Nashville Visual Artists-Kit Kite

I first saw Kit's work in a gallery in the Fort Houston area during an Art Crawl, Nashville's open gallery night that happens once a month. I had just moved here and didn't know too many people so was going around to the galleries on my own. I hadn't yet started this project on documenting visual artists yet, only just thinking about it as I was impressed by the work I was seeing on the art crawl that evening. I loved Kit's work so much, that I approached her and asked her if I could cover her work for this project, whenever it was going to be started. Months later, I am happy to finally feature one of the artists that motivated me to start this project in the first place.

What is the theme of your work?

I'm investigating how changes can change everything inside you, and how you view the world, yet the world around you is still the same.The X Housewife Portraits, for example, is a series that documents more or less my personal process of isolation, displacement within my house and identity within the home -- exploring one's individual’s objectivity to relationship, materiality, and the human longing to connect to a physical landscape. In the photographic series, the concept was relayed using myself as I became immersed in the inanimate household object, where the common domestic tool was depicted as the setting subject and I the backdrop.

What inspires your work?

I've been pouring over all of Winsor McCay's illustrating from 1905-1914. More recently his work has seemed to play a significant role in how I see or think a thing through and I've often found his work to emulate set design or film stills; from the "story boarding" visuals found commonly within graphic novel's genre and his own unique arrangement of composition and color. For the next conceptual series I'm working on titled "Psychosis Smudge" I will be silk screening a majority of the content to relay the concept; in hopes to achieve the effect ink has on newsprint, again liken to Winsor McCay's printed comics. 

What are the goals for your work?

I'd like to gain more exposure and at some point be sustainable from my work so this can create more time to create and not be pressured by financial constraints of holding down a job in order to survive.

What are your thoughts on the Nashville Arts Scene?

It's growing and that's great in itself but I wish there were more constructive criticism. this could help the arts community grow. People want to be supportive, but they'd be more supportive if they helped each other grow by constructive criticism.

To learn more about her work visit http://www.theKitKite.com

Nashville Visual Artists-Rob Matthews

I found myself on the back roads of Donelson trying to find Rob's studio. In the edge of a big green backyard was a little house that served as his studio. His studio was super organized though the work spoke to me of chaos, of overlapping. It was an interesting contrast and a good start to hearing more about his work.

What is the theme of your work?

The theme of my work is rooted in mortality. Even when I don't intend for it to be, it's there. The splintering that you see-the multifaces-is a conceptual realization of that idea-of living a finite life in an infinite space. There is also the theme of transition in my work-the idea of not being able to be in the present moment. The splintering shows how moments in time can overlap one another.

What inspires your work?

Personal experience inspires my work. Whatever big trend or event that is happening in my life influences the work I make. People who are involved in their craft have an influence on what I do as well. This passion is a sort of validation of why I am so involved with what I do. I am motivated to create work by a need to make things. When I don’t make things, I feel something lacking.

What are the goals of your work?

Now that I’m a midcareer artist, I want to make sure that this is the decade I make the best work I’ve ever made. I’ve recently relocated to Nashville from Philadelphia and though I have gallery representation in the Northeast, I want to be an active participant in this region. It would be great to exhibit in Nashville and the larger region and contribute to what is happening around here. I'm still trying to learn about the history of the Nashville art scene to figure out how to best serve.

What are your thoughts on the Nashville Arts Scene?

I knew there were a number of talented artists here before I moved back. It’s more organized and happening than I realized. Nashville has changed a great deal since when I lived here as a kid. It's easy to focus on the weaknesses, but I think that's how artists talk about any art scene, anywhere. It's more important to focus on the strengths and the potential. Hopefully the right things will align to harness that potential or the scene here will be strong but remain undervalued.To learn more about Rob’s work check out 

http://www.matthewstheyounger.com

Nashville Visual Artists-Julia Martin

Julia Martin's gallery in the Wedgewood-Houston area was one of the first galleries I visited when I first moved to Nashville a year ago. It's always been one of my favorite spaces to visit on the monthly Art Crawl. For June's art crawl, Julia will be exhibiting some three-dimensional work, exciting stuff for she normally works two-dimensionally. I got to see her in process and am super excited to see the work when it's finished.

What is the theme of your work?

I wouldn't necessarily say that my work has a theme. The work is very personal and often autobiographical in ways that surprise even me. My biggest goal as an artist is to keep my mind and heart open at all times. Especially during the creative process which in reality never stops. It is a perpetual state of mind. There is never-ending internal dialogue, so you have to keep materials nearby for when the physical urge hits. This is crucial in my thinking, so that an idea or a feeling doesn't become too precious, mashed up or overworked. The work is always strongest when I simply allow things to flow through me. 

What are the goals for your work?

I guess you're asking more about my career goals. I feel like I am right where I need to be. Nashville's Art Scene is blossoming so beautifully right now. I feel very honored to be a part of it. I plan to continue to develop relationships with a few galleries around the country, but my focus is on JMG for the most part as we all navigate through this rapid growth spirt. It is both exciting and terrifying.

What are yout houghts on the Nashville art scene?

Nashville is finally gaining recognition as a destination for visual art and artists. Its a wonderful thing and it truly feels like a united front here in Wedgewood Houston. I feel support and love from all of my neighbors as I hope they do mine. We make each other stronger with every exhibition.

To learn more about Julia Martin's work and her gallery visit http://juliamartingallery.com.

Nashville Visual Artists-Adrienne Outlaw


Adrienne Outlaw creates interactive art that allows people from all different demographics to be in situations together that they normally wouldn't be. Read more to learn about her amazing work!

What is the theme of your work?

With the greater goal of creating empathy and community, I often create multi-sensory experiences for people who might not normally meet. For instance I've held workshops all over Nashville for which people have completed small artworks for a larger sculpture; invited 300+ people into the studio to collaboratively work on a large sculpture; organized and hosted a video and sound immersive dinner party; and run games in the park with the idea to introduce disparate people-people who normally would not socialize with each other- to meet and find a common ground. 

What inspires your work?

I see how our society is being affected by rapid transition, namely by losing our sense of community. Therefore, we are losing touch with our neighbors and we don’t seem to know how to get along anymore. I am interested in giving an “art experience” to people, in a non-intimidating way,who normally wouldn’t come across art in their everyday lives.

What is the goal of your work?

To make it accessible to people without compromising the concept of the work.

What are your thoughts on the Nashville Arts Scene?

It’s growing really fast and there is a huge influx of people from much larger art markets that are lending criticality and more diversity to the community here. I am very excited about what is happening. As the city gentrifies, I am concerned that the government is not giving the value to the arts that is needed, like giving live-create-work situations, for example. As the development continues, artists might find it challenging to live and work here as living costs increase. Therefore, its important to let representatives know of artists’ needs and help the city be as hospitable as possible to its artists.

you can learn more about Adrienne's work at www.adrienneoutlaw.com.

Nashville Visual Artists-Megan Kelley

     I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon at Platone Printmaking watching Megan Kelley work the printing press. Read the interview and learn more about her work!

 

I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon at Platone Printmaking watching Megan Kelley work the printing press. Read the interview and learn more about her work!

What is the theme of your work? 

Much of my work follows documenting or interpreting narratives, often in transmedia formats: whether my own, those of the world around me, or imagined stories. I also work to encourage dialogues through my work; often my work is interactive, seeking audience engagement as a fundamental part of the experience and piece. I like to think of my work as the experience of sitting around the archetypal campfire in the wilderness: a place for us disparate wanderers to pause, share stories, pass tokens of mythology and engage in barter. Sometimes I collect these from you; sometimes I give you mine; sometimes we create one together. 
As much as I enjoy developing or facilitating works that fall more into the realm of social practice and/or communally- or collaboratively- created pieces, that can be an intensive process that requires a strong sense of my own personal work, so in general, the bulk of my works are based in or draw from my experiences - my views, translations, and creations that reflect how I've interacted with the world - and the physical work focuses on bringing those to other people, whether as physical objects, immersive environments, or digital experiences.

What inspires your work? 

Brecht is known to have said that "The Whole Universe interests me," and I find that phrase to be fairly true for me as well. I read voraciously on a number of subjects - from art to medicine to science to psychology to mythology, and everywhere in-between - and through those explorations, I am drawn again and again to the nebulous, intellectual, individualized space between how we interact with the world and how we learn to make sense of it: perceptive frameworks, memory, mythos, behavioral patterns. 
In particular, I keep turning back to look at how I myself engage the world as a sense-maker; many of my works engage self-portraiture as a starting point, whether referenced directly (I return again and again to the image of my own hands with their distinctive rings, or to the surprises of my face, or the chapters of my recollections) or indirectly (such as the imagined landscape of the online game, The Inbound Lands, where viewers can enter and wander what is essentially a stylized construct of my mental debris and landmarks). 
Finally, I am caught by the simple things: organic forms, color relationships, and the push and pull of line. I walk often, with sketchbook or camera, and I "notetake" relentlessly with these tools. These places that snag me have purpose, even if I haven't uncovered it fully yet, so I try to honor that by being open.

What are the goals for your work? 

An immediate goal I hope my work has is the ability to cause others to stop, consider, question, connect, or challenge. It's important to me that my work be accessible in some form: that even if the concept is difficult or relies on content that's a bit more obscure, that the audience can come into my process, or into my purpose, or my studio, and find some way to have an experience with and through the work. When it comes to art, I feel that when we as audiences have an invitation into understanding work, we can then begin to understand the value of art (that specific work as well as in art in general). It's important to me to facilitate that invitation.
The biggest goal I have is personal, however selfish that might be: I want the work to continue to do that for me, as the maker, to likewise stop, consider, question, connect, and challenge. I want it to continue to leave me sitting up in the night, full of ideas; I want it to again and again make me pause and reflect and wonder how I'm approaching making; I want it always to make me leap forward, raising new questions by having answered this one. I feel if I manage that, the rest will take care of itself.

What are your thoughts on the Nashville Arts Scene?

I made a very deliberate choice in Nashville after comparing it comprehensively to similar cities, and I believe strongly in the ability of our city and its inhabitants to rise to that choice. I've said for a long time that Nashville is large enough to accept change, but intimate enough for you to be that change-agent on a personal, individual level. In general, Nashville stands beside people who go out and do what they believe in. Nashville has had a strong tradition of collaborative community within its art scenes, and I find that strength and support active and vital in the visual arts community in ways that I didn't see in other cities. If we continue to foster that, it can be powerful.
That being said, we're growing so quickly, and I think it's more important than ever for us as artists to take an active role in the cultivation of our city. We have much to contribute if we speak up, if we act, if we offer.

You can learn more about Megan's work at http://studiomnivorous.com/blog/