Brian Bohanon is the latest artist to be added the roster of folk artists at Ice & Coal Gallery. His work features paintings and mixed media on recycled materials such as tin and old levels. (contributed)
Brian Bohanon is the latest artist to be added the roster of folk artists at Ice & Coal Gallery. His work features paintings and mixed media on recycled materials such as tin and old levels. (contributed)

Archived Story

Artist reflects on childhood

Published 2:39pm Monday, July 15, 2013

By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist

“Life is about discovery,” believes Helena artist Brian Bohanan. “If you don’t continuously open yourself to new insights and experiences, you are missing out.”

Rebirth can and should be a daily occurrence, and Bohanon has chosen the way of the artist to bring these experiences into his life.

Bohanon is a self-taught artist who recalls an important element of his childhood was spending time outdoors. He loved climbing trees and as new neighborhoods began to be built near his Hoover home, prior to the Galleria’s existence, he would collect rocks and materials to construct forts.

Even earlier, around age six, he recalls living in an older part of Selma and sitting under trees that seemed gigantic, possibly pecan, and “hearing” the voice or sensing the “spirit” of the tree.

“I realized that nature and her resources are a gift we are given. We should be respectful and not take her for granted. We will not be given the gift if we do not work to honor it.”

He has participated in Artwalk in the past and found it to be visited by people who are very receptive to art. His other favorite show is the Slotin Folk Fest in Atlanta, an indoor show where he shares a space with friends Shawn Wallace and Jim Weaver.

His materials are still mostly collected and “upcycled.” He recently acquired the old wooden floors from the former LaReunion coffee shop and has a fine supply of corrugated tin and river rocks, as well as found objects that are incorporated in the painting and frames.

He is grateful to have the input and friendship of folk artists Charlie Lucas and She She with whom he can share quality time and reflection, gathering and sharing stories and looking to the future.

His work is available at our Ice & Coal Gallery in Helena’s Old Town, now progressing towards a rebirth as the CoalYard Jazz and Blues Bar is scheduled to open its doors within the next month.

Bohanon’s website is bohananfolkart.com and he is also featured on the Ice&Coal facebook page.

 

Laura Brookhart is a community columnist for the city of Helena and can be reached at labro16@yahoo.com.

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