Painting

2019 Art[squared] Featured Artist: LaNia Roberts

“Still” by LaNia Roberts, Honey, ink, & charcoal, 24x24in, $900, Available for purchase through Silent Auction at the 2019 Art[squared] Preview Party Fundrasier

“Still” by LaNia Roberts, Honey, ink, & charcoal, 24x24in, $900, Available for purchase through Silent Auction at the 2019 Art[squared] Preview Party Fundrasier

The 2019 Art[squared] Fundraiser will feature the work of three local artists sold through silent auction.

LaNia Roberts is from Louisville and grew up in neighborhoods west and south of downtown. As a young girl of color who struggled with her identity, she discovered in visual art a creative outlet for self-expression that would prove transformative. After several years in Louisville Visual Art’s Children’s Fine Art Classes, she entered Syracuse University in New York, and while there wrote a blog for Huffington Post, became a motivational speaker, and was the subject of stories in several publications including Cosmopolitan (April 2015).

“My work addresses the creation of self, and the social constructs that control perception,” explains Roberts. “By continuously searching for the real truths about my own humanity and others around me, I uncover my findings through the medium that best fits. Taking the form of portraiture, I work with painting in honey and charcoal, art video, and photo collage to convey truths about the humanity I see in my friends, my family, and myself.”

“Marcus's Light and Shadow” by LaNia Roberts, Photo Collage on Paper, 46x42in, 2018, $1000

“Marcus's Light and Shadow” by LaNia Roberts, Photo Collage on Paper, 46x42in, 2018, $1000

“The process of healing and reconstruction are engaged through the mediums of honey and charcoal applied with fluid brush strokes that hinge on the discomfort of the unfinished. Reflecting upon honey’s natural antibacterial components, used traditionally through ancient and modern times to reconcile wounds and bodily dysfunctions and charcoal as a substance which helps flush out toxins in the body when consumed, I explore healing as an ongoing process. The mixture of these mediums speaks to the dark and sweet process of healing engaging simultaneously joy and pain and shifting the negative connotations associated with darkness through its coupling with sweetness.
The dormant self-portrait alludes to the release of control, and the natural process of transformational healing.”

All self-portraiture is revealing, but when Roberts makes herself the subject of her images they are confessional, obtaining an intimacy that might makes some viewers uncomfortable. What has earned us such a privileged glimpse into LaNia’s privacy? The emotional vulnerability of the work challenges our own introspective gaze and forces the viewer to ask, “Could I be this honest?”

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That tone is communicated through a spontaneous use of medium, a freedom that allows the blending of organic and artificial materials. When you lean in close, you can smell the honey on the canvas, and the smell reinforces the sweetness of the freedom Roberts earns from making art. 

Roberts has recently exhibited in Louisville at 1619 Flux and in New Albany at the Carnegie Center for Art & History.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BFA, Painting, Syracuse University 
Instagram: @bylania / www.instagram.com/bylania

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“Grandmama and Lil' Rell Rell” by LaNia Roberts, Vine Charcoal on Paper , 41x29in, 2019, $800

“Grandmama and Lil' Rell Rell” by LaNia Roberts, Vine Charcoal on Paper , 41x29in, 2019, $800

“The Colored Gaze” by LaNia Roberts, Watercolor on Illustration Board, 40x30in, 2017, $800

“The Colored Gaze” by LaNia Roberts, Watercolor on Illustration Board, 40x30in, 2017, $800

“Randal Simply Sitting” by LaNia Roberts, Photo Collage on Paper, 23.5x19in, 2018, $350

“Randal Simply Sitting” by LaNia Roberts, Photo Collage on Paper, 23.5x19in, 2018, $350

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: Mia Hanson

“Ida Disa” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Ida Disa” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

To begin at the beginning, photographer Mia Hanson has a first memory of a camera: “While my parents were away, I sought out a 35mm film camera from a glass case and held it to my right eye; instantly, the world around me had space and definition unlike before. It was a new way of seeing, I realized.”

