It’s not often a neighborhood has an “artist-in-residence,” but leave it to the Village of West Clay to be the first in Carmel. In addition to being West Clay’s artist-in-residence, Mark A. Roger is the owner of Art & Texture’s Finish Studio @ West Clay and Backroom @ West Clay. His studio is filled with high quality furniture, home accessories, drapery panels and more…all at consignment store prices. Many items in his shop come from local designers' personal collections, estates and show homes. His theory? Buy high end stuff at affordable prices.
Please tell us about yourself.
I am a proud fourth generation Hoosier and longtime Carmel resident. My parents built their first home in Deerfield in Carmel in 1959, I attended the first College Wood school and I recall Carmel before I-465 and school buses on dirt roads.
For 20 years I was a business consultant, adjunct professor, author and civic leader. For my 40th birthday, my wife bought me art lessons with a local artist. In what almost seemed like a dare, and with a lifelong passion for decorative arts, architectural design, and furniture refinishing, I turned my hobby into a full-time job.
I opened Art & Texture in the Village of West Clay in 2005 and expanded it in 2011. Art & Texture is comprised of two West Clay Studios – a Finish Studio specializing in wall and furniture finishing and a Consignment Studio specializing in furniture and home consignment. Furniture and home accessories can be purchased "as-is" or items can be refinished prior to delivery. The shop is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, but you can shop online anytime at www.BackroomAtWestclay.com, have items held, and receive sneak peeks and specials through Facebook. My wife, two daughters and I live in the house connected to our studio.
What advice do you have for those of us who have fallen in love with a piece of used furniture, but are reluctant to purchase it? How can you tell that it’s good quality and worth purchasing?
Over the years, I have learned to look for three things when considering such a purchase:
1) Does the furniture appear to be well constructed and in good condition? Well-constructed furniture is physically heavy and sturdy to the touch. Always take the time to determine a manufacturers’ name if possible. Famous makers often have their names appear on the back or underside of the furniture or on the inside, side of a top drawer. Drawer construction also speaks to the quality of the piece.
2) Are doors and drawers properly aligned? Moving pieces should open and close properly and smoothly. Wood furniture expands and constricts over time especially when kept in areas where there are temperature changes. If drawers don’t pull out easily and seem to stick, they might need some attention.
3) How is the overall finish of the piece? Check for imperfections in the finish by wiping your hand across surfaces and feeling for rough patches. Small scratches can be easily removed but replacing wood detail and addressing surface issues can be costly.
I’ve designed the Art and Texture website to provide great ideas for making the most of your home. Click here to see many of the interesting items we have in the consignment studio.
How do you like to spend your spare time?
I grew up in very civic minded family, so volunteering is in my blood. I was one of the youngest to be accepted into the Stanley K Lacy Leadership Program, and later became alumni president. Currently, I am president elect of the Board of Directors of the Bureau of Jewish Education, which is recognized as the oldest Jewish communal school in the country. Most recently I co-chaired the BJE Centennial Purim Ball with Joan Rivers at the Indiana Roof Ballroom on March 3.
My favorite volunteer experience was being “artist-in-residence” at West Clay Elementary for two weeks in 2010. We made painted mosaic benches with the kids and I was a “rock star” with my daughter for the first three days.
What are your top three favorite stores or restaurants in Carmel?
Ace Hardware on Rangeline Road – service is impeccable; Yogurtz at 126th and Meridian – great place to take big groups of kids; and Carmel Welding on Rangeline Road – they support lots’ of Carmel kids’ things.
What is your favorite guilty pleasure song? You know, the one that you sing as loud as you can when it comes on the radio or your iPod.
It’s tradition to end big family gatherings with our family song, “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor.
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