Politics and art don’t typically go hand in hand, but for Birmingham-based artist Kyle Rodgers, the two will forever be intertwined. The Charleston native discovered a passion for art during a decades-long career as a lobbyist where he traveled up to 300 days a year. During long and lonely business trips, he created constantly. Using an iPad app, he interpreted everything he saw, from people dining at coffee shops to folks waiting at airport terminals. He quickly found faces to be his forte and spent hours painting blues and jazz musicians, cowboys, and Native Americans. Though he certainly has his favorite subjects, Rodgers will paint just about anything that comes to his mind—and on any surface that he can get. During the pandemic, he painted an entire series of magazine covers on brown paper Trader Joe’s bags. “I just have to create,” he says. “If I’m out jogging, and I hear a song, I’m painting the song in my head.” Though Rodgers still works as the vice president of external affairs for Spire, he paints any chance he gets and is excited to get more of his work out in the world.