Painting

Vignette: Karen Boone

My painting reflects my minimalist, natural lifestyle.” - Karen Boone

 "Red's Meadow" by Karen Boone, Watercolor on canvas, 24x18in, 2017, $450

"Red's Meadow" by Karen Boone, Watercolor on canvas, 24x18in, 2017, $450

Painter Karen Boone calls herself a “Natural Explorer,” creating environmentally friendly paintings inspired by nature and backcountry hiking adventures. Often she will hike in the wilderness for over a week, carrying only essentials in a backpack - she keeps the weight under 28 lbs, executing paintings of great immediacy; a painter’s snapshot of the environment.

 "Helen Lake" by Karen Boone, pastel on paper, 4x6in, 2017, NFS

"Helen Lake" by Karen Boone, pastel on paper, 4x6in, 2017, NFS

“In 2016 I backpacked in Costa Rica, below the rim of the Grand Canyon, and thru-hiked the John Muir Trail from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney. In 2017 I spent a week hiking the backcountry of Glacier National Park and a week in the Cascades. I do tiny sketches while in the field, then create larger pieces back in the studio. My paintings focus on nature’s powerful colors and energy, often with a figurative quality.”

“I try to make my art supplies as environmentally friendly as possible. I hand-mix archival natural pigments (free of fillers, additives, synthetic preservatives, toxins, petroleum-based pigments and heavy metals) with walnut oil for oil paint, or gum arabic, honey and clove oil for watercolors. I stretch my own canvases using organic cotton and plant-based gesso, (free of horse hooves or rabbit skin). I often use sticks or rocks to move paint on the canvas, a style I call ‘Wild Brushes.’ I have been painting sustainably for over 10 years when I started experimenting with Amish milk paint. My painting reflects my minimalist, natural lifestyle.”

There is admirable consistency in Boone’s sense of mission, which is both socially aware and politically astute, and, even though she speaks in such practical terms, at least of hint of spirituality in her communion with nature.

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Boone currently has a show at Rainbow Blossom in the Highlands through the end of February. “It’s a symbiotic relationship because I use their essential clove oil in making my watercolors.”  All of the paintings shown here are included in that exhibit. An award-winning painter and graphic designer, Boone has been chosen three times as the Kentucky Derby Festival poster artist, most recently in 2015.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BA, University of Louisville , MA, Basel School of Design Switzerland.
Website: www.karenboone.com
Instagram: karenboonedesign                    

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 "Muir Pass" by Karen Boone, Oil on canvas, 30x20in, 2017, $1950

"Muir Pass" by Karen Boone, Oil on canvas, 30x20in, 2017, $1950

 "Mt. Whitney" by Karen Boone, Oil on canvas, 48x24in, 2017, $2400

"Mt. Whitney" by Karen Boone, Oil on canvas, 48x24in, 2017, $2400

 "Pinchot Pass" by Karen Boone, Oil on canvas, 30x20in, $750

"Pinchot Pass" by Karen Boone, Oil on canvas, 30x20in, $750

 "Wildflowers Boulder Pass" by Karen Boone, Watercolor on paper, 8x6in, 2018, NFS

"Wildflowers Boulder Pass" by Karen Boone, Watercolor on paper, 8x6in, 2018, NFS


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved

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Painting

Student Showcase: Emily Meredith

 "Red Scarf" by Emily Meredith, Oil on canvas, 16x20in, 2016, $250

"Red Scarf" by Emily Meredith, Oil on canvas, 16x20in, 2016, $250

To be a college student is to be exposed to the larger world through academia; to say it is a formative experience is, of course, a gross understatement. For some, the particular details of their upbringing might provide an even more pronounced contrast in the experience, as they are suddenly exposed to elements that that dramatically expand their frame of reference.

“Growing up in a religious family,” explains Emily Meredith, “I wasn’t exposed to many worldly things. My parents were very protective and conservative so the idea of the naked body was not something discussed around the house. When I came to college, I took figure-drawing classes to study the human body and how it sat in space. I grew to love the curves and angles of the figure.”

Meredith is certainly not the first art student to fall in love with the human form, but her work still expresses that inevitable sense of wonder and discovery that comes from exploring what is essentially the truth of our own existence. One’s own body is taken for granted; the last thing we see when we look in the mirror is beauty and mystery, being mired in the daily trappings of hygiene and fashion.  Meredith’s work here is grounded in the expected but nevertheless compelling life drawing studies, but she has begun to investigate the humanity contained within the body through abstracted imagery of body parts and character illustrations.

