Arrowhead Vintage turns estate sale trash into reclaimed treasure
If you happen to find yourself in the Canton Arts District in Canton, Ohio, stop by Arrowhead Vintage & Handmade Goods and say hello to Mel and Dave. Their little boutique is full of offbeat stuff, vintage collectibles and truly one-of-a-kind artwork. Heads Lifestyle caught up with owner Dave Sherrill (from a safe distance) to find out about the family-run microbusiness, his love of Ewoks and with whom he’d most like to smoke a jay.
Heads Lifestyle: Hi Dave. Tell us about your shop? What was your inspiration for the name?
DS: The wife and I started Arrowhead six years ago, kind of on a whim. The Canton Arts District had these tiny vintage storefronts with really cheap rent. We are vintage collectors and makers so we wanted to do both. We chose Arrowhead because arrowheads are the one of the most vintage/handmade items you can find. Our first customer was Eerie Von from Danzig. He was doing an art show in Billy Ludwig's gallery and was walking around checking out the town. Very cool guy, he talked about Fire King and Pyrex with my wife for about 20 minutes.
Arrowhead Vintage & Handmade Goods co-owner Dave Sherrill breathing new life into a castoff painting.
HL: Have you always been an artist?
DS: I've always been into art and creative stuff. I drew compulsively as a kid but we lived in a small town in Texas where not many people make art for a living. My father used to make western art out of broken plough disks and my grandfather made elaborate triplanes and biplanes out of Coke cans. They would sell these things at flea markets and take me with them. I loved spending the day exploring that weird scene. As I got older I was more into playing in bands and doing stand up, but I always drew, I always made all the flyers and T-shirts myself. Some were pretty elaborate paintings now that I look back on it.
Star Trek Return of the Talosians
HL: Where do you find the castoff paintings?
DS: Oh man, everywhere! I've pulled them out of dumpsters. I found one leaning against a stop sign. Garage sales, flea markets, antique stores, charity shops—you name it. I'm immunocompromised so I avoid those places now. But as I've become a bit more known people bring them to me all the time.
HL: What sparked the idea of adding your own vision to existing artwork?
DS: I had a beautiful landscape in my shop for a year or so. I had it marked down to $5 and still nobody wanted it. I figured if I was going to throw it away I might as well try something fun with it. I added an abandoned war damaged ATST with Ewoks fishing off of it. I think I actually just gave that one to a friend.
Mothman Altered Art
HL: How does it feel to alter someone else’s artwork?
DS: Most of these paintings are at the end of their life. Most people don't decorate with landscapes anymore; if they did I wouldn't be able to buy them for $5. Sometimes I catch some flack online for it but those guys are never really willing to buy one of the unaltered landscapes. To me, it feels like extending the life of the painting, but maybe I'm ruining them. I've done a lot of bad full paintings in the past and I'm sure some of mine ended up in the bins at Goodwill. [laughing] Hopefully someone reused them somehow.
HL: Do you feel your altered art pieces are like collaborations with unknown artists? Would you compare it to sampling in music?
DS: I've never thought of it that way. [laughing] It's probably a lot like that. Sometimes it's Paul’s Boutique and sometimes it's Ice Ice Baby.
Star Wars Imperial Walker Fly Fishing
HL: How do you think the original artists of the paintings would feel about your cheeky additions?
DS: I've never met one, but I've always wanted to ask. Sometimes people will bring me something their grandmother painted and want me to add to it. But mostly the research finds nothing or a very old obituary that says "very active in the church and also painted." I'd be very interested to see what they thought. If someone bought one of my paintings and did something funny with it, I'd love it but that's me. I'd want it to be done well I guess.
Iron Man Altered Art
HL: Do you paint your own original canvasses?
DS: Yes. I love painting full paintings. It takes so long to do I rarely have time anymore. I'm learning landscape painting from Bob Ross and Painting with Kevin but my real love is monster art. I also do murals and stickers. Tons of fun!
Sometimes people will bring me something their grandmother painted and want me to add to it.
HL: If you could escape into an alternative world of your own making what would it look like?
DS: Something really wild! I prefer fantasy films without any real humans like Fantastic Planet or Dark Crystal. I want to see landscapes and monsters that can't exist on Earth. Magic and madness!
