If it goes bump in the night, Tina McCullough likes it.
“I love scary movies, vampire moves, a little Anne Rice, some Stephen King,” said McCullough, owner of the Blue Bell Gallery.
That’s why for the second year in a row McCullough has asked local artists to fill her gallery with ghostlike, paranormal, spine-chilling, sinister images for her “Hauntings” exhibit this month.
“Yes, this is much creepier this year than last year,” McCullough said, “which is what I’m going for.”
The “Hauntings” exhibit is open from Oct. 4-31. Twenty local artists’ work will be on display on the second floor of the Blue Bell Gallery located in downtown Comer. McCullough said the exhibit should be a bit more haunting because it’s upstairs. She says only the pieces of art will be illuminated, while the rest of the show room will be left dark.
“I’ll have more control over the lights upstairs than I did in the other space (last year),” McCulllough said. “We’ll be able to make it even more of a scarier experience as far as the atmosphere.”
McCullough hopes to draw on the success of last year’s event, when 36 local artists displayed their work.
“We had a great response to it last year as far as the artists’ response and the people that came to see the show … hopefully it will be as good if not better than last year,” McCullough said.
This year’s works will range from haunting paintings to sculptures to photography. McCullough describes the photography as “really outside of the box as far as presentation goes. I’m very, very excited.”
Adding to the chills this year is a story telling session by Carlton actress Stephanie Astalos-Jones during an Oct. 18 reception at Blue Bell. “She’s putting something special together for the reception. I can’t wait to see,” McCullough said. “It will be spooky.”
Halloween has always been one of McCullough’s favorite holidays, dating back to childhood when her parents would put on carnivals for her neighborhood. Now with her own art gallery, she can follow in that All Hallow’s Eve tradition.
“Hauntings” highlights the work of those who tend to drift a little to the dark side.
“My work really isn’t all that dark, but I do really enjoy dark work,” McCullough said.
And rest assured, McCullough wants people to be a little creeped out this month.
“We aim to scare,” McCullough said.
Astalos-Jones said she plans to tell ghost stories from the past, present and future. In fact, she’s created one specifically about the old sewing factory that was once housed at the Blue Bell building.
Astalos-Jones said the presentation will be short, but that she will be in costume.
“I am going to be dressed a little scary, so it’s not for little children,” Astalos-Jones said.