For many bands and musicians, the way they represent themselves visually to listeners is entwined with music they make.
Long before marketing-speak like "branding" became mainstream, music groups used album art, T-shirt designs and concert fliers as visual portraits of their musical style.
"I've always been interested in how album art affected how I listened to a band," says Will Sizemore, Land of Tomorrow gallery's exhibitions manager. "I would listen to the music and imagine the album art in my mind."
This interest led Sizemore to curate Land of Tomorrow's latest exhibit, Black on Black, which explores the intersection and interrelationship of sound and visual art.
The exhibit features the work of Lexington artists Anton Escobar, Matt Minter and Garrett Spear, and Cleveland artist Scott Stearns.
The artists are not only musicians in the noise, metal and experimental underground scenes, they are responsible for producing visual art associated with their bands and frequently design fliers, zines and album art for other bands.
Escobar is a recent graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he studied illustration. He is also a guitarist and vocalist for the band Tombstalker. Many of Escobar's works are pen-and-ink drawings, though some ink drawings are scanned electronically and Photoshopped to display vividly contrasting colors.
Minter is the vocalist for the noise band Wretched Worst, which will perform during the exhibit's opening reception Saturday. As a visual artist, he is known primarily for his ink-drawn fliers and frequently works in collage. He has designed posters, fliers and album art for a variety of bands.
A printmaker who plays several musical instruments, Spear performs with the band Xelas, which defines itself on its Web site as "a collective effort to record aural and physical representations of our own personal human experience." Xelas also will perform during the reception.
Stearns' work is well-known in the metal community, and he created designs for multiple bands and his record label, Goat Skull Records.
Sizemore says of the exhibit, "I want visitors to go home not feeling like they just spent a couple of hours in some stuffy art gallery."
With Minter's and Spears' metal bands, as well as an aural and visual installation performance by Everyone Lives Everyone Wins scheduled during the opening reception, the tone of the show is anything but stuffy.
"I want visitors to experience the art and music together on a larger scale than an album cover," Sizemore says, "and develop an appreciation for the endless amount of work and thought that not only goes into making the music, but also the images that influence the way we experience it."
Candace Chaney is a Lexington writer.