Pendleton artist Jeremy Grizzle is a double threat: he’s a painter with a studio and he also is a musician.
The teacher in the Russell Independent School District also gives private lessons at the Pendleton, where he began renting a studio during the summer and said it’s been an “incredibly nice” experience.
“I always wanted a studio there,” he said. “I’m at a time in my life now that I can do it.”
As a musician, he has written more than 100 songs, which calls “mostly hack.”
“I write primarily from my own perspective,” he said. “I enjoy stomp and country blues. I’ve been influenced incredibly by Charlie Patton, Son House, Tom Waits and Bob Dylan. I see myself as a performer first and musician second. I love to tell stories and do slight-of- hand magic with my students. I also throw in some sideshow into my performance. I can breathe and eat fire. I am also part of a long tradition of Kentucky human blockheads.” A human blockhead is a carnival or sideshow performer who hammers a nail or other implement into his or her nasal cavity via the nostril.
A graduate of the University of Kentucky with a degree in art education and a minor in social theory, Grizzle has aimed to be an artist since he was a child. “I was very small child. I’ve wanted to be an art teacher since kindergarten,” he said.
But family members provided influence, too.
“My father drew very well and my aunt, Sandra Stephens, is a professional artist,” he said.
Grizzle works primarily in acrylics. “I enjoy acrylics because of the versatility and vibrance. I am also trained in small- scale video production and editing,” he said.
Grizzle describes his style as neo-expressionistic, which is a style of modern painting and sculpture that is a reaction to conceptual and minimal art, using recognizable objects in a rough and violently emotional way.
He said it’s the unique and genuine things in life that he finds inspiring.
“As an artist, one should create subject matter that deals with relevant circumstance,” he explained. “Mimicry is fine. However, taming the wilds of the mind is a far greater adventure.
“One can do this through traditional means, but I do it through expressing myself through the visual. At present time I keep reproducing images of robots. Having some sort of ‘metal’ in my body since I was 9 (from a hip disorder), I've always felt a bit like one.”
Also during the First Friday art walk tonight:
‰The Lamp Post Café will have a poetry reading at 7 p.m. with Ashland native and poet Matthew Haughton. On Saturday, Haughton will appear again at 3 p.m. for a reading and book signing. The Lamp Post Café is at the corner of 15th Street and Greenup Avenue.
‰The Thoroughbred Gallery at 1430 Winchester Ave. will be open for First Friday.
‰The Upstairs Gallery at 1428 Winchester Ave. will be open from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
LEE WARD can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2661.