Tess Erlenborn is an artist from Nashville, TN. She graduated cum laude from Sewanee: The University of the South with a B.F.A under the honors program in 2014. Her studio practices include acrylic painting, watercolor, and ink drawing, with a focus on natural textures, layered spaces and dualities, and the imagination. She takes inspiration escapism and natural metaphors found in fairytales and storybooks. Her past exhibits include her honors exhibit entitled Catalyst in the Edward Carlos Gallery in May of 2014, her show entitled Whimsy, exhibited in Parnassus bookstore in Nashville in July of 2014,  her solo show entitled Playhouse at Corvidae Collective Gallery in the Arcade in downtown Nashville in June 2015, The MBA Art Show in 2016, a solo exhibition at Jackalope Brewing Co. in December of 2016, a solo exhibition at Smith & Lentz Brewing Co. for the month of February 2017, and was the featured artist in July 2017 at Portland Brew in East Nashville. She is available for custom commissions.

Artist Statement

My work explores dualities. It restructures familiar, natural objects into a composition of disparate parts. It is a combination of the intricate details found in natural textures, fluidity, and chaos. The colorful, complex beings against a void or somewhat transparent background, allows the compositions to float. Stillness and movement, color and contrast, human and nature, and structure and looseness are all prevalent dualities in my work.


The purpose of my practice is to question our familiarity with our realities and address various inevitabilities in life. I am inspired by escapism and utilize this coping mechanism in my work. I draw from natural symbolism found in storybooks and fairytales. Each natural component found in my compositions, has a different metaphorical significance, but common themes include decay, growth, and repetition. I draw on personal issues and fears that bring people together, while simultaneously causing divides. I address what separates and connects us.