“I am inspired by the colors and techniques of figure painters like Lucian Freud and how he captures the details and vitality of the human tones. I also try to use simplistic color shapes like that of Lena Rivo and Gideon Rubin to find form. The movement of Duchamp’s futurist paintings influences some of my other works. My artwork is focused around the experiences of my life and the emotions that I feel, and my pieces are an expression of how I perceive the world around me.”

 "Beauty marks" by Emily Meredith, Mixed media, 5.5x9in each, 2016, $60 each or $350 for the series

"Beauty marks" by Emily Meredith, Mixed media, 5.5x9in each, 2016, $60 each or $350 for the series

“The Beauty Marks series is based on the idea that our body flaws make us who we are. They have stories behind them and they show us how time has passed. I wanted viewers to see their insecurities as strengths and beautiful parts of themselves.”

Meredith will be a part of the May 2018 Senior Thesis show at the 849 Gallery at Kentucky College of Art + Design at Spalding University.

Age: 21
Hometown: Crestwood, Kentucky
Education: BA candidate in Painting and Drawing with a concentration in Illustration at Kentucky College of Art + Design at Spalding University (Spring 2018).
Instagram: @emmeredith14

 "Pounding" by Emily Meredith, Oil on masonite, 16x20in, 2017, NFS

"Pounding" by Emily Meredith, Oil on masonite, 16x20in, 2017, NFS

 Back in a Blue Chair" by Emily Meredith, Oil on canvas, 20x24in, 2016, $350

Back in a Blue Chair" by Emily Meredith, Oil on canvas, 20x24in, 2016, $350

 "Paper bag" by Emily Meredith, Oil on masonite, 30x40in, 2015, NFS

"Paper bag" by Emily Meredith, Oil on masonite, 30x40in, 2015, NFS


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Print Making, Mixed Media

Vignette: Cori Hills

"I've chosen to use my (negative voice) as an artistic tool for healing and self-discovery.” - Cori Hills

 "Never Let Go" by Cori Hills, Acrylic paint, spray paint on hand-carved woodcut, 4x2ft, 2014, $2500 (Prints unavailable)

"Never Let Go" by Cori Hills, Acrylic paint, spray paint on hand-carved woodcut, 4x2ft, 2014, $2500 (Prints unavailable)

Visual art in the 21st century is constantly merging, different trends and mediums of expression connecting or even sometimes colliding into one another. In the work of Cori Hills we see a print maker embracing the bold, graphics of graffiti art in hand-carved woodcuts that are then worked into with acrylic and spray paint.

“My work is a psychological exploration of traumatic events faced as a child,” explains Hills. “Through word and image, I personify the co-dependent relationship between my inner demons and inner child. Each plank of wood is a conquest, one of which I have complete control. We all have that negative voice inside us. I've chosen to use mine as an artistic tool for healing and self-discovery.”

The “demons” Hills makes reference to manifest themselves in the images we see here, a satyr-like species that crosses a tiger with a ram, the figures seem more maternal than carnal, trading the satyr’s sexual appetite for an unsettling combination of bestial nurturing and violation. The facial detail is unique, a saddened visage carrying religious symbols that is filled with portent and dread, if not actual evil.   

In 2017 "Don't Bite the Hand that Feeds You" was included in Image & Word: A Text-based Art Exhibition at Kaviar Forge and Gallery. The pieces "Never Let Go," and "Meat," are currently at the Tim Faulkner Gallery as a part of their winter show.

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Hills, a Florida native, moved to Louisville in 2009. Cori graduated from the University of Louisville with a B.A. of Fine Arts in 2017. Her specialties include printmaking, painting and illustration.

