Miz Thang

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Written by M Glover

Thursday, 04 November 2010 


Another year at the Ketuck festival, and I had another artist to choose. With so many talented, unique artists to choose from, it can be quite the challenge to find only one to interview. This year, choosing an artist was not a difficult task for me. Not when you scroll on the list of artists and find a name that captures your attention like Miz Thang.
“Just let me know if I can help you,” Miz Thang would say when anyone came walking into her bright, colorful, musical tent at the Kentuck Festival of the Arts. Wearing her paint-covered overalls, pink t-shirt, and shades, Miz Thang definitely had it going on! Painter, woodworker, and lover of blues music, Miz Thang has been interested in Folk Art since the 1970s. One of her sources of inspiration is Howard Finster, who is credited as The Father of Folk Art. Ever since she was a young girl, Miz Thang has always done things with her hands, whether it was drawing or modeling with clay, art has always been a part of her life.

Miz Thang, like her name implies, is a unique individual. She is a self-taught folk artist from Hawkinsville, Georgia. What others may consider junk Miz Thang considers art and finds the beauty in it. Miz Thang’s first piece was of one of her favorite blues artists, John Lee Hooker. When she started carving this figure and painting she was “in the mood.” Usually, her work is inspired by whomever she is listening to. When making her art more “soulful,” Miz Thang is not afraid to dip her fingers in the paint. “99% of the time, I use my fingers. Every now and then, I may use a brush. I like feeling the paint. When I feel the paint, I feel like I’m putting my own mojo in the artwork.” She enjoys hearing the sound of laughter and messages in her artworks that are positive and funny help to stir the sound. All of her work displays a message and the mood she was in while creating the piece can be seen.

Miz Thang’s work was first made public in the 1990s. In the early 2000s, she was recognized for some of her pieces of art. “It makes you feel good, validated, and it’s nice that someone took the time to appreciate your work.” Some of her artwork can be found in homes, in museums, and featured in art shows. Her work has caused her to travel far. She has traveled to art shows located in Georgia, to Florida, to Kentucky, even to Switzerland showcasing her love for the blues, folk art, and creativity to those willing to accept her genius. Miz Thang is always on the go — she is a high school special education teacher in Georgia. Sometimes, she decorates her classroom with some of her artwork and her students enjoy it. She even allows her students to call her Miz Thang. In her spare time, which is after school hours, weekends, and holidays are dedicated to creating art. “I don’t mind it. It’s relaxing to me.” The main and best shows that Miz Thang takes the time out to participate in are Kentuck and the Fairrington Arts Festival.

Miz Thang has no problem promoting her work. With the help of her friend Kathlene, a website, and all of the latest social networking websites at her side, her work can be accessed from anywhere. Her greatest tool in promoting is herself. Miz Thang’s friendly attitude, love for music, and bright master pieces draws her to many and allows her to connect with just about anyone.

When Miz Thang retires from her teaching job, she hopes to attend a lot more art festivals like she used to be able to do. In the mean time, Miz Thang is continuing to listen to the blues, letting the music inspire her to create her works of art.