I was never one for art growing up. I wasn’t the kid that sits around and sketches during school. I never tried to stand out from others by developing my own sense of high fashion, though I did some serious pleading for some British Knights when I was 12 (and my loving mom bought them-I’m sure against her better wisdom.)
I took a passing interest in art only if I could get something for it in return; that is to say if chocolate was involved. I won some chocolate when I drew a rabbit for Christmas in 2nd grade. I won some more chocolate for drawing a flower in 3rd grade. My brother and I won some chocolate (and maybe a football) when we created a kite in a local art competition.
I entered art school at the University of Georgia because I was tired of studying chemistry, math, and geology, and knew I could at least draw a rabbit and a flower fairly well.
When I left art school, I left art behind, unless it could again get me something in return. I credit art for helping me land my beautiful wife. I designed and cast her ring.
I began to finally enjoy art about a year ago in 2015. I still don’t understand much of the art that is in the world, but I can get possessed and entranced by my own. I can’t sleep most nights because my mind is creating new images, projects and means of creating.
I am still developing my style, but a consistent focus of mine is on expression and intent; coming from a state of mind that seeks to understand my subject matter, place, or time. I enjoy creating moods that leave the viewer slightly uneasy; i.e., vibrant colors with fearful energy through brushstrokes, dark solemn colors with graphic cartoon-like characteristics in the lines. I feel that this unease (though ensuring only the slightest unease is extremely important) encourages the viewer to take time with a painting, create their own story, and make the painting their own.
Jenny Shugart remembers always having a camera, but didn’t realize how much she loves shooting photos until taking a photography class in graduate architecture school. She says: “I am usually drawn to objects – structures, bridges, details, old rusted stuff. Occasionally the objects are arranged in such a way as to create a space or pattern that also needs to be captured. These objects, spaces and patterns have a quality and substance that seem to ask to be photographed. They call out to be noticed…to be seen, if only in a particular moment. I don’t do portraiture of people (they move and talk back – objects don’t). But, I consider my photographs to be a form of portraiture…a way of seeing every day life or every day objects, past or present. I hope my photographs stir a memory of something or creates a desire to travel outside the usual boundaries – to inspire the observer to pursue his or her own adventures throughout the world…and throughout daily life.”
Her photography work has been in various solo and group art shows as well as purchased for individual collections and by companies for their decor. Except for digitizing black & white negatives and cropping a photo for a particular size, Jenny doesn’t manipulate her photographs…you see what she saw.
When she isn’t busy with her photography, Jenny also enjoys passing the time with knitting, fabric projects and collage work.
Brandy Burgans is a Chattanooga native, mixed media artist, and sole tattoo artist and founder of Blade & Banner, an upscale private tattoo studio. “It has always been a goal for me to provide my clientele with their own personal and private one-on-one experience. Tattooing is an intimate process, and spending time with someone who wants to wear your artwork should be a discreet and special experience for them.”
She loves doing bold and bright color tattoos, stippled and black tattoos, painted-style tattoo work, and as of lately she has really enjoyed recreating master works from Chagall to Picasso on skin. You can find out more about Brandy and her work at www.brandyburgans.com.
Studio 2B also houses Brandy’s art studio. When she’s not tattooing she’s working on commissioned original mixed media visual art. She studied art privately from the age of seven throughout college, and her thirst for knowledge, new techniques, and new instruction sends her all over the world annually.
Angie Adams has always enjoyed taking what she has and repurposing it into something better to suit her needs or enjoyment. She started out upcycling in her early 20s while living in Wisconsin. It was there she began making unique dried floral arrangements from flowers and fruit that she had dehydrated herself. Later she began making one of a kind handbags that repurposed old clothing; she sold these handbags at a local boutique store in the little town of Janesville, WI.
Angie Adams named her handbag business Isabellucia, after her then 2 year old daughter. Isabel was, and still is, Angie’s biggest fan and she has continued the use of the name Isabellucia onto her current upcycling business today.
Angie considers herself an upcycler, repurposer, and recycler because she likes to take old, unusual, unneeded, or unwanted items and make give them new life. She does this by using her abilities as a self-taught artist and crafter — on any particular day in her studio you’ll find her drawing, painting, sewing, woodworking, and a host of other yet-to-be-discovered skills — and transforming objects from their past selves.
Angie’s daughter, Isabel, has now become an artist in her own right. She has helped to bring new life to their studio by painting a large mural on one of the walls and has also become very accomplished at paper mâché, you’ll often find her creating Dragons, dragon eggs, and other creatures. Angie’s 7 year old son also works in the studio alongside his mom and sister, creating small creatures from clay.
Angie Adams lived in Ooltewah, TN in 2013 and had a booth at a local antique mall where she sold her upcycled items along with vintage and antique treasure finds. Having to return to Florida after a year in Tennessee, Angie took a break from the upcycling business and focused on her home life. However, with an exciting family decision to come back to Tennessee after their year back in Florida, Angie and her family chose to return and reside right in the heart of Chattanooga and lay roots down for the family. Now that she, and her daughter Isabel, have a studio at Chattanooga Workspace they are looking forward to continuing to promote the upcycle craze while also developing their artistic eye.