Local Athens artist Will L. Eskridge is primarily a painter, though he works in other mediums as well. Eskridge focuses on animals as his subjects, often placing them in surreal surroundings. Eskridge is interested in exploring not only the relationship between nature, specifically animals, and technology, but the effect that human advancements and intervention are having on them. It is with this in mind that Eskridge created the series “Creature Features”. As many locals are aware, Athens offers many outlets for artists. Aside from the main exhibition locations, there are numerous local businesses that offer their walls as makeshift galleries. In fact it is at The World Famous, a favorite Athens restaurant, that Eskridge’s paintings are currently being displayed.
The reception for “Creature Features” was held on September 15th and contained a small collection of paintings that resembled old fashioned movie posters from the 50s-70s. Eskridge created his own animal hybrids, complete with witty titles, including “Owligator from the Sky”. Viewers are likely to chuckle when seeing the paintings, which are certainly meant to take on a comical tone. However, underlying the humor, Eskridge’s theme of the effects of technology on animals is definitely present. It can be difficult to create art that evokes a playful humor while also tackling a much deeper meaning, and “Creature Features” has certainly managed to do that. I am glad that Athens is the kind of town where a small show with a big message can be seen in the most unexpected places. By Laura Eavenson