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    Keeping in line with Forecastle’s nautical aesthetic, festival visitors will be treated to a variety of themed performance artists, costumed attendants, and lounging mermaids. But amidst it all is, the festival’s largest art installation, a landed- ship in the middle of The Great Lawn which is being painted all weekend by regional artists.

    I spoke with husband and wife, Jeral and Sarah Tidwell, about their sections of the project.

    Could you tell me a little bit about what you do professionally?

    JT: Well, I have been an illustrator and an artist for a living since 1988; so it’s been 26 years of drawing and making ugly things for the world.

    ST: A little over a year ago, I retired from being a veterinary technician to focus on doing our art all day long.

    So what is going on with your section of the boat? What are you going for?

    JT: We paint a lot together; we’re husband and wife, of course, so I decided to make something fun and totally different than my normal style and it was going to be like a love letter to her. So, as a joke, I wouldn’t tell her what it was for a couple of day—as a surprise. It’s that one last grasp out of the water with your love note in a bottle to send out.

    ST: Well, a lot of my art this past year has been real “cute-sy” and animals; most of my art revolves around animals. And then we were handed the nautical theme, so I went with whatever I could fit in.

    How does one get to paint on the Forecastle boat?

    JT: We’re friends with Mo McKnight-Howe who runs that section of Forecastle. She owns a boutique in town (Revelry Boutique), so she just grabbed some of her artist friends to help her out.

    ST: And we helped her out last year so she knew to contact us.

    About how many hours a day have you spent painting on the boat?

    ST: At least eight yesterday.

    JT: Yeah, at least eight to ten yesterday. We’ll probably do the same today and a few tomorrow.

    And just one final fun question—is there band or performer you are particularly excited to see?

    JT: I was really excited to see Outkast last night; that was totally fun.

    ST: Outkast was pretty cool, but I was more excited about the jalapeno corndogs.

    JT: She didn’t care about the music or the painting or anything—she was just like “Oh my God, jalapeno corndogs.”

    ST: We’ve spent the last year travelling to festivals, looking for jalapeno corndogs and we couldn’t find them anywhere.


    You can find more information about Jeral Tidwell's work at www.humantree.com. For more information about Sarah Tidwell's work, check out www.theinkingdragon.com.

    For more Forecastle coverage, follow us on Twitter @louisvillecom!

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    Ashlie Danielle Stevens's picture

    About Ashlie Danielle Stevens

    I'm a journalist and creative nonfiction writer based in Louisville, Kentucky. My freelance work has been featured in The Guardian US, Paste Magazine, Louisville Magazine STORY Magazine, STIR Journal, Mapquest Discover, Thrillist Louisville with pieces upcoming at Salon, Mental Floss, Serious Eats and Munchies. I also spend my spare time chasing food trucks.

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