Refresh Your Walls (and Halls) with Southern Artists

Paintings, furniture, and more for a spring re-do

Photo: Charlotte Zacharkiw

A silk screen print from Birmingham-based artist Laura Deems.

A few months ago, I moved into a new house, and as I slowly took on a kitchen and bathroom renovation and added the first few decor layers, I also started my art hunt. Like a lot of Southerners, I view all genres of decorative art, from painting to sculpture to handmade furniture, as storytelling elements in a room. Below are a few of the Southern artists I have my eye on as my next design adventure continues.

Laura Deems

Birmingham, Alabama

This silk screen by the Alabama artist Laura Deems is the first piece I hung in my new house, and I love seeing the electric jolt of pink on my way to the coffeemaker each morning. She works primarily by commission or in batches of collections by theme.

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Benjamin Paul Studio

Charleston, South Carolina

Some may not see a graceful demilune table as decorative art, but I do. And Charleston maker Ben Little, a favorite of the interior design set in the city, creates simple, lasting objects.

photo: courtesy of Benjamin Paul Studio

Caleb Mahoney

Jacksonville, Florida

There’s something frenetic in the energy of the pieces I love by the Florida artist and SCAD grad Caleb Mahoney. They look like the constantly churning hieroglyphics of the creative mind at work. 

photo: courtesy of Caleb Mahoney

Brent Warr

Atlanta, Georgia

I first took notice of the mirrors, lighting, tables, and other sculpture-meets-functional furniture by Brent Warr when I spotted this plaster and wood side table, modeled after antique perfume bottles.

photo: courtesy of Brent Warr

Mary Ball

New Orleans, Louisiana

I’m drawn to the faces and figures hidden in the whirls of ink and acrylic paint used by the Alabama native and New Orleans–based artist Mary Ball. Every piece is like a folk-art riddle.

photo: courtesy of Mary Ball