Painting

Open Studio Spotlight: James Russell May

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 "Woman with Fox" by James Russell May, Oil on aluminum, 36x24in,2018, $4500.

"Woman with Fox" by James Russell May, Oil on aluminum, 36x24in,2018, $4500.

James Russell May doesn’t only paint nude figures, and he doesn’t only paint nude female figures, but it is perhaps the imagery he is best known for. The women we see have a physicality projecting strength in form and in character. Sturdy, full-bodied, they are unapologetic in exposing their flesh, very often-staring straight at the viewer. In fact, that confrontational aspect might, as often as not, turn the tables, forcing us to reexamine our own biases about the unclothed figures. Are we puritanical, prurient, or neutral in how we receive them?

“I am intrigued by how the subject matter and themes of traditional Western art can seem at once familiar and alien to the eyes of the contemporary viewer,” states May. “This has become a primary element of my paintings. In my work I attempt to form a bridge between the present and the past, as well as the material and ethereal. I paint my figures in a heavily detailed, mannered, and realistic style requiring layers of painstaking work. This style is based upon both an observation of life and a studied awareness of how the human form has been portrayed in the art of the past. Those figures are then placed in an environment of abstracted and textural material, such as resin or metal. The intended result is balance between two competing personal aesthetics.”

We sometimes have to search for contemporary artists who use the concept of nudity so boldly without becoming vulgar or overtly political. May’s balanced blending of tradition with a point-of-view that is modern yet thoroughly rejects the Male Gaze is startling.

However, May is far from neutral in his themes. “Omphale and Hercules” revisits a story from Classical Mythology with humor and a sharp recognition of our moment. May not reverse the gender roles; Hercules was in servitude to Omphale, so her sitting on his head mat be extreme but it is not inconsistent, but all previous depictions have historically placed the man’s name in front of the woman’s, and there is a note of brutality in this Omphale’s satisfied expression, even while we detect a note of bemusement in Hercule’s countenance.

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James Russell May is participating in the 2018 Open Studio Weekend, sponsored by Louisville Visual Art and University of Louisville’s Hite Art Institute. His studio, located in the Germantown neighborhood, will be open the weekend of November 3 and 4. Tickets for Open Studio Weekend will go on sale October 16. Click here for more information. 

Hometown: Savannah, Georgia
Education: BFA, Savannah College of Art & Design
Website: Jamesrussellmay.com
Facebook: James Russell May Art
Instagram: jamesrussellmay

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 “Omphale and Hercules” by James Russell May, ", Oil and alkyd resin on wood, 48x48in, 2013, $6000.

“Omphale and Hercules” by James Russell May, ", Oil and alkyd resin on wood, 48x48in, 2013, $6000.

 "Bear II" by James Russell May, Oil on aluminum, 48x24in, $5500

"Bear II" by James Russell May, Oil on aluminum, 48x24in, $5500

 "In the Garden" by James Russell May, Oil and alkyd resin on wood, 48x48in, 2007, $5000

"In the Garden" by James Russell May, Oil and alkyd resin on wood, 48x48in, 2007, $5000

 “Banana Tree” by James Russell May, Oil on aluminum, 40x25in, 2017, $3000.

“Banana Tree” by James Russell May, Oil on aluminum, 40x25in, 2017, $3000.


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.

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Drawing, Fiber

Open Studio Spotlight: Samantha Ludwig

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Samantha Ludwig is an artist who works comfortably in several mediums. In the work highlighted here, she draws houses in exquisitely rendered detail. They are executed in graphite, using a pencil. The richness of the mark making and modeled textures connect us to the sublime satisfaction of the most fundamental artist’s action: the simple act of drawing - observation through the eye and to the hand.

But Ludwig’s technique is far from simple, and the attention to detail is not just academic. She invests each structure with real feeling for the space they occupy, the life that has been lived with these walls. She forces such introspection by isolating the building and the yard from the environment. Stripped of that larger social context, it is surprising how much is still communicated through the immediate relationship of space and architectural form.

Ludwig also works with textiles, with a particular emphasis on flags that are variations on the United States of America “stars and stripes.”

 “717 E. Ormsby” by Samantha Ludwig, Graphite on Paper, 9x14in, 201 $150

“717 E. Ormsby” by Samantha Ludwig, Graphite on Paper, 9x14in, 201 $150

Writing on her blog, Ludwig explains: “Most people are confused and are unsure of what I mean when I say, ‘I'm making flags,’ which is understandable. It's a long process that initials a lot of math and attention. From making color samples so that you can replicate colors, to making the dye into a paste, and then taping, masking, and embroidering the material that is to be the final piece, and even all that doesn't cover it.”

More recently, Ludwig has returned to wood block prints, making prints of a size that allows a very hands-on approach to process – her press is her feet: “…me alone in the studio dancing, sliding and shuffling on them on top of the plywood.”

