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Beth Heinly, Kelsey Morse-Brown, Oz Deshaw, and Scott Wheelis
Supernatural
June 6th - June 29th

Supernatural is a prop replica exhibit self named from its’ counterpart, a television series that airs on the CW Network, Tuesdays at 9/8 Central. The series is also free to stream online from the CW website, cwtv.com and without commercials on Netflix. The objects on display at Vox Populi are made by professional artists and fans alike. The T.V. series Supernatural premiered in 2005 starring actors Jared Padalecki (Gilmore Girls) and Jensen Ackles (Days of Our Lives). The two play brothers descending from a lineage of men and women who hunt supernatural beings, simply referring to themselves as “hunters”. The first episode starts off in 1983 when their mother is engulfed in flames by a yellow-eyed demon. At the time of their mother’s death, Sam is six months old and Dean is four. From that point on their father, John Winchester, makes it his life’s pursuit to hunt the yellow-eyed demon and thus thrusting his sons’ life into lives as hunters. Supernatural creator, Eric Kripke, developed the subplot for Supernatural from Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, comparing the life of a hunter to the backdrop of Kerouac’s novel. The names, “Sam” and “Dean” pay homage to the lead characters from On the Road, ”Sal” and “Dean”. This is the first of many literary references found within the storytelling of Supernatural, which follows the brothers cross- country in their 1967 Chevy Impala battling any urban legend that may cross their path.

Outside of the Supernatural series the fans also collaborate daily on message boards, blogs, comic cons, cosplays, fan fictions and role playing. As a primer, you could look to spinoffs within Supernatural’s erotic fan fiction which predominantly feature queer based narratives. One narrative features Dean Winchester and Castiel (an angel of god) and another described as “Wincest” features Sam and Dean Winchester as lovers. There is a fan meme called, “Superpsych” where fans parallel the T.V. shows Supernatural and Psych pointing out crossovers between the two shows. The Supernatural fandom itself is often referenced within the actual show which only incites the fan’s obsessions. Particularly obsessive are the fans found in prop replication forums who admire the craft of sculpting and graphic design within the show, and study the props very closely.

Together, they crowdsource materials through screenshots, CAD illustrations, PDF downloads and Arduino, all presented with instructions for D.I.Y. production. This crowdsourcing relates on many levels to various widespread approaches throughout the internet that embrace an open source education. Whether holding value on an object that embodies a Supernatural aura, admiring another person’s impassioned craftsmanship or furthering an escape into fantasy through cosplay, these experiences are likened to viewing art in the pursuit of beauty, where awe delineates from copying rather than a concept of originality.

Beth Heinly is a performance artist and comic book writer residing in Philadelphia. In 2012 she became a member at Vox Populi where she enjoys making art, curating and collaborating with her fellow artist members. Her artwork has been featured in many exhibitions throughout the Philadelphia area and Paris, France.

Kelsey Morse-Brown’s artist origin story is pretty standard: he was bitten by a radioactive crayon and has been drawing on any piece of paper he could get his hands on ever since. He attended Grinnell College in Iowa, graduating in 2009 with honors in Art. His work was selected for the Student Art Salon in 2006, 2008, and 2009, and he won the Juror’s Merit award for the painting Breakdancers in 2006, and the Student Affairs Prize for the vinyl cut Super LIberal Arts in 2009. His illustrations have been published in Grinnell Magazine, Savage Insider, Steamscapes: North America, and afterwicked.com. He currently works as a freelance illustrator, taking on projects ranging from digital illustration commissions to brand consulting for small businesses. In his free time, he enjoys working on staff at pop culture conventions, including Anime Central and BronyCon.

Over the past 20 years, Oz DeShaw has had a diverse career making Special FX for film and television, sculpting for major theme parks, promotional statues for video games, as well as props and collectables for private collectors. A few of his favorite and most well known projects have been done for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Supernatural, and the Maltese Falcon.

Since Scott Wheelis was a child he wanted certain things that could never be found in stores, or if they were found, they were never quite right. He realized that if he was ever to have the things that he was looking for he would have to make them himself, and it was on the threshold of this discovery that an artist was born. He has been an artist for over 26 years with experience in a variety of things including: film, special effects, mask creation, prosthetics, prop design/construction, set design/construction, costume design/construction, sculpture, mold making, painting, metal work, and animatronics.

SATURDAY JUNE 21ST & SUNDAY JUNE 22ND
12pm & 3pm (both days)
“Supernatural” Gallery Tours

Beth Heinly , crossplaying as Castiel, will be giving gallery tours of her exhibition “Supernatural”

Press:
Supernatural featured on Philebrity

Install shots: