Art for the heart

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Suzanne Rubin, owner of Out of the Box Decorating, uses mixed media to weave art inspired by times, events, dreams and aspirations for her clients. (TMP/J. Thouin)

Janet West’s eyes lit up as she fingered the fishing lure hanging from a piece of art.

“I love it,” she exclaimed. “It’s perfect!”

West wanted to give her husband more than the usual hardware store gift card for a special occasion, so she commissioned Suzanne Rubin, owner of Out of the Box Decorating, to create what Rubin calls, art for the heart.

“Art for the heart tells something about your individual life story,” Rubin said. “It’s about where you’ve been or where you are going.”

Using mixed media, Rubin weaves a portrait of the times, events, dreams and aspirations in individual’s lives.

Fishing lures passed down from one generation to another, photos of fishing trips, scripture verses, letter tiles, and techniques generally seen in decoupage or scrapbooking were used to tell the story of West’s husband’s passion for fishing, faith and family.

Rubin developed her art for the heart out of a belief that stories are meant to be told, that home decorating should be more than just photos hanging on a wall or a copy of something seen in a magazine, and that wall art need not be only two dimensional.

“Our decorating should be more expressive,” Rubin said.

Rubin’s own expressiveness stems from a life story of trials and triumph.

Born with deformities in both hands, Rubin has persistently pushed forward, even into the world of art, and overcome her physical limitations.

“I’m always amazed when beauty emerges from these hands,” Rubin said.

Her customers say they aren’t surprised, since artistic talent comes from the mind, more than the hands.

And Rubin’s greatest talent is being able to take a hodgepodge of ideas and memorabilia and turn them into keepsakes everyone can admire.

“Suzanne was able to capture one of Bobby’s loves and some family heirlooms on one piece, and it’s a beautiful treasure,” West said.

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For more information about Rubin and her art, visit her Out of the Box Decorating page on Facebook, e-mail her at or contact her at 615-691-2489.

Tagged under  Art, Out of the Box Decorating, Suzanne Rubin

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