“It’s been wonderful to revisit it (wood cutting), because there’s something incredibly enticing about carving. I remember when I was in elementary school I dreamed of becoming a master wood whittler.

Samanth Ludwig will be participating in the 2018 Open Studio Weekend, sponsored by Louisville Visual Art and University of Louisville’s Hite Art Institute. Her studio, located in the Germantown neighborhood, will be open the weekend of November 3 and 4. Tickets for OpenStudio Weekend will go on sale October 16. Click here for more information.

Recent Exhibitions:
Quills, Introducing: Samantha Ludwig, Louisville, Kentucky.
Great Flood, 4735 Peachtree, Louisville, Kentucky.
St. James Juried Art Festival, The Work of Samantha Ludwig, Louisville, Kentucky. 

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BFA, Painting and Fiber, Kansas City Art Institute, BHA, Concentration Western Art History
Website: samanthludwig.com

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“In Vogue We Trust” by Samantha Ludwig, Dyed cotton, 3x6ft, 2011, Private collection  

 “Voyuer” by Samanth Ludwig, Ink on Paper, 23x25in, $475

“Voyuer” by Samanth Ludwig, Ink on Paper, 23x25in, $475

 “Great Garrison Flag” by Samantha Ludwig, Hand Dyed Embroidered Cotton, 6x13in, 2017, Part of the Permeant Collection of Omni Hotel, Louisville, Ky

“Great Garrison Flag” by Samantha Ludwig, Hand Dyed Embroidered Cotton, 6x13in, 2017, Part of the Permeant Collection of Omni Hotel, Louisville, Ky


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.

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Painting

Open Studio Spotlight: Meredith Hayden

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 “Circus Colors” by Meredith Hayden, Alcohol Ink with air duster on Ceramic Tile, 12x218in, 2018, $350

“Circus Colors” by Meredith Hayden, Alcohol Ink with air duster on Ceramic Tile, 12x218in, 2018, $350

Color is a potent visceral expression of emotion in the work of Meredith Leigh Hayden. Ideas are communicated through the dynamic of specific mediums as much choice in subject matter, materials leading the artist as much as the artist leads the materials.

“Creating art has become an essential practice for refreshing my senses so I can enjoy being present,” she explains. “When I see something noteworthy I try to snatch it up and describe it with color. Art transforms the chaos of life into something tangible I can work with.  It gives me a chance to breathe.” 

“My favorite memories become crystallized on the surface with the medium I choose at the time. Currently, I use inks, chalk pastels, or crystals. I am usually seen wearing a crystal I wrapped. As much as I would like to feel I’m “in control”, there is no real way to control the bold Alcohol Ink. I did find I can move the ink with an air duster. The results amaze and delight me every time. My pastel flower series celebrates the impermanence of life and our universal connection to nature and each other. As flowers grow and change, they reveal their unique imperfections and lively character traits, just as humans do.“

“By showing the Alcohol Ink tiles and Chalk Pastel flowers together, I hope to provide a sense of hope and renewal for Spring through color. The rigidity of the tiles is a contrast to the flowing chalk pastel flowers. The wandering inks are carefree and mobile like the growth cycle of florals. The Chalk Pastels are a delicate and subtle contrast with the bright penetrating color of the ink. In any medium, daring color is the common thread to all my work. I choose to celebrate life’s majesty with the delicate and vibrant colors I choose.” 

 “Mystic Branches” by Meredith Hayden, Chalk Pastel and water on sanded paper, 30x24in, 2014, $750

“Mystic Branches” by Meredith Hayden, Chalk Pastel and water on sanded paper, 30x24in, 2014, $750

Meredith Hayden will be participating in the 2018 Open Studio Weekend, sponsored by Louisville Visual Art and University of Louisville’s Hite Art Institute. Her studio, located in Art Sanctuary in the Germantown neighborhood, will be open the weekend of November 3 and 4. Tickets for Open Studio Weekend will go on sale October 16. Click here for more information.

On the the first Saturday of December, during Bardstown Road Aglow, Hayden will be showing at Safai Coffee, 1707 Barstown Road.

