Ceramics

Vignette: Kyle Carpenter

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"It's about respecting a long tradition of craftsmen before me and discovering my own voice." - Kyle Carpenter

"Three Storage Jars" by Kyle Carpenter, Stoneware, 15x8in approx, 2017, POR

"Three Storage Jars" by Kyle Carpenter, Stoneware, 15x8in approx, 2017, POR

Kyle Carpenter is a full-time studio potter with over 15 years experience in the ceramic arts.  Building his skills in the tradition of folk and contemporary North Carolina potters, he combines a unique talent for illustration with the making of three-dimensional forms. Utility and beauty go hand in hand in bringing together both literal and abstract imagery, inviting the eye to relate the design and form of the pot. His goal is to create an evolving body of high quality pottery in his studio while, at a broader level, promoting the tradition of fine ceramic arts, particularly that of Western North Carolina.

"Storage Jar" by Kyle Carpenter, Stoneware, 8x8in, 2017, POR

"Storage Jar" by Kyle Carpenter, Stoneware, 8x8in, 2017, POR

“As a studio potter, I work diligently to make well-crafted wares for everyday people. It's seemingly less about the ‘ritual of the table’ and more about respecting a long tradition of craftsmen before me and discovering my own voice. As a contemporary potter, I often look to past traditions for inspiration. I'm interested in folk pottery of different origins. My native state of North Carolina offers a deep well of talented potters, both folk and contemporary, to look towards for inspiration.”

“Simplicity in form offers a broad surface for me to embellish with lines, patterns, and drawings. Before I was introduced to the ceramic arts, I did a fair amount of illustration before and during art school. The combination of three-dimensional forms and two-dimensional drawings was a natural fusion of both my love drawing and pottery, art and craft. It is my intention to bring together clear and abstract markings to engage the viewer to look closely at how design relates to the form of the pot.”

Carpenter will be participating in the first Southern Crossings Pottery Festival (SXPF). SXPF will take place March 2 & 3, 2018 at Copper & Kings in the Butchertown neighborhood of Louisville. The event will showcase potters in the Ohio River Region, including Lexington, Cincinnati, and more. The festival will also include the Empty Bowls Benefit Dinner @PLAY Louisville on March 3, 2018.

Also in March, Carpenter will be a part of Whorled, a Group Exhibition at the Schaller Gallery in St. Joseph, Minnesota, and later, he will be in the St.Croix Valley Pottery Tour, May 11, 12, 13 in North Branch, Minnesota.

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Hometown: Raleigh, North Carolina
Education: BFA Ceramics, UNC-Asheville, Asheville, NC, 2000
Website: carpenterpottery.com
Instagram: @kylecarpenterpottery
Gallery Representation: Schaller Gallery (St. Joseph

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"Oval Bowl" by Kyle Carpenter, Stoneware, 9x8x5in, 2017, POR

"Oval Bowl" by Kyle Carpenter, Stoneware, 9x8x5in, 2017, POR

"Daisy Cups" by Kyle Carpenter, Stoneware, 4x3in, 2017, POR

"Daisy Cups" by Kyle Carpenter, Stoneware, 4x3in, 2017, POR

"Grass Platter" by Kyle Carpenter, Stoneware, 14x1.5in, 2017, POR

"Grass Platter" by Kyle Carpenter, Stoneware, 14x1.5in, 2017, POR


Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. 

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Glass

Vignette: KCJ Szwedzinski

“Every time a story is retold it takes on a new life…” - KCJ Szwedzinski

"Hidden Histories I" by KCJ Szwedzinski, mixed media, 51x48x34in, 2017, POR

"Hidden Histories I" by KCJ Szwedzinski, mixed media, 51x48x34in, 2017, POR

Storytelling is the root of history. It's how we transmit the lessons of the past, either in oral or written narrative, and therefore how we learn about ourselves. And, of course, the first “written” stories were visual: pictographs on cave walls that carried the burden of documenting entire communities through cycles.

