Friday, April 1, 2011

April 2011 Artist: Beth Inglish

I am very proud to introduce to you Beth Inglish!

Originally from Port Arthur, TX. Beth moved to Nashville in 2007 with one goal in mind, to do what God told her to. What did God tell her to do? Make art! Be creative! Share it with the world! On a sail boat off of St. Croix she hit her head and had to go to the ER with a concussion. From that moment on, she understood that God had given her a gift and she hadn’t been using it. She took time off work and began making art. She hasn’t looked back since. From solo and group exhibitions, live painting performances and commissioned work, Beth has been very busy in the last four years. She is also a freelance contributor to the Nashville Arts Magazine, has her own blog and is a performing singer songwriter to boot!

I sat down with Beth recently in downtown Nashville at Dunn Bros. Coffee Shop where she is showing some of her work and we talked about a lot of things from what art means to her, how she works and what is coming up in her life!

Here is the video and transcript:

Ronny:  A quote of yours, which I got off your Facebook page states, " My greatest inspiration comes from music. It is my portal to the Divine." So my first question is can you explain for Nashville Art Makers how music helps you in your creative process and what is that process like?

Beth:   Music just helps me forget about everything that is going on in my mind and gets that rhythm flowing through me and the energy just makes it stronger when I'm working. When I'm painting I really try to use the rhythm lyrics and everything about the music to come to me and through me into the work.

Ronny:  What are some of your favorite musical artists to listen to while you work?

Beth:  I love listening to Bob Dylan, blues music, Tom Petty, new artists albums that I pick up from around town at songwriter showcases, just whatever I have laying around my CD player. Yes I still listen to CD's!

Ronny:  Me too! Umm, you mentioned the Devine, what role does spirituality or faith play in your art making process?

Beth:  Well the only reason that I'm doing this is because I feel like this is what God told me to do. He's given me certain gifts that I feel shouldn't be wasted! They should be used. Pretty much that is the only reason I do any of this so I try to let God use me to share His love, His message and hopefully that translate to the work.

Ronny:  What moment did you feel like God really told you that?

Beth:  Well I was living in the Virgin Islands and I was working on a sail boat and I hit my head on the sail boat after a trip and I had a concussion. I had to go to the hospital and I was in the middle of no where, with out family, without any one really to take care of me and I asked myself, "What am I doing, what am I going to do with my life!" I thought if there is anything in the world that I wanted to do, it would be an artist so I used that moment of weakness and turned it into a new beginning. That's when I decided that this was my chance to really explore my passions and go after them.

Ronny:  So it sounds like God knocked some sense into you with a sailboat!

Beth: He did, He did!

Ronny:  Very cool, very cool! Now what subjects interest you the most in art making?

Beth:  I love color, I love texture, I love playing and experimenting, I love coming up with things that are different that I've never seen or heard before! Just trying to be creative and have fun with it, cause whenever I'm working on something that is difficult or it just seems like I'm forcing it becomes not fun anymore and the whole reason I'm doing it in the first place is to enjoy myself so I really keep that in the fore front of my mind when I'm working because that comes through in the art.

Ronny:  Yeah, I think that is key.

Beth:  Yeah if it's forced it is gonna look that way. You know?

Ronny:  Exactly! If it's more of a job than it is being creative than sometimes it can get stale.

Ronny:  You're also known around town for using mixed media in your artwork. What criteria do you use to deem any particular object or medium worthy to use in your work?

Beth: It could be anything! I'm just not that serious when it comes to all that stuff. It's like, most of the time it's what's around me, what can I use. Do I recycle products? Do I use an old painting that has cool texture and paint over it so that it becomes something new? I totally believe in happy accidents and letting it evolve. What ever is around me I grab it.

Ronny:  I love happy accidents!

Ronny:  Now this is just some basic question so that people can get to know you a little better. Is there any one iconic artist of today or the past that you feel you relate to and if so who?

Beth:  That's a tough question because I love all types of art. When I went through art history in school I connected with all of them because they all had this crazy gene in them that made them do what they do and I think that is what I relate to the most.  That sort of off the wall part of their personality or what's in their spirit that makes them do the work that they do. I love artists that go out there and do something different. Right now I love Bansky, I think all his street art is amazing. I love Warhol because is use of commercial products. I'm really excited about getting into using more ready-made products in my work.

Ronny: Okay, well Warhol will be here in Nashville this summer.

