Paul Miller, “Wanderings”
You may know Paul for his amazing barbecue skills, showcased at last summer’s TVC Church Picnic, but he’s also a talented artist. Paul loves color, shape, line quality, letters and he loves to paint. After obtaining a BFA in graphic design from Austin Peay State University, many of the above mentioned design elements continued finding their way into his studio work. As a Christian who enjoys painting, oftentimes thoughts of spirituality, eternity and moral ideals find their way into the same works as random thoughts of the day, ideas from songs listened to while painting and more. Most of Paul’s thoughts are built up in layers on his work. So many times in life, the surface is a mask hiding experiences, but the past continues to resonate and shape the present. For Paul, each layer is its own. The painting, in its finality, is a combination of emotions, experiences and wandering thoughts … whether what you see is abstract or representational. On a freelance basis, Paul has designed a large variety of print and web collateral including brochures, menus, logos, magazines, advertisements, CDs and web graphics. In addition to his freelance artwork, Paul is a marketing, design and communications specialist for Southeast Financial Credit Union, where he’s worked for the past decade. When not working, he enjoys golfing, camping, hiking, fishing, boating, hunting and competing in regional and national BBQ competitions.
Tony Sobota, “The Art of Construction: A Love Song for Nashville”
Most people encounter Tony Sobota face-to-face at festivals, where he draws caricatures locally and around the country. In addition to his whimsical cartoons, he has spent the past decade as a painter, often choosing obscure or unsightly subjects. Having moved from Knoxville to Nashville in 2015, Tony recently acquainted himself with his new city by painting the most prolific (and perhaps unsightly) subject in town: construction sites.
Influenced by entertainment-industry environmental painters Nathan Fowkes and Ron Lemen, as well as contemporary painters Jennifer Brickey, Susan Logoreci and Nikos Rutkowski, Tony explores his interest in the painting process through the language of construction.
Beginning with small representational studies and moving to larger more conceptual pieces, Tony pursues the question: How can the process (of constructing a building or a painting or a life) itself be beautiful? Can we appreciate the stages of “becoming” — or just anxiously await the removal of all scaffolding?
Tony studied drawing and painting via independent study at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, and his work has been shown at the Emporium Center, The Square Room and Remedy Coffee, all in Knoxville. He’s also taught a master class at Community School of the Arts and the Thursday Connection Co-op, also in Knoxville. Tony has several professional affiliations as well. He’s a member of the Nashville Creative Group, The Arts and Business Council, The Arts and Cultural Alliance, The International Society for Caricature Artists and The 17th Street Studios Artist Collective.
Mandy Horton, “General, Particular, Permanent, Passing”
Initially working in oil paint, Mandy Rogers Horton’s recent work has involved mixed media collage, painting and installation. In the processes of collage and assemblage, found images and forms serve as a ready-made vocabulary with which she considers the way in which individuals construct their worlds and worldviews from disparate sources.
Earning her MFA from American University in Washington D.C., Mandy also studied at Anderson University, The Queen’s University of Belfast, and The Chautauqua Institute in New York. Her work has been exhibited in Nashville, Louisville, Philadelphia, New Orleans and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a Tennessee Arts Commission Professional Development Support Grant and a residency at The Vermont Studio Center.
Mandy lives in Nashville with her husband, artist Rocky Horton, and their three children. Her work has been featured in The Tennessean, Nashville Arts Magazine and The Nashville Scene. Mandy is a founding member of the Coop Gallery, a nonprofit curatorial collective in Nashville. She has taught studio art and art history courses at several universities including MTSU, Lipscomb, Belmont and Watkins College of Art and Design.
The process of collage and assemblage, of culling, sorting and composing with ready-made forms and images, parallels the process of composing both our physical lives and worldviews. From millions of diverse sources, experiences and encounters we each weave together our environments and our philosophies with beautifully unexpected combinations. Mandy’s current work reflects on this kind of fabrication.
Anna Rainous, “Creation Great and Small”
Born and raised in Muncie, Indiana, this youngest of five children always had a creative streak. Blessed with an active imagination, a vivid memory and natural inclination toward the arts, Anna relocated to Nashville in 2010. She received her BFA in Studio Art with emphases in ceramics and painting from Belmont University in 2014.
Anna’s artistic influences include ceramicists Lorna Meaden and Philippe Faraut, and painters Makoto Fujimura and Claire Desjardins. She finds particular inspiration in the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi – the idea that beauty is found in the transient, the imperfect and the incomplete.
Stories and people figure prominently in her work as well. “The two go hand in hand – every person has a story, and bits of those stories can be found in a person’s face,” Rainous says. So when painting or sculpting a portrait she always pays close attention to the details, because that’s where she find hints of the story. No one has a perfect face. Everyone has little flaws, bumps, wrinkles and scars, but those little characteristic details are what tell the story.
Anna currently works out of Ground Floor Gallery + Studios with several local artists, including some fellow TVCers.
