Aaron Grayum received his BFA from Middle Tennessee State University in 1999 and has been painting professionally since 2005. Born in Ravenna, Ohio in 1977, Aaron has called Tennessee home since he was 4 years old. His work has been published in The New England Review, Bartleby Snopes, Art Galleries & Artists of the South, Voyage Atlanta, and The Saturday Evening Post, as well as featured on the television show Nashville. Aaron won first place in the Nashville Arts & Business Council’s Periscope Pitch competition in 2018. In 2020 he was named one of the top three Art Creators of the Year by Nashville Lifestyles magazine, and for the 2021-22 school year, he is a resident artist for Metro Public Schools. He currently lives and works with his wife and son in Fairview, Tennessee.
I make art for the inner child. I try to connect to people who feel unseen, in a way that shows them they matter and are not alone. Using acrylic on canvas, I create images inspired by drawings I made when I was a kid – like birds, umbrellas, and jelly bean trees – speaking a language familiar to both children and adults. Words and poetry are integral to much of my work, allowing me to explore the tension between the playful innocence of childhood and the vulnerable truths of a grown-up world that doesn’t always understand.