Saturday, December 10, 2011

Anthony Tavis Folk Art Now Featured at City Arts Boutique in Woodlawn's 55th Place Arts Incubator

Where can you find original art from Anthony Tavis and other Birmingham artists?  If your in Birmingham, you must stop by the hippest new shop in the Magic City. City Arts Boutique is a great little shop in the blue brick building at 5528 1st Ave. South in the Woodlawn section of Birmingham.  Close to the trendy Crestwood neighborhood, City Arts Boutiques Owner Brooke Fleming has created a magnificent space filled with local art and hand made goods by some of the finest artists in Birmingham. City Arts Boutique not only carries hand made art and decor but will also offer assorted art classes.  Brooke has taken a bold step in the effort to revitalize the Woodlawn neighborhood and will go down in history as one of the founding patrons of this new and exciting arts district.  Tired of sitting around wondering "who's going to clean up Birmingham?" Do your part in making Birmingham Alabama the premier art destination in the Southeast, stop by City Arts Boutique today!

Monday, December 5, 2011

My folk art embraces people, places and culture.  I like to pick through the clutter of civilization and extract the good, fun, interesting and unique aspects that I find worthy of salvaging.  Valuable elements of enchantment, mystery and joy are associated with all people and places and it is my job to hunt them down, preserve them and promote them. The use of salvaged construction materials is an integral aspect of my art because it ties the piece to history and place.  Each painting has a physical connection to a structure that now stands or once stood.

The concept and design process can begin at any given time on any given day but usually takes place during the long commute to my day job. The ideas for my art can be triggered by a personal experience such as reading, some place I’ve been, the food I eat, a person I meet, or a song I hear.  Most of my creations are painted on scrap plywood, oriental strand board, and other salvaged material from construction sites, commercial dumpsters and refuse piles.  I prepare the raw materials by removing nails, cutting them into particular shapes, sanding and priming when necessary.  Once I have finished processing the raw materials, I apply a design and color scheme.  I use mostly acrylic paint and latex house paint that would otherwise have found its way to the landfill. I occasionally distress the piece using sanding and staining techniques.  Due to the irregular shapes and sizes of my art, I try to incorporate a decorative border. Once dry, I apply a protective clear coat, which gives the piece a lively and homogeneous finish.  Finally, the mounting hardware is attached and the piece is complete and ready for exhibition. 

I like to think of my art pieces as kitschy roadside attractions on the highway between vintage and pop. The process of making art from salvaged materials and meeting people who want it displayed in their living and work space gives me great satisfaction and a sense of purpose.  Making and exhibiting original art is an opportunity for me to use my talents while spreading joy to others. I feel that creating something of value from the discarded is an important and relevant concept to pass on to my children, and to my viewer.