Believe it or not, Nashville’s art scene does consist of more than mason jars and distressed wood. There is a killer, weird art scene here. It’s just not as in your face as some of the other types of artwork. Which is a shame, really.
Because, there are a lot of festivals in the Nashville area. Pretty much every weekend we are out celebrating something. Crawfish? Yep. Cherry Blossoms? Of course. Tomatoes? Who wouldn't celebrate tomatoes?
And if you attend these festivals, every so often you’ll stumble upon a booth filled with original, creepy creations. Skeletons, witches, creepy clowns. Yep, we pretty much have whatever low key ominous thing you’re looking for.
And to be transparent, all of these artists listed are seriously my favorite. Most of these artists I've done a show or two or twenty with, and some I can say are good friends. I was a huge fan of all of these talented people before I met them in the art festival scene and I own some of their pieces (or want to). Here are seven of my favorite weirdos who make the coolest things.
1. Inclined to improvise
Michelle Sweatt, artist and owner of Inclined to Improvise, transforms everyday objects, like gears and dolls, into imaginative characters with personality. Inclined to Improvise also offers event design and workshops (follow her on Facebook to get the details) so you can learn how to make your own assemblage and mixed media works of art. Her attention to detail and the quality of her work really brings new life to things discarded and forgotten.
Psst.. The Pennywise moves and has music. (click here to see the video)
If you love monsters AND books/comics, well this next one is for you. Twentyheads uses clay and found objects to make fascinating monsters heads. Then, each head is mounted into a box made from reclaimed lumber which has been lined with paper from discarded books. I just love the originality and small details in each piece. Each monster head is unique and tells its own story. And the colors! *swoon*
Ellen Gee is the artist behind MacabreWebs, spinning spooky fine art to delight and disturb. Using primarily polymer clay, papier mache, and acrylic paint Ellen creates these lovable, Halloween inspired creations. Ellen is also behind one of the BEST spooky art shows in the area, Monsters and Merriment. This year the date is set for September 29!
4. Jeff Bertrand
Jeff Bertrand paints your favorite horror characters on things like axes, knives, shovels, and spirit boards. I mean, what else could you possibly want?! I always love seeing what Jeff is painting on next. It adds a special element that transforms his paintings into treasured pieces.
5. Kelly McKernan
Illustrator and fine artist, Kelly McKernan, creates fantastic paintings that focus on two forces: a woman and a world. Kelly is a master of her craft. Each artwork is stunning and evocative. Kelly is ridiculously talented and her entire portfolio is inspiring.
6. Ethan Black
Ethan Black is one of those artists who can make anything and do it well. He makes life size sculptures, books, illustrations, paintings, giant spiders... the list goes on. Ethan is a true lover of all things horror and Halloween, and it shows in his work. Ethan is also one of the creators of the Monsters and Merriment show on September 29.
7. Curiously Creepy
Amber Black is the artist behind Curiously Creepy. Amber makes all sorts of spooky things from handmade sculpted journals to magic wands. I'm also really in love with the Twilight Zone charms from one of my favorite episodes.