KCJ Szwedzinski’s work concerns itself with unorthodox realizations of narrative. Much of it uses textual elements functioning more as graphic motifs as explicit linguistic communication. In fact, it is often unreadable; transparent pages layered together to obscure all meaning, as in “hidden Histories II”, or positioned at the ends of an hourglass as in ”A Measure of Time”. And if the cut out, cursive text in “An Absence That Suggests A Significant Presence” is technically legible, our desire to read it is distracted by the play of light and shadow that the artist calls into existence with the folded-page format. Even more startling is how we are forced to ponder the question of why the enigmatic “Hidden Histories I” sculpture mysteriously places four dinner settings on the underside of the table.

"Hidden Histories II" by KCJ Szwedzinski, glass, wood, metal 54x20x8in, 2017, POR

"Hidden Histories II" by KCJ Szwedzinski, glass, wood, metal 54x20x8in, 2017, POR

“Narration, ritual, and object are each mechanisms for the transmission of memory,” Szwedzinski tells us. “As time passes, these stories and carriers of meaning become shadowed with the recollections of others and become imbued with added social, familial, political, and moral values not originally present. Every time a story is retold it takes on a new life, simultaneously preventing that information from being lost to history while slowly transforming into something new altogether. These mechanisms for transmission slowly shape collective memory across time and ultimately have a huge hand in shaping personal identity. My work reflects on the shifting nature of narrative across time and considers the intersection of art, ethics, and atrocity.”

Szwedzinski has work in a show at OPEN Community Art Center, with a closing reception on January 26 from 6-9 pm. She also has have work in an exhibition at the Dairy Barn Arts Center in Athens Ohio, OH + 5 '18: Ohio Border Biennial, which runs through March 17th. She was recently included in The Flow Magazine's Winter 2017 edition of the 13th annual Gallery of Women in Glass.

Szwedzinki exhibited frequently during 2017:

  • Descent: A Collaborative Book Project, University of Louisville, KY
  • Artists in Our Midst, Kaviar Forge Gallery, Louisville, KY (Juried)
  • Glass Show, Gallery 104, La Grange, KY (Juried)
  • Relative Perspective, Gallery K, Louisville, KY (Two person exhibition)
  • Terminus: Portfolio Exchange, SGCI Archives, Zuckerman Museum of Art, Kennesaw, GA (Juried)
  • Student Exhibition, Schneider Galleries, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY (Juried)
  • Apocalypse: A Collaborative Book Project, University of Louisville, KY 
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Hometown: Jacksonville Florida
Education: MFA candidate. University of Louisville, Louisville, KY (expected May 2019):
BA cum laude, Art History and Printmaking, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL, 2009
Website: www.kcjszwedzinski.com

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"An Absence That Suggests a Significant Presence" by KCJ Szwedzinski, book, 11x7in, 2017. POR

"An Absence That Suggests a Significant Presence" by KCJ Szwedzinski, book, 11x7in, 2017. POR

"An Excerpt From a Year in Treblinka" by KCJ Szwedzinski, 7x5in, 2017, POR

"An Excerpt From a Year in Treblinka" by KCJ Szwedzinski, 7x5in, 2017, POR

"A Measure of Time" by KCJ Szwedzinski, blown and sheet glass, stone granules, 10x6in, 2017, POR

"A Measure of Time" by KCJ Szwedzinski, blown and sheet glass, stone granules, 10x6in, 2017, POR

"That Which Comes Unbidden" by KCJ Szwedzinski, mixed media, dimensions variable, 2017, POR

"That Which Comes Unbidden" by KCJ Szwedzinski, mixed media, dimensions variable, 2017, POR


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

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Ceramics

Vignette: Jim Gottuso

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“Making things (and living life) is essentially a series of decisions, each one contingent on the previous.” - Jim Gottuso

"Etched Porcelain Beer Glass" by Jim Gottuso, grolleg porcelain, 3.75in diameter X 6.75in tall, 2017, $70

"Etched Porcelain Beer Glass" by Jim Gottuso, grolleg porcelain, 3.75in diameter X 6.75in tall, 2017, $70

After several years of running his own businesses, including computer graphics and animation, fatherhood prompted Jim Gottuso to commit to the studio practice of a functional potter.  Practicality and intellectualism are wedded in how he speaks about his work.

