Digital

Print Making, Painting, Drawing, Digital

Spotlight: The Academy at LVA Graduating Seniors, Part One

“Bliss” by Madelynn Hicks, North Oldham High School

“Bliss” by Madelynn Hicks, North Oldham High School

On May 10, Louisville Visual Art will open the 2019 Academy Exhibition for high school students. This is the first of a two-part look at the senior students included in that exhibit.

“LVA has made a major difference in my life” - Alexis Fromm

“Mushroom Bride” by Natalie Stastny, Atherton High School

“Mushroom Bride” by Natalie Stastny, Atherton High School

In the work of these three graduating seniors we see a preoccupation with a deconstruction of the human form. Bodies are modified through dismemberment, the peeling of skin, or a grafting of mushrooms onto the epidermis, not for horrific effect but as metaphorical signposts for the adolescent introspection building a foundation for identity. Each of these artists is still finding themselves, searching for who they are by peeling themselves like an onion.

Whether or not the exact images are self-portraits is beside the point; all art expresses the aesthetic concerns of the individual. In “Moulting” Madelyn Hicks depicts a woman’s torso, bereft of hips, legs, or feet, stripping away skin. The piece may be inspired by a case of post-beach vacation sunburn, but it elicits feelings of discomfort in the viewer in part because the woman so casually changes her physical form without any preciousness or hesitation.

Natalie Stastny’s “Mushroom Bride” wears a garment made of the plants, or is the fungus a part of her skin? The ambiguity is compelling, but the choice of color, gesture, and expression do not suggest distress. Whatever the reality, the bride seems happy enough.

A print from Alexis Fromm is slightly more gruesome. It shows a naked female torso in which the skin has been pulled away to reveal an oversize eyeball surrounded by teardrops. The merging of vivisection and whimsy is pure surrealism. We want to turn away but we cannot.

These are arguably the more overt examples of a fascination with the physical self that might be claimed as a teenage stereotype, but the level of confident, even sardonic self-awareness and forensic examination is impressive. One of Fromm’s favorite subjects seems to be animal skulls, although she extends them into fantastical forms beyond the mundane farm inhabitants whose brains they once held. “Hellboy” imagines the horns and stretched earlobes of the comic book character.

And Hicks’ young person eating Tostitos from the bag while prone on their bed in violation of how many rules of civilized behavior is not quite “Ladylike”, but the image suggests that they could care less about outmoded nomenclature intended to restrict all natural impulses for comfort.     

Meanwhile, Stastny is fond of entangling her figures in organic forms that seem to bind and blind them. We assume it is not because she doesn’t like drawing eyes that she inevitably shields them from view.

All three artists are fearless in exploring the plasticity of the body, lending it malleability that aligns them with Modern and Post-modern movements.

Alexis Fromm has been in LVA classes since 7th grade. She will be attending Spalding University with a $6,000 Merit Scholarship and a projected major of Studio Arts.

“After my first class with Rodolfo Salgado Jr., I fell in love with Printmaking and have taken every printmaking class with him that was available. Before LVA I did not know what printmaking was and I didn’t know the large variety of art that was in the world besides clothing, painting, and drawing. LVA has inspired me to go to college and pursue my love for art.”

Fromm has worked as a volunteer for Steam Exchange Community Arts Center over the past four years. With Steam Exchange she attended the Mayor’s Give A Day to help clean out their building and clean up around the Smoketown neighborhood.

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Madelyn Hicks has taken LVA classes every semester for all four years of high school: Studio Art with Rudy Salgado, Drawing 1 and 2 with Wilma Bethel, Painting 1 with Dennis Whitehouse and Sunny Ra, and Painting 2 with Sunny Ra, Julie Leidner, and Tenille Novinger. She was accepted into several schools and will be attending The University of Cincinnati’s DAAP program in the fall and majoring in Industrial Design 

Hicks was accepted into GATES (Gifted and Talented Educational Services) for art, and the Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA) 2018 program. She also won an LVA competition to have her work featured on the 2018-19 season poster for The Kentucky Opera.