Hometown: St. Augustine, Florida
Education: BA, Fine Arts, University of Louisville, 2017
Facebook: Original Artwork by Cori Hills

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 "Don't Bite The Hand That Feeds You" by Cori Hills, Print series of 10,  black ink on Asian paper, 4x3ft, 2017, $400

"Don't Bite The Hand That Feeds You" by Cori Hills, Print series of 10,  black ink on Asian paper, 4x3ft, 2017, $400

 "Don't Bite The Hand That Feeds You" by Cori Hills, Acrylic paint, spray paint on hand-carved woodcut, 4x3ft, 2017, $3500 (Prints unavailable)

"Don't Bite The Hand That Feeds You" by Cori Hills, Acrylic paint, spray paint on hand-carved woodcut, 4x3ft, 2017, $3500 (Prints unavailable)

 "Meat" by Cori Hills, Acrylic paint, spray paint on hand-carved woodcut, 4x3ft, 2015, $3000 (Prints unavailable)

"Meat" by Cori Hills, Acrylic paint, spray paint on hand-carved woodcut, 4x3ft, 2015, $3000 (Prints unavailable)

 "Natural Perversions" by Cori Hills, Print series of 10,  black ink on Asian paper, 4x2ft, 2017, $350

"Natural Perversions" by Cori Hills, Print series of 10,  black ink on Asian paper, 4x2ft, 2017, $350


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved

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Sculpture, Mixed Media

Vignette: Bill Fischer Prize Recipient Elizabeth Hardy

“I believe it is my responsibility as an artist to work to communicate the incommunicable…” – Elizabeth Hardy

 "Bison Mystic," by Elizabeth Hardy, hand-dyed fiber, grown-crystal, plaster, stone, mixed media armature, 3 x 2.5 x 2.5in, 2016

"Bison Mystic," by Elizabeth Hardy, hand-dyed fiber, grown-crystal, plaster, stone, mixed media armature, 3 x 2.5 x 2.5in, 2016

The Community Foundation of Louisville, in partnership with Louisville Visual Art, has presented Louisville-based sculptor and designer, Elizabeth Hardy, with the first annual Bill Fischer Prize for Visual Art.

On her website, Hardy includes this declaration: “Elizabeth works to curate & cultivate aesthetically keen experiences across visual disciplines, inviting viewers to indulge in romantic collaborations with the natural world.” It points to a broader embrace of art and design in various contexts, and the rest of her site vividly illustrates the point, showing the artist’s work in many commercial channels. The lines of demarcation between art and design, fine art and commercial work, are forever shifting, as artists like Hardy navigate the overlap of creative spaces in the culture.

Yet the Fischer Prize recognizes the “fine art” produced by Hardy, and however slick and professional the images online may be, she is also immersed in the hard, knuckle-breaking work of carving stone and constructing mixed media sculpture, working in a modest room during winter – in the warmer climate she moves her carving outside, under a tent.

Since earning her BFA in 2012, Hardy has traveled for residencies in stone carving:

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2015 - Carving Studio & Sculpture Center in Rutland, Vermont.

2016 - Green Olive Artist Residency in Tetouan, Morocco.
         - Carving Studio & Sculpture Center in Rutland, Vermont.

2017 - Tuscany Study Stone Sculpture Workshops at Corsanini Studio in Carrara, Italy.

Her installations and soft material sculptures combine contrasting sensibilities, the communication through three-dimensional form and space with the polish and craftsmanship of a commercial designer.  Hardy explains: “I am interested in producing work that honors the legacy of classic sculptural techniques which stand the test of time, married with a contemporary, experimental style that defies convention.”

“My work seeks to stir nostalgia for the primordial past and sublime in nature, via
romantic collaborations with the natural world. Whether through carving marble (a material consisting of interlocking crystals made by generations of petrified
tiny creatures slowly compressed by gravity at the bottom of a primordial sea), or
through growing crystals as surface treatment, the role of natural phenomena as
process is consistently present in sculptural works and installations. Beyond my
attraction to such processes that emphasize time passage - translating
ephemeral makings into enduring works that can speak to our past and present
for years to come.”

Hardy plans to use her prize money, "to provide a suitable environment with tools to establish a space to be able to create works on a larger scale than I am physically capable of doing with the restrictions of my current studio space. I could expand my practice for my own productions as well as have a proper venue to function as a learning environment that I could share the techniques I have learned with others."

 Marble bust in Hardy's studio

Marble bust in Hardy's studio

The Bill Fischer Award for Visual Artists is a $5,000 cash prize designed to make a meaningful impact on the career of a visual artist residing in the Louisville Metro Area by providing support in the form of grants for the execution and exhibition of artwork and other efforts to foster a professional career as a visual artist. Recipients of the Fischer Prize must show a commitment to experimentation and the creative use of materials and techniques, and a commitment to pursuing a career as a professional working visual artist.

