Tim Spanjer’s art brings fun exhibit to Shelby County Arts Council

Published 1:58 pm Monday, October 4, 2021

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By SASHA JOHNS | Community Columnist

Tim Spanjer believes that fine art can be fun art too. His traveling exhibit poplectic—which is currently showing at the Shelby County Arts Council in Columbiana—speaks to that belief.

Spanjer’s larger-than-life paintings are bright and audacious when it comes to challenging the definition of fine art.

“I believe art should boldly tell your story to the world,” he said. “It should say something about who you are and reflect what you love, what you believe and what makes you unique. It should challenge the status quo and set you apart.”

His work depicts things like paper airplanes, candy, games, popsicles and bikes. Basically the things that make you think about your childhood, and as soon as you see them, you start to picture them hanging in your game room, man cave or kid’s rooms because they make you smile.

The giant canvases are constructed by Spanjer himself with paneling and finger joint boards, and he doesn’t get his supplies from the same places other artists do.

“Everything you see painted here was created from supplies I bought at Home Depot and Lowe’s,” he told us with a big grin at the opening of his exhibit in Columbiana.

He’s even made created an homage or two to his favorite brand of paint, Rustoleum, whose cans are scattered throughout the exhibit to add a little extra flair.

In addition to just the paint itself, Spanjer often adds elements to his paintings that are everyday items that he repurposes, like cigar bands or cereal boxes, which he turns into mosaics. He calls this style “Cerealism”.

Originally from New York, Spanjer met and married a Pursell of Pursell Farms in Sylacauga.

When he moved to Alabama to join the family business as a marketer for the farm, he and his wife, who is also an artist, began to create together in the evenings after the kids were put to bed.

“I stay busy with work, as well as being a husband and father, so I’m learning to balance all of that and still have time to create,” he said before going on to say he paints about 5-6 hours each week. “Painting with my wife is a nice way to spend time together.”

Spanjer has been an artist his whole life, but his passion for pop art took over about five years ago. In addition to his show at the Shelby County Arts Council, Spanjer can be found every year at the Magic City Art Connection, and of course, his work can be found at Pursell Farms where he is a family artist.

The exhibit at the Arts Council will be available now through Nov. 23. Gallery hours can be found at Shelbycountyartscouncil.com.