Outside art is a little hard to define. One unifying theme is that the artists did not receive formal training. While primitive works by Grandma Moses would certainly qualify, more recent trends have focused on pieces done by elderly African Americans living in rural areas of the south. While there's often a religious theme, their works often reflect their upbringings. Click on the thumbnail photos to see the works in more detail.

Minnie Adkins was born in 1928 and lives in Isonville, Kentucky. Moving back home after a number of years in Ohio, the family farm is named the "Peaceful Valley Wood Shop". This dog(?) is representative of her well-known animals.


Not all outside art comes from the south or even the United States. Bradford Naugler is an active artist from Nova Scotia, Canada. This creature resembles some sort of water creature. But that's only what we see. The art dealer, from St. Louis, thought it was a lizard. What do you think?


While animals are fascinating, portraits of people are often more interesting. We were lucky to be introduced to the multi-talented Shari Elf. She lives in Santa Monica. She has waited tables and been a seamstress. But now, Shari is an artist and soon to be recording star. Her art is comprised of 'found' pieces (in alleys, thrift shops, etc.) that are listed on the back of her works. This one is slated to be on the cover of her first CD, which is due out soon.