Hometown: Newtown, Pennsylvania
Education: University of Louisville Liberal Studies major, minor in Psychology, and concentrations in Art, Theater, and Women's Studies. Some art study in Italy
Website: mhayden.artspan.com
Instagram: meresmuse

 Meredith Hayden working on “Red-Lipped Secrets”, Chalk Pastel, 24x30in. 2011, $750

Meredith Hayden working on “Red-Lipped Secrets”, Chalk Pastel, 24x30in. 2011, $750

 “Enchanted Vibration” by Meredith Hayden, Alcohol Inks on Tile, Ink applied with a can of air. 12x20in, 2018, $250

“Enchanted Vibration” by Meredith Hayden, Alcohol Inks on Tile, Ink applied with a can of air. 12x20in, 2018, $250

 “Wandering Eye of Contentment” by Meredith Hayden, Alcohol Inks on Tile, Ink applied with a can of air, 16x20in, 2018, $200

“Wandering Eye of Contentment” by Meredith Hayden, Alcohol Inks on Tile, Ink applied with a can of air, 16x20in, 2018, $200

 “Fiery” by Meredith Hayden, Chalk Pastel, 24x30in, 2007, Private collection

“Fiery” by Meredith Hayden, Chalk Pastel, 24x30in, 2007, Private collection


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.

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Painting

Vignette: Teresa McCarthy

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 “Loving Louisville” by Teresa McCarthy, Acrylic, 24x30in, 2018, $600

“Loving Louisville” by Teresa McCarthy, Acrylic, 24x30in, 2018, $600

Teresa McCarthy won the 2017-2018 Louisville Bar Association Pictorial Roster cover with a painting representative of the Louisville Area. In striking contrast to McCarthy’s usual work, she has created montage of various iconic elements, some that have represented the city for generations (Churchill Downs) and some that have cropped up just in the last few years (the U of L Cardinal and UK Wildcat appear to be having a beer with Louisville City Football Club). The dense composition abandons any semblance of real space to achieve a blend of surrealist and non-objective sensibility.

In September, McCarthy participated in the LVA Paint-Out at the Waterfront Botanical Gardens ReGeneration Fair, where she painted “Stop and Pick the Roses” at a location near the Ohio River.

“I enjoy networking with Network of Entrepreneurial Women “NEW”.  I also enjoy painting with a local group of very talented portrait painters, playing volleyball and most of all spending time with husband Keith and my 5 Grandchildren - we were just blessed with twins.“

 “Stop and Pick the Flowers” by Teresa McCarthy, Acrylic, 12x13in, 2018, SOLD

“Stop and Pick the Flowers” by Teresa McCarthy, Acrylic, 12x13in, 2018, SOLD

McCarthy is a Member of the Kentucky Artist Guild of Artists and Craftsmen, Louisville Artisans Guild and the Louisville Visual Arts. Participating often in the arts Louisville has to offer as a featured artist on Artebella and participating in the Junior League Tulips for Juleps, Highview Arts and Craft Fair, Regeneration Fair Plein Air Paint Out, Art [Squared], and Open Studio Weekends.

Her professional life has been in office management and real estate (she works as the Office Manager at Seiller Waterman, LLC.), but even with dual careers, McCarthy has always felt driven to make art and one of the ways she is able to share her passion is being the fine art instructor at Michael’s. She currently has an exhibit at the Artist Barrel in Bardstown

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: Attended St. Agnes and Durrett High School; obtained Broker’s License in 1986
Gallery Representation: Kore Gallery (Louisville)

 “Reflections” by Teresa McCarthy, Acrylic, 20x30in, 2018, POR

“Reflections” by Teresa McCarthy, Acrylic, 20x30in, 2018, POR

 “Our Journey” by Teresa McCarthy, Acrylic, 24x30in, 2018, Private collection.

“Our Journey” by Teresa McCarthy, Acrylic, 24x30in, 2018, Private collection.

 “Waiting for Breeders” by Teresa McCarthy, Acrylic, 14x19in, 2018, $500

“Waiting for Breeders” by Teresa McCarthy, Acrylic, 14x19in, 2018, $500


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville

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Ceramics

Open Studio Weekend Spotlight: Lisa Kurtz

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“I fell in love with the fluid and impressionable characteristics of this wonderful medium…” - Lisa Kurtz

 “Sushi Serving Tray with Condiment Bowl and Spoon” by Lisa Kurtz, Stoneware, slab and pinched, 4.5x18x8in, 2017, SOLD

“Sushi Serving Tray with Condiment Bowl and Spoon” by Lisa Kurtz, Stoneware, slab and pinched, 4.5x18x8in, 2017, SOLD

Clay is the most malleable medium; you can stretch it, bend it, shape it, impose innumerable textures upon its surface so that it might look like anything else, yet it is also sturdy and durable. A teapot might last several lifetimes.

Lisa Kurtz’ “Sushi Serving Tray with Condiment Bowl and Spoon” has that strength and resiliency but bends with such fluidity that it might be mistaken for fabric. Kurtz explains how that commutation reaches back in her family history:

 “Flower Basket” by Lisa Kurtz, Stoneware, thrown and coil, 8.5x5.5x4.75in, 2017, SOLD

“Flower Basket” by Lisa Kurtz, Stoneware, thrown and coil, 8.5x5.5x4.75in, 2017, SOLD

“My grandfather, Nick Guarneschelli, came over to the states to be an artist. He painted and did sculpture, eventually teaching at the Louisville School of Art. To support his growing family in Kentucky, he also worked as a tailor, as his family back home had been in the business for years. I have always loved the textures in fibers and material and I believe that stems from my Italian roots. I often use scraps of old fabric salvaged from my mother and grandmother’s houses to impress textures into the clay. When I do this I feel connected to generations of my family that came before me. My aunt is a prolific painter and I have many cousins that are also artists in different mediums. It seems artists breed artists. All three of my grown children are now working or studying in arts related fields.”

