Monday, June 21, 2010

Spoils of War

If I was a complainer by nature, I would have all kinds of things to say about the heat index this past weekend.  I’d tell you about how blistering it was outside, and how the sun was beating down in a manner that can only be described as oppressive.  I might mention blazing temperatures, sweltering heat, or even throw in a comparative study of Nashville and the sun scorched dessert land of my choosing.  Fortunately, I’m the picture of optimism so you won’t have to hear me ramble on about any of that …but I will say this.  I spent my Saturday afternoon strolling around the Nashville Artisan Festival, fighting the heat in an effort to admire the boundless creativity of local artists.  I won a few battles but the heat won the war, and I’m afraid I was forced to retreat to the air-conditioning faster than I’d hoped.  In the short time before my defeat I was able to spot a few artists that appeared to be worth their weight in SPF100 Sunscreen.  Here’s a little bit about my favorite three and a few samples of their work.  

Alex Leopold is a self proclaimed former wannabe rock and roll star who, five years ago, found a new creative outlet in producing art.  His bold color choices, organic subjects and embedded bits of words, songs and poems show traces of his musician past and make for really fascinating pieces.  His work jumped out at me as original, creative, and just plain cool…but also as very beautiful.

Within three seconds of observing David Bigelow’s work several things are quite evident…1) He is incredibly talented and 2) He’s got a pretty hilarious sense of humor.  Bigelow is an art professor at Evangel University who uses a somewhat laborious 500 year old etching technique to produce his works of art.  His subjects typically include animals, vegetables and minerals with human-like qualities…a focus which could easily come off as tacky but, in his scholarly hands, instead highlights his razor sharp wit.

Jessica Stoddart is an accomplished second generation artisan whose university level training in sculpture and furniture design gives her sketches a unique edge.  Each piece is made on a hand crafted wood canvas with a thin layer of paper (often antique dress patterns), covered by pastels, charcoals and oil paints.  Despite the fact that she primarily chooses still life subjects, her work portrays a high concentration of depth and character.  


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