R2 Versus The Empire
HL: If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
DS: I haven't thought about that in a long time. [laughing] In high school I would write comics about a guy with six arms so I guess I would just want to be able to do more stuff. I also like Dr. Manhattan a lot. I wish I was omnipotent and could walk around with my big blue dick out.
Godzilla on the Beach
HL: If you could meet up with any artist—dead or alive—who would it be?
DS: Basil Wolverton. Hands down! Everything he did just drips of joy. I don't think any artist enjoyed their work as much as Basil did. I don't have any interest in being a tortured artist; I want to have the happiest life possible. Maybe Bob Ross.
We have medical but it seems pretty wasteful to punish anyone for smoking a plant that makes you giggle.
HL: If you could smoke a joint with any fictional character who would it be?
DS: I'd do a jay with the Dude and go fucking bowling.
Gollum Altered Art
HL: How do you feel about Sharpies?
DS: Sharpies are fantastic! For graffiti, I prefer spray paint and stickers to markers. Most of my stickers are done at a much larger scale with Sharpies. They leach too much into the paper to do anything small, though. A lot of sharpie artists do super unreadable, elaborate texts, which is fine, I appreciate that art, but writing your name somewhere and making it difficult to read is a paradox to me.
Godzilla and a Barn
HL: Ohio made some progress towards legalizing cannabis during the last election, but many of the efforts were undermined by the pandemic. Do you see Ohio joining the ranks of legal states soon?
DS: God, I hope so. We have medical but it seems pretty wasteful to punish anyone for smoking a plant that makes you giggle. Alcohol is way way worse for you. I have a pretty good history of partying hardily and I feel like my body would be in better shape if I had spent my time smoking pot instead of draining every bottle of whiskey in Ohio and Texas.
Halloween Michael Meyers Altered Art
HL: Do you consider upcycling a way to help the planet, help humanity? Less trash, more joy?
DS: Yeah, I hope so. I paint on a lot of trash—chunks of concrete, small pieces of 2x4, old records. Maybe they will end up in the trash again but for a little bit they are joyful—at least for me it’s joyful. I like pulling things out of a dumpster and giving them a new adventure.
Mechwarrior BNSF Train Altered Art
HL: Do you have any other creative outlets?
DS: Yeah, too many! [laughing] I'm leaning banjo. I play mandolin and guitar. I did stand up for years. I want to work on creating a character-driven horror film and write a script. I rebuild old toy vending machines. I make buttons and fridge magnets and want to start making propaganda posters some day soon. I also have a big pile of silk screening equipment I haven’t touched yet.
UFO Abducting Freddie Mercury
HL: Tell us about Art Hole on YouTube? Is there really a “wrong” way to paint?
DS: Yes. [laughing] Omg! As I learn to paint, I realize I'm using the wrong brushes, cleaning them with the wrong chemicals or soaking them overnight (don't do that!). Art is subjective, but there are tools that should be used in a specific way and maintained properly. That being said, there are no rules at all. Art can be anything you want. I try and follow one rule, which is "if it sucks you aren't done painting." I guess you need to know all of the rules and instructions if you want to ditch some of them and figure out your way. I honestly don't know what I'm trying to do with Art Hole. I feel like it's going to flush out into something bigger. I hope so. I just had a weird impulse to make a YouTube art series. It seems weird to me that most people don't have their own show. Cameras are cheap; video software is free. If I spent $100 on Art Hole I would be surprised.
Battle for Endor Altered Art
HL: Do you think Bob Ross should be canonized and finally recognized as the patron saint of amateur painters?
DS: I love Bob Ross. Love him! He had a wild style and a kind heart. We could all be so lucky. There should be shrines. Let’s tear down all the Civil War monuments and replace them with Bob Ross and Dolly Parton.
Tie Fighter Scaring Ducks
HL: What are you doing to maintain your sanity during the pandemic?
DS: That's why I started fingerpicking banjo. [laughing] It's too complicated to think about the election or the pandemic. I'm in danger of starting a folk punk band that no one wants to see. Great danger!
Follow them on Instagram at: @arrowheadcanton
Arrowhead Vintage YouTube Channel: Arrowhead Vintage
Listen on Spotify
What do you you listen to when you've just smoked a fat jay and are about to add an enraged Godzilla to your dead grandma's painting? Whatever the fuck Dave wants is what! Listen to our custom Dave Sherrill-curated "Arrowhead Vintage Mix" on Spotify.
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