Beth: I'm excited about that, at the Frist?

Ronny: Yep, at the Frist!

Beth: The one and only!

Ronny: The one and only!

Ronny:  Okay, tell me a little bit more about Port Arthur, TX?

Beth:  It's a small oil refining community. It has lots of different ethnicities that live there. We're one big melting pot. I went to public school there, it was tough but it was a good place to grow up.

Ronny:  When did you first know you wanted to be an artist out there?

Beth:  Well being an artist really wasn't on my plan. When I was still in school I was still like...

Ronny:  So that really showed up out there on that boat?

Beth:  Later on when I felt freer to be who I wanted to be, not whom I felt like everyone else thought I should be. I kinda went down that path for a long time.

Ronny:  So when you were in Port Arhur as a child, as a teen you really didn't want to be an artist, what was that you thought you wanted to be?

Beth:  I thought I'd be a CEO or something in the business world. That's why I went to business school.

Ronny: Okay!

Beth:  I really thought that making money was really important and the only way to do that was to work for a corporation, you know it's hard to know what you want to be when you grow up when you haven't really experienced life.

Ronny: Yeah, exactly! Now why did you move to Nashville and when?

Beth:  I moved to Nashville in October of 2007. When I was living on the island I met my fiance Chad there and we both decided that we wanted to move to Nashville together so we moved back to the states to pursue songwriting and music. What a better place than Nashville? I had already lived in Austin for five years and we visited there and I knew I didn't want to go back there. I wanted to try something new so we came to Nashville without a job, without a place to live and just did it!

Ronny:  Made it happen! That sounds like a very familiar story to folks who have moved to Nashville! Okay well how would you describe the Nashville art scene?

Beth:   It's thriving, it's booming, it's great! There's lots of energy, it's creative, it's wonderful!! I mean, for any one who is creative this is the place to come. It's like there's creativity everywhere between musicians and songwriters and artists, it's amazing! It just amazes me...

Ronny: It is pretty amazing...

Beth:  There are so many people concentrated in this little town that...

Ronny: That are creative...

Beth:  ...all creative, all love some of the same things and we're all here trying to make our dreams come true!

Ronny: Who are some of the artist here in Nashville that inspires you?

Beth: Herb Williams, he's amazing! I love his crayon sculptures. He's great! A lot of other artists like Jeff Berchan. His work is so incredible. He's always making new stuff all the time and in shows. It's just so inspiring to see people who are just adamant about what they want out of life and continue to go after it! I love that!

Ronny: Okay, that's great! Now we know, I know, that you have an association with Nashville Arts Magazine. Can you tell us a little more about that?

Beth: I started writing for the magazine in 2010 in August. They ran across my blog and they liked it and asked me to write for them. I've written a few articles and that have been published and hope to write many more, so if they have something that they are gonna want in the magazine they'll just throw it at me. I've started doing interviews and I go along with the photographer and interview who ever it is. Whether it is a new emerging artist or last time I interviewed some high school students so...

Ronny: Okay, I have a few more questions here for Beth and we're gonna wrap this up. Now this one is very key to what you're doing now. Can you tell me more about Street Art and what you're doing now?

Beth:  Well I watched the "Exit Through the Gift Shop" documentary and was completely blown away by the street art that those artists were doing and I thought, well we don't have anything like that. There's not a real movement towards that in our community. There's public art, there's art galleries and I really felt like I wanted to do this, but I didn't want to do it illegally because I keep reading on line of artists getting arrested and there's fines and I didn't want to get involved in that. So what I've been doing is contacting local businesses and people who have real estate that I can possibly use for something like this. It's gonna be graphic images of people playing guitars like the ones up here but a full size version. So when you pass by it makes you think a little bit.

Ronny:  Cool! Okay so that pretty much sums up what you're doing now so my last question for you today is where do you wanna be in 2015 and then in 2025?

Beth:  Five years from now... that's a really hard question, I mean right now I'm working on the street art because I want to get out of the gallery space and out of the art show scene and do something different on my own. So hopefully that will be bigger! I'm getting more involved with the public art and the Metro Nashville Arts Commission and doing more installations. I'm also working on an album right now and trying to write more and sing...

Ronny:  Tell us a little more about the album real quick?

Beth:  The album is a duo with me and my fiance Chad. It will be a lot of Gospel Blues, a lot of Mississippi John Hurt songs and originals and we're getting married Sept. 24th!

