of Caribou Coffee is similar to all coffee shops. There are people working on their laptops, friends catching up, people getting their caffeine boost.However, thanks to employee Devon Anderson, 24, this Caribou offers something special. Anderson, who has worked there for a little more than a year, is an artist who does all the in-store signage designs on their chalk boards. There are several small chalk boards where customers order. They keep customers updated on current promotions. There are guidelines all Caribou locations must follow, but Anderson puts her creative spin on it, transforming these simple conduits of information into something eye-appealing. The real showpiece of her work is a large chalkboard approximately 10-feet-long and 5-feet-high. You can’t miss it. Anderson creates large, breathtaking pieces transforming a chalk board into a spectacular scene. She changes the scene several times a year, according to the seasons, or related to special projects such as breast cancer awareness. For the fall, she did an scene that featured bales of hay and leaves, along with other related elements. Her current piece is Christmas related. It’s an enchanting scene, with a whimsical feel. Anderson has studied art for years, taking classes in drawing, sculpting and painting. She is a student at CPCC, where she is concentrating on fulfilling her core liberal arts requirements. She plans to get her degree in art history at UNCC. She has always been involved in artistic creation. She has worked in a variety of mediums, including chalk and pencil. She has also worked with oil, acrylic and watercolor paint. Her chalk creations at Caribou have generated interest from customers. One regular customer loved her work so much, he approached her to do a painting of his backyard. Using a photo, she will recreate the image using watercolors. All of this would not be possible without the support of Anderson’s store manager, Summer LaBon. She’s encouraged Anderson’s talent and artwork from the beginning and recognizes what it brings to the store. “Devon is an extremely talented artist who has helped to create an atmosphere within our store of feeling like you’re in the comfort of your own home,” said LaBon. “She continues to WOW our guests with her various chalkboard creations. It is an honor to be able to share with others what a wonderful asset Devon is to our store; not just her artistic abilities, but her work ethic.” Ultimately, Anderson would like to work as a museum curator. This would allow her to combine her art history education along with her working knowledge of artistic creation. Working in a museum would help her to achieve her goal of “making art something fun that people are interested in.” She wants to increase community art awareness.
Friday, Nov. 30, 2012
Coffee house or art gallery?
Caribou employee transforms Galleria store
The winter scene Devon Anderson created in chalk at Caribou Coffee in the Galleria shopping center.
Devon Anderson, resident artist at the Caribou Coffee at the Galleria.
Learn more: Devon Anderson is available for commissioned pieces, including murals. Prices are determined on an individual basis, Noved88@gmail.com.