Unique Music Inspired Art From Local Artists

Michael D. Johnson (DJ PupLuv the Artist)

His ability to bring the auditory artistry of music together with the visual artistry of paintings and sculpture is one of the things that makes Michael D Johnson a unique artist. As his persona DJ PupLuv, Johnson brings to life his love of music through songwriting and music production. At his Concept Seven Art Studio on Bluffton Road in Fort Wayne, Johnson illustrates his soulful view of the world through a variety of art platforms. Johnson started drawing at a early age, before he was talking. Early in school, his talents were very apparent to his teachers and family. Johnson’s artistic journey led him to Atlanta, where he worked on his craft, learning art through trial and error. But Johnson calls Fort Wayne home, having returned to the city over a decade ago to pursue his passion for art and to be with family.

The musician paintings at the Club Room is the artist’s perspective of Chuck Surack.  “It often times only takes one brave individual to see and believe in the endless possibilities that reside outside of the ‘box’,” Johnson said.  “The artwork depicting a saxophone player, “Mr. Surack”, takes his destiny in his own hands and eventually become an example, motivating other dreamers to diligently pursue their endless possibilities.”


Michael Johnson

Jared Applegate

Jared L. Applegate is an artist and educator from Fort Wayne, IN. He is a full-time Faculty member in the Visual Communications Department at Ivy Tech Community College. Applegate has a BFA from Ball State University and a MFA in Drawing and Painting, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Art History, Criticism and Theory from Texas Tech University. Most of his work consists of realistic chalk drawings that challenge social ideologies by positioning differing subject matter in linear yet practical and potent juxtapositions. Applegate also enjoys creating very colorful paintings that present new and fun challenges of place and proximity. His work has been displayed throughout Fort Wayne and many other cities of the United States some including exhibitions in Houston, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Atlanta. His work has won a few awards including the Honorable Mention Award in the Texas National. Applegate is also active in the local community serving on nonprofit committees for Fort Wayne SOUP and the 2nd Chances Art Exhibition through Blue Jacket, Inc.

The mural in The Club Room at The Clyde was inspired through a collaborative effort between Jared L. Applegate and his colleague, friend and painting partner, Erin Salyers.  They used images from experiences that they knew the space would provide.  Listening and watching live music creates a very colorful experience and provides an opportunity for social interactions to occur that you often don’t get elsewhere.  Amazing spaces like The Club Room at The Clyde encourage people to experience the music, the culture and to create a variety of new experiences and memories.  With that in mind, Applegate and Salyers wanted to pay homage to music as well as some famous visual artists who have painted similar subject matter in the past.  Some of the figures and patterns within the mural are direct incorporations from artworks from some of those famous artists before them.  In the end, a dynamic, colorful, and rhythmic mural was completed that pays homage to a variety of musical genres and visual artists.


Jared Applegate
Jared Applegate art

Theoplis Smith

Theoplis Smith III, who is also known as “Phresh Laundry,” is a primarily self-taught artist whose work comes from an innate need and desire to create. Smith’s practice is incredibly unique both for its skill and its unlikely beginnings. As a young child, he found himself drawn toward the arts, and has slowly but surely pieced together an original form of painting with certain connections to popular culture forms of representation like comic books, and the quick sketches of caricature, paired with the long history of traditional portraiture. Smith has been refining his practice over the last couple of years. Smith’s art brings broad appeal, while staying fresh and keeping a varied approach to the formal aspects of their work.

Titled “Keys to the soul” is a snapshot of the piano becoming part of the pianist body for all to hear, see and feel the depths of her.

Theoplis Smith
Theoplis Smith