Category Archives: Interviews

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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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Featured Artist: Cole Marie Metzger

Category:Featured,Featured Artist,Interviews,Press,Uncategorized

The artist featured this week is Cole Marie Metzger, owner of Five Carrot Heart Workshop. Her answers to my questions, as you’ll see, were eloquent but accessible, just like her artistic media. Most recently, Metzger had a few pieces of work displayed on the brick wall in the back of the Dash-In which is what lead me to interview her. I was not disappointed, as, yet again I was pleased to make such a talented and well-rounded individual’s acquaintance. If you frequent the Old Crown, you may even know her face without knowing her talent. As a woman who proclaimed herself an artist at age 8, she attempts to maintain that title in a world filled with many responsibilities and distractions.

When asked where she grew up she responded comically with, “I haven’t managed to do that yet,” but Cole Marie experienced childhood in Huntington. She described Fort Wayne as being the magical place they used to come visit to go to malls and music stores as a child. As a lonely child, Metzger said what first made her decide to create art was purely boredom. “Eventually,” she elaborated, “I discovered my perseverance and emotional investment helped me complete work that I could be very proud of.” She decided to attend IPFW for her undergraduate degree. Cole remembered going to Mad Anthony Brewing Co. open mic nights with her friends. Her choice to live in Fort Wayne came when she met her husband, who was also from a small town. Neither wanted to live in the town they grew up in, so they found a place on the outskirts of New Haven after looking at several houses in Fort Wayne. “The city definitely facilitates the artistic community,” she mentioned. Since she lives in a more rural neighborhood now, she said her favorite thing to do is walking around downtown with her son to show him the art galleries and peek inside places like the Fort Wayne Museum of Art.

You may have seen the work Metzger’s donated for FW Derby Girls’ 1st “Bust a Move” event, or the Benefit for the Island of Jeju protection. Since she has a heart filled with gold, she also donated pieces for two Fort Wayne Homeless Benefits and for the Haiti benefit hosted by Old Crown. New Haven Parks and Rec and Wunderkammer have also shown her work. Since Cole was once an art teacher, IPFW used her “Battlestations” (below) piece in their “Art Educator’s Exhibition,” and until the Dash-In, most recently was the show Old Crown hosted “Atrophy Exhibition (2016).” This was a solo show featuring mostly college portfolio material of Cole’s. At that show, she sold practically all the new work she had created.

That put Cole Marie back to square one. Since then she has been trying to make time for art but it has been a struggle. When asked how she finds time to hold a job and make art, her response was incredibly relatable:

“I get caught upin the grind like anyone else. I have fresh ideas that areneglected or abandoned because I don’t want to start anything that will consume me when I have a   home, garden, family, and pets to tend to.”

When one is away from creating, sometimes it is like pulling teeth to be able to sit down and focus on creating new things. It is especially difficult when the “distractions” from art are actually very important responsibilities. Not everyone remembers to put their family first, but Metzger loves them and sees them as a priority. One of her works which has been hanging at the Dash-In (pictured below) “Allegory,” was likely motivated by this attempt to balance the demands of her life.

“I see a woman at three stages of her life,” she said, describing the piece to me, “experiencing different levels of energy, stress, and hope. Is she excavating something or burying something? Viewers have to finish that stories for themselves.” Perhaps it is a self-portrait of sorts. Her Atrophy exhibition directly addressed her difficulty with being pulled in a million directions in terms of both duty and interest: “It’s not about loss of inspiration, talent, or perseverance,” her artist statement read, “my ‘atrophy’ is due to a lack of time.” She said she is inspired by “emotion, colors, compost, nature, food, dreams, animals,” and just about everything, but that it was easier for her to justify sacrificing all other aspects of her life in college working for good grades.

Most people have made the investment to become a professional in their field by attending university understand the post-graduate struggle, and can relate to what she is experiencing. Shown below, “Growing Nowhere,” (2011) was inspired by her many years as a college student. It was on display for the past month and a half at the Dash-In, so I asked her about its meaning. Her response?

“It was definitely inspired by several years of being a college student (I went part-time). I felt like I was gaining so much, but not going anywhere. I felt stagnant & my responsibilities were    parasitic growths feeding off my energy.”

I know I feel this often, so I can understand where she is coming from. Since I am to say yes when I am called to serve, I feel like I’m always being yanked a million ways. As you can see by the image below, there is a uniquely raw and accessible nature to her works. If you can view them in person, I would highly recommend doing so.

Her favorite medium (if she had to choose) is charcoal. Subtractive methods of drawing are her preference. “All the Erasers are essential in my studio!” she exclaimed. But, afterwards she mentioned it’s “a hindrance to enjoy so many different mediums because I don’t ever master any of them….every time I revisit a medium I have to reacquaint myself with it as if it were my first time.” She mentioned the possibility of many more oil. Acrylic, or watercolor works in the future. Her subject matter is pulled from the natural world: plants, animals, songs. When asked about doing a collaboration, she said the one artist who came to mind right away was Dan Moord, who I know has also done a collaboration with Frank Louis Allen (who also just had a show at the Dash-In). Metzger said they have similar philosophies in art and that she sees him as a master who could teach her very much about using colored pencils.

The show at the Dash-In ended this week, but you can snag some baked goods from the Old Crown (made by Metzger) and perhaps experience some of her work through your taste buds. Say hello, send a raven, or e-mail her at Colemariemetzger@gmail.com for information on her art/commissions/collaborations.

 

Fort Wayne venues mentioned in this article:

 

Five Carrot Heart Workshop : https://www.facebook.com/FiveCarrotHeartWorkshop/

Mad Anthony Brewing Company: https://www.madbrew.com/

Old Crown Coffee Roasters: http://www.oldcrown.com/

Fort Wayne Museum of Art: https://www.fwmoa.org/

 

 

This city is filled with so much talent. Stay humble and try not to let your vices destroy you. Until next time,

 

Jenna Turpin

Jenna.turpin@valpo.edu

260-267-1669


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