Today when Hanson teaches digital photography for Louisville Visual Art, she keeps this important “first time” in mind. “We’re not just  taking fun pictures in class, we are learning how to see in a new way.”

Hanson’s images often discover an otherworldly quality, a view of human figures that escapes the mundane details of corporeal existence. One is tempted use the word ghost, and while it is true that a ghost might appear in a Mia Hanson photograph, we must be open to a more organic and ephemeral relationship between the artist and her subject. As Hanson explains in a 2006 interview:

“I'm always searching for the soul of my subject. As a photographer, I try to tap into some other frequency of mood and emotion that is there, yet hidden. Unlike the painter who creates from imagination, I'm fascinated with the thought of lifting the veil from our given reality.”

All art can investigate this thin place of transition between Illusion and Reality, Life and Death, posing questions about different planes of existence, if not always answering them. Photography occupies a special place in this territory, because it plays on our expectations that the camera is capturing an objective reality, when the truth is that it is another tool in the artist’s box. Even when Hanson is using natural environments, such as in “Disturbance in Central Park”, the location is suggestive of a fantasy world. The pensive pose could be anywhere in the world, and only the title ties it to a few yards from a busy Manhattan street. And the image is timeless. It looks to me like a frame enlargement from an early silent film. Look at stills from F.W. Murnau’s Sunrise for a comparison.

“Disturbance Central Park” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Disturbance Central Park” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

Hanson has lived in Stockholm but returned to the states with her partner, painter Hawk Alfredson to live for several years in the fabled Chelsea Hotel in NYC. While in residence there she, “Created portraits utilizing the light and charged energy of the hotel atmosphere while careful not to disturb or “document “ what is not entirely capable of being captured. The ghosts are best left alone.”

We can venture a guess how much the Hotel Chelsea influenced Hanson’s images, but it may a rhetorical question. If we entertain the notion of an artist connecting to other realities, then both she and Alfredson might have arrived at the Chelsea guided by unseen but always present forces. That may sound eccentric and picturesque, but, after all, we are talking about connecting to an ethereal plane.

Hanson’s work has appeared as cover art illustration for publishing houses such as Random House, Houghton & Mifflin, and Simon & Schuster, as well as magazine editorial work for Psychology Today and New York Black Book. She has exhibited internationally and is currently teaching for Louisville Visual Art.

Photo: Hawk Alfredson

Photo: Hawk Alfredson


Hometown: Santa Monica, Ca.
Education: Studied film theory and photography in San Francisco’s Bay Area before leaving to pursue a photographic mentorship with influential photographer/ videographer Matt Mahurin in NYC in the 90’s.
Website: www.miahanson.com


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“Jennica” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Jennica” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Balance” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Balance” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Terezka the Betrothed Shrew” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Terezka the Betrothed Shrew” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR


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

2019 Art[squared] Featured Artist: Richard Sullivan

“Untitled” by Richard Sullivan, Acrylic on panel, 24x24in, 2019, $1500. Available for purchase through silent auction at the 2019 Art[squared] Fundraiser

“Untitled” by Richard Sullivan, Acrylic on panel, 24x24in, 2019, $1500. Available for purchase through silent auction at the 2019 Art[squared] Fundraiser

The 2019 Art[squared] Fundraiser will feature the work of three local artists sold through silent auction.

Richard Sullivan was a ballplayer before he was an artist - or was he an artist before he was a ballplayer? Both talents are accepted as inherent abilities; that to excel in either requires hard work, but to be really good requires you to be born with some ephemeral spark of ability.

“Folty 25” by Richard Sullivan, Acrylic on canvas, 24x36in, 2019, POR

“Folty 25” by Richard Sullivan, Acrylic on canvas, 24x36in, 2019, POR

Sullivan combines the two worlds in his subject matter: “My sports watercolors are directly linked to my past as a professional athlete. My goal is to convey the intense focus and concentration of athletes at the highest level of competition. I draw from my past experiences as a former professional pitcher to harness the emotion of each moment that I portray.”

