We’ve featured the Loft District’s Art Crawl before, but we’re extra excited to be participants this go-round. We have a sparkling new space to share, and we’ll be using it to showcase the work of local artist Melissa Shultz-Jones.
Shultz-Jones had formal art lessons as a child, but she also pored over the work of classic artists in a coffee table book for a self-directed style of discovery, she told artsBHAM.com in August. That early experience with books continued to shape her art, finding inspiration in all sorts of printed pages so long as they contained “a good story,” she told the site. “It’s difficult to stay in one genre when there are so many things I want to say.”
That focus on story over genre is clear in her impressive stylistic range. There are colorful, rounded characters that are begging to dress up a nursery or kid’s room. There are moody, graphic novel stylings, realistic character portraits drawn in India ink, and coloring book pages that would make for awesomely minimalist loft-style art.
One of our favorites in her portfolio is her take on the classic Terminal Station Birmingham sign. The clean, graphic lines of India ink appeal to our modern tastes, while gray-tinged clouds of watercolor and gouache add a more fanciful touch. Her colorful abstraction of the Alabama Theatre is another favorite, offering a great alternative to the many charming but literal representations of our city icons.
We also love her series of gouache scenes on salvaged paper — everything from children’s books to old hymnal pages. Pieces like this one incorporate original details into the new design and bring a historic, handcrafted touch to any space.
You may have noticed, we tend to focus on the home applications of art, and that’s part of what we love about Art Crawl. It’s a chance to discover local artists doing affordable work you can actually imagine hanging in your home. It’s art for everyday life, which is our very favorite kind.
But don’t take our word for it. Come say hello and see for yourself.