To Those In-between. As a child, I was an avid reader. Any type of printed word available was fine, but what caught my attention most were words that told a story. One of my favorite stories was a picture book version of the classic fairy tale The Bremen Town Musicians. It had the most beautiful and expressive illustrations to complement the tale. This book was a large part of the reason that I developed a love of the fantastical, magical, mythical and legendary.
To me, books and stories are windows to other worlds, and I wanted to be a part of them all. Curiosity drove me to look deeper. The saying goes that every story has two sides, but there are so many varying accounts to each myth that make me believe that there are many more. I seek to take these tales and condense them into a single concept to depict them as something that could exist. Stories and traditions exist across all cultures and bringing them to life as beasts blurs the lines between people.
The art I create taps into a childlike love of storytelling and fantasy. There is, however, a degree of darkness and uncertainty, as my art lives in places where things simultaneously exist and do not. It represents things left unsaid, in the same way that a fairy tale ends in happily ever after, yet often no one is concerned about what the “after” entails. Is there happiness to these stories, or does something dark remain unseen after the book is closed? I leave these works as an answer to those struggling in-between worlds of their own making.
Chelsea Snead grew up in Salem, in the Roanoke area of Virginia. The small town feel of Salem, coupled with frequent visits to her maternal grandmother’s house in the mountains gave her an appreciation for nature and an active imagination. Having been raised around animals for the entirety of her childhood, she developed a keen love and curiosity for creatures of all types. This, in addition to the artsy nature of the people around her, led to drawing a plethora of animals, both real and imagined. She also devoted a large amount of time to her schoolwork.
When she was older, she developed an interest in learning about other cultures, partly due to her paternal grandmother who was English, and partly due to the influence of reading foreign books. Books displaying fantasy elements inspired from legends were among her favorites growing up. This childlike intrigue of folklore eventually gave her the itch to travel, so in high school she visited both Italy and Greece, while in college she studied abroad in Japan.
She successfully completed her senior art show in the spring of 2020, and will be participating in a virtual art show in the near future. Outside of her art, Snead has been successful in her academic career at college, maintaining a high GPA and being a member of the Honors Program for all four years of attendance. Chelsea Snead will graduate from Emory & Henry College in May with a Bachelor’s degree in both Studio Art and Biology. Other than drawing and painting, she likes to read, sit with her dog and cat, or relax and play games during her free time.
The art I create taps into a childlike love of storytelling and fantasy. There is, however, a degree of darkness and uncertainty, as my art lives in places where things simultaneously exist and do not.