Juan Lopez, owner of Glam and Tonics Aveda Salon, imagines a Montlake with beautiful public art. Juan has worked for nearly a decade to make Montlake a better place. Now you can join residents like him in envisioning how art can improve Montlake.
Juan represents our neighborhood business owners on the Montlake Community Club’s project committee for the Business District Development Plan. To this important project, he brings business acumen developed first in L.A. and then here in Montlake for the past 11 years. Juan also offers an educated design sensibility, natural friendliness and finely honed listening skills. A most interesting man, indeed, but there’s more, as your intrepid reporter discovered recently.
Step into Juan Lopez’s domain, Glam & Tonics Aveda Concepts Salon in Downtown Montlake, and you’re welcomed by cheerful hellos, laughing conversation, your new-favorite musical tracks—and, of course, superb styling service. On a rainy fall day, add a cup of tea and a comfy chair pulled up to the warmth of the flickering fireplace (above which is mounted an eye-catching ceramic moose head).This convivial place feels like a boutique clubhouse—Montlake’s 21st century answer to the iconic neighborhood barbershop. Presiding over the hospitable scene is, of course, Juan Lopez, community service activist, Montlake Community Club Board member, and our own “most interesting man.”
Lopez has made a habit of giving back to the community since he started work at Salon Blast in Montlake in 2007. He became that salon’s owner in 2013. Not long after, he moved to open Glam & Tonics Aveda just two doors down. How many Montlake residents remember the Locks of Love event, when Mr. Johnson’s Antiques owner, Matt, sacrificed his lengthy locks to Juan’s scissors for the non-profit that provides hairpieces for children in need? And how about the Paws fundraisers that he and his salon colleagues have supported? Then there’s the salon art gallery space provided for Montlake artists throughout the Montlake Unabridged Arts & Music summer of 2015? Ah, now we get to arts advocacy.
As a downtown Montlake business owner, Juan is well aware of the traffic issues that bedevil our community and is highly supportive of practical fixes. After all, his clients—40% Montlakers, 60% from beyond—all have to cope with the traffic challenges just to get to his salon. But his special interest as a project committee member is also in creating a new unique identity for Montlake that incorporates rich artistic expression. Juan gets animated when he talks of public artworks enticing residents and visitors alike to stroll the streets, shop, sip, dine, take advantage of services, and hang out. He already imagines murals, sculptures, archways, plantings, and lighting, all in service of that unique community identity. It’s easy to be drawn into Juan’s creative thought experiments about Montlake’s future as you join him for a cup of tea by the fireplace.
The Montlake Community Club will soon be forming a Public Arts committee to organize the addition of public art in our business district. That new group will establish guidelines & procedures, identify potential sites, and manage the art acquisition process. You can well imagine Juan Lopez, Montlake’s most interesting man, serving on that Public Arts committee. Can you imagine yourself giving back to your community by serving too? Interested residents are encouraged to contact Kathy Laughman, the project lead (firstname.lastname@example.org).