SEEDS Fine Art Exhibits founders Denise Weyhrich (left) and Cindi Rhodes holding pieces from a recent exhibition by “The Godfather of tiki” LeRoy Schmaltz at their new permanent location within the Full Circle Meaningful Marketplace.
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Denise Weyhrich & Cindi Rhodes / SEEDS Fine Art Exhibits
Full Circle Meaningful Marketplace
What began 18 years ago as an art ministry outreach effort shown at St. John’s Lutheran Church during the Orange International Street Fair has taken root into a unique venture combining art and shopping in a new location on Glassell called Full Circle Meaningful Marketplace. Curators Cindi Rhodes and Denise Weyhrich founded Seeds Fine Art Exhibits. Being established at Full Circle is their first permanent residence.
“Normally, we are like the Israelites,” says Rhodes. “We’ve been traveling all over showing exhibits. This is the first time we’ve had a consistent brick-and-mortar space.”
Christianity was always a driver for Rhodes and Weyhrich. When they initially formed Seeds Fine Art Exhibits, the contemporary art world was not welcoming toward art of faith. “You would be laughed out of the gallery,” says Weyhrich. “Cindi and I realized that we were being called to create a venue for artists who’ve had to keep their artwork underground.”
One day during COVID last February, the women began looking for a place in Old Towne with the idea of leasing a space for one month. What happened next could only be called “divine intervention.”
“When we found what ended up being Full Circle, we walked in the door and saw people coming in through the back door,” says Weyhrich. “They were saying how elated they were at just having obtained the keys to the space.”
The two parties learned they were both doing ministry to the public, that both were non-profits and that they had a heart for the arts.
“In about 10 minutes, the four of us were shaking hands,” says Weyhrich. “We were dumbfounded at God’s timing.“
Their new partners were from Friends Church in Orange, whose plan was to sell high-end secondhand goods with all proceeds going to the Youth Centers of Orange. Seeds Fine Art Exhibits is the gallery within Full Circle Meaningful Marketplace. Seeds chooses an artist for a solo exhibit every two months.
“We’re artists and Christian,” says Weyhrich. “But not all of the artists that we show are Christian. It’s not a requirement.”
The next exhibit is called “California Redemption Value,” featuring assemblage artist Leslie Cardera, who creates art from random items he finds during bike rides.
“The tagline we use is ‘transforming galleries into sacred spaces,’” says Rhodes. “There is always more than what you see. It’s about the message, the concept, the person, their story—about the need at the moment.”
“It’s been fun to finally bring our ministry home,” adds Weyhrich. “At Full Circle, we’re trying to give a good, warm hug to people.”