South Perry Pizza helps local artists

As customers ponder the culinary delights of South Perry Pizza, an assortment of visual masterpieces await hungry eyes on the walls.

Talented artists spice up the interior of this popular South Hill restaurant with creative works for display and sale, thanks to the generosity of owner John Siok, who is offering two months of free wall space to select artists from the region in an ongoing effort to connect with the community and spruce up its restaurant.

Featuring local artists is a South Perry Pizza tradition that began with original owners Pat, Sue and Krista Kautzman in 2010.

Siok, an art enthusiast and collector, has enriched this out-of-the-ordinary dining experience with his own local touches since taking over the business nearly nine years ago.

“We see ourselves as an artisanal pizzeria. Our art is in the food we create and the experience we provide for our customers,” said Siok, who uses suppliers from Valleyford, Reardan and Green Bluff for salad and pizza ingredients.

“We really try to focus on the local connection with our neighborhood…with our community, and the artists are part of that,” said Siok, who displays her own purchases of past wall artists as permanent fixtures in the restaurant.

Exhibition is essential in the art world, but high exhibition fees and sales commissions make Siok’s free space a valuable asset to artists like Karen Case, who discovered the location of Perry Street after peeping at paintings on the walls through open patio doors while testing a Mustang.

“It’s almost like he’s developed his restaurant with space to be able to have art there, and I think that’s just amazing and we really appreciate that as local artists. “said Case, who shows off her fluid artwork with acrylic. paintings and embellishments until June.

Adorning the walls of South Perry Pizza was a dream come true for Steph Sammons, who fell in love with the place while dining there with a friend.

“I kind of looked around the walls and thought one day, if I’m a real artist, I’m going to show here, because it’s such a cool place,” said Sammons, who has recently exhibited his works Alphabet of Mythological Creatures.

“Friendly people go there, and for me it was a new part of town. I had never shown on South Hill before, so it was a whole new audience of people who didn’t know me and my work,” said Sammons, who sold several plays during his run.

While the internet offers artists continuous exposure, selling artwork in an intimate venue with food and friends comes with bonuses.

“Art never looks the same online as it does in person,” said Case, who enjoys the interaction and feedback that a local presence brings.

That sentiment has been echoed by Sammons, which hand-delivers many of its sold items to customers.

“It’s just a more personal experience if you see it there and you’re in a place, because you already like it and you look around during the conversation,” Sammons said.

Siok will consider any art collection that meets its criteria, but prefers larger pieces with thought-provoking colors.

“It’s a big space, so they need a reasonable amount of work that they can fill the space with,” Siok said.

The selected artists hang, evaluate and sell their works thanks to their displayed contact details. Siok employees are always eager to chat with the mural artists’ patrons as they prepare local dishes, such as blue salad and homemade pizza.

“In the neighborhood, we have a lot of regulars who come to the restaurant, and they all like to see what’s next,” Siok said.

Over the years, a steady stream of oil, acrylic and photographic exhibits have graced the walls of South Perry Pizza, much to the delight of Siok, who graciously acknowledges that local wall artists are important ingredients in the restaurant. dining experience he creates.

“I express myself through the pizzas and salads we produce and love seeing how others express their creativity through their art,” Siok said.

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