Chestnut Square, formerly the old May Hosiery Mill, is the studio home to many Nashville artists, but rarely for as long as it has been for Adrienne Outlaw. Perhaps one other resident can boast more than her 15 years there. Like other studios at Chestnut, this is spacious, high-ceilinged, airy. Just inside the front door is a seating area with a roll of scratch paper on the coffee table. This is for ideating, conceptualizing, sketching thoughts out. Once the main idea takes form, it’s onto a separate spot to sit and figure. Figure out how to make the idea happen. How large, what shape, what materials, who else to involve. Adrienne brings a fresher than fresh approach to materials selection. She’ll use anything. As of this writing, her current favorites are sugar and salt. Yep, and hair, teeth (particularly baby teeth), bugs, fingernails, the more common metal nails.... She uses the center room to simulate an exhibit space - white walls, shelves, podiums. Pieces hang from the rafters here and in the room at the back - her so called “labor camp” - where she rolls up her sleeves and puts the skeleton, flesh, and skin to the concepts. Evidence abounds of her dual personality as giver and taker. She is apt to include lots of other people in projects, teaching and guiding; for example, part of the studio is dedicated to Seed Space, a cozy spot to help promising new artists develop and show the results of their talent. She’s a taker, too. That is, if you’ve got something to offload that might find its way into a new creation, or if, like the bookshop owner who closed his shop and needed to do something with a bunch of shelves, will help Adrienne store and organize. By the end of our session, I was dizzy with trying to take in the descriptions of all she is involved in. Endless energy and ideas. Oh, and she’s a mother. 4 and 6 years old.
From the artist: When I asked her if she was bored in school: “Nope. Too busy passing notes.”