Nashville Visual Artists-Mandy Rogers Horton

Last week I was in for a treat. I got to go over Mandy's house for coffee and got to see first hand how she puts together her collages. It was pretty awesome. AND she's having a show at the Arts Company, which is opening up December 6th during the Art Crawl.


What is the theme of your work?

A theme that underlies all the work-whether painting or mixed media-is tension between what are seemingly opposing forces. Whether it’s structure and chaos, or what it means to be an individual in a huge society, all these contradictions create a tension that I’m trying to figure out by creating the work. For example, the theme behind these recent collages is how we put together our worldview from all the different experiences and ideas we get exposed to on a daily basis. Sometimes these ideas go together harmoniously and sometimes they clash. So in all the work there is this idea of potential beauty as well as impossible mash up of perspectives. There’s so much freedom of thought right now in Western society but it can also be challenging to work through everything that we are exposed to and come to our own belief systems.

What influences your work?

Definitely other art. In particular, Giacometti’s drawings, DeKooning’s black and white paintings, and Doris Salcedo’s sculpture and installation works have been on my mind. I also get inspired by things that I see everyday around me-- the way chandeliers cast shadows across a ceiling, the way my daughter ties all her toys together with ribbon and shoestring, conversations with friends…all this inspires me.

What is the goal for your work?

The desire to create is always there and is never completely satisfied. So, the most simple but significant goal is to keep working and, through working, to be learning & growing. I always want to stay prolific, to keep making work. The process is more important to me than the finished product, but I also hope my work gets out there and communicates what I’m trying to say. I hope the finished product serves other people the way that the process serves me. I try to show regularly and have a new body of work every 18 months or so. What I’m more concerned about is creating a conversation with my work instead of just selling it. Of course selling is always nice, but that’s not my main goal when I create the work. 

What are your thoughts on the Nashville Arts Scene?

I think Nashville has always been a great place to make work. There’s a wonderful camaraderie of artists here who exchange ideas. Groups like the Fugitive and Coop or other studio complexes like at Downtown Pres or the Chestnut Square Building are examples of that. Showing and selling work in Nashville has been more challenging in the past. The problem is that there isn’t much public support in the sense that not much art is purchased. But hopefully all the new galleries that have opened up recently will encourage more public involvement and financial support which will ultimately create growth in the art scene.

You can learn more about Mandy's work at