Fiber

Vignette: Bette Levy

“The hope of my last exhibition was that I would be able to continue to produce art, and the reality of this exhibition is that I can and I will.” - Bette Levy

“ReBirth” by Bette Levy, Reconfiguration of a piece completed in 2017, Hand crochet, powertex, 42in circumference, $1100

“ReBirth” by Bette Levy, Reconfiguration of a piece completed in 2017, Hand crochet, powertex, 42in circumference, $1100

Love and loss seem to always be inextricably tied together, each deepening the impact of the other. It is as succinct an example of the balance of life. Harmony is never really about analogous emotional experience, but about contrast. Bette Levy may have been wise enough to understand that concept before recent events in her life, but some lessons never stop being reinforced. Her new show at Pyro Gallery addresses this. Also on display is work in wood by Indiana artist Paul Schreck.

Rebirth is a follow-up to my two previous exhibitions, Before… and …And After, in 2016 and 2017, respectively. These exhibitions traced work created before and during my marriage to micro-surgeon Robert Acland, as well as work created after his untimely death. Rebirth examines my new creative work produced in the three years since his loss.”

“While the word rebirth typically refers to an endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth, it also refers to the ‘action of reappearing or starting to flourish or increase after a decline’, ‘a revival or renewal’, ‘a spiritual regeneration’ (Google Dictionary). In June/July 2018, I traveled to Japan as part of a World Shibori Symposium seminar and tour, supported in part by the Great Meadows Foundation. The experiences there served to jump-start my creative processes, which had lain dormant since Robert’s death.“

Levy describe the use of the circular form, “…which is reflective of a Japanese concept called the Enso circle. The Enso circle represents wholeness, completion, and perfection. It seems fitting to me that I am drawn to this form as I continue to heal.”

“A Trinity of Faucets” by Bette Levy, Hand crochet, nylon cord, faucets, various sizes, 2018

“A Trinity of Faucets” by Bette Levy, Hand crochet, nylon cord, faucets, various sizes, 2018

Yet the circle in “Rebirth” is also a chain, a succession of individual elements that have become interconnected. In this way Levy does not isolate the circle for its ideals, but illustrates how the healing journey is one step at a time, slowly rebuilding that wholeness overtime. All of Levy’s work shows this steadfast craft and attention to detail. The peace and harmony must be earned.

In another piece, “A Trinity of Faucets”, the continuum is built, again as linked components intrinsic to textile work, but here built around aging, discarded faucet handles. There is a contrast in the rusted steel and the delicate fiber material surrounding it but there is also an easy relationship of pattern that underscores the strength that comes from interlocking filaments of any material.

“In my 2017 exhibit, I showed a piece with three elements: a large rectangular crocheted piece from which a smaller circle had been removed, flanked by the removed circle and a border circle. As a whole, that piece represented what the death of my husband meant to the relationship, to me as an individual, and what my hopes were for the future. In its newly reconstituted form, ‘Rebirth’ suggests the renewal of my creative energies and output.”

“This exhibition displays a wide and new variety of techniques, processes, and mediums, many of which were triggered by my travel experiences in Japan. I have included works in spun paper, knitted wire, and boro (the Japanese technique of mending and patching), as well as more familiar techniques as large-scale crochet on rusted objects and work with pig gut. My new work diverges from my earlier abstract-stitched work to more symmetrical and grid-like structures. While my two previous exhibitions were a way for me to process the experience of my husband’s death, this exhibition is more experimental, more playful, a means for me to try out new methods and ways of working. I see it as a start of new directions and an opportunity to stretch my wings.”

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Rebirth, opens on February 14, 2019, at Pyro Gallery, 1006 East Washington Street, and lasts through March 23. Also showing in the gallery will be work in wood by Indiana artist, Paul Schreck. An opening reception will take place on Friday, February 15 from 6-9 pm with a gallery talk on Saturday, February 16 at 10 am. Regular hours are Thursday through Saturday, from 12 noon to 6 pm, until 9 pm on first Fridays, and by special appointment with the artist.

 Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Education: BS, Experimental Psychology, Carnagie-Mellon University, Pennsylvania; MA, Art Therapy Institute of Expressive Therapies, University of Louisville; MFA Fiber Arts, Hite Art Institute, University of Louisville.
Gallery Representative: PYRO Gallery (Louisville)


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“Boro II” by Bette Levy, Hand stitched, cotton thread, dyed handkerchiefs, various fabrics, 30x38in, 2018, $800

“Boro II” by Bette Levy, Hand stitched, cotton thread, dyed handkerchiefs, various fabrics, 30x38in, 2018, $800

Spinning Out” by Bette Levy, Spun paper, Japanese ledger books, glue, 24x36in, 2019, $300

Spinning Out” by Bette Levy, Spun paper, Japanese ledger books, glue, 24x36in, 2019, $300


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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Mixed Media

Vignette: Steve Heine

“Sonnet” by Steve Heine, random text, laser-cut steel, small-diameter magnets, primer, poplar, 30x30x2in, 2019, $3900

“Sonnet” by Steve Heine, random text, laser-cut steel, small-diameter magnets, primer, poplar, 30x30x2in, 2019, $3900

Interdisciplinary is a word that has dominated art conversations for the past ten years or more. Aside from the more obvious mash up of mediums and disciplines, a more subtle result is the occasional work that conjures rich associations with other forms. Steve Heine creates commissioned architectural glass for homes and corporate clients, and in “Sonnet” has shifted from purely abstract forms to the use of letters to pull our attention into the composition. We demand that it be readable, we search for words among the endlessly overlapping letterforms, and the title leads us to expect nothing less than the words of William Shakespeare.

But Heine has a trickier premise for this work: “The ‘infinite monkey theorem’ states that a monkey striking keys at random on a typewriter for an infinite amount of time will almost certainly type out the complete works of William Shakespeare. With this new piece, I’m interested in the iteration and abstraction of randomly generated text to create a visual spell of line, light and shadow.”

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Heina has work throughout the region, including the Marriott AC NuLu Hotel, Decca Restaurant, Jewish Hospital Medical Center South, Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, Sacred Heart Schools’ Ursuline Arts Center, KMAC and Faulkner Real Estate.

“I see my artwork as small-scale architecture—the process of making and an emphasis on materials are vital for me. My current work is primarily explorations via low-relief mixed media: I’m concerned with the thoughtful manipulation of surface and the modulation of light, color and shadow. I’m drawn to Minimalism and to spare yet potent built architecture [where I see it in the world]. I’m interested in creating work that is “quiet”, balanced and resolved, and distilled to its essential elements.”

“Honeycomb Clouds” by Steve Heine, laser-cut and folded steel, maple, integral LED panel, 48x48x4in each, 2018, NFS

“Honeycomb Clouds” by Steve Heine, laser-cut and folded steel, maple, integral LED panel, 48x48x4in each, 2018, NFS


“Cloud Panels” is a permanent installation at the Marriott AC NuLu Hotel on E. Market Street in Louisville, and was accomplished in collaboration with Louisville Visual Art. “Although I usually envision these panels in blues or violets, the color can be changed at any time via a small, hand-held, wireless remote control. The range of available colors is virtually unlimited. The hotel currently has ‘Honeycomb Clouds’ programmed to continually shift through a wide range of colors.”  


Recent recognition includes:

•2018: "Beetle", a small hollow-core vessel cast several years ago from recycled light bulbs, was selected for "Celebrating American Craft—Southern Style", survey of contemporary craft across the American South, at Vanderbilt University.
•2018: A permanent installation at the Marriott AC NuLu Hotel was featured in LEO Weekly.  

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BS, Architecture, University of Kentucky
Website: craniumglass.squarespace.com
Instagram: instagram.com/craniumglass/

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“Cloud Extrusion” by Steve Heine, laser-cut and folded steel, primer, poplar, integral LED panel, 30x30x3in, 2018, $3900

“Cloud Extrusion” by Steve Heine, laser-cut and folded steel, primer, poplar, integral LED panel, 30x30x3in, 2018, $3900

“Cloud Extrusion” (multiple images) by Steve Heine, laser-cut and folded steel, primer, poplar, integral LED panel, 30x30x3in, 2018, $3900

“Cloud Extrusion” (multiple images) by Steve Heine, laser-cut and folded steel, primer, poplar, integral LED panel, 30x30x3in, 2018, $3900


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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Multi-Media

Vignette: Monica Stewart

On February 1, multi-media artist Monica Stewart will be recognized at the LVA Honors Luncheon as Emerging Artist of the Year.

'“Hansel and Gretel” by Monica Stewart, Cut paper, 9 ½ x 11 ½ inches, 2018

'“Hansel and Gretel” by Monica Stewart, Cut paper, 9 ½ x 11 ½ inches, 2018

Among the foundations of moral education in western society, the fairy tale has fallen somewhat into neglect. Post-modern revisionism is the lens through which we have looked back at this storytelling genre, but Monica Stewart has picked up the thread in ways that both honor the narrative tradition and deliver a fresh take on moral fables.

“In my recent work, I draw on abject imagery from fairy tales to allude to transformation, hybridity, female agency, and dysfunctional familial relationships as well as the magical and grotesque. The quick pace and supernatural imagery of fairy tales create a language that is rife with metaphors and allegories for the ways we experience everyday life. Fairy tales are also particularly strange spaces for women.  While often moralizing or, conversely, toppling patriarchal structures, fairy tales repeatedly feature women and girls who exist in liminal places; as both princess and monster, both lucky and unlucky, both free and bound.”