“LVA truly taught me how to make art. My teachers all taught me different techniques and styles of creating that shaped me into the artist I am today. The classes I took with Sunny Ra in drawing and painting established the foundations I needed to discover my perspective as an artist and work not only technically but also conceptually. Sunny definitely went above and beyond for me and was extremely helpful in building a portfolio for both GSA and college auditions. The different perspectives and skills I learned through LVA have provided a strong base for me as a creator.”

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Natalie Stastny has taken Academy at LVA classes for three years: 2 Digital Art classes with Lilly Higgs, one Drawing and Painting class with Sunny Ra, and one Drawing and Painting class with Julie Leidner. She has been accepted at and received scholarships and/or financial aid for the Art Academy of Cincinnati, the Columbus School of Art and Design, and Eastern Illinois University.

Stastny is also involved in National Art Honors Society and the Atherton High School Art Club and earned a varsity letter in Swimming. She has represented Atherton on WLKY and the PBS News Hour talking about the school’s transgender bathroom policy.

“My favorite class with LVA has been the Digital drawing class. I’ve taken it twice mostly because the program itself helped me understand digital media but also because my teacher (Lilly Higgs) was very encouraging and helped me practice digital drawing with tablets, which at the time was a resource I did not have access to at home.”

“I loved all of my classes and think they have helped me a lot in both my personal and school related art projects. Lilly Higgs and Julie Leidner especially seemed to want to talk to me and get to know me better. I won’t forget the kindness that those teachers offered me. It also allowed me more practice time during the day and a space where I can just be creative and also learn the basics of art at the same time.”

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“Frida Kahlo” by Alexis Fromm

“Frida Kahlo” by Alexis Fromm

“Moulting” by Madelynn Hicks, North Oldham High School

“Moulting” by Madelynn Hicks, North Oldham High School

“Siren Queen” by Natalie Stastny, Atherton High School

“Siren Queen” by Natalie Stastny, Atherton High School

“Lady” by Alexis Fromm

“Lady” by Alexis Fromm


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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Digital

The Academy at LVA 2018 Senior Spotlight: Mickaela McKinney

"Blood in the Woods" by Mickaela McKinney, digital illustration

"Blood in the Woods" by Mickaela McKinney, digital illustration

Mickaela McKinney was home schooled, but has taken Digital Illustration with Lily Higgs twice at the Holy Trinity/Clifton Community Center. Educating kids at home requires dedication, but often specialty courses for art, music, or dance are important and valuable additions to a home school curriculum.

“I have not applied to college yet, but I would like to apply to the University of Louisville. I haven’t decided on whether I’m going to wait a year and save up or not. I have not received any financial aid, and my planned majors will likely be either an artistic degree or potentially a business degree.”

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McKinney is showing static digital images here, but they often have the look and feel of stills from animated films, with a dynamic sense of composition that suggests movement within the frame. She is clearly telling stories, with an obvious concentration on fantasy narratives.

“I’ve mostly been self-taught over the years, but my classes with Lily Higgs have really given me the ability to expand in ways I was always scared to try. I better know how to use the tools I have and attempt to incorporate them into all my work from now on. I would definitely recommend the LVA classes to anyone who asked.”

Mickaela's work will be included in The Academy at LVA Exhibition, which will be on display May 9 - 16 at Louisville Visual Art, 1538 Lytle Street in the Portland neighborhood. Gallery Hours are Monday through Thursday, 12-4pm, or by appointment. There will be a reception Friday, May 11, 6-8pm.

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"Desert Story" by Mickaela McKinney, digital illustration

"Desert Story" by Mickaela McKinney, digital illustration

"Emil Beginnings" by Mickaela McKinney, digital ullustration

"Emil Beginnings" by Mickaela McKinney, digital ullustration

"Artorias And Manus" by Mickaela McKinney, digital illustration

"Artorias And Manus" by Mickaela McKinney, digital illustration

"Tempest Stuff 2" by Mickaela McKinney, digital illustration

"Tempest Stuff 2" by Mickaela McKinney, digital illustration


Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. 

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Digital, Mixed Media

Vignette: Sid Webb

 

“These images are representative of a life long need to use art to reflect the political atmosphere.” – Sid Webb

( Honoré Daumier , after  Charles Philipon , who was jailed for the original.)

