MY ART STORY by

Ashley Mintz

Nashville
Tennessee

Colored Girl_Mixed Media on Paper_8.5x11_$450_Ashley Mintz.jpg

Abstract painting of a girl.

Colored Girl by Ashley Mintz. Photo courtesy of artist

I moved to Nashville, Tennessee, from Las Cruces, New Mexico, in 2007 to pursue songwriting. Shortly after moving here, I began doing abstract drawings. I entered some of my drawings into a juried exhibit and my works were chosen! After that, I wanted to try painting replicas of what I had drawn. Since then, visual art has become a big part of my life, along with writing and composing music.

I attended Nashville State Community College where I studied music technology and general technology. I had an English instructor who once chose an essay that I wrote to read to the class. That sparked a yearning to write. Not just music, but anything. She told me about a literary journal that they had at the school and encouraged me to enter my writing and visual art. I did just that and ended up being published and winning student writing awards while there. I remember one semester, I took a theater class and a creative writing class. Being involved in both of those opened up a whole new door for me. I began doing spoken word and performance poetry.

I have recently been deeply influenced by African-American artists, specifically ones in the South. Being part African American, I was at first, unaware of the many artists there are and of the history here in Nashville and the South. I now write spoken word poetry, which usually touches on racial and women's issues as well as poverty. These issues tend to show up in my visual art pieces as well. 

I had a bit of a chaotic childhood, but I can remember always being drawn to different types of artistic expression whether it be singing, dancing, playing piano, or writing. I believe that art helped me cope in tough times, and now it helps me look back and use my past to create and heal so that I can have a better present and future.