“Hans My Hedgehog” by Monica Stewart,, Cut paper, 11 ½ x 15 ½ inches, 2018

“Hans My Hedgehog” by Monica Stewart,, Cut paper, 11 ½ x 15 ½ inches, 2018

“While personal experiences and observations of these kinds of liminal spaces often provide the impetus for my work, I find uncanny relationships between real life and fiction more often than not. In my search for a place where the complications and trouble of life are addressed, I turned to fairy tales. Fairy tales, like life, are places where families fall apart, fortunes are made and lost, impossible tasks achieved, power dynamics shift, and the unthinkable and the inconceivable occur regularly. As the writer, Rebecca Solnit so succinctly states in The Faraway Nearby, “Fairy tales are about trouble, about getting into and out of it, and trouble seems to be a necessary stage on the route to becoming.”[1]”

Thus the rich and prolific imagery and ideas of fairy tales have become part of the visual language I employ in my work to address my own understanding of identity, life, and society. My reliance on paper to achieve this change is in large part due to the familiarity, malleability, and relationship to text that paper has. It may be manipulated in a hundred different ways, it may be made and unmade, as well as utterly transformed. A material that is both simultaneously fragile and strong holds the possibility for endless iterations, endless presentations and tellings of the tale. Papercutting itself also has a relationship with women’s work, leisure activities, and creative labor. Toy-like, tenuous, and tedious, papercutting and paper itself are processes and materials that ally themselves both to the anonymous nature of fairytales, silhouettes, environments that begin to border on the theatrical.”

The imagery and composition in Stewart’s work enchant the viewer by conjuring associations with our own childhood relationships to fairy tales. The use of cut paper emphasizes the clarity and innocence of the tropes even while she frames our understanding of the stories in different ways. The physical presentation exploits the dimensionality of the technique and extends the work into fully sculptural forms.

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Stewart will be included in an upcoming show at Swanson Contemporary which is being co-curated by Nicholas Cook and KCJ Szwedzinski, and will be on exhibit February 22nd to March 30th.

Hometown: Louisville Kentucky
Education: BFA, Painting, Murray State University; MFA candidate at the University of Louisville.
Website: www.monica-stewart.com

[1] Solnit, Rebecca. (2014). The Faraway Nearby. London: Granta Books, 13.

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“The Six Swans” by Monica Stewart,, Cut paper 15 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches, 2017

“The Six Swans” by Monica Stewart,, Cut paper 15 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches, 2017

“Fabled Fragments” by Monica Stewart, Cut paper, 35 x 40 inches, 2018, For Suspend Louisville’s 2018 productions of “Fabled Fragments.” This large piece contains six individual smaller papercuts used for playbills and promotional materials.

“Fabled Fragments” by Monica Stewart, Cut paper, 35 x 40 inches, 2018, For Suspend Louisville’s 2018 productions of “Fabled Fragments.” This large piece contains six individual smaller papercuts used for playbills and promotional materials.


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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: Laurie Fader

“Vestal Virgin and the Truckrat” by Laurie Fader, Oil on canvas, 64x56in, 2018

“Vestal Virgin and the Truckrat” by Laurie Fader, Oil on canvas, 64x56in, 2018

For centuries, artists have looked to ancient forms and motifs to develop their skills, and more than a few have brought such iconography into their own contemporary work, with all of the associations of the past tagging along for the ride. So what Laurie Fader has been up to may not be surprising on an academic level, yet her choice of motif and the relationships she builds to current events feels unique.

While a Visiting Scholar at The American Academy in Rome, (funded by Great Meadows Foundation) Fader connected to the history of the pre-Christian Vestal Virgins, six priestesses, representing the daughters of the royal house, who tended the state cult of Vesta, the goddess of the hearth. Their lives as living symbols of the state were extraordinarily privileged, circumscribed, and brutally shortened in the event of impropriety. 

“Vestal Virgin and the Hurricane” by Laurie Fader, Oil on canvas, 64x56in, 2018

“Vestal Virgin and the Hurricane” by Laurie Fader, Oil on canvas, 64x56in, 2018

Fader writes, "My Vestal Virgin... evolved on large canvases as a kind of heroic figure embarking on odysseys relating to loss of freedom, uncontrollable climate change, and fear. Current events resonate and subliminally determine epic journeys, such as traveling with immigrants across a desert in a ‘rat truck’, or racing through a hurricane. A previously lighter, slightly humorous and self-effacing painting of a crying child turned darker when it was reported that children were being irreparably separated from their parents at the Mexican/US border.”