Holly Abernathy, “Beauty In the Boneyard”
TVCer Holly Abernathy and her husband, Matt, have been attending the church for more than three years, along with their children Shannon and Iain. Holly has worked in journalism as well as the creative arts field for more than 20 years and holds a BA in communications with an emphasis in journalism and broadcasting. Her writing and photography have been published in several print and online publications and she has worked in a variety of media, from marketing and public relations to television and radio broadcasting.
This is the first showing of Holly’s personal photography in a formal setting, as her work has always been used within a corporate or commercial environment. Holly’s goal in doing this show is to – hopefully – inspire others to find time to be still in our technology-driven world, and to absorb the beauty of the details that have been gifted to us, even in the anomaly of decay.
Extraordinary things exist in front of us every single day if we have eyes to see them. “The Boneyard” and all the stunning abnormalities that exist there made this challenge fairly easy, but it is Holly’s sincere desire that the display of these works can somehow be an inspirational catalyst for someone else to live that intentionally, even when it’s not so obvious.
K. Randall Wilcox, “The Journey”
K. Randall Wilcox received his BA in art from Cal State Northridge, and is the founder and partner of Once Blind Studios, a boutique graphic design studio specializing in brand design and heritage-themed products. While he’s worked professionally as a graphic designer for more than 20 years, his passion lies in the fine arts. What began as a hobby grew into a passion and an artistic outlet.
His influences include great painters such as Rauschenberg, Warhol and Pollock, as well as photographers Stieglitz, Cartier-Bresson, Sudek and Brassai. Inspired by these artists, Wilcox seeks to illuminate the layers and contrasts inherent our environment. After shooting for over a decade, Wilcox began painting and is now exploring other types of mixed media expressions.
“I believe that art, similar to life, changes daily. It’s about documenting life from a different perspective that others might not see or experience,” Wilcox says. “Along this journey we adapt, grow and hopefully find our way.”
Travel is one of his primary pleasures. Whether it’s the desert, Prague, Budapest, Mexico, Istanbul, Cuba, urban United States or the Boneyard of old neon signs in Las Vegas, he loves to shoot and experiment with texture. Where others find decay, Wilcox sees character.
Kymberlee Stanley, “Currents of Change: Rediscovering Home”
Born and raised in Southern California, Kymberlee Stanley is new to the painting scene here in Nashville, and has recently found joy rediscovering this long-forgotten passion. Kymberlee’s first exposure to oil painting was at age 18 at a summer painting class her mother enrolled her in at the local hardware store. She later received an art scholarship to attend Biola University based on a painting done during that class. She graduated from Long Beach State University with a liberal arts degree, tucking away her oil paints and brushes for more than two decades.
Kymberlee relocated to Nashville in 2012 with her husband, Paul, and their six-year-old daughter Evie. When she first arrived, she felt the loss of leaving behind her friends and her work as a school counselor in the San Francisco Bay Area. At the encouragement of her husband, she enrolled in a community education oil painting class. It was there, in a class meant for seniors, that she found a medium to help express her homesickness.
All of the paintings in this show were painted from original photos taken during trips back to California and from images of nearby creeks here in Nashville. Most of the paintings depict the serenity of water in some way. The oil paints used for this exhibit were the same tubes she used in that hardware store painting class.
Also a singer-songwriter, Kymberlee doesn’t know why she felt drawn to painting and not music when she moved to “Music City,” but she’s elated to pursue an expression of God’s beauty and peace in a way that can bring comfort to an ailing soul in a new way.
Elizabeth Foster, “Imaginarium”
Originally from Columbia, South Carolina, Elizabeth Foster now calls Nashville home, working here as a visual artist and playing music. She studied studio art and art history at the University of Virginia, then she moved on to drawing at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture before tackling art and teaching at the University of South Carolina.
Raised in a family of writers, painters, musicians and creative thinkers, imagination was considered a valuable currency. It’s no surprise then that she began illustrating her own stories at a young age. Those early experiences continue to inspire her today. “Holding on to the endless possibilities of that sacred childhood imagination has been essential to my painting,” Elizabeth says.
Although her work may seem fantastical at first, her pieces actually draw upon the real life storyline of herself and those around her as she translates, using her own language of characters. Overcoming obstacles and building relationships are also major themes that work their way into Elizabeth’s pieces. And being a songwriter, many of her titles naturally take a lyrical turn. Just like writing a song, sometimes the tune comes first, sometimes the lyrics. It's the same with title and image for her, but truly what always comes first is the life experience or the wonderful real life characters that inspires the rest.
“Imaginarium” is a collection of work that Elizabeth hopes reflects her love of using freely the imagination the Lord has given her, the amazing gift of people and life lessons He has placed in her path along the way, and the honest love of simply creating.
Mandy Jones, “Collecting the Present”
Mandy Jones wasn’t originally planning to become a painter. It was only after taking a required painting course at Harding University while studying for a Graphic Design degree that she found she liked working with the medium. She continued to study, earning her MFA in the painting program at the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Today, Mandy makes it a point to keep exploration in mind in her art practice. With an eye on attaining a multi-faceted understanding of painting, she explores the medium through both traditional and contemporary techniques. Jones’ work has been exhibited both in the US and internationally, and is a part of many collections around the world. Currently, Mandy works out of her studio right here in Nashville.