Ronny: All right! Congratulations

Beth: Thank you... hopefully we'll have the album done by then so we can give them away as wedding gifts and perform songs at the rehearsal dinner or something. I want to be further along with that. So I want to do all that and bring the art communities here together through my blog so online communities can support each other. Let's do it!

Ronny: So what about 2025?

Beth: I'll be havin' 3 babies by then! Just kidding, I want... I want..

Ronny: Are there kids do you think? Is that something you...

Beth: Oh yeah! For sure and probably my whole view on life and art will be completely changed and I'll be on a new path by then, but I love change, I love growth, movin', growin' and who knows!

 **End of Interview**

What a pleasure it was to sit down with Beth.  I hope through this interview you too have gotten to know her better and please take the time to see her work at Dunn Bros.

Beth’s future is bright so be on the look out for her in the years to come!  From all of us here at Nashville Art Makers, we wish her the very best!! 

Be good and be creative!

Below is Beth’s artist statement, bio and a list of her accomplishments so far:

Her Links

Her Statement

I would describe my work as playful and peaceful; my intention is to pass those feelings on to the viewer. My greatest inspiration comes from music. It is my portal to the divine.  Music allows me to experience God and through this same channel, he communicates through me to the world. While immersed in the creative process colors, shapes and patterns will come to me seemingly out of nowhere. I often become seduced by curiosity, experimenting with different techniques and materials.

Because of the role music plays in my creative process there is a recurring theme in many of my pieces: music and art united. My pieces reflect my own inner joy and my intention for my artwork is to cultivate joy in others.

Her Bio

I was born and raised in Port Arthur, Texas. My creative education began at a young age. My father’s paycheck came from the local oil refinery, but he was a musician at heart. He taught me how to sing, write, and play the piano and guitar. A girly-girl with a wild imagination, I remember always having a Crayola in my hand. I’d play dolls in the monkey grass and pick flowers from my mother’s garden. She was a school nurse, but it was her after-school hobbies that bonded us. Cooking and gardening together, I was always by her side, except when I snuck away to draw on surfaces I shouldn’t with my crayons. My mom may have fostered my love of outdoors and fascination with nature.

I was always a good student, staying glued to my books so I could leave my small town as fast as possible. In 2001 I moved to Austin and began my freshman year at The University of Texas. I found the opportunities of the big city and giant university astounding. I studied marketing, but also dabbled in creative outlets, taking art classes and designing costumes for theatrical productions.

After graduating college, I saved money for a year, packed up my bare necessities, and sold everything else. I had been offered my dream job, to teach SCUBA diving at a local resort on a tiny island in the Bahamas. The next two months would be the hardest of my life. Without friends, family, or any real work to do, I finally accepted that I was in over my head. Whatever I was searching for, it was not on Andros Island. But I was determined to find what I was looking for—the oasis I envisioned in my mind so many times.

I moved to the US Virgin Island of St. Croix for one year and it changed my life—this time for the better. I found my love and my purpose. My love came from Mississippi and my purpose came the day I had the accident. Looking back, I should have always known my calling. But for some reason it took a 42-foot catamaran to knock some sense into me. After a concussion and a trip to the ER, the thought of returning to work on the boat terrified me. This change in perspective allowed me to quit my job and make the bold decision to stay home every day and make art. I felt different, as if God had spoken to me. It was at this time in my life that I committed to being an artist.

Since then I have left the islands and now I call Nashville my home. My artwork is inspired by a love of music and an insatiable curiosity. Each piece is an experiment using different techniques and materials.

Her Exhibition Record

Solo Exhibitions

Fanny's House of Music, Nashville, TN, March
Monroe Harding Academy Fundraiser, Nashville, TN, May
Hillsboro Village Art Walk, SEE Eyewear, Nashville, TN, July

Change Series, The Delta, Nashville, TN, January
Guitar Series, The Delta, Nashville, TN, February
Dinner of MS Champions, Loews Vanderbilt Hotel, Nashville, TN, April
Sip Cafe, Nashville, TN, June
Live painting performance, The Cannery Ballroom, Nashville, TN, October
Music & Art United, Billups Art Gallery, Nashville, TN, December

Guitar Series, The Delta, Nashville, TN, March
Guitar Series, MSG, The Stahlman Building, Nashville, TN, September
Guitar Series, Criallo’s, Franklin, TN, September

