Special

Special

Open Studio Spotlight: Hite Institute Grows West in Portland

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On the outside, right now, it is a decidedly non-descript building. There is evidence of renovation, but no signage yet. Come closer to the building at 1606 Rowan Street though…press your face against the new glass windows and you will discover that the interior is much further along. Freshly painted drywall and track lights are visible and some random art paraphernalia is finding its way to these rooms.  

Helen Payne

Helen Payne

The University of Louisville Hite Art Institute’s Master of Fine Arts program is moving into the historic Portland neighborhood of Louisville a little early because this Saturday and Sunday is the annual Open Studio Weekend, and Curatorial Studies professor and Director of Galleries Chris Reitz has been determined to see this location included on this 5th year of touring artist’s studios. Open Studio Weekend is a co-production of Louisville Visual Art and the University of Louisville’s Hite Institute, a fundraiser for LVA’s Children’s Fine Art Classes and the Hite’s Mary Spencer Nay Scholarship.

The inclusion of the Hite MFA studios represents a dramatic expansion of Open Studio Weekend participants in the Portland neighborhood, which includes artists Victor Sweatt and Tara Remington in the LVA building at 1538 Lytle Street, just 2 blocks from Hite, John Brooks’ Quappi Projects space next door to LVA, Billie Bradford’s woodworking shop across Lytle Street from LVA, sculptor Bryan Holden on Main Street, and the Dolfinger Building on Montgomery Street, which will include painter Julia Davis and fiber artists Colleen and Maggie Clines.

Occupying a renovated warehouse constructed in the 1800s, the Fine Arts Department will offer studio space for MFA students and faculty focusing on ceramics, drawing, fiber, glass, painting, printmaking, sculpture, mixed media, book arts, and design. Faculty and MFA program artists who are listed as participants in the 2018 Open Studio Weekend are: 

Mitch Eckert – Photography                         James Grubola - Drawing
Scott Massey - Sculpture                              Tiffany Calvert – Painting
Ying Kit Chan – Mixed Media                      Moonhe Baik - Fiber
Barbara Hanger - Drawing                          Mary Carothers – Mixed Media
Zed Saeed – Photography                            Megan Bickel - Painting
Helen Payne – Drawing                                Reid Broadstreet – Mixed Media
Che Rhodes - Glass                                       Rachid Tagoulla – Photography
Monica Stewart – Mixed Media                   Lauren Bader - Sculpture
Shae Goodlet - Drawing                                Katherine Watts - Printmaking
Todd Burns – Ceramics                                KCJ Szwedzinski - Glass
Tammy Burke – Mixed Media                     Meena Khalili – Mixed Media         
Karen Weeks - Printmaking                                                                                               

                                                       

The building will also provide space for the Anthropology department’s Master’s program, with gallery space and outreach programs planned for the Portland neighborhood. Construction will continue for some time, but classes in the building are scheduled to begin in January 2019.   

Open Studio Weekend Directories are being sold at the following locations:

Moonhe Baik, 33"x168" 100% cotton thread, 100% linen thread threadwork

Moonhe Baik, 33"x168" 100% cotton thread, 100% linen thread threadwork

AA Clay Studio & Gallery - 2829 S 4th Street, Louisville, KY
AC Hotel Marriott - 727 E Market Street, Louisville, KY
Artist & Craftsman Supply - 1002 Barret Avenue, Louisville, KY
CRAFT{s} Gallery & Mercantile - 572 S 4th Street, Louisville, KY
Cressman Center for Visual Arts - 100 E Main Street, Louisville, KY
Kentucky Fine Art Gallery - 2400 Lime Kiln Lane, Louisville, KY
Kentucky Mudworks - 506 Baxter Avenue, Louisville, KY
Louisville Visitor Center - 301 S 4th Street, Louisville, KY
Louisville Visual Art - 1538 Lytle Street, Louisville, KY
Nitty Gritty - 996 Barret Avenue, Louisville, KY
Preston Arts Center - 3048 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY
Revelry Boutique Gallery - 742 E Market St, Louisville, KY
Silica Ceramic Studio - 222 W 6th Street, Jeffersonville, IN 

Juried Exhibition Opening Reception and OSW Launch Party

November 2, 2018
6:00pm–8:00pm
The Cressman Center (100 E. Main St.)

