How did you first get involved with LVA?
After moving to Louisville with an MFA, I was looking for opportunities to teach art in town. I was impressed with the longevity of the programs the LVA offers, and like taking part in that history of giving kids experience in art, but also with other kids they wouldn’t ordinarily meet. Jackie Pallesen reached out to my wife and me about it, and I’ve been teaching high school courses for CFAC ever since.
When did you first know that art was going to be a big part of your life?
I spent three years at a community college before I went to college, and the last semester I took an oil painting class — my first art class ever. I was 20 years old. Then I wasn’t sure what i wanted to do for college, so I moved to San Francisco and worked construction for a year. Then I realized I liked to work with my hands, so I wanted to go to school and study art, because it would be easy. But instead it was much more difficult and more fun than I imagined, and it remained a challenge all the way through grad school. Then I moved to Louisville to make my own art space and teach others how to get started on this crazy roller coaster.
What does LVA add to your life?
The thing I like most about LVA is that I get to interact with young, ambitious artists from all walks of life, and I get to see them interact with each other. Which is mostly beautiful, except for occasional rowdy political debates, which are okay, too.
How else are you involved in the community?
I’m really interested in Louisville’s history, so I try to go to museums and get out on the river as much as I can. I moved to Louisville to start Calliope Arts Printmaking Studio/Gallery, which provides opportunities for me to teach printmaking techniques like intaglio, relief, and monotype to local and regional artists. It’ll also bring in artwork exhibitions and visiting artists from around the country, to freshen things up a bit.
Describe your perfect Sunday afternoon.
Exploring the city - taking a bike ride, going kayaking and fishing on the river, exploring its shores for forgotten treasures and trash.
Who is your favorite local artist?
Joyce Ogden. I’m really attracted to the sculptural forms Joyce explores, the materials she uses, and the interactions that her pieces have with the public.
Where would you like to see Louisville 10 years from now?
I just hope that there are more interesting gallery and art spaces that are showing less traditional work - like pop-up installations with artists from around the country, artist-curated shows, and unusual materials and processes.
What neighborhood do you live in? What are some of your favorite things about it?
I live in Smoketown, where I also run my business, Calliope Arts. I like the diversity of the neighborhood, and like researching about the neighborhood's history. I spend a lot of time imagining what it was like 130 years ago, when my home and studio was built.
What three items would you bring to a desert island?
I would bring a hatchet, a jar of Nutella, and my metal detector.
What advice would you give your past self if you could?
Don’t worry so much about the academic aspects of art school - sometimes artists get too caught up in labels and definitions. Spend more time just making things.