Caribbean Collection, Mango Melee, St. Croix, USVI, June

Selected Group Exhibitions

Harpeth Hall School, Nashville, TN, March
Dunn Bros Coffee, Nashville, TN, March-April
Ensworth School, Nashville, TN April
Fifty Forward, Nashville, TN April

The Harding Art Show, Nashville, TN, April
Art Flood, Nashville, TN, May
Nashville Scene Summer Pool Party, Nashville, TN, May
Second Place, "In The Nude" Juried Art Competition, Nashville, TN, June
MasterPanels Gallery and Gifts, Nolensville, TN, June - August
Taking Nashville To Higher Ground, Nashville, TN, July
Tomato Art Festival, Nashville, TN, August
The Local Taco, Nashville, TN August
The Local Taco, Brentwood, TN August
Simon Ripley's Music & Art, Nashville, TN August
Art Stock, Dickson, TN September
A Mighty Voice Art Auction, Nashville, TN October
Friends With Benefits, Billups Art Gallery, Nashville, TN, October
Retune Nashville, Nashville, TN, October
"65 Roses" Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Nashville TN, November

Observations,The Center for the Arts, Murfreesboro, TN, December
Abstraka, Plowhous Exhibit, TN Art League, Nashville, TN, April
Oak Hill Elementary School, Community Auction, Nashville, TN, April
In the Fairy Garden, Riverside Village, Nashville, TN, April
The Miracle of Music, Cadillac Ranch, Nashville, TN, April
Management Solutions Group Open House, Nashville, TN, June
Tomato Art Festival, Art and Invention Gallery, Nashville, TN, August

Jigsaw Blues, Fusion, City Hall, Nashville, TN, April
Lockeland’s Folklore Festival, Bongo Java, Nashville TN, May
Guitar Series, The Mill at Lebanon, Lebanon, TN, June
Tomato Art Festival, Art and Invention Gallery, Nashville, TN, August
Star Spangled Blues, Williamson County Fair, Franklin, TN, August


Hibbie and Jeanie Barrier: Nashville, TN
Timothy and Alison Douglas: Nashville, TN
Daina Evans: Lebanon, TN
Bobby and Tiffany McMillian: Meridan, TN
John Brittle: Nashville, TN
Chet Garner: Austin, TX


Nancy Parish, Asheville School
360 Asheville School Road, Asheville, NC 28806

Liz Allen Fey, Management Solutions Group LLC
211 Union Street Suite 102, Nashville, TN 37201


Inglish, Beth. Capture Music City. Canada: Pediment Group, 2008. 30.
Inglish, Beth. “The Naked Issue.” Her October 2008: Cover.
Inglish, Beth. "Tracie Grace Lyons." Nashville Arts October 2010: 26-27
Inglish, Beth. "Lindsey Pearsan's World of Wonder." Nashville Arts January 2011: 70-71


The Tennessean, “Artists Make Observations,” January 25, 2009.

Professional Services

2010 Donated work to Art Stock
2010 Donated work to Retune Nashville
2010 Donated work to Taking Nashville To Higher Ground
2010 Donated work to MBA Project Graduation
2010 Donated work to Nashville Scene Silent Auction
2010 Donated work to Monroe Harding Academy Fundraiser
2010 Donated work to Art Flood, Event Benefiting Nashville Flood Relief
2009 Co-Chair for Lockeland Design Center In The Fairy Garden, Art Show and Sale Event
2009 Donated work for The Miracle of Music
2009 Donated work to Oak Hill Elementary School Auction
2008 Donated work to Fusion, Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation

Clients & Non-profits

Ole Miss Woman's Council, Oxford, MS
redpepper Marketing, Nashville, TN
The Parlor Recording Studio, Nashville, TN
Greater Nashville Association of Realtors, Nashville, TN
Project Redesign, Nashville, TN
Expressways To Learning, Nashville, TN 
The Collective Muse, Nashville, TN
Monroe Harding Academy, Nashville, TN
rebarcamp, Nashville, TN
Mobile Loaves and Fishes, Nashville, TN
Hands of Hope, Nashville, TN
The Contributor, Franklin, TN
Cheatham Country Animal Shelter, Pegram, TN
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Nashville, TN
Retune Nashville, Nashville, TN
The Olive Branch Fund, Nashville, TN
Ensworth School, Nashville, TN
Harpeth Hall School, Nashville, TN
Fifty Forward, Nashville, TN
Brentwood Women's Club, Brentwood, TN

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