Nashville Visual Artists-Delia Seigenthaler

I was blown away when I first stepped in Delia Seigenthaler’s studio. There were dolls and doll parts everywhere. It was fascinating and a little creepy. The artwork spoke to me and I was curious to find out more about it.

Nashville Visual Artists  is a photo documentary that profiles visual artists living and working in Nashville. The purpose of this project is to bring awareness to the strong visual arts scene here. Nashville is famous for its music culture but a lot of people aren't familiar with its rich visual arts culture. By interviewing artists and documenting their process in the studio, I hope to draw more attention to the visual arts community here.

What is the theme of your work?

I consider myself a mixed media artist and move easily between working in 2D and 3D. Assembling parts and collage gives me the ability to create a personal narrative. Sometimes I think of myself as a “closet artist”. My best work seems to happen when I’m making a piece that I don’t want anyone else to see. It’s definitely where I’m most comfortable.Process is very important to me. It seems like I’ve always used found objects in my work or at least have always been a collector of things. It’s interesting to see what happens to objects over time. I’m happy to let the ideas come to me and I don’t have to know where they come from all the time. Process is very important to me. It allows me to see what my private world will reveal.

What inspires your work?

All kinds of things inspire me and have influenced me. My mother was an artist and could do anything. She was a painter but I’m sure that I was more influenced by her projects around the house. She could solve any problem with what little resources she had. If she wanted something done, she would figure it out and do it with no fear of failure. I remember watching her paint the entire exterior of our house with a roller. One time, she strapped sand paper to her shoes and refinished the floors. She would take apart a cabinet and put it back together and paint murals in the house. She even made wax figures for a wax museum. I know that’s where I get my ability to work with materials that I have on hand and have faith that I can make it work.

What is the goal of your work?

Goals for me change as they are reached or let go of. I try to keep several goals in mind. I allow myself the freedom to switch gears. My teaching alleviates the stress of relying on my artwork to pay the bills and while that’s good, it leaves me with less time in my studio. I have to be creative in finding ways to make time and focus on being disciplined. My main goal is to have more of that precious time to make the work that I want to make.

What are your thoughts on the Nashville Arts Scene?

It’s growing quickly. When I moved to Chicago in 1987, there were maybe three galleries to speak of. I couldn’t wait to go and see what else there was out there. Nashville has such a strong sense of community. It’s the thing that draws people here. I feel like the visual artists, creative people, and of course musicians here are driving that sense of community and the artists benefit from it as well. There is not a lot of critical discourse here and without a strong MFA program everything tends to be warm and fuzzy. But that’s Nashville, I guess. I think there are great things going on at Watkins School of Art and Wedgewood/Houston area is very exciting.

To learn more about Delia’s work visit