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The Award is funded by the Artist Bill Fischer Foundation for Working Artists at the Community Foundation of Louisville. Louisville Visual Art serves as the administrative partner to the project and competition process.

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Education: BFA, Sculpture, Art Academy of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 2012
Website: www.elizabethhardy.work
Instagram: elizabethianne

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 "Western Reverie" by Elizabeth Hardy, fiber, grown crystal, mixed media armature. 10 x 8 x 7in, 2016-2017

"Western Reverie" by Elizabeth Hardy, fiber, grown crystal, mixed media armature. 10 x 8 x 7in, 2016-2017

 "Lair" by Elizabeth Hardy, grown-crystal, fiber, plaster, stone, crystallized moss, mixed media, 10 x 12 x 6ft, 2016

"Lair" by Elizabeth Hardy, grown-crystal, fiber, plaster, stone, crystallized moss, mixed media, 10 x 12 x 6ft, 2016


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Sculpture, Glass

Vignette: Whitney "Bloom" Olsen

“The optical quality of glass is my muse,” – Whitney “Bloom” Olsen.

 "Rosy Retrospection" by Whitney Olsen in collaboration with Keegan Kruse, Light refraction photos, 7 - 22x22in frames, 2017, $500 each

"Rosy Retrospection" by Whitney Olsen in collaboration with Keegan Kruse, Light refraction photos, 7 - 22x22in frames, 2017, $500 each

Whitney Olsen, aka as Bloom, is a multi-dimensional artist working with glass, light, mixed media and “…multiple dimensions to indulge in the conversation of being.” If your first thought of glass art takes you to a place of vessels, Bloom’s work will upend those expectations.

“My work exists in the intersection between the corporeal and the imagination, where the fixed and infinite collide through tangible and intangible layers of energy. The optical quality of glass is my muse, translating our ephemeral understanding of the here and now through veiling multiple materials. Illusion is the gateway into my liminal world…”

 "Absolute #3" by Whitney Olsen, Mixed media on wood, 58x30in, 2017, $1500

"Absolute #3" by Whitney Olsen, Mixed media on wood, 58x30in, 2017, $1500

Bloom’s glass pieces are most often components in larger installation sculptures in which light is an active medium. The glass becomes a lens almost as assuredly as if we were peering through a kaleidoscope, and the work begins to shape the viewer’s perception of the environment the piece occupies.

“There is an energy that we possess that feels like butterflies fluttering inside us, it feels like we are going up to the top of a roller coaster. It’s an unsettled, scary but thrilling, anxiety that is beautiful and basic, and it’s so real because it’s your body telling you that you are alive. It’s called passion; the moment when you finally go outside of your comfort zone and you really start to listen to what you want, and you go for it. To be dangerous because it is necessary, and you are happy all the time since you are not missing out on what life has to offer because you are living the way you want to live. To be yourself; being wholly, soulfully, be-you-tifully YOU, like a flower. I want everyone to bloom.”

Since graduating from the Hite Institute at University of Louisville, Bloom has studied glass and neon at Penland School of Crafts and Pilchuck Glass School.

In 2017, Bloom exhibited as a part of Crossing Borders at the Huff Gallery at Spalding University, and had a solo show, Perennial Being at Tim Faulkner Gallery in Louisville.

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Age: 25
Hometown: Crestwood, Kentucky
Education: BFA in 3-D Studios, Concentrations in Glass & Sculpture, University of Louisville, 2015
Website: www.whitneyolsen.com
Instagram: whitnaastyy

 "Day Dreams" by Whitney Olsen, Blown, cold worked, slumped, etched glass, metal and light, 48x72in, 2015, $12,000

"Day Dreams" by Whitney Olsen, Blown, cold worked, slumped, etched glass, metal and light, 48x72in, 2015, $12,000

 "Ethereal Study #3" by Whitney Olsen, Hand blown glass, video, dimensions vary, 2015, $8000

"Ethereal Study #3" by Whitney Olsen, Hand blown glass, video, dimensions vary, 2015, $8000

 "TH(is) you and me and everyone else" by Whitney Olsen, Mixed media installation, dimensions vary, 2017

"TH(is) you and me and everyone else" by Whitney Olsen, Mixed media installation, dimensions vary, 2017

 "Neon Bloom" by Whitney Olsen, Neon glass & painted plexi, 14x28in, 2017, $650

"Neon Bloom" by Whitney Olsen, Neon glass & painted plexi, 14x28in, 2017, $650


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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