Anika Toro: Photography, 3D Mixed Media, Unique Keepsakes

A glimpse at a local handcrafter who plies her trade at

You have to love an Etsy artist whose favorite materials include both film and glue—Anika Toro uses all sorts of bits and pieces to enhance photos that include shots of nooks and crannies in Knoxville. One prime example is the 3-D "Gay Street Birds," a photo of some now defaced graffiti; she hand-cuts prints for sale. "I have edited the color a bit digitally but the texture of the wall remains," says Toro. One never knows what might show up in her photo-based art. "I like to add clippings, thread, digital elements, ephemera. I have added sand, paint, food, my daughter's toys, our recently inherited estate... The ones I have the most fun with are my photo story boxes; for example, a beach scene with text around the border in my broken Spanish, and a small glass bottle with a note inside that translates the text. These pieces can be appreciated as interesting little vignettes or can be interpreted a little deeper." Toro takes inspiration from trips to the mountains, "although walks around town offer some great photo ops, too. I don't like to take things too seriously; humor and irony are pretty important to me." In addition to her Etsy shop, she offers some Knoxville-themed artwork at the Visitors Center downtown and recently started selling in the new Nostalgia shop on McCalla.