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Mike Ousley: Appalachian Narratives as Contemporary Art

Updated: May 15, 2023

American born painter Mike Ousley paints a direct commentary on Appalachian life and folk traditions, though their simplicity belies their depth. Ousley has painted since childhood, and though trained (MFA, University of Cincinnati), he foils Western European traditions with the folk style of his youth. Having grown up in a small coal town in Southeastern Kentucky listening to stories told by friends and family, he credits the visionary artists and rich heritage of the region as his primary influence.

Recent exhibitions include Nine Lives at Fortnight Institute, NY; From These Hills at the William King Museum of Art, VA, curated by Michael Rooks; and, Something on the Wind at Morehead State University, Morehead, KY. His work was featured in ArtMaze Magazine Issue 22, selected by Fabiola Alondra and Jane Harmon. Ousley has been a resident at the Huntington Museum of Art, studying with Alfred Leslie; Arc of Appalachia; and, North Mountain. His work can be found in numerous private collections, as well as public collections.

Mike joins me in this episode to talk about his background and upbringing has influenced his work as an artist.


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