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Art on the Avenue flourishes

Art on the Avenue returned to Frankford Avenue for the third time, displaying the work of two artists at Stein Your Florist.

Flower power: Art on the Avenue returned to Frankford Avenue for the third time, displaying the work of two artists — Lori Raggio (below) and Bill Becker (above) — at Stein Your Florist. LOGAN KRUM / TIMES PHOTOS

This week, Stein Your Florist looks even more colorful than usual.

The cornerstone Mayfair business at Frankford and Princeton avenues served as the third venue for Art on the Avenue, a series that has seen local businesses display work by local artists.

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Artists Bill Becker and Lori Raggio displayed paintings on the store’s second floor. Originally, the theme was supposed to match the nature of the store and showcase flowers — but Becker deviated from the theme.

“You can’t put a limit on creativity,” said store owner Patrick Kelly.

Becker, a former Mayfair resident, is responsible for many artworks around the area, including the Pokemon Gym paint display outside of Stein. The work he had on display showcased a variety of art styles on the canvas.

Many of the paintings he displayed had been completed a while ago, but he touched them up and added detail or changed color just before the show.

“I finished this one on the way here,” he joked.

When Becker is staring at a blank canvas, he lets his hand move chalk to make random shapes until some meaning starts to form.

Raggio, who is also a former Mayfair resident, creates work that blended with the store’s flowers well. Much of her art focuses on nature. When she travels, she photographs flora she finds and recreates the photos with watercolor pencils.

“It’s just what interests me,” she said.

Raggio, who teaches kids at Tacony LAB on Saturdays, also paints landscapes with a tropical focus. She’s traveled to places such as Mexico and Key West, Florida, and taken photos to inspire her art.

She also makes cheese and charcuterie serving trays out of wood. Her paintings and boards can be found on her etsy, BoardAndEasel.

Art on the Avenue was started earlier this year by Barbara Baur as a way to give local artists a stage and help drive people into local businesses. Previous art shows took place at Prudential Bank and the Insectarium. Kelly said he knew many people on the local arts scene and that hosting an art show at his store was a natural fit.

“It’s exactly what we wanted to happen,” Kelly said of the art series. “If we can get enough local businesses like Steins showing their art, people who love art are going to come to the neighborhood. It’s a very exciting time.” ••

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