“I am very interested in the complete cycle of creating clay objects,” explains Gottuso. “Working on the wheel has provided a framework, grounded in functionality, which allows creativity to flourish. Functional demands inform aesthetics and vice versa, creating an evolution that hopefully moves forward to better work. Imperfections that occur while aspiring to perfection are exciting and learning to let them be has been a challenge. Not setting out with strict limitations always allows some wiggle room to let something become something else. This makes each object’s creation different and the immense frontier of possibilities provides exhilaration. Wondering about the unknown results in the coming years of trial and error, a period that all potters eventually get under their belts, appeals to a sense of anticipation about the promise of the future.”

“I’ve written statements about my work over the years and as I’ve matured I’ve come to look at what I do in the broader context of what all artists, craftspeople, writers, musicians, etc. do. After attempting to distill this all down to a somewhat simple explanation and thereby jettison the inevitable “artspeak jibberish”, what I’m left with is this:  Making things (and living life) is essentially a series of decisions, each one contingent on the previous. Evidence of those moments of decision (or the concealment of said moments) represents the object’s evolution from idea to its final state. Consequently, the work done on the objects themselves can be viewed as a metaphor for existence. In the microcosm (my work), the calligraphic brushwork includes obvious examples of my decisions represented by the change of direction of each brushstroke. I try to make these quickly so that the results are almost a presentation of many decisions skirting the boundaries of my subconscious.”

"Etched Porcelain Bowl" by Jim Gottuso, grolleg porcelain, 7.25in diameter X 4.5in tall, 2017

"Etched Porcelain Bowl" by Jim Gottuso, grolleg porcelain, 7.25in diameter X 4.5in tall, 2017

"I've come to believe that I've always just been in love with what happens when a brush, pen or pencil makes contact with another surface and using shellac as a resist on dried, unfired clay allows the surface to be etched without losing the immediacy and spontaneity of such brushwork."

Gottuso will be participating in the first Southern Crossings Pottery Festival (SXPF), which will take place March 2 & 3, 2018 at Copper & Kings in the Butchertown neighborhood of Louisville. The event will showcase potters in the Ohio River Region, including Lexington, Cincinnati, and more. The festival will also include the Empty Bowls Benefit Dinner @PLAY Louisville on March 3, 2018.

Hometown: Chadwicks, New York
Education: BFA in Drawing and Ceramics / Murray State University 1982; MFA in Sculpture / Southern Illinois University, Carbondale 1986
Website: gottuso.etsy.com
Instagram: /jimgottuso
Gallery Representation: In Tandem Gallery / Plough Gallery / Kentucky Artisan Center / Terra Incognito / Warm Springs Gallery.

Etched Porcelain Bowl" by Jim Gottuso, grolleg porcelain, 6.25in diameter X 4.75in tall, 2017

Etched Porcelain Bowl" by Jim Gottuso, grolleg porcelain, 6.25in diameter X 4.75in tall, 2017

"Etched Porcelain Bowl" by Jim Gottuso, grolleg porcelain, 6.5in diameter X 4.5in tall, 2017

"Etched Porcelain Bowl" by Jim Gottuso, grolleg porcelain, 6.5in diameter X 4.5in tall, 2017

"Etched Porcelain Bowl" by Jim Gottuso, grolleg porcelain, 5in diameter X 4.5in tall, 2017

"Etched Porcelain Bowl" by Jim Gottuso, grolleg porcelain, 5in diameter X 4.5in tall, 2017


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

Are you interested in being on Artebella? Click here to learn more.

Fiber

Q&A With Penny Sisto

"Flamingos" by Penny Sisto

"Flamingos" by Penny Sisto

Penny Sisto learned to sew at the age of 3, growing up on the remote Orkney Islands off the northern tip of Scotland. Her unique, narrative quilts have brought her international recognition because of the estimable craft, but also for the colorful, humanist quality of the characters and stories she discovers. The social consciousness that is an important aspect of her work is brought to the fore in her latest work, to be exhibited at The Carnegie Center for Art and History in New Albany Indiana beginning February 16, 2018.

The Sixties – Turn on, Tune in, Drop Out! continues to follow many of the themes that has been at the center of Sisto’s work over the years — exploring people, politics, art, music, and spirituality — but presents them looking through the prism of the 1960s.” - Carnegie Center for Art & History website.

Keith Waits: The new exhibit reaches back to the 1960’s. Why is that period important to you now?

Penny Sisto: The Sixties were the years in which I escaped - leaving the Islands for the Highlands of Scotland.

