'Art in Motion'

Spray paint artist Emery
to demonstrate his talent

He will join other artists
at the Special Event on Lanier lawn

(Sept. 21, 2018) – For the third year, the Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art will feature a more personal way for visitors to interact with art. Known as Chautauqua’s Special Event, this exhibition will promote various artists who will provide live demonstrations for attendees.
“We have a different theme every year, and this year’s is ‘Art in Motion,’ ” said Chautauqua co-chair Jenny Straub.
One of those special artists is Tyler Emery, 27, of Holton, Ind. Emery is an artist in every facet of his life, holding a day job as a hairdresser and filling his spare time with broadening his career as both a lapidary and a spray paint artist. His spray paint artwork is what brings him to Chautauqua for the first time.
In 2016, Chautauqua’s Special Event kicked off with a demonstration village that highlighted various aspects of life in the 1800s. It was part of Indiana’s Bicentennial Celebration. Last year, the Special Event featured Turners Circus from Louisville. It performed throughout the festival weekend. This year’s focus is Art in Motion, with the participating artists all highlighting the vibrant, moving aspects of art.

Photo provided

Tyler Emery works on a project at his Holton, Ind., studio.

Emery said he first saw the creation of spray paint art when he was 10 years old. In 2014, he was looking for a new art form to try and decided to start creating spray paint art himself. “It started out rough, and I wasn’t the best, but I got better,” he said.
Emery said that, it worked out to the point that in 2015-2016 “I was sponsored by Spraycasso Studios,” a spray paint company that supports up-and-coming artists.
Emery said he often paints animals or abstract creatures, but his favorite things to paint involve more imagination and personalization. “I love to create vivid and colorful wonderlands. I grew up on ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas,’ ” he said. “I take concepts from my head and turn them into reality on the board.”
Emery also said he finds inspiration from Tim Burton’s work. “I enjoy capturing the dark side of nature as well as the bright and vivid side of nature.” 
Emery was the recipient of the 2018 OnRamp Fellowship, an Indiana grant designed to support creative workers in Indiana. The fellowship is geared toward helping artists establish themselves as entrepreneurs. Emery was one of 36 selected out of more than 100 applicants, saying that the grant made it possible for him to work toward what he loves to do. “It’s nice to know that there are people who believe in my vision as an entrepreneur and an artist,” he said.
Emery’s primary goal as an artist is fostering community engagement.
“Art is the foundation of a strong community, and that’s slipping away. I want to bring it back. It’s not about the money for me; it’s about bringing people together.”
The key objective with Chautauqua’s Special Event is to foster audience interaction, organizers say. “We want people to come and ask questions and participate as well,” Straub said.
Emery strives to paint in a way that allows audience interaction. “I just go with the flow when I paint live. There’s always music, so I’m just playing along to it while the audience is watching,” he said.
Emery added that he sometimes moves in the direction of the audience if they give suggestions. “I always try to choose colors that will make people happy.”
One of the things he enjoys the most about creating spray paint art at events is watching bystanders enjoy the process. “The pieces are done in minutes, and it’s cool to see how it’ll affect feelings. Spray paint art is new to a lot of people, and it’s fun to continue to introduce something new to the area.”
Along with Emery, the Special Event will feature five other artists. Lisa Pelo of Clayton, Ind., will feature her glassblowing techniques. John Steppe of Prairie Creek, Ind., will be demonstrating blacksmithing. Madison-based artist Kevin Carlson will be painting en plein air. “Kevin loves to paint outside. He didn’t even hesitate when I asked him,” said Straub.
Alice Jane Smith of Madison will be demonstrating her bookmaking techniques. “She was previously a participating exhibitor in the show, but since her role of making books is more active, we wanted her to be part of the special event instead of just sitting at a booth,” Straub said. “We want people to see the process, and she’s good at explaining the process.”
Tony Brewer of Bloomington, Ind., will also join Chautauqua’s Special Event and provide poetry on demand throughout the day. “We’re really lacking in spoken word, so it will be nice to have him as a representative for that,” said Straub.
Each of the Special Event artists creates in a way that fits the theme, Art in Motion. Emery said that spray paint art is such an active art form that it coincides well with the Special Event. “It’s a very physical art form. It’s a theatrical art form,” he said.

Emery said he hopes to continue growing as an artist and continue finding grants and scholarships that will help support his journey. “My goal is to travel the country and the world doing my art and paying it forward,” he said. Emery said he is available to complete custom artwork at any time and loves connecting with individuals who have an eye for art. He can be found on Facebook at Above & Beyond Aerosol Alchemist.

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