Open Studio Weekend Self-guided Tours

November 3-4, 2018
Saturday and Sunday 12 noon–6pm

“35 THINGS THAT HAVE ONCE TOUCHED EACH OTHER STAY UNITED” by Megan Bickel, c-print. Digital Collage of artist materials: glitter, holographic film, excerpts from "too nice"

“35 THINGS THAT HAVE ONCE TOUCHED EACH OTHER STAY UNITED” by Megan Bickel, c-print. Digital Collage of artist materials: glitter, holographic film, excerpts from "too nice"


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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Special

Legacy: Anna Huddleston (1913-1999)

On March 1, 2018, Louisville Visual Art will present WIlma Bethel with the Art Educator Award, in memory of Anna Huddleston. Former LVA director John Begley remembers the influential artist and educator.

“. . . (African American artists) run around, do good things and then disappear.” - Fred Bond, a Louisville Black artist, colleague, and friend of Anna Huddleston

Photo courtesy Ed Hamilton.

Photo courtesy Ed Hamilton.

Anna Huddleston was a force for art education in Louisville for many years.  Beginning as a elementary art teacher in what were, in that period of segregation, referred to as Louisville’s "colored" schools, then as a middle school teacher at DuVall in the integrated Louisville Board of Education, and finally as the Resource Art Teacher for the Jefferson County Public School system, she mentored and encouraged many students, beginning instructors, and emerging artists.  She was also president of the Kentucky Art Education Association.

After retirement, she continued her community engagement in many ways, working to establish the Louisville Art Workshop with fellow Louisville artists G.C. Coxe, Fred Bond, and Ed Hamilton, and serving on various boards including the Bourgard College of Art and Music, and the Art Center Association (now the LVA) where she was deeply involved in expanding the free Children’s Fine Art Classes (CFAC) into new neighborhood venues, including the West End.

Generally working behind the scenes, she received deserved recognition in Black Kentucky artists: an exhibition of work by black artists living in Kentucky that was organized for the Kentucky Arts Commission and toured by them from June 1979 through January 1981, and shortly after when she was the first African American artist to be awarded the Kentucky Arts Council’s highest honor, the Milner Award, at that time the only Governor’s Award in the Arts in Kentucky.

Ed Hamilton, Anna Huddleston, Gretchen Bradleigh, William Duffy, & Sylvia Clay. Photo courtesy Ed Hamilton.

Ed Hamilton, Anna Huddleston, Gretchen Bradleigh, William Duffy, & Sylvia Clay. Photo courtesy Ed Hamilton.

With the Stars Among Us luncheon on March 1, the LVA will again remember the important achievements of this landmark visual arts educator so that her contributions to following generations do not disappear.


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John Begley is a Printmaker, Installation, and Video Artist. From 1975 to 2014 he was a Curator and Gallery Director, including 19 years as Executive Director of LVA and several years with the UofL’s Hite Art Institute, where he is now Coordinator of the IHQ Project.

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Special, Photography

Feature: PYRO Relocation

From The Firehouse to The Butcher Block: PYRO Gallery On The Move.

It was christened PYRO because it made its first home in a converted firehouse on Hancock Street nestled along Nanny Goat Strut. Yet it has always seemed a good name for an artist’s cooperative: a word suggesting the fire of inspiration but also containing a note of danger. As the members prepare to move into their fourth home at 1006-1004 East Washington Street, they seem poised to rediscover the upstart nature of their beginning.

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From the firehouse they relocated to the former Chapman-Friedman Gallery on West Market Street, one of the most beautiful gallery spaces in town, with high ceilings and polished wood floors. The location felt premium, but the traffic didn’t match the mission. Too many tourists carrying miniature bat souvenirs from the nearby Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory and not enough art collectors.

Meanwhile, 10 blocks east on the same street an explosion of restaurants, local retail, and galleries called NuLu was happening, gaining national attention with coverage in the New York Times. PYRO joined in by moving to a space in the 909 East Market building. It was an effective exhibition space, but positioned away from the street in an L-shaped structure, it was hidden from view to passing traffic.

“If we had been one block west it might have made all of the difference,” laughs James “Chip” Norton. Norton has been conducting a tour of the new location, which still needs a lot of work, some of which will take a period of months to complete. As opposed to the idea of a large, single gallery, the new location is actually two adjacent buildings that will house five separate exhibition spaces for PYRO, as well as a home for DE Gallery Boutique, which has shared space with PYRO at 909 East Market. The two will be connected by an addition whose construction is currently underway, the foundation blocks still visible as of this writing. Beyond this is a common outdoor area that the building’s owner, Andy Bleiden, is planning on developing in such a way that it will connect with the businesses on the equivalent block on Main Street, Hi-Five Doughnuts, and Pho Ba Lu.

"Untitled #1" by Keith Auerbach, archival digital print, 2017

"Untitled #1" by Keith Auerbach, archival digital print, 2017

“This community - which is named Butcher Block - consists of several renovated National Historic homes and is a family of retailers, galleries and restaurants that work together to promote their members,” explains PYRO member Debra Lott. “The Butcher Block businesses will be connected by a green space in the center and we believe it will become a destination for tourists and local customers for a unique, relaxing, shopping experience.”  

Despite the broken up space, Norton states, “Once we are finished I think we will have pretty close to the same linear square feet that we had in the previous location, but it will be easier to have multiple exhibits when we choose.” There will also be a full working kitchen, which will help facilitate public events.

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PYRO Gallery was founded in 2003 by CJ Pressma, Marilyn Whitesell, Debra Clem, Erin Devine, Susan Gorsen, Michael Brohm, David Modica, Cean Peevey-Rosenthal, Mitch Eckert, Keith Auerbach, and Susan Moffett, who is still a member and very excited about what she sees as potential and possibilities: “Potential in that, this "Butcher Block" area will be a destination once all the development is complete - Butchertown is blooming! And possibilities in that having several smaller galleries will allow us to have more exhibits up by different people, perhaps some guests of PYRO. Not to mention some fun and challenging installation/performance artwork.”

PYRO Gallery’s FINAL show in its current location, 909 E. Market St., is a group exhibit featuring members and several invited guest artists. PYRO Squared, through August 26.

The current membership consists of: Debra Lott, Jeffrey Skinner, Bette Levy, Mike McCarthy, Susan Moffett, Guinever Smith, Bob Lockhart, C J Pressma, James Norton, Claudia Hammer, Corie Neumayer, Nancy Currier, John McCarthy, Keith Auerbach, Beverly Glascock, Shawn Marshall, Julia Davis, Kathy Loomis, Leslie Anglin.

The first show in the new space will be Experimenting with Light by Keith Auerbach. It will run September 7 through October 21, with an opening reception September 7 from 5 to 9pm. The exhibit will be part of the 2017 Louisville Photo Biennial. PYRO will also be open for the First Friday trolley Hop on October 6.

PYRO has a Grand Opening planned for December of 2017 - exact date to be announced.

"Untitled #3" by Keith Auerbach, archival digital print, 2017

"Untitled #3" by Keith Auerbach, archival digital print, 2017


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This Feature article was written by Keith Waits.
In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, www.Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.


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

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Special, Mural, Painting, Photography

Feature: 1619 Flux

1619 FLUX is re-opening for our One-Year Anniversary on April 15th, 2017 with a new Exhibition about Revitalization in West Louisville, and other surrounding neighborhoods.


“1619 Flux is NOT an art gallery.” — Kara Nichols


Neighborhood Revitalization & The Creative Flow Exhibition  Co-Curators:  Jesse Levesque, Kara Nichols, and Gwendolyn Kelly

Neighborhood Revitalization & The Creative Flow Exhibition
Co-Curators:  Jesse Levesque, Kara Nichols, and Gwendolyn Kelly

Kara Nichols and Jessie Levesque did not want to open an art gallery on West Main Street. Not that there’s anything wrong with that notion, it’s just that the pair had something else in mind. The full name they gave their venture, 1619 Flux Art + Activism is actually fairly direct in announcing the mission, but once you put art on the walls with a price tag, “gallery” is the easy assumption. People get it – they know what that is and they can feel good about it. But the real mission – the second part of that name – is an idea that still struggles to gain currency in the mainstream. What exactly does it mean to use art to effect social change?

Part of the problem is that it can mean so many things. “We want to engage artists who are solving problems creatively,” explains Levesque, “and, of course, part of that engagement will include exhibiting art, but there’s more to it.”

Nichols, who holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Louisville, never saw herself in the role of “curator”, but she and Levesque are inventing a new role for themselves, step-by-step.  The first step was to make a home. The building is a humble, low-slung bungalow-like edifice that sits back off of Main Street between 16th and 17th Streets. It seems utilitarian on the outside, and the interior is open and efficient; a good space for a reception. When 1619 opened its doors one year ago, there was a party attended by a host of Louisville VIP’s: Mayor Greg Fisher, Ghislain D’ Humeires, Teddy Abrams, and many others. The high profile event drew a large crowd and the owners engaged a valet parking company to handle the traffic. That doesn’t seem unreasonable for such a glittering night, but later they heard negative comments from the neighbors. “They said to us, ‘seeing valet parking told us we weren’t welcome,’” says Nichols. “Which is exactly the opposite of what we intended.”

"Portland Car Show" by Adam Horton, 8x11in, photograph

"Portland Car Show" by Adam Horton, 8x11in, photograph

Which just underscores the challenge of trying to focus creative social activism through a physical location designed to pull people across the mythical 9th Street divide.

"Consume" by Bryan K. Holden, 48x72x9in, Plastic Liquor Bottles, Cardboard Homeless Signs, Wood, Resin, Ink, Paint, Liquor, Cigarette Butts, Pills, Syringes, Keys and Wedding Ring

"Consume" by Bryan K. Holden, 48x72x9in, Plastic Liquor Bottles, Cardboard Homeless Signs, Wood, Resin, Ink, Paint, Liquor, Cigarette Butts, Pills, Syringes, Keys and Wedding Ring

Hoping to clarify their intentions, Nichols and Levesque invited artist and West End resident Gwendolyn Kelly to co-curate a new exhibit that opens April 15, Neighborhood Revitalization & The Creative Flow. Although it does feature artists: Adam Horton, Randall Webber, Anne Huntington, Gwendolyn Kelly, Bryan K. Holden, Scott Vinson, D.R. Stewart, REMI, Kacy Jackson, Dwayne Whidby, Josh Ison, Shaun Sargent, Andrew Cozzens, and Erik Nohalty will all have work in the show, it will also highlight people and businesses that are making a creative difference in neighborhoods in transition: Algonquin, Butchertown, California, Chickasaw, Germantown, NuLu, Parkland, Park DuValle, Park Hill, Phoenix Hill, Portland, Russell, Shawnee, Smoketown, and SoBro/SoFo, among others.

One of the ways they accomplish this is by devising categories for people who affect change through creative action. In the statement for the exhibit, the curators state: “Creative people help to revitalize neighborhoods as architects, artists, connectors, employers, muralists, navigators, and witnesses. Art and activism emerges when creative people invest their time, money, and energy in neighborhoods in flux.”

"Pharoah Sanders" by Kacy Jackson, 48x24in, acrylic and spray paint on board

"Pharoah Sanders" by Kacy Jackson, 48x24in, acrylic and spray paint on board

Nichols, Levesque and Kelly came up with a series of identities:

Navigator
Architects
Witnesses
Connectors
Muralists
Employers
Artists
Evolvers

They see these terms as establishing entry points for individual to become a part of the discussion. “There is so much going on,” says Kelly, “but if people can identify with one of these roles, then they are involved.” The roles encompass people, businesses, social agencies, and art non-profits. “Connectors are churches, school, organizations like Louisville Visual Art,” explains Levesque, “Employers are obvious, but some of the other categories are more subtle in their definition, and, of course, we are all witnesses.”

It may seem surprising that Nichols and Levesque opened their space while still trying to figure things out, but their lack of arrogance and willingness to learn and grow provides an important example for people of means who want to make a difference in the community. It’s too easy to talk yourself out of taking such a risk, and nobody wants to look foolish, but perhaps in the territory where angels fear to tread is exactly where we might find the greatest opportunity for change.

Grand Re-Opening and One-Year Anniversary!
1619 FLUX: Art + Activism’s
Neighborhood Revitalization & The Creative Flow Exhibition

Saturday, April 15th, 2017
5:00pm - 10:00pm

Meat from Superior Meats, BBQ by Boss Hog, wine & beer, sides and desserts from The Table, Farm To Fork, and Sweet Peaches

Live music with WoWuWoo & Krew from 8:00pm to 10:00pm

"Phoenix Hill" by Adam Horton, 8x11in, photograph

"Phoenix Hill" by Adam Horton, 8x11in, photograph

"Sweet Peaches Restaurant Mural" by Resko, Photo by Randall Webber. 8x11in

"Sweet Peaches Restaurant Mural" by Resko, Photo by Randall Webber. 8x11in

"Smoketown Teardown" by Adam Horton, 36x36in, photograph

"Smoketown Teardown" by Adam Horton, 36x36in, photograph

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

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Special

Q&A: Abbie Springer


"We are poised to bring our aerial cube, stilt walking, juggling, contortion and hand balancing and possibly some other “hot” things not normally seen!" — Abbie Springer


Performer, Abbie Springer

Performer, Abbie Springer

As part of the 4th Annual art[squared] Sale Launch Event on April 7, CirqueLouis will be performing before the sale begins, and will present ongoing performance entertainment throughout the evening. To shed some light on this type of circus/theatre format, we asked some questions of Abbie Springer, one of the founders of CirqueLouis and currently Director of Monies & Donations.

Springer has performed in CirqueLouis’ productions, Bootleg “Untapped” (2015) and A Midsummer Night’s Circus (2016). Springer is also a part of the company’s event performance troupe appearing at prestigious venues all over the city.

At what age did you know you wanted to be a circus performer?

It wasn’t until I was in my mid 30’s that becoming a circus performer ever occurred to me☺. I was pulled into it by my friend (and CirqueLouis co-founder), Lynley Elliott, who had been studying and performing the circus arts her entire life. She and I had cheered together, winning national championships in cheerleading, at the University of Louisville many years before that. We began partner stunts and she excelled at being one of the first women in the country to be able to “lift” females in the cheerleading world. Our natural partner stunt skills and rhythm has aided us in many circus arts like adagio, acro-balancing, duo trapeze and other partner acts.

How did you begin your training?

Almost 8 years ago at Turners Circus with Lynley on Swinging Ladders – considered one of the easiest, yet most terrifying of the aerial apparatus. I also trained and performed on Spanish Webs during my first year and began training on Silks soon after that. Aerial arts really spoke to me on many levels – I was used to flying but usually by being thrown in the air. With aerial arts I became the one in control of every aspect of my flying, and I think I took to it so quickly because of this.

A lot of other skills have also transitioned well from competitive cheerleading, but I also study with a number of women, and men, with completely different backgrounds than cheering. Some have been athletes, gymnasts, dancers, or began circus arts training with no related background at all.

What was your first circus job?  

As a performer, in 2010 in the annual Turners Circus spring production (a 67 year old tradition located off of River Road). My first professional job as a performer was as an aerialist at a Black and Diamond event and an event for Zappos.

How did CirqueLouis begin?  

With the lifelong circus arts knowledge and performance history of Lynley, the artistic visionary brilliance of Christine Moondancer, and my ever-lasting energy for getting things done, CirqueLouis was created as a way to get the circus arts out of the gym and into the community.

Its official conception was in May 2015, but this group of circus freaks has been performing together for more than 5 years now. CirqueLouis was born out of a love of performance art and a strong drive for giving back to our community. We work and train hard, and want to give our city experiential “cirquetheatre” productions, entertaining events, unique and intensive instruction, and social outreach activities that filter circus “love” back into our city.  

What separates your company from a traditional circus?  

For much of its history, traditional circus companies traveled from place to place, putting spectacle, humans and animals on display. Eventually many of the traditional circuses left their tents behind for arenas, but the content remained virtually the same. Contemporary circus companies (which began emerging in the 1970’s) rely on a storyline or theme rather than on 3 rings and animals. CirqueLouis is essentially a blend of both, utilizing traditional circus arts within a contemporary circus setting. With our form of cirquetheater, we strive for originality in show concepts, dramatic costuming and unique presentation at events that is unlike anything else happening in this area.

We also launched ourselves as a non-profit in Louisville to stay true to our belief system and honor our compassion charter (effective January of 2016). The heart of our company beats for social outreach and very quickly established the city’s first social circus program, CirqueCompassion, which has been operating in the Portland area since May 2015. This is the program we are now running out of our new home at Louisville Visual Arts and our hope is to maintain a consistent presence there to help foster self-esteem, confidence, teamwork, trust, discipline and opportunities through circus arts for people seeking meaningful connections and growth.

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Traditional circus has been the focus of a lot of criticism from animal rights groups, and Ringling Bros. announced in January that they will be shutting down for good after May. How does CirqueLouis fit into what seems like a turning point for this form?

There has actually been a ton of press about this lately with the closing of Ringling Brothers, the selling of Cirque du Soleil and the demise of many “tent” traveling circus troupes. Whether you are delighted or saddened by this change, it is evolving and we hope to be part of the evolution of what circus can do for a community.  

The future looks to include even more performance art coupled with fantastic storylines, costuming and music.  We are working hard to pioneer this in our city!

Tell us about the company’s education initiatives?

While we provide upper level training in the form of workshops and intensives for those already on the performance path and eventually have plans to open the area’s first comprehensive circus arts academy, our current education initiatives operate without walls. We are bringing circus arts education into schools and centers around the city. Our teaching artists use a variety of measurable skills such as juggling, stilt walking, plate spinning, rolo-bolo, diabolo, and basic acro-balancing during 6-8 week sessions.

Obviously you have to be in great shape to do this type of performance, but how have you made fitness a specific part of the company mission?

For performance, yes. Training our skills (for performance or instruction) actually does keep us in the best shape we can be.  But circus arts can also be used as a fun and exciting way to get fit.

We will also be launching our fitness program, CirqueIt, in the next few months as a way for anyone who wants a great workout to be able to do so utilizing modified circus arts.

What can we expect to see during LVA’s art[squared] event on April 7?

What do you want? No, seriously – we are poised to bring our aerial cube, stilt walking, juggling, contortion and hand balancing and possibly some other “hot” things not normally seen! We are getting so comfortable in that space and that comfort allows us to present our best versions of our performance art, so we can’t wait to join you!

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

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