Today we welcome Nashville-based artist Beth Inglish. Originally from Texas, she and her husband met while living in the US Virgin Islands and chose to move to Nashville to pursue their creative passions in music and art over 5 years ago. They did this without jobs or money and knowing absolutely no one! Now, Beth is highly integrated in the arts community and recently completed a amazing project with Mending Hearts, painting a community mural in West Nashville.
How does the art community support each other in town?
To be honest I feel like there are two separate art communities in Nashville. There is the institution including businesses, galleries and organizations. Then there is the artist community that just includes individual artists. These two communities don’t exactly walk hand and hand because there is little communication between the two. This disconnect is nothing new, this topic has been discussed at the Metro Nashville Arts Commission monthly Artober meetings. Everyone agrees we need to listen more and learn how to work together to eventually see change to create an even stronger art community.
To alleviate this I started a monthly group for artists called Nashville Creative Group so we could organize to help each other and find a way to have our voices heard. We all seem to struggle with the same things and are trying to bridge the gap with the institutions. We are networking and thinking more like entrepreneurs because that seems to be the only way we can make a living. Individual artists support each other by attending shows, helping out with projects, volunteering and just being available to one another.
Does the growing fashion industry in Nashville overlap with the art community?
I think it definitely does. There is is an exciting collaboration that I’m seeing more and more. The Arts Company just hosted an event last month that combined Norman Lerner’s photography with fashion created by Laura Camien and Deb Burton Calagna of LollyDee. It was a wonderful evening. There are other organizations such as RAW Artists and Sugar Does Nashville that combine art, fashion and music from local artists. I can only imagine how these two art forms will evolve in the future! I would love to collaborate with a local designer to brainstorm possibilities.
Where are some great places for readers to find art in town that they might not know about?
I would highly encourage people who are looking to buy art to purchase it from the Arcade during the monthly art crawl. The artists in the Arcade need more buyers and it’s a must if we want to support the emerging scene. I also believe more collectors should learn about Seed Space. It’s a wonderful community supported art program created by Adrienne Outlaw.
In general, I would encourage the readers to support local arts by attending shows and purchasing art all over town.
How do you describe your artwork?
My artwork has bold design elements, but possesses a sense of continuous movement. It is inspired by music, nature and community and is a direct reflection of my environment from the subjects I choose to the materials I use. I create art using canvas, wood, acrylic, oil, paper, crayon and graphite in many different layers. I take pleasure in experimenting with a wide variety of materials because I enjoy discovering nontraditional processes.
My artistic approach developed simply by letting go to give myself true freedom of expression. Creating work that replicates my authentic self is the most important piece to the process and is my main objective in creating any type of art.
Lately I have been creating mostly custom work, but I am creating a new series all about the 12South community for an August exhibition. I am also preparing for a show in November that will exhibit reproductions and originals that are all about Nashville to benefit Project Redesign.
Tell us about your recent project with Mending Hearts.
This past March I collaborated with Mending Hearts to paint a community mural in West Nashville.
“It is the mission of Mending Hearts to provide shelter, hope and healing to women who are homeless due to addiction, co-occurring disorders, mental or emotional disorders.”
I approached Mending Hearts with a mural idea and within a couple of months we put my plan into action. I conducted art therapy workshops with the women to generate illustrations that reflected their recovery process. I merged the images from their drawings to create a 30 foot wall mural that told their authentic story of recovery. In one day we painted the mural together, had a BBQ and were featured in The Tennessean and on News Channel 5!
The project was a huge success! It was the first time I really felt like I was helping people and changing lives with my gifts. All I really want to do is help people by showing them beauty through art because it can truly create change on an individual and community level.
Do you see the art community growing as rapidly as Nashville’s buzz lately?
I do. The art community is growing rapidly and the artists are making huge strides in generating work and a voice that will be heard around the world. We can do this and we believe it.
If you could change one thing about Nashville, what would it be?
I want to turn urban spaces into green spaces. We need to get creative and collaborate to turn more urban spaces into beautiful places where people can see public art, sit outside and enjoy the city from a different perspective. I am working on this now with a community mural project on Bandywood in Green Hills and hope to do more!
Where are some favorite places to grab dinner?
What are you most looking forward to this summer in Nashville?
I’m MOST excited about the new exhibit at Cheekwood. “Light” by Bruce Munro is genius. I’ve already seen it twice, but can’t wait to go back again and again. I’m also looking forward to Live on the Green starting in August. It’s one of my all time favorite Nashville concert series.
We’d love to hear a piece of advice that you have relied on.
When I get overwhelmed or doubt myself I say Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
If friends are coming over for dinner what do you like to cook?
Chicken tacos. When you’re from Texas, Mexican food is on the menu at least twice or three times a week. I like to make all the sides too like guacamole, rice, beans, the works!
What books are found on your bedside table?
Recently I started reading Boundaries. by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. It’s teaching me how to have a more balanced life by learning more about creating better habits.
What three things (besides God, Family, and Friends) are you most reliant on, or can’t imagine not having in your life?
My puppy, my iPhone and my stretch pants.
Thank you, Beth! To find out more about Beth and see some of her art, and to find out about her “Tree of Life” mural featured in several of these photos, check out: http://binglishart.com/
And thank you Ashley Hylbert for today’s beautiful photographs. You can see more of Ashley’s work here: www.ashleyhylbert.com