I worked some really low level jobs: a chambermaid in a seedy hotel - I was fired for being late! We were expected to be there at 4:00 am and I had no funds for the bus and in snowy weather I would roll in an hour later. Then I was a seamstress in a factory setting. I was fired for bad, inaccurate sewing. I got an even lower paying job as an alteration sewer in a big store. I was fired again, this time for leading a walkout in protest after a fellow seamstress got electrocuted by old wiring on her steam iron. I sewed hats as a piece worker and was fired for bad and sloppy sewing.

Then my pregnancy began to show, which was a bad situation back then! It was December, and Anna was born at home in January. Life could go nowhere but up.

"Imagine" by Penny Sisto, 

"Imagine" by Penny Sisto, 

I began to become aware of music - the Beatles of course, then came the Art. I started making art and clothing, and selling them successfully.

I continued practicing my midwifery skills, and it was hard to keep up with the demand - I did more and more babies, went to Africa, and helped women safely deliver more babies. It was there I met my first American friends. They were all Peace Corps members. I got pregnant with Tulsi, AKA baby  #4, married her Dad, came to the USA and after 6 months of working as Janitor for the Armenian Church just off Harvard Square we saved enough to buy an old VW bus and drive across the country to a commune in the Sierra Foothills in Northern California. When I got there the first person to greet us was Richard Sisto! I guess it was Kismet!

Having grown up in an area where everything was circular, including the old underground houses that in those days were still left wide open for us to play in and explore, growing up in an area and an era when Freedom was yours unless there were chores to be done on the farm and school was in one room and was discontinued at harvest time or times of big storms. My life was lived with few boundaries. If I milked and did my farm chores I was unsupervised, wild. I wore feathers in my hair, went to school only if forced, could edge so close to the seals and puffins that they learned to ignore me, stayed out all the light-filled nights of midsummer - that far north you can read a book at midnight outside.

KW: When did you first begin to reference Native American culture in your work?

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PS: The myths of Northern Scotland and my islands are so akin to Native American as to become one quilt. Even the hats worn by Scottish soldiers are called Bonnets - War Bonnets. Our villages are called Clans. All Clans become one in my heart and mind.

The eagle and hawks are sacred magical creatures of our myths, and the salmon is known as the oldest Teacher on this earth, so when I came to America the only society that resonated within me and felt safe was the easy cross-over to Native American ways of looking at this Earth, our Great Mother. I worship in a raggedy old tipi, or the yurt if the tipi is too cold.

KW: You seem to exhibit in two-year cycles. How soon do you know what will be the focus of the next body of work?

PS: As for showing quilts in 2 year cycles, I would show more if I had more galleries available or willing to take me.

I am a Drone, a mindless worker. The quilts arrive even if I don't pay attention; they literally pour into my mind and my clumsy fingers butcher them into being. They are never what I want nor what I envision, they are pale shadows, and as I age they become even less like my initial vision. Such is the way when one’s fingertips are 76!

KW: The narratives are always built around characters. Do you know who the characters are before you start a piece?

PS: The characters on them arrive fully formed. Sometimes I portray living people, but usually they come like cloud people, unknown cloud beings who insist on being seen.

KW: You have been known to incorporate some unexpected things in your work - you once told me a story about pubic hair; did you use any unorthodox materials in these quilts?

PS: Nothing like that here. In this series there are less unorthodox findings and fabrics just because my pantry of bones, beads, and baubles is a wee bit bare.

"Yippie" by Penny Sisto

"Yippie" by Penny Sisto

THE SIXTIES – TURN ON, TUNE IN, DROP OUT! NEW WORK BY PENNY SISTO

February 16 – April 21, 2018
Opening Reception February 16, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

In addition to Sisto’s art quilts, the Carnegie Center will also be displaying a series of whimsical and joyful wooden benches created by Pierce Whites.

Carnegie Center for Art & History
201 E. Spring Street
New Albany, In.
http://www.carnegiecenter.org/
812-944-7336.

Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Admission is always free.