Which might beg the question of how far does personal experience take you as an artist instead of observation. I’m sure Sullivan does not shirk on the latter, but he also knows the feeling of the pull and balance when the left leg ascends to its peak just before the pitcher unfurls that fastball, or the very specific cock of the shoulder before the batter swings.

But Sullivan, as most Kentucky painters inevitably will, has recently turned his attention to horses, so we can more accurately weigh the kineticism of his approach, the spontaneity of his marks, all of which make his work look deceptively easy.  

“I convey action, movement, and emotion through loose brush strokes and expressionist watercolor style. I have learned that watercolor is really about letting go. Each painting that I create requires the same amount of concentration that it took for me to pitch in a game, but after every successful painting I receive the same burst of energy and awareness. My hope with every painting is for the viewer to feel the same connection between art and sports that I do.”

“I have found parallels between painting and pitching that I would not have known existed until I was introduced to watercolor. When on the mound, once the ball would leave my hand, I would have little control over what would happen next. The same is true for watercolor. Every time I place a brushstroke, I have little control once it is on the paper. Just like facing a new opponent, each painting has new challenges.”

His work has been accepted into the permanent collection of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Yogi Berra Museum and exhibited by the Louisville Slugger Museum and the Kentucky Derby Museum. Over a dozen Major League Baseball players, including Tom Glavine have started collecting his work. Coca Cola recently commissioned him to create a special 75th Anniversary painting for USO.

“Hank Aaron” by Richard Sullivan, Acrylic on panel, 24x36in, 2019, Private collection

“Hank Aaron” by Richard Sullivan, Acrylic on panel, 24x36in, 2019, Private collection

In 2017 the Atlanta Braves commissioned Sullivan to create 18 original watercolor paintings and 20 prints for their new stadium SunTrust Park. The paintings line the corridors of the Champions suite and the Executive Offices. The Atlanta Falcons commissioned Sullivan to create a portrait of their owner, Arthur Blank, that hangs in the owner’s suite of the new Mercedes Benz Stadium.

Sullivan is a member of the 2019 Hadley Creatives Class, an initiative from the Community Foundation of Louisville.

In April Sullivan will be showing at Craft(s) Gallery. Horsepower: The Latest Works of Jeaneen Barnhart, Jaime Corum, Tyler Robertson and Richard Sullivan will run April 5th through May 31st, with an Opening Reception with the artists scheduled for Friday, April 5th from 6-10pm.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BFA, Illustration, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)
Website: Richardsullivanillustration.com

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“Shohei Ohtani” by Richard Sullivan, Acrylic on board, 36x48in, 2019 , POR

“Shohei Ohtani” by Richard Sullivan, Acrylic on board, 36x48in, 2019 , POR

“Charismatic and Field” by Richard Sullivan, Watercolor, 36x48in, 2019, Kentucky Derby Musuem

“Charismatic and Field” by Richard Sullivan, Watercolor, 36x48in, 2019, Kentucky Derby Musuem


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

2019 Art[squared] Featured Artist: Hawk Alfredson

“Apparition” by Hawk Alfredson, Oil on canvas, 24x24in, $2000. Available for purchase through silent auction at the 2019 Art[squared] Fundraiser

“Apparition” by Hawk Alfredson, Oil on canvas, 24x24in, $2000. Available for purchase through silent auction at the 2019 Art[squared] Fundraiser

Photo by Mia Hanson

Photo by Mia Hanson

The 2019 Art[squared] Fundraiser will feature the work of three local artists sold through silent auction.

Hawk Alfredson was born in Örebro, Sweden in 1960. He moved to New York City in 1995, where he for many years lived and painted in the fabled Chelsea Hotel. Louisville businessman Gill Holland encountered him there and began enlarging his private collection with Alfredson’s work. When the rising cost of living in NYC became a challenge, Holland introduced the painter to Louisville’s Portland neighborhood, and Alfredson arrived in early 2018.