(Honoré Daumier, after Charles Philipon, who was jailed for the original.)

Political satire has a long and storied history. Honoré-Victorin Daumier (1808-1879) caricatured the French King Louis Phillipe turning into a pear, and often as corrupt. In 1835, the king reinstituted censorship of images, effectively curtailing Daumier’s most pointed political work. By the time Napoleon III took the throne, Daumier had become more careful, inventing Ratapoil, a political henchman of the new king that placed his critiques at a safer remove.

Such commentary in art today is usually more explicit, owing to digital technology that makes it all too easy to incorporate actual photographs of the subject. Of course, their subjects in return attack the artists, but has any period ever provided such ripe targets as this generation’s overexposed and shameless crop of politicians?

"The Word Only He Can Say Publically" by Sid Webb, Digital multi-media, Acrylic, 24x40in, 2017, $3400

"The Word Only He Can Say Publically" by Sid Webb, Digital multi-media, Acrylic, 24x40in, 2017, $3400

Sid Webb is an artist and activist who, now a "Senior Citizen", still takes to the streets with his wife to protest injustice and inequality. As a Kentucky resident, he need not look very far to find the conflict between ideologies and division that defines our age. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) draws his ire, as does the current President of the United States, Donald Trump.

In a pointed commentary on the now infamous Access Hollywood video, Webb positions the 45th occupant of the Oval Office in conflict and contrast to a sexualized female figure that is both salacious (in its sheer, revealing lace) and innocent (the face of silent movie icon Clara Bow). The result is a bracing image of ego and arrogance run amuck that unfortunately has become an all-too common part of the Modern American Experience.

There is little need to explain Webb’s point-of-view; the images speak for themselves.  The artist has stated before that, “Art is a creation that aptly describes its time and place,” and perhaps that is the explanation necessary. The themes of corruption and the abuse of the people’s trust are here rendered in terms specific to today, but they are universal, the same as expressed by Daumier and others over time, and just as likely to keep being revisited over and over, for the next generation of artists to rail against.

Webb works in a variety of mediums, and included here are figure studies that verge into the abstract. "Green Woman" merges the generous figure of an ancient fertility goddess with a Pop Art sensibility, capturing a Post Modern Feminism in loose gestural fashion and a note of sardonic humor.

 

Hometown: Lexington, Kentucky
Education: Majored in journalism and political science, University of Kentucky; Atlanta School of Art (High Museum)
Website: www.sidwebb.com

 

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"'Nuff Hope" by Sid Webb, Digital, 6.25x10in, 2013, $180

"'Nuff Hope" by Sid Webb, Digital, 6.25x10in, 2013, $180

"Boys" by Sid Webb, Ink & conte crayon, digital restoration, 16x20in, 1967, $2200

"Boys" by Sid Webb, Ink & conte crayon, digital restoration, 16x20in, 1967, $2200

"Green Woman" by Sid Webb, Acrylic, 8x8in, 2017, $180

"Green Woman" by Sid Webb, Acrylic, 8x8in, 2017, $180


Written by Keith Waits. Entire text copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.
Original works of art, copyright reserved by artist.

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Digital

Vignette: Joyce Goldin


“The dog is the perfect portrait subject. He doesn’t pose. He isn’t aware of the camera.” – Patrick Demarchelier


"Murphy" by Joyce Goldin, digital painting (2013)

"Murphy" by Joyce Goldin, digital painting (2013)

Drawings of domestic animals may not reach the loftiest heights of fine art, but they connect with the wider population in important ways. Dog lovers are famous for commissioning portraits of their beloved companions, and, in her latest work, Joyce Goldin has been rendering them digitally.

Goldin has been drawing and painting most of her life, but her love of dogs has led her into a series of digital canine portraits rendered with the plasticity of paint. After layering color in loose, organic fields reminiscent of watercolor, Goldin applies a very kinetic line to define the shape and give the image some detail. A translucent aspect lends the images the quality of having been painted on glass, which makes the warmth and expressiveness given to each individual canine all the more striking.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BS, Occupational Training and Development, University of Louisville
Website: http://www.fineartamerica.com/profiles/joyce-goldin.html

"Beagle" by Joyce Goldin, digital painting (2017)

"Beagle" by Joyce Goldin, digital painting (2017)

"Frenchie" by Joyce Goldin, digital painting (2014)

"Frenchie" by Joyce Goldin, digital painting (2014)

"Starr" by Joyce Goldin, digital painting (2000)

"Starr" by Joyce Goldin, digital painting (2000)

"Tom" by Joyce Goldin, digital painting (2000)

"Tom" by Joyce Goldin, digital painting (2000)

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

Are you interested in being on Artebella?  Click here  to learn more.

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Painting, Photography, Mixed Media, Digital

Vignette: Jacqlynn Hamilton


“Creating art evokes an emotional catharsis, and encourages emotional rejuvenation and transformation.” – Jacqlynn Hamilton


Hamilton in her studio.

Hamilton in her studio.

All art might be described to some degree as therapeutic; if an individual feels compelled to create, how could it not? The creative process always channels energy and reveals the character of the artist. Yet sometimes making art is an acutely self-aware journey of healing for both the artist, and the community that they reach. This is certainly the case for Jacqlynn Hamilton.

“I strive to incorporate the essence of aesthetic splendor visually, while displaying to the viewer what may be seen as slightly psychologically dark personal narrative. I cultivate eternal psychological images within my paintings in hopes to link the viewer to a personal introspection. By incorporating several levels of meaning, I hope can relate to work, yet still take away some notion of intrigue and ambiguity.”

“I also endeavor to include elements of womanhood conveyed in prescribed female gender roles, including being a daughter, sister, wife and mother. Symbols form most of the distinctive layers of psychological meaning. My intention is to try to incorporate symbolic meaning to as many objects within the piece, while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing visual whole; thus, allowing the piece to be appreciated on several different levels.“

"Angel" by Jacqlynn Hamilton, 8.5x11in, digitally manipulated photographic & mixed media (2017) $125 |  BUY NOW

"Angel" by Jacqlynn Hamilton, 8.5x11in, digitally manipulated photographic & mixed media (2017) $125 | BUY NOW

"White Rabbit (3 of 3)" by Jacqlynn Hamilton, 8.5x11in, blind embossing print (2016) $175 |  BUY NOW

"White Rabbit (3 of 3)" by Jacqlynn Hamilton, 8.5x11in, blind embossing print (2016) $175 | BUY NOW

Hamilton has spent several years working on a series titled, The Island of My Own Creation, which together forms a personal narrative depicting the realm of psychological disassociation. “Dissociation is a psychological coping mechanism to help minimize or tolerate conflict and stress in the outside world. The act of daydreaming is a mild form of dissociation, and the phenomena can even lead an individual to altered states of consciousness.”

In 2016, Hamilton was included in two exhibits at Kaviar Forge and Gallery, Kentucky Printmaking and Touched With Fire.

Hometown: Sarasota, Florida
Age: 38
Education: Fine Arts, Ringling College of Art, 2000; Fine Arts, JCTS (Louisville), 2012; Major in Fine Arts, University of Louisville’s Hite Institute
Website: http://jacq2di.wix.com/artist-painter

"Treva" by Jacqlynn Hamilton, 8.5x11in, digitally manipulated photographic image (2017) $125 |  BUY NOW

"Treva" by Jacqlynn Hamilton, 8.5x11in, digitally manipulated photographic image (2017) $125 | BUY NOW

"The White Rabbit" by Jacqlynn Hamilton, 48x48in, acrylic on panel board (2016) $875 |  BUY NOW

"The White Rabbit" by Jacqlynn Hamilton, 48x48in, acrylic on panel board (2016) $875 | BUY NOW

"Treva Blue" by Jacqlynn Hamilton, 8.5x11in, digitally manipulated photographic image (2017) $125 |  BUY NOW

"Treva Blue" by Jacqlynn Hamilton, 8.5x11in, digitally manipulated photographic image (2017) $125 | BUY NOW

"Her Brother" by Jacqlynn Hamilton, 11x17in, acrylic and mixed media (2016) $350 |  BUY NOW

"Her Brother" by Jacqlynn Hamilton, 11x17in, acrylic and mixed media (2016) $350 | BUY NOW