“As an artist and a maker of handmade objects, I always strive for the human connection between my work and the user of my pottery. The fact that people can use and enjoy my work in their everyday lives has been especially important to me as a potter. My work has evolved slowly over many years and I still enjoy fine-tuning those little details in my work that make it user friendly. I am most pleased if I make a handle on one of my pieces that beckons you to pick it up and then fits so comfortably in your hands that you want to use it every morning or at family meals or celebrations.”

Rocks and water have always inspired me. I am fascinated by the effect of water on the earth and the calming effect it has upon me. The textures and colors in water, sand, sea birds, shells, rocks, and marine creatures inform my work and my glazes. My goal is to infuse my work with the peaceful feelings that water worn rocks, landscape and waves give to me. 

 “Seaside Urn” by Lisa Kurtz, Stoneware, coil and slab, 7x8.5x8.5in, 2017, SOLD

“Seaside Urn” by Lisa Kurtz, Stoneware, coil and slab, 7x8.5x8.5in, 2017, SOLD

Kurtz has led a rich life as a professional artist making functional clay pieces, and she has taught at Cleveland State Community College in Cleveland, Tennessee, and Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee. Since she moved back to Louisville, she has been teaching Art History online for Pellissippi. “I also give clay workshops and teach wheel throwing classes to students at all different levels. Most recently (Spring and Summer of 2018) I taught wheel throwing and making reed handles for pottery workshops at the Appalachian Arts Craft Center in Norris, Tennessee.”

“I have been lucky to learn from great teachers. I feel it’s really important to carry on the clay traditions and that’s one reason I like to teach. It has been a big part of my life for the past several years. If I can impart just a little bit of the joy I get from clay to my students, it is all worth it!” 

I have always encouraged and welcomed the happy accidents that take place in the firing process. This is leading me to explore various methods of firing, including soda firing. I came to Louisville this summer to help build a new soda kiln at U of L. I am taking a post baccalaurette class there with Todd Burns to further my exploration of new work and soda firing. Emphasizing areas of shadow, shiny and matte surfaces is my goal. If I can accentuate textural qualities by the play of fire and vapor from the firing process, the work becomes more interesting to me visually and viscerally.  

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Kurtz has been an active member of several professional juried guilds, artist associations and boards, including the Kentucky Crafts Guild, the Foothills Craft Guild, The Kentucky Department of the Arts Marketing Program, The Knoxville Art Alliance, The New Prospect Craft Center, Tennessee Craft, The Knoxville Museum of Art and Terra Madre: Women in Clay. Her clay work has been exhibited and sold in galleries and shops across the U.S. and in national and regional juried fine art shows and craft fairs.

Lisa Kurtz will be participating in the 2018 Open Studio Weekend, sponsored by Louisville Visual Art and University of Louisville’s Hite Art Institute. Her studio, located in the Highlands neighborhood, will be open the weekend of November 3 and 4. Tickets for Open Studio Weekend will go on sale October 16. Click here for more information.

Website:    LisaKurtzHighlandPottery.weebly.com
LInkedIn:   linkedin.com/in/lisakurtzhighlandpottery
Instagram: @lisakurtzhighlandpottery

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 "Mountain Tea Set", by Lisa Kurtz, Stoneware, thrown and altered, Teapot: 7x9.5x5.5in, Teabowl: 2.75x4x4in, SOLD

"Mountain Tea Set", by Lisa Kurtz, Stoneware, thrown and altered, Teapot: 7x9.5x5.5in, Teabowl: 2.75x4x4in, SOLD

 "Jewelry Jars and Ring Holder", by LIsa Kurtz, Stoneware, thrown and pinched, Jars: 3.75x4x3.5in, SOLD, Ring Holder: 3.75x5.4in, SOLD

"Jewelry Jars and Ring Holder", by LIsa Kurtz, Stoneware, thrown and pinched, Jars: 3.75x4x3.5in, SOLD, Ring Holder: 3.75x5.4in, SOLD

 "Moonstone Vase", by Lisa Kurtz, Stoneware, thrown and slab, 10x6.5x5.5in, 2017, $280

"Moonstone Vase", by Lisa Kurtz, Stoneware, thrown and slab, 10x6.5x5.5in, 2017, $280


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.

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