On May 10, Louisville Visual Art will open the 2019 Academy Exhibition for high school students. This is the second of a two-part look at the senior students included in that exhibit.
“The Louisville Visual Art classes helped to restore the passion for art inside of me.” - Syndonia Kinderman
Ian Kimbell may be the model of a modern over-achiever; National Merit finalist, Presidential Scholar finalist, National Horatio Alger Scholar, Indiana Academic All-Star, National AP Scholar, speech and research awards at the state level through the Indiana Junior Academy of Science are only the top of his list of accomplishments, but today we look at the most recent work from his eight years in Children’s Fine Art Classes and the Academy at LVA.
Kimbell’s images show an interest in pattern and texture. Even in the linear form of an elephant the understated cross-hatching suggests the rough skin we associate with the oversize mammal. More interesting is the manner in which he has fashioned a row of birds snuggles in tight formation on a tree branch. Although representational, there is an eye for the abstract foundation of organic form in how Kimbell realizes the aviary chorus.
“I have a special spot in my heart for Dean Mistler. He saw the potential for me early on in middle school and is probably the sole reason I am still devoted to art today. He was never afraid to tell me if a line was a bit off, or if I could add more color in a certain spot, or if my texture didn’t exactly match the image. But beyond that, Mr. Mistler really did teach me how to see. Before I began taking his classes in middle school, I saw red as red, I couldn’t feel textures by looking at them, I saw shapes as only shapes in our world. Mr. Mistler gave me the joy of seeing the vibrant greens and yellows of moss in the spring, and seeing the feathers of a bird and being able to imagine brushing my hand through them just by seeing them. He taught me the design of the world and how to truly appreciate the beauty of everything around me. And, on top of this, he showed me how to express these feelings on paper, scratchboard, canvas, cardboard, mosaics, and many more. I owe everything I am as an artist to Mr. Mistler.”
Art was not all he was about. Kimbell was also Student Council President, a member of the marching band, jazz band, pep band, and the Floyd County Youth Symphony, co-President of the Latin Club, co-founder of the Dance Marathon for Riley Children’s Hospital at New Albany High School, served on the Youth Philanthropy Council, was an intern for the coordinated campaign for Joe Donnelly, did peer tutoring, and volunteered for Kentucky Science Center.
He has been accepted to Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Vanderbilt, Carnegie Mellon, Notre Dame, and Purdue for the fall, and has financial aid from all of these institutions, and is one of 106 students in the country to get the Horatio Alger national scholarship, which is $25,000.
Sydonia Kinderman took classes with LVA for 9 years at Preston Art Center (New Albany), the Louisville Water Tower, the Holy Trinity / Clifton Center, and at DuPont Manual. As an Academy student, she took Drawing and Painting 1, Drawing 2, Painting 2, Studio Art, Print Making, and Developing Concepts 1.
Like any young artist, you can find a range of themes and techniques in Kinderman’s work, but the images we see here explore visual darkness as a way to capture darkness in human lives. “Dude, It’s 3AM” evokes a multitude of shared memories of the lonely places available to us in the wee hours. Kinderman comes by the image honestly, but it connects to a tradition of socially conscious art, imbued with sensitivity to human psychology.
“When the art teachers at my school lost patience with me, at a time when I was struggling with health issues, they made me feel very discouraged and I began question my interest in art. Ultimately, I chose to be removed from art classes at my school. I wasn’t sure I would ever find my passion and love of art again. The Louisville Visual Art classes helped to restore that passion inside of me and inspired me to keep learning. I feel like all the teachers that I had throughout my years with the LVA have gone above and beyond what most art teachers would but if I were to single one out, it would be Wilma Bethel, for all that she taught me, both about art and about being an artist.”
Kinderman is a very active athlete, participating in the Archery team at school (Most Improved Archer, Top Female Archer, 1st Place Female Archer at the Fairdale Pre-State Shoot Out tournament, and 2nd Place at the 2018 Farnsley Spring Shoot Out Tournament), a swim team during the summer, and Mixed Martial Arts through the year. She received the Distinguished Scholars Award from Bellarmine University and also received a National Society of High School Scholars award.
Since 9th grade Kinderman has volunteered as a coach for an organization called Girls On The Run, a program for young girls to learn how to build character while also learning to be healthy and active. She also volunteered at Studio Works by Zoom Group for 2 years.
Kinderman has been accepted to Flagler, Bellarmine, WKU, EKU, U of L, UK, Moorehead State, Ohio University, Greenville, University of Indianapolis, and Long Island University. I have received some scholarships and financial aid. My projected major is psychology and art as a double major.
Scroll down for more images
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.