The Great >< Lesser Known is celebrating their first year anniversary of establishing the website and initiating interviews with local Middle Tennessee artists. Nancy Hilgert, the visionary, founder, and co-creator of this endeavor, has been a major inspiration for artists and artist lovers alike.
Carmen Bellos, a co-founder of The Great Lesser Known had the pleasure of interviewing Nancy Hilgert.
Nancy Hilgert was born in Washington, DC and raised in Northern Virginia. She was fortunate to have art classes throughout her entire education, choosing the Art and Architecture Department at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville for her BFA double major in Drawing and Studio Art.
Leslie’s animal alphabet series (Animal Abecedary) began while she was flipping through her well worn book of Victorian engravings. She came across an image of a stout walrus with a human face and it stopped her dead in her tracks. The image was so startlingly weird and wonderful, she knew she had to work with it. Ms. Haines’ animal series explores unusual juxtapositions by taking something that might be ordinary, like an alphabet book, and turning it into a fanciful flight of unusual and interesting pairings. Her goal is at once humorous and artistic, to mix not only unexpected imagery but to also create visual eye candy through rich texture and color. An award-winning graphic designer, artist, college professor, and evangelist for orange Leslie enjoys playing with letterpress type, vintage engravings, color and texture to create sophisticated digital collages with a twist of humor.
Ms. Haines is currently Associate Professor of Visual Communication in the School of Journalism at MTSU. Prior to this position, she chaired Graphic Design programs at The Art Institute of Tennessee-Nashville and Watkins College of Art & Design. She received an MFA in Graphic Design from Marywood University and an MA in Advertising Design from Syracuse University. Ms. Haines created the design for the most recent Tennessee arts license plate and two hat designs being sold at Target stores. Two images from her Animal Abecedary series were exhibited at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville from November 2015–February 2016. Two pieces were also selected for the 2016 international Inkmasters Print Exhibition held in Cairns Queensland, Australia. Her series has exhibited locally and across the state since completion in 2015.
Carmen interviews Leslie Haines in her home/studio in Nashville, TN. Leslie is a graphic designer, artist, college professor, and evangelist for orange. She has created work for universities, hospitals, country musicians, and film production companies, among others. She has won several ADDY excellence awards along with as slew of other recognitions and awards. Currently she spends time training the next generation of designers while still moving forward with her own works of art.
Carmen Bellos, a Co-founder of The Great Lesser Known had the great opportunity to interview Katie Gonzalez. Katie Gonzalez is a book artist who studied her craft in Cortona Italy. Her work channels traditional handcrafting techniques into bright, contemporary books that emphasize textures, colors, and patterns that become long lasting and functional works of art. Katie shares her love and expertise of bookbinding by offering classes and workshops in the Middle Tennessee area.
Carmen Bellos sits down to talk with Samantha Ornellas.
Samantha was born in Cape Town, South Africa. She came to Nashville by way of her husband who signed with a record label. With the craziness of touring and life on the road she did not have the desire or time to paint. She did find a burst of creative energy when she became pregnant with her first child. That’s when she painted a handful of paintings.
In this video, Carmen talks with Jackie Cheuvront. Cheuvront was born in Merida, Mexico and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. An emerging acrylic artist, Cheuvront began painting at the age of 5, refining her love of color theory and illustration. Cheuvront’s acrylic illustrations, with dark backgrounds and bright pops of color, that look reminiscent of retro sci-fi film posters and horror pop art. Her artwork is influenced by the murals Diego Rivera and graphic novels. Currently, you can see Cheuvront’s work at art festivals in the Nashville, TN area. She currently lives and works in rural Fairview, TN.