We Hit the Road in Search of the Flyover States’ Most Exciting Creatives

Posted inFollow Friday

This 4th of July weekend, my boyfriend and I decided a road trip was in order, so we hopped in the car and drove a winding route from New Orleans to Missouri to visit a few friends. Along our extended drive through America’s backroads and farmlands, I obviously had plenty of time to wonder. Extended daydreaming inspired me to search on Instagram for the local artists of each state we drove through, and it became sort of like a game— nothing short of a classic license plate BINGO game. I figured I would share my findings in this week’s installment of Follow Friday.

Ann Marie Auricchio | @annmarieauricchio_art

Our road trip began in New Orleans, home to the artist Ann Marie Auricchio. This artist adds visual texture to the human experience with fierce, bright, dynamic pieces that showcase our vast range of emotions. Some of my favorite pieces of Auricchio are the ones that blend dark and moody colors with vividly glowing hues, creating works that not only prove the juxtaposition of human sentiments but also challenge the use of basic color combinations.  

Sue Carrie Drummond | @drummsc

While we took the long way to get to Missouri, we essentially drove straight through Mississippi to get home. This long stretch gave me several hours to find a local artist, and my investigation led me to Sue Carrie Drummond, a papermaker, printmaker, book artist, and Assistant Professor of Art at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. One thing that drew me into Drummond’s feed was the consistent behind-the-scenes peek into how she creates her work. It’s one thing to admire an artist’s end result, but viewing the tedious process of making it leads to an entirely different level of respect.

Liz Lane | @lizlaneart

I was born and raised in Alabama, but struggled to find an artist that represented my home. When I discovered Liz Lane, the CEO of Homewood’s Liz Lane Gallery, I realized her art and ethos beautifully represented what I would like Alabama to be known for. She’s an abstract artist who doesn’t believe in a traditional, linear narrative, which gives her work a contemporary, slightly disordered feel. On the other hand, she often uses dainty, light, traditionally southern colors, creating a juxtaposition between classic and modern approaches. Lane’s hand in regional activism also makes her a great choice to represent Atlanta, as she’s a staunch supporter of local art communities and is helping keep art education in schools throughout the south. 

Letitia Quesenberry | @lettyq_

Kentucky is most immediately associated with horse races and strong bourbon, but it’s also a state filled with high-quality, thought-provoking art. Louisville’s Letitia Quesenberry creates work that sits at the intersection of technology and sculpture. Her deliciously mesmerizing Instagram feed reveals her hypnotic, engaging, and bold aesthetic. Quesenberry lured me in with her eye-catching shapes and colors, but she kept me scrolling with the clever, thought-provoking captions that accompany each piece.

Bianca Fields | @beeyonkerz

We spent most of our trip in rural Missouri, where I felt immersed in a different culture. The town we visited has a population of less than 19,000, and the stories and beliefs felt almost culturally otherworldly to my own. Because of this perspective, when I discovered Bianca Fields’ Instagram account, I knew she was the perfect artist to reflect this feeling. Fields’ art analyzes the constant cycle of how Black women hold themselves within different spaces and contexts. Her works are intentionally chaotic, textured, dynamic, and structurally unnerving. If you’re looking for truly captivating art, Fields is definitely worth a follow.