Courtney Adair Johnson says she's been a "reuse artist" since 2008 — that means she hasn't paid for art supplies in almost eight years, instead salvaging unused scraps and recycled materials to make work from. The results could be completely mixed, and I'll admit I was suspicious of the concept when I first heard it mentioned — in the wrong hands it could very easily become contrived, and bring a bunch of rules that have nothing to do with quality into an artist's practice.
But Johnson's work consistently surprised me for reasons that have nothing to do with whether or not her materials were paid for. The layered elements remind me of the Royal Art Lodge, and the repurposed surfaces at times recall outsider artists like Bill Traylor.
Look through some images of Johnson's East Nashville studio after the jump.