One evening in May at the M2 Gallery, there was Southern chic in relief. Sweet tea lapped over ice in mason jars, plump strawberries and blueberries were plucked from trays, and a station arranged for the messy assemblage of Frito pie was set to one side below a sphere of barbed wire suspended from the ceiling. But what might have been an oddball pairing for most other exhibitions found an ideal in the work of Little Rock-raised and Austin-based artist Emily Galusha. Because in considering the art on the walls—the pistols sketched in pastels and color pencil on found scraps of old paper (albeit muzzled with stray legs, tentacles, swarming with bees)—there isn’t a setting that would be better suited for Galusha’s Southern-infused art.
Or, for that matter, the artist herself.
Largely, this is because so much of her is reflected in her work—the practically inborn fondness for guns and their aesthetics, harbored since she was a little girl; and the blend of organic and the mechanical inherent in her work as an artist and a graphic designer, respectively. But unlike many of her contemporaries, that connection goes deeper than surface interpretation. Entwined in the actual media are pieces of herself and her history—found objects unearthed from dusty boxes of scraps of sewing paper and old issues of Ladies’ Home Journal found in a family attic. And of course, as strong as those ties are, it can be difficult to let those things go. “I have to work on not getting attached to certain things,” says Galusha. “But it’s nice to know it’s going to another good home—being passed on like it was passed on to me.”