The life of an artist is unpredictable. Free from the day-to-day grind of business is but a dream for many, but to create is to carve out one’s own space in the universe. It requires little to conjure up the cliché of the bohemian lifestyle with which artists are often characterized: wooly-headed anarchists or anti-social thugs railing against the ruling class and the government.

In truth, the artists who actually live the life work very hard. Many get up early and are diligent about maintaining a studio practice each and every day – a regular workweek not unlike any laborer. But the muse can be a cruel partner, lighting out for other environs with little or no warning. It makes a life in art an endless adventure, and sometimes a move is exactly what is required.

“Yaraia” by Hawk Alfredson, Oil on canvas, 59x79in, 1991 - 2006

“Yaraia” by Hawk Alfredson, Oil on canvas, 59x79in, 1991 - 2006

An examination of Alfredson’s earlier work finds, compositions of complex structures of people and objects teeming with unrest and curiosity. The surrealistic images merge profound psychological and social disruption that suggest violence but don’t depict it. In the best surrealist tradition, Alfredson explores the conflicts that struggle within the human consciousness. They do not occupy any specific place in history or geography, although the “Northern-European quality” comes through. As dark as they are, there is also an important touch of whimsy at work here, a crucial counter-balance of emotions.

In other paintings Alfredson has conjured up simpler pictures of singular individuals. The religious aspect of the staging – and I choose that word deliberately because of the highly theatrical attitudes he employs, remind us of altar pieces and depictions of beautified saints and martyrs. Is Alfredson imagining the divine when he echoes such iconography? With the passing years, the artist feels less obligated to explain himself, but a recent artist’s statement illustrates his thinking:

“Chance Meeting in the Outskirts of Town” by Hawk Alfredson, Oil on canvas 36x24in, 2013

“Chance Meeting in the Outskirts of Town” by Hawk Alfredson, Oil on canvas 36x24in, 2013

“When I begin a painting, I have no definitive destination. Rather, while I work I encourage subliminal ideas and cosmic forces to collaborate with the process. What I am hoping to achieve when I paint is a sense of mystery and beauty - I wish to create a vision that not even I, the creator, fully understands. I usually describe my imagery as Magic Realism. I want to transport the viewer into an altered state of consciousness where she or he may be inclined to experience who they truly are when they are free of mundane thoughts. My paintings act as mirrors or Rorschach tests; the viewer perceiving the images filtered through their own reality.” 

Now, as we see in his painting for Louisville Visual Art’s 2019 Art[squared] event, landscape has risen to a greater prominence, or at least the infinite horizon. Alfredson’s work grows less and less populated over his career until we are left almost alone in a primitive landscape, almost as if the artist has been regressing through the past in search of the beginning of life on earth.

“Icon For An Unknown Religion” (detail) by Hawk Alfredson, Oil on canvas, 39x33in, 1999

“Icon For An Unknown Religion” (detail) by Hawk Alfredson, Oil on canvas, 39x33in, 1999

In 2006, Art & Antiques Magazine proclaimed Mr. Alfredson as "one of the most collectible of the European Contemporary Surrealists of the new Century".

Alfredson’s prestigious list of exhibits includes The Katonah Museum (in a group show curated by Thelma Golden of The Whitney Museum), Japan's Prefectoral Museum in Tokyo, New York's Alternative Museum, Australia's Regional Art Museum in Orange, NSW, and the historic Nordiska Museet in Stockholm, Sweden. Gallery exhibitions can be counted in the hundreds and include the destinations Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boca Raton, Boston and Baltimore along with his frequent showings throughout New York City.

In addition, his presence in The Chelsea Hotel placed him in various film and video projects about the historic location, most notably Abel Ferrara's documentary, "Chelsea on the Rocks", which features Alfredson speaking candidly on his, at times, shocking experiences while living and painting within the walls of the Chelsea. 

Other films to include Hawk's original artwork, courtesy of Film Art L.A.: "Ocean's 13" (Warner Bros.), "Mystery Men" (Universal Pictures) and "I AM LEGEND" (Warner Bros).

Alfredson is scheduled to have a solo show in August at Craft(s) Gallery in Louisville.

Hometown: Örebro, Sweden
Education: Fetco's School of Fine Arts (now Konstskolan i Stockholm); advanced classes in formal painting at Pernby's Målarskola in Stockholm
Website: www.hawkalfredson.com

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"Stebuklingas Drugelis" by Hawk Alfredson, Oil on canvas over egg oil tempera/mixed media, 79x59in,

"Stebuklingas Drugelis" by Hawk Alfredson, Oil on canvas over egg oil tempera/mixed media, 79x59in,

“Soaraurora” by Hawk Alfredson, Oil on canvas, 30x25in, 2012

“Soaraurora” by Hawk Alfredson, Oil on canvas, 30x25in, 2012

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: Greta Mattingly

“Forgotten Treasure” by Greta Mattingly, Oil, 24x20in, 2017, $1500

“Forgotten Treasure” by Greta Mattingly, Oil, 24x20in, 2017, $1500

Artists look at the world differently. Their eye is drawn to expressions of grace and beauty in the mundane: the awkward angle of a waiter’s arm as they carry a tray of cocktails, or the very specific light emanating from behind a bar, or the way a telephone pole and power lines frame a part of a building. Such things surround us all, but it is that ability to isolate and capture such impressions that are a foundation of an artist, whether it translates into representational, abstract, or experiential work.

“Bartender Chipping Ice” by Greta Mattingly, Oil, 10x8in, 2018, $400

“Bartender Chipping Ice” by Greta Mattingly, Oil, 10x8in, 2018, $400

Painter Greta Mattingly describes her practice this way: “Every painting starts with a leap of faith. You draw a breath of inspiration from the world around you and take the plunge. There is always that exhilaration in knowing once immersed in the experience it will be memorable.”

In “Forgotten Treasure”, how many times did Mattingly pass by this location before the relationship of winter light and bare branches stopped her in her tracks, a scene demanding to be painted.

In her observational figurative images, there often is little to no detail in the faces of the people, yet in “Pretty in Lace” she captures a haughty, insolent expression on the face of the model, communicating the inherent challenge in the subject’s attitude towards being the focus of attention, as if to say, “just try and capture me on canvas!”

Mattingly has no formal art degree, but for two years she was mentored by impressionist painter James Richards (Atlanta, GA). She has also taken numerous workshops throughout the years with artists such as James Richards, Dee Beard Dean, David Shevlino, Margaret Dyer, Collen Whissey, Charles Walls, Amanda Carder, and Allen Rodgers.

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In May 2019, Mattingly will be included in a Kentucky derby themed exhibit at Kentucky Fine Art Gallery called Win, Place, & Show.

Hometown: York, Pennsylvania
Education: Associates Degree, Camden Co. College, Dental Hygiene; Bachelors Degree, West Chester University, Public Health
Website: gretamattingly.com

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“Pretty in Lace” by Greta Mattingly, OIl, 20x16in, 2018, $950

“Pretty in Lace” by Greta Mattingly, OIl, 20x16in, 2018, $950

“She Needs A Double” by Greta Mattingly, OIl, 11x14in, 2018, $475

“She Needs A Double” by Greta Mattingly, OIl, 11x14in, 2018, $475

“Volunteers of Summer” by Greta Mattingly Oil, 40x30in, 2018, $2400

“Volunteers of Summer” by Greta Mattingly Oil, 40x30in, 2018, $2400

“Summer Pond” by Greta Mattingly, Oil, 24x18in, 2018, $1100

“Summer Pond” by Greta Mattingly, Oil, 24x18in, 2018, $1100


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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