As the crisis on the United States/Mexico border escalates, and the American character struggles with its own inherent sense of privilege, Fader’s use of the Vestal Virgins casts the dialogue in an oblique framework that allows a more removed perspective. Is such privilege earned or assumed? 

Laurie Fader has been the recipient of many honors and awards, including a Pollock-Krasner Award, an Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Emergency Assistance Grant, and the Helen W. Winternitz Award for excellence in painting from Yale University. She has attended residencies in Italy, France, Haiti, Hungary, and Italy. Fader lived in New York City for 25 years where she taught at Pratt Institute, then lived in Baltimore where she taught at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She came to Louisville in 2011 to launch The Kentucky School of Art (now KyCAD), where she was Chair of Academic Affairs and Associate Professor. She is now a full-time practicing artist.

Garner Narrative welcomes Laurie Fader for her first solo show with the gallery, Odysseys. It runs December 7 through January 11, 2019 with an opening reception Friday December 7, 6 - 9 pm, and a closing reception Friday January 4, 6 - 9 pm.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BS, Honors, New York University, NYC; MFA, Painting, Yale School of Art.
Website: https://www.lauriefader.com/

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“Cry Baby” by Laurie Fader, Oil on canvas, 48x52in, 2018

“Cry Baby” by Laurie Fader, Oil on canvas, 48x52in, 2018

“Vestal Virgin” by Laurie Fader, Mixed media on inkjet, 9x7in, 2018

“Vestal Virgin” by Laurie Fader, Mixed media on inkjet, 9x7in, 2018

“Handmaid’s Story” by Laurie Fader, Mixed media on inkjet, 12x13in, 2018

“Handmaid’s Story” by Laurie Fader, Mixed media on inkjet, 12x13in, 2018

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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Photography

Vignette: Patricia Brock

“#6356” by Patricia Brock, Photography on Green Edge Acrylic, 20x20in, 2018, $550

“#6356” by Patricia Brock, Photography on Green Edge Acrylic, 20x20in, 2018, $550

The pastoral experience can play a role even in the formation of abstract art. In point of fact, it might be fair to say that most abstract work draws from nature. Photographer Patricia Brock describes a recent moment of inspiration:

“One morning this spring, after finishing some garden work, I sat in our swing on the deck to relax. Glancing around the yard I suddenly became hypnotized by the glass orb ornament slowly spinning at the edge of the garden. Sunlight fractured by the orb was scattering bright shards of reflected light and creating shadows within the orb. Bright vivid colors emerged from the glass shining through the prism the orb created. The longer I watched I began to see various shapes come alive.”

Inspired by this discovery Brock named her new photo series, Brightly Through the Glass.

“#6363” by Patricia Brock, Photography on Green Edge Acrylic, 20x20in, 2018, $550

“#6363” by Patricia Brock, Photography on Green Edge Acrylic, 20x20in, 2018, $550

Brock is a natural and available light photographer but she uses various materials such as archival photo paper, metallic papers, canvas, acrylic, and brushed aluminum to achieve her highly structured abstract images. The play of lights, shadows, and colors is organic, yet filtered through one artist’s sensibility.

“Naturally curious and observant,” is how the artist describes herself. “Consciously and subconsciously, my mind stays alert to discover images to photograph. Flickers of light and shadows, quick movements and intense colors catch my attention.”

Brock will be having a Solo Show at KORE Gallery in the Mellwood Art & Entertainment Center, December 2 through 30, 2018

Recent Exhibits

2018

Art Comes Alive, Purchase Award, Art Design Consultants, Cincinnati, OH,
Kentucky Visions at the Capitol Exhibit, Frankfort, KY 

2017
Artists in Our Midst, Kaviar Forge & Gallery, Louisville, KY,
Line, Form, Color, KORE Gallery, Solo Exhibit, Louisville, KY
Ways of Seeing Kentucky Arts Council Traveling Exhibition

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Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BS,Education. Eastern Kentucky University; MA, Education, Eastern Kentucky University
Website: PatriciaBrockPhotography.com
Gallery Representation: KORE Gallery (Louisville)

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“#6349” by Patricia Brock, Photography on Green Edge Acrylic, 20x20in, 2018, $550

“#6349” by Patricia Brock, Photography on Green Edge Acrylic, 20x20in, 2018, $550

“#6373” by Patricia Brock, Photography on Green Edge Acrylic, 20x20in, 2018, $550

“#6373” by Patricia Brock, Photography on Green Edge Acrylic, 20x20in, 2018, $550

“#6297” by Patricia Brock, Photography on Green Edge Acrylic, 20x20in, 2018, $550

“#6297” by Patricia Brock, Photography on Green Edge Acrylic, 20x20in, 2018, $550


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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