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Three people you should visit at the Chicken Farm Art Center

Just a few steps past the entrance the clanging of hammers on steel and the muffled roar of air blown into fire echoes across the courtyard. On the other side the slow strains of a solo guitar ring out from one of numerous shops and shoppers move from booth to booth and shop to shop. It’s “First Saturday” again and the Chicken Farm Art Center is bustling.

Blacksmith's working on projects at The Chicken Farm. (photo by Doug Schwartz. 2017)

The blacksmith is busy today as four forges roar and rapidly heat the metal the smith’s work with. Hammers and tools shape metal in the talented hands of the men working this forge. Matt Bignall takes a piece of metal and starts working it into the shape of knife. The glow of the metal fades remarkably fast causing Matt to return to the forge so he can continue the process. Another blacksmith, Matt Cheatam, works to straighten out a piece of steel. His hammer tapping in a different rhythm and with more precision than some of the other smiths.

Forge @The Chicken Farm Smithy. (photo by Doug Schwartz. 2017)

The cool factor of the forge can easily distract a person but there is way too much to see at the Chicken Farm Art Center to not push on deeper into the shops. One such shop belongs to Joe Morgan; one of the three people you owe it to yourself to visit when at the Farm. As you walk into Joes shop you are immediately inundated with artwork that definitively stands outside the norm. The first thing in the shop that draws a person’s eye is the sculpture and textured artwork.

Joe’s artwork is born of a unique vision and includes normal horsehair vases and more unusual horsehair vase’s where he’s also included a saw blade that chars during the firing process. In another work, he has welded metal pipe caps into rough spheres and created stellar sculptures. Joe’s work fits in nearly any home or office and is without a doubt a distinctive conversation piece.

From L-R: Joe Morgan, Custom Sculpture, Various Art, Sculpture in progress. (photo by Doug Schwartz. 2017)

Joe opens his sketch book from over a decade ago showing just some of the things seen in his gallery. “Many of these things come out of my head” Joe laughed lightly “Often it’s the middle of the night when they make their way out.” Joe had been a teacher and had only started taking his art so seriously after he’d left his early profession.

Down the walk past the Silo Grill is a small shop called PB&J owned by Polina Bradham. Polina is an amazing lady. When you first walk into her shop the jewelry she’s made with her own hands stands out. Some things she shares that are so incredibly unique are the earrings made from pure silk cocoons and scarves that are woven from wool and silk with amazingly delicate feel and hand painted designs.

Polina Bradham. (photo by Doug Schwartz. 2017)

Hand woven designs by Polina Bradham. (photo by Doug Schwartz. 2017)

Polina also uses polished stones and tightly woven metal rings to make bracelets, earrings and necklaces. Each piece has its own personality and no two are alike. There is something beautiful and natural about Polina’s work.

Card reader Rucelle Russell sits outside Magazi II, an eclectic clothing and art shop, with one client seated across the table and staring intently at the cards. Rucelle explains what the meaning of each layout is as she tells her client some of the things to expect in the future. Some scoff at card reading while others would base each and every decision on daily readings. Rucelle has an attentive demeanor and spends time explaining the details so they are easily understood.

From L-R: Rucelle Russel, card reading, client selecting cards. (photo by Doug Schwartz. 2017)

There is little doubt that once you’ve spent some time at The Chicken Farm Art Center you will be captivated by the astounding creations throughout. Pottery, painting, jewelry making, music and more is available each week.

Make sure to follow the blog to keep up to date with more of Angelo’s Arts.

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