Passion for painting

Local artist takes cultural-based artwork to the next level

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Kerrigan Casey is just like every other millennial these days.

Trying to fit free time into a busy daily work schedule is challenging. So when it comes along, the 22-year-old-Florence native likes to make the best of it.

Three years ago, Casey began experimenting with painting urban art, a hobby she’s always been interested in. Since then, it’s turned into a passion.

“I actually ordered a kit off of Amazon to start out,” Casey said. “It’s just continued to bloom from there.”

Urban art is a style of art that relates to cities and city life and often combines street art and graffiti. With street art growing in the area, University of North Alabama assistant professor of sociology Andrea Hunt, along with a number of others in the community, decided to put together an art expo that showcased street art as a legitimate form of art rather than something that’s typically only thought of as belonging on the street.

Casey was one of several artists who participated in the inaugural Quad Cities Urban Art Expo in Sheffield in April. The event featured a variety of art, from prints and canvases to graffiti and tattoos, as well as music and spoken word poetry.

Not only did Casey display several pieces of her art, she also did a live demonstration that took most of the day to complete.

“It was a larger piece, 30 by 40 [inches], and was inspired by the music that was being performed there,” she said. “This particular one was of a woman who was preparing to sing, so it’s got music notes and microphones.”

While it may have been nerve-racking, she added, she was very grateful for the opportunity.

“I was very excited to be a part of the event,” Casey said. “There aren’t many opportunities for the type of artwork I do, so I was very glad they put something like that together.”

She credits her family as being a major inspiration for her paintings.

“I’m a very visual artist,” Casey said. “I often do ones that focus on my daily life, music, how I was raised, my community, and what it’s like being raised in the south.”

Her latest piece encompasses hip-hop music, featuring one of her favorite music artists from Mississippi. Casey describes it as being very colorful with an outline of the artist’s face.

“It’s much like a caricature,” she said. “It’s got everything to do with his music — subwoofers, nice cars, and the bible belt, so it has a religious aspect to it as well.”

While it may not be feasible at the moment, Casey said she does have hopes of pursuing her hobby full time in the near future. Until then, her work can be found on her personal social media platforms at Kerrington Casey on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.