She’s HOT: visual artist Casey Promise

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A long time ago in a land far, far away called college, I met my friend, Dylan. Dylan was a handsome, calm, and sweet guy from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. From time to time, we would hang out at parties and go dancing. We shared a love for dance, music, life, and almost everything. We even had mutual friends, one of whom was his big sister, Casey. Casey Thompson to be exact.

Casey Thompson, known as Casey Promise, is one of Nashville’s fastest rising stars in the visual arts, and in my opinion, she is on her way to becoming a well-known name in the national art circuit. This summer, she was featured in several local publications (including the Nashville Arts Magazine), her solo exhibit at Red Arrow Art Gallery received rave reviews, and she is currently working on new material daily. Casey’s art is hypnotizing and speaks to the heart without words. Her visual captivations are stunning and refreshing, which is why I think She’s Hot.

Casey grew up in Murfreesboro, in a household including two younger brothers and two hippie parents. Casey was exposed to a world of creative influences as a kid. Her parents were best friends with professors, musicians, and artists. She even spent time at Short Mountain, a gay hippie community outside of Woodbury, Tennessee. So, it was natural for her to desire an artistic outlet at an early age.

Casey studied art for one year at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, and shortly afterwards she moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, for a few years of a “strange soul-searching experience.” The high deserts of Santa Fe taught Casey many life lessons and led to a blossoming of spiritual growth for her. After the powerful experience and the lessons learned, it was time for her to come home.

Casey currently resides in East Nashville, where she likes to play her music loud while driving with no destination, drink whiskey, think like a Virgo, and be visually creative. Recently I had the chance to ask my old crony a few questions, and this is what she had to say:

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Dupree: What is your motivation for creativity?

Casey: Music, being in love, nature, death, fear, and the need to release.


Dupree: What is your favorite medium?

Casey: I would have to say, I love using graphite the most. There is something about using pencils that brings out both the lightest and darkest creatures of my imagination…though I also have this tiny dream of creating surreal claymation/stop-motion films!


Dupree: How has Nashville influenced your creative process?

Casey: Nashville is mainly religious. If anything, it pushes me to go beyond the limits of conformity.


Dupree: As an artist, how does it feel to part ways with a finished piece?

Casey: It depends on the piece and what I had to take from my life and heart in order to create it. There are a few pieces that I still have yet to part with. One, in particular, tells a story of a woman I once loved very much, and the pain in her heart that she continues to carry.


Dupree: What is your favorite period in art?

Casey: The Mannerism Art period. I’m not religious, but I’m intrigued by the mythology behind good and evil. There’s a lot of darkness, sexuality, emotionless expressions, and chaos in that period.


Dupree: How does love or heartbreak affect your work?

Casey: I create the most amount of work when I’m single and my heart has been healed. I create my best work when I’m in love. When heartbroken, I create my darkest of creatures. Let’s just say that I’m drawing a lot more devils than angels right now.


Dupree: What is your biggest dream as an artist?

Casey: To help people feel and see more within themselves and within one other.


Dupree: How would you describe the Nashville art scene?

Casey: Disappointing, as well as thriving. They have to cover the windows at The Arcade if there’s any nudity in the art. It’s ridiculous! It’s 2014, and it’s time to move forward.


Dupree: Where do you see the Nashville art scene going?

Casey: Sometimes I think the mold is being broken, and then sometimes I worry that we are only taking steps back. I think about leaving Nashville because it’s so conservative, but if people like me leave, the city will never change.