Painting

Painting

Vignette: Amy Welborn

“Summer Sunflowers” by Amy Welborn, Oil, 24x30in, 2019, $1200

“Summer Sunflowers” by Amy Welborn, Oil, 24x30in, 2019, $1200

Nature is often connected to divinity. Even among agnostics there is often found a deep spiritual relationship to the natural world.

The other common spiritual association is in the act of creation – the act of making art. Painter Amy Welborn sees herself as part of the centuries-old tradition of painting landscapes as an expression of religious belief. 

“My work is typically created from oils in vibrant colors and lush brushstrokes. God's creation and man's connection to the land never cease to provide inspiration for me. Everywhere I look, I find God's joy in design. When I slow down to pay attention to what I see, I find the essence of holiness; God's thumbprint in all creation is evident. Translating my awe for God's amazing planet into paint is my lifelong passion.”

An engineer by profession, Welborn began painting with oils as a hobby, but eventually was encouraged by friends to begin exhibiting in community art festivals. As do so many plein air painters, she finds order and pattern in her observations. The hand of humankind imposes some of that discipline: the occasional fence line or a field furrowed for planting. But the greater harmony emerges from the relationships between the elements: the rolling hills seen beyond the fields, and the trees that break the horizon to reach into the sky.

Although Welborn’s style is typically naturalistic, she incorporated aspects of primitivism in her mural for the Dixie Highway Kroger in Louisville, "Bird’s Eye View of Louisville".

Welborn teaches children and adult art classes through the Arts Association of Oldham County. 

Recent Exhibitions:

2017 - “Joie de Vivre”, group show with Louisville, KY artists and Dijon, France artists, Louisville Metro City Hall, KY
2017 - “Joie de Vivre”, group show, Dijon, France
2017 - Governor’s Derby Exhibit, juried exhibition, Rotunda of the Capitol, Frankfort, KY 

Amy Welborn with the Dixie Hwy Kroger Mural

Amy Welborn with the Dixie Hwy Kroger Mural

“Snow & Sycamore” by Amy Welborn, Oil, 8x10in, 2018, $400

“Snow & Sycamore” by Amy Welborn, Oil, 8x10in, 2018, $400

Public Collections:
Owensboro Medical Health, Henderson Clinic, Henderson, KY
Owensboro Medical Health, Madisonville Urgent Care, Madisonville, KY
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Cincinnati, OH
NICoE Camp LeJeune, Jacksonville, NC
Riverside Hospital Surgical Expansion, Newport News, VA,
Owensboro Medical Health, Henderson Clinic, Henderson, KY
Lanthier Winery. Madison, IN

Home: LaGrange, Kentucky
Education: Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering, Purdue University
Website: PaintingsbyAmyWelborn.com
Gallery Representation: Gallery 104 (LaGrange)

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“Brush of Spring” by Amy Welborn, Oil, 24x24in, 2018, $650

“Brush of Spring” by Amy Welborn, Oil, 24x24in, 2018, $650

“Graf Farm Revisited” by Amy Welborn, Oil, 11x14in, 2018, $450

“Graf Farm Revisited” by Amy Welborn, Oil, 11x14in, 2018, $450

“After the Storm” by Amy Welborn, Oil, 16x20in, 2017, $800

“After the Storm” by Amy Welborn, Oil, 16x20in, 2017, $800


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: Macel Hamilton

“Rooster” by Macei Hamilton, Acyrlic on wood, 12x18in, 2018, Private Collection

“Rooster” by Macei Hamilton, Acyrlic on wood, 12x18in, 2018, Private Collection

“Serious” art people are often skittish about paintings of animals; simple, straightforward, portