Category Archives: Featured Artist

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Featured Artist: Nigel Roper

Category:Featured Artist,Press

Pictured above “The Observer”

Let me introduce you to Nigel Roper, an artist whose work is currently accessible in three downtown venues. Thanks to Tessa Brumbeloe, a mutual friend of ours, we were able to meaningfully cross paths. I was looking for artists for the Diversity Celebration art show at Trubble Brewing, and she highly recommended getting in contact with him. Later that same day, I was socializing at O’ Sullivan’s when he walked up to me, shook my hand, and introduced himself as Nigel. “Roper?” I responded. He was taken aback of course, because up until that point we had not met. Nonetheless, he answered in the affirmative, and the next day he sent me pieces of his work. It was incredibly evident why my friend had recommended him for a show. His color work with oil and choice in subject matter are unlike any local artist I have met thus far.

During a recent meeting, I discovered Nigel moved here from Jamaica when he was 4 years old with his family. His dad was part of the famous band Chalice. Because his father lived in Chicago, he spent quite a bit of time growing up travelling back and forth from Bluffton to Chicago. While in the city, he was exposed to a plethora of music and artwork available to the public. Food and art go hand in hand, and an interest in the former led Roper to attend Ivy Tech for Culinary & Baking. During his time in school, he began an apprenticeship in Bluffton at Addictions Body Art where he learned to tattoo. His interest in art led him to an apprenticeship in Michigan. Eventually, that came to an end and he moved down to Fort Wayne where he and Brumbeloe (among others) lived together on an art farm of sorts in Fort Wayne belonging to Diana Waldschmidt. His explanation of her home was one of artistic embrace-a place where one could thrive and encourage others to do so in whatever their medium may be.

I am so glad we invited him to be an artist at the Diversity pop-up event hosted by Trubble Brewing. While there, he sold his piece “Lady in the Water” to a lucky patron. I was excited to see that his attendance proved to be worth it. He came with a plethora of oil on canvas works that jumped out at me. His kindness and humility alongside such talent made me want to show his work to everyone I can. His piece “As Above, So Below,” is now on display until March 12th alongside pieces by Jose Cruz, Obie Cruz, Stephanie Wilson, Zoe Verplanck, Samantha Smith, April Weller, and Jeff Stumpp. All works are available for purchase and immediate take-home via cash or credit card.

Since Nigel’s works were hung at the Dash-In, an exciting development has occurred in his life. Jose and Obie Cruz, brothers and owners of Crimson Knight Tattoo on Main Street saw his work and hired him to work alongside them. Currently, all three have art hanging at Trubble Brewing. I am so excited for the big things happening in their space. They currently host weekly “Painting with Bob Ross,” events, have a beautiful gallery space, and are looking for future event ideas. Nigel will be displaying his works in their gallery once the show is over at the Dash-In. He is very open to new clientele and commissions for tattoos as well as canvas pieces. Mr. Roper has done cover art for bands in the past and welcomes the challenge to do more in the future. Stop in to see the space and meet three incredibly local artists all in one place at Crimson Knight Tattoo! I would advise following their page on Facebook for future art events, pop-ups, and new designs available as tattoos. He will be helping to run and promote their gallery space in the future.

Since several of his pieces worked well with other pieces I was going to hang at the Dash-In, and an artist had dropped out last minute, I was ecstatic to encounter Nigel when I did. His pieces are currently on display there until March 4th aside Ellen Mensch, KAT Harlow, Obie Cruz, Sara Auman Smith, and William Jarrett. “The Observer,” “Galactic Giraffe,” and “Torrent” are three of my favorites on display in the Dash-In (see below).

“Galactic Giraffe”

 “Torrent”   

There are a variety of ways to access Nigel Roper’s artwork. His Etsy Shop, “naroddart” has over 80 pieces of artwork including clothing designs, prints, and terrain pieces for DND (Dungeons & Dragons). His Facebook page, “Nigel Roper Artwork and Oddities,” can be accessed to see his recent and older works. If you’re really lucky, you might even just randomly meet him like I did. You can also contact me at jenna.turpin@valpo.edu if you are interested in purchasing one of his works or setting up an appointment with him.

Links:

Etsy:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/NARoddart?ref=search_shop_redirect

Art Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/NARoddart/

Tattoo Studio:

https://www.facebook.com/crimsonknighttattoo/

 


Written By: Jenna Turpin


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Featured Artist: Ando Anderson

Category:Featured,Featured Artist,Interviews,Press

If you came to Art On Broadway: Holiday Edition December 2nd, you may have popped into the Brass Rail to see this article’s featured artist’s work. Jeff “Ando” Anderson’s prints can be seen right inside the door across from the rail and are for sale. If you are a Brass “Railgular,” then his work isn’t new to you. Several of their posters have been designed by Ando throughout the years. The music industry seems to be a fan of his hip designs. Since he began designing, bands like Left Lane Cruiser, The Hooten Hallers, Tom Vanden Avond, Andy Frasco, Paul James, and Hillgrass Bluebilly Record label (Austin, TX) have all hired him in the past for posters, t-shirt or logo designs, and CD artwork.  When looking for inspiration to create, he said the best place is the “front row of a live music show.” Since he is a talent buyer/promoter at the Brass Rail as well as a bouncer, he can be surrounded by inspiration without too much of an expense.

So where did it all start? What impacted this artist’s participation in the art world? Well, he didn’t always live in Fort Wayne, for starters. He was born in Bluffton and raised mostly in Garrett. He accredits his art teacher Mr.Ober for inspiring him during his childhood.  Ando never had any formal “art” training outside of art class in high school. “I’ve had a little college but mostly self taught on that,” he said, explaining his graphic design background, “my college work didn’t really prepare me well for the real design world.” The two biggest motivators for creating art are money and boredom. Ando’s style and medium are inspired by graphic, pop, and folk art like that of Print Mafia ( http://printmafia.net/).

His current studio space is his kitchen table. When I asked him when he started identifying as an artist, I was in awe by his response:

“I’ve never identified myself as an artist. I probably never will, although there are some that will argue that point with me. I just feel like there are people out there that do way better work than me, that have gone to school for art and do this for a living. If I were to call myself an artist I’d be taking away from what they do.”

Humility is great. There are plenty of artists who could use a bit of it, but honestly Ando is not one of them. I am one of those people who is going to “argue that point” because his presence in Fort Wayne as an artist has been a defining part of my experience here. He deserves credit for his hard work, and definitely deserves the title of “artist.”

All my favorite places have little pieces of him.  He may not have had formal training, but Ando has been doing freelance graphic design for about 20 years. He formally began operating under “Pretty Good Posters” around 10 years ago. Ando has been making big moves in his business and recently opened an online merchandise store as well! Check it out if you have a chance!  <https://teespring.com/stores/prettygoodgeneralstore> 

His hard work is evident in his constant local presence. He had a skateboard painting hung in Portland, Oregon and Chicago for a traveling show. It now hangs in the Bravas dining room along with another piece of his. Pint-N-Slice has had his work in their upstairs gallery. When Cinema Center had their ReMake fundraiser, he was a part of it.  For his first solo show last year at the Dash-In, he collaborated with Amber Cox, Jared Andrews and Rick Racket. This is one of the first shows I had the pleasure of seeing. Since then, he has shown at Trubble Brewing (September 4th-October 23rd), the Cinema Center for Fright Night, and now has a show at the Brass Rail.

      

(Pictures from his art show at Trubble Brewing back in September/October. Left to right: Jimmy Bananas, Dead Deads Invasion, and Party Cat)

What is it about Fort Wayne that made him want to be here, you ask? Well, “Fort Wayne is cool,” he said, “It’s big but not too big. It’s trying.” It’s a place with small town kindness but big talent. As a dad, it’s a good place to raise his daughter. One of the most important things to him, I found out, is being a full time dad. “I don’t take myself super seriously,” he claimed. When I asked for something people might want to know about him, his response had me rolling:

“I have a third nipple and one butt cheek hangs lower than the other.  I once got busy in a Burger King bathroom. My favorite movie is Face/Off or anything with Nicolas Cage”

He is a quiet man, but when he creates it is gold. His sense of humor is pretty great too, as you can tell. If you see him around, stop and say hello.  As you can probably tell, it is well worth it.

Jeff “Ando” Anderson, owner of Pretty Good Posters, is also always available for commissions, collaborations, and requests. You contact him on social media if you are interested:

https://www.instagram.com/prettygoodposters/

https://www.facebook.com/prettygoodposters/

 


Written By: Jenna Turpin


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