Fall brings in the start of the holiday season, from Halloween and the Day of the Dead all the way through New Years Day. With the start of the season also comes the cloudy skies and cool weather bringing on an eerie feeling that is suitable for the first two holidays, which can also be seen in the artwork exhibited and displayed during the October and November Riverside Artswalk events. Many artists tailor their items to fit the season, so you can expect to see a variety of Halloween themed artworks. Some artists however, fit in the season naturally and can be found in the middle of summer with eerie artworks and the November Riverside Artswalk Artist Spotlight is no exception.
Magnolia Mills is a mixed media artist who was born and raised in Riverside, CA. Magnolia has been creating art from the time she was a child and is currently working with taxidermy alongside her personal art projects. Her artwork can be described as spooky, raw, and quirky and fits perfectly with the spooky themes of the holidays. Her inspiration to create her work comes from a constant desire for self-expression that she can’t simply put into words. She thinks of her work as a manifestation of the goings-on in her mind – each piece is an invitation into Magnolia’s world. Her art satisfies the need to create and when she is not creating, she feels as though a part of her is missing. She also loves the thrill of provoking reactions out of people from her finished work, whether it be positive or negative. Although Magnolia does not have a defined goal about her future as an artist, what she does know is that she doesn't want to stop creating or let anything put out that fire and ambition to create.
Magnolia has been participating in the Riverside art scene since about 2010 and if she is not vending at the monthly Artswalk, she is visiting and checking out the galleries. Aside from being active as an artist, Magnolia is also very involved in the community and has worked as an intern for Division 9 Gallery and the Riverside Arts Council. Through Division 9 Gallery, she helped to organize the first Day of the Dead festival and was also involved with Saturation Fest as a participating artist and as an organizer. She has also been helping assist with Riverside Artswalk since 2016 and has helped coordinate vendors for the Riverside Art & Music Festival. Her advice to any artist is to say “yes” to any opportunity that comes your way because you never know where it will lead you in the future. Magnolia feels that being a part of the Riverside arts scene is important, because once the participation is gone, the scene will die. It is important to support fellow artists and create a space for up-and-coming young artists who need an outlet and guidance.
Magnolia has shown her work at Division 9 Gallery, Pain Sugar Gallery, and Back to The Grind. She has also sold artwork in Los Angeles at various places such as Memento Mori. She has been working at Precious Creature Taxidermy since 2017, doing aftercare work for beloved pets that have passed away. When she’s not working with aftercare clients, she’s working on her own various art projects like short films, mixed media sculpture, and drawings.