Eagle Rock is home to a lot of cool things—great mountain views, a small-town feel, beautiful Spanish-style homes and, of course, an ever-growing list of cool shops and restaurants.
But at its core, the Rock has a mix of eclectic residents that makes our 'hood a bit left-of-center. We'd like to introduce you to two such Eagle Rockers who this writer deems the edgiest peeps in the neighborhood: The Artist Sisters, a.k.a. Miss Mindy and CJ Metzger.
The siblings were born and raised in Eagle Rock and still live here. For the better part of a decade, they have been an important part of what—for lack of a better term—might be called the lowbrow art movement. It has its following: The sisters have conducted numerous exhibitions around the world. They have written and illustrated books. They regularly curate shows.
Although known collectively as the Artist Sisters, we thought it best to introduce you to them—in all their edginess—individually and in time for their 2nd Annual Artist Sisters Show at . Titled "Head in the Clouds," the show opens November 12, from 6 p.m.-10 p.m., and runs through December 30. The opening night event is scheduled for November 19, from 6-10 p.m., and is sponsored by Auntie's Fry Bread, Lake Street Creamery, and Lovely Jubilee.
Patch: Tell us how you got into art.
Miss Mindy: I've been artist since I was a little kiddo. Being surrounded by a 'circus family' like mine is enough to inspire you to mix yer medias. My mother is a sculptress and community activist and her parents were illustrators, puppeteers, and muralists.
On my father's side, my grandmother Mary inked characters for Disney in the 1930s, whilst my grandfather was a lathe worker and photographer. Pops is a mad scientist of sorts, who worked in aerospace, can fix almost any car and make Jacobs ladders in a wink of an eye.
He bought my sister and I our first scroll saw when we were teenagers—and our 'crafty' gene was set in motion. We do most of our own wood working, framing out, sculpting, patching, hanging. Circus Sisters—the only thing missing is a gypsy cart and a medicine man.
Could you describe your art?
My artwork has been a part of a variety of 'movements' in the past nine years: pop surrealism, lowbrow, new-brow, medium-brow? (no thanks!), new contemporary, blah, blah, blah. But what I feel best describes my work is a label of my own choosing—Cartoon Folk Art.
‘Cartoon Folk’ seems the best way to describe which genre I enjoy creating in. I've worked in animation for years, so that is very prominent in my work, but I also tend to 'ring' in a crafty tone in my hand-hewn wood cuts, and infuse my fluid ink drawings with a style all their own. Miss Mindy Land. A place where I hope all the characters I've created go to when they die. I'll be there in my candy-stripped spacesuit and a jar of cookies to welcome them at the gate.
Who—and what—inspires you and your work?
My brain is the main culprit. My day-to-day life inspires my little friends to come to life. I envision places I'd like to go, little ladies I'd like to meet—or I infuse them with a feeling I'm having or a vibe that a friend is going through. If I had to name one artist I admire, it would be Dr. Seuss. His life was so full of different ways of doing things. I feel a kinship with him.
What exactly is your new show, "Head in the Clouds," all about?
That's where my head goes from time to time. Cutting through the chatter and getting to that place where creating is fun, easy, and enjoyable. There will be a variety of works, from Kokeshi Dolls to ink drawings to cutout wooden characters and paintings on cradled wood, by both my sister and I. It's a family-friendly show for the holidays—in our awesome hometown.
What is your favorite piece in the new show? Tell us about it.
One of my favorite pieces is on the show announcement card. It’s titled—of course—'Head in the clouds.' It was the piece that spearheaded the show’s title. The media is mixed—acrylic, ink, and gold leaf on aged watercolor paper. It took me to that happy place. My dog Radio is making his artistic debut in it.
What do you love about living in Eagle Rock and what are some of your favorite places to go in our cool little 'hood?
I was born and raised in this town and brought up on Saturday morning breakfasts, din dins, and the occasional Friday night 'payday' pizza from . I'm really enjoying all the new businesses in town too, such as , and (gotta keep in shape with all these restaurants!). Oh yes, and also , the , —what's not to like around here?
Check back for The Artist Sisters, Part 2, in which we’ll meet CJ Metzger.