“The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable.” –Kurt Vonnegut
Words & Photos by Eva Claire Schwartz.
Looking at the intricate and elegant designs of jewelry and metalworking artist Camille Taylor, you’d never know she simply stumbled upon her craft.
“I had to choose an elective [for art school] and it was between jewelry or photography. I’m glad I chose jewelry,” laughs Taylor.
Taylor’s wide variety of work looks almost effortless and yet completely original. Under her wide brim of talent she’s made everything from delicate copper sugar bowls to silver hammered earrings and statement necklaces. Continue reading “Athens Artist: Camille Taylor”
Comedian Patton Oswalt once famously said that Athens is a magical place where, when you’re hungry and have no money, you can simply sing someone a song for a sandwich.
We’re hosting a friendly competition to see who can create the best taco-themed art. Make it silly! Make it palindrome-inspired! See if you can best this riff on the Nyan Cat! Show us your stuff (and your taco stuffing)!
The winner, to be selected in mid-September by The Grit manager Lawson Grice and art director Matt Blanks, will be given two tickets to our taco shindig, where we’ll have food from Tlaloc, Seabear, Heirloom, South Kitchen + Bar, Pulaski Heights BBQ, The Pine, Catch 22, Streets Cafe, Taqueria del Sol and more, as well as live music and a festive photo booth. We’ll also be printing a selection of our favorite entries for a gallery of taco art, to be displayed at the brewery in the month leading up to the event, as well as featuring those entries in a digital gallery online and on our Instagram. We want to show you off!
The submission deadline is September 11. Here’s how to enter:
1. Make your taco art! Paint it, collage it, draw it, render it in Photoshop — whatever your medium, we’ll take it.
2. Post your taco art to Instagram. Tag @my_athens, @terrapinbeerco and #athenstacotakedown.
3. We’ll select finalists in mid-September and contact you for a high-res file. A few days later, we’ll announce the winner!
Local artist Hannah Betzel had gotten away from her craft. Or maybe her craft got away from her. A wife and a mother of two young boys, she looked up at the end of 2014 and realized she wanted to start painting again. So she challenged herself to complete ten paintings by the end of this year. As of the beginning of this month, she’d done 100.
This was thanks in part to the #100daysproject, a movement that sprung up from Instagram to encourage creative people to develop a practice by making a new piece every day for 100 days. The project was created by The Great Discontent, who say it’s “not about fetishizing finished products — it’s about the process.”
My Athens recently caught up with Betzel to discuss her #100daysofabandon, how it’s changed her as an artist and what painting from her home studio has meant for her as a mother.
My Athens: You worked with lots of different media in this project — watercolor, acrylic, collage and more. Did one emerge as a favorite?
Hannah Betzel: I like collage a lot and mixing that with acrylics, mostly. I found I like watercolors more than I thought I would. I always thought my work would be real stiff, working with it. Once you put it down, it’s there, you can’t really erase it. But I went at it with a playful attitude and mixed it with other things like colored pencils and pastels, and that took away from the harshness.
You say you got back into painting with this project. What drew you away from it in the first place?
I think the fear of not being able to make it as an artist. I think that’s what held me back for a long time, thinking there’s no way I can make any money with that.
Has your feeling about that changed over the course of this project?
I think so, yeah. It’s showed me that you can make it if you really put work into it. That’s really what it comes down to.
You’re holding a reception and viewing of work from this process at BMA at Home this Thursday night from 6-9. How did your relationship with BMA start?
I had never been in the store. I have no idea why it took me so long to get in there. I was posting my 100 Days Project on Instagram and eventually Breckyn [Alexander, the owner of BMA at Home] got in touch and said she really liked my work and she wanted to see something in person.
What’s next for you?
Next, I think is I want to do a couple of series that go together. I wanted to focus on one style and do maybe ten paintings in that particular style.
I’m a seamstress as well, so I do a lot of sewing, and I’m inspired by runway stuff in my paintings.
I reconstruct old clothes, and make some of the boys’ clothes and make some stuff for myself. I was in the Olives and Wax Vintage [Repurposing Project fashion] show this summer. I had an outfit in that. I’ve sold some kimono tops at a local shop and Community wants me to put some stuff in there.
Sounds like you’ve had a really fruitful year!
It’s been busy! I’ve gotten a lot of work done.
What were you up to before all this?
I’ve been really busy with my sons and not really focusing a lot on trying to get stuff out to sell. I want them to see me succeed as an artist. I think it’s important for them to grow up knowing not to be afraid of their dreams, and even if it feels impossible, they should go for it.
The home studio must be good for that.
It’s been fun! I used to have an easel in here for them. I have it in their playroom now. They’ll see me do stuff, especially Bruno [my oldest], he’ll see me do these different styles and want to try them. He’s working on a collage now. Treehouse has been a really great resource for us.
How has finding this practice changed your relationship with yourself?
I’m learning how to be more efficient with my time. I’ve never been one to be much for a calendar. I go with the flow. So I am learning the importance of having a schedule and a routine.
Hannah Betzel’s paintings will be on display Thursday, August 13, at BMA at Home in Five Points, from 6-9 p.m.
People love their stories, and in many ways, most of us spend our lives finding ways to tell our own. It’s important to us. How else to explain everything from memoirs to the identities we patch together through snapshots on Instagram?
For most of us, stories are things we create and share with the world. But a home can be a story, too, a living document of where we come from — a grandmother’s rocking chair in the corner of the living room — and how we’d like to see ourselves — a piece of fine art, or sofa we buy to finally replace our college-era futon.
Jade O’Connor, an Athens interior designer, understands that spaces can be stories. For clients from here to Budapest, she helps people see themselves in the homes they live in. My Athens recently teamed up with Dwelling in Athens’s Kristin Karch to get a glimpse inside one of O’Connor’s recently completed projects and speak with her about her design philosophy and how she brought it to life in this space.