"Nesting" by Penny Sisto

"Nesting" by Penny Sisto

"Solstice Moon" by Penny Sisto

"Solstice Moon" by Penny Sisto


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

Are you interested in being on Artebella? Click here to learn more

Installation

Vignette: Waller Austin

"Waller Austin works with childhood's preeminent medium, the crayon, but the uses to which he puts this pigment are anything but childlike. Waller melts, mixes, pours and burnishes his paintings. His aptitude for representational techniques is expansive, as is his gift for mimicry, so the devices of schoolbook illustration are often uncannily attached to compositions and subjects referencing contemporary art; Pop Parody, if you will." – Buzz Spector

"Prosaic (dis) appearance" by Waller Austin, crayon, gesso, linen, poplar, mylar, stainless steel, 48,648 paper wrappers, 2016-17 (contact for pricing)

"Prosaic (dis) appearance" by Waller Austin, crayon, gesso, linen, poplar, mylar, stainless steel, 48,648 paper wrappers, 2016-17 (contact for pricing)

Interdisciplinary is, arguably, the most crucial term on contemporary visual art, although even that claim underscores the essence of the word, as it points to the persistent breakdown of definitions of cultural disciplines. Today’s art lexicon now includes the designation “creatives” in places of artist, poet, musician, etc., a further reflection of the fluidity that confronts working artists.

Waller Austin uses the phrase to delineate his own artistic identity, connecting to a strain of installation artists that dates back to the early 20th century.

"snowed in" by Waller Austin, crayon, gesso, linen, wood, 12x12in, 2017, $900

"snowed in" by Waller Austin, crayon, gesso, linen, wood, 12x12in, 2017, $900

“All of my art can be summed up as post-conceptual self-portraiture, though it may be difficult for untrained eyes to recognize and/or acknowledge. With a Postmodern attitude, I address challenges of post-colonial times by actively engaging structures of mimicry and hybridity via the appropriation of common themes in contemporary art. I stress that the identity I deliver through art is to be recognized as apocryphal - simultaneously indulgent and self-abasing. Through an interrogation of originality and authenticity, I challenge the viewer to examine their own systems for consideration and interpretation of any prescribed visual language or learned norm.”

“My works incorporate processes of decision making that revolve around play and leisure with a conflation between art history, humor, and mythology. I address an open range of content stemming from an interest in identity, mimicry, and hybridity. As an artist, my goal is to muddy and force a complication of information, and to incite intuitive and inventive thinking within my audience.  Elevating the ‘riff,’ I work almost exclusively with ‘readymades’ in terms of image, esthetic, idea, and process. Exploring notions of ownership, I commandeer screenshots of intellectual property and transform defining information into new tangible objects that bare my unique signature.”

“Paint is simply pigment and binder. Artists have the privilege to choose how to further define these two elements. Over the past three years, I have dedicated much of my studio practice to utilizing Crayola crayon as a both paint and sculpture material. The resulting works occupy a place in the art historical cannons of encaustic painting and wax sculpture. They catalyze a nostalgic phenomenon for older audiences and flatten high and low art, providing understandable access to a younger audience.”

 "eleven (hybrids)" by Waller Austin, crayon, gesso, linen,poplar, 120x72in, 2016, $4600

 "eleven (hybrids)" by Waller Austin, crayon, gesso, linen,poplar, 120x72in, 2016, $4600

There will be a Closing Reception for Waller Austin's current installation at The Tim Faulkner Gallery
Friday, January 26, from 6:00-7:00 pm.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: MFA in interdisciplinary studio arts, Washington University, St. Louis, MO; BFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Website: www.walleraustin.com
Instagram: @walleraustin

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"mouth of a gift horse" (installation detail) by Waller Austin,  mixed media. variable dimensions, 2016 (contact for pricing)

"mouth of a gift horse" (installation detail) by Waller Austin,  mixed media. variable dimensions, 2016 (contact for pricing)

 "Superman Ice Cream Paintings" (installation detail) by Waller Austin, mixed media. variable dimensions, 2015-17, $200-$900

 "Superman Ice Cream Paintings" (installation detail) by Waller Austin, mixed media. variable dimensions, 2015-17, $200-$900

"lil homies" by Waller Austin, crayon, gesso, linen, wood 12x12in, 2017, $900

"lil homies" by Waller Austin, crayon, gesso, linen, wood 12x12in, 2017, $900


Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. 

Are you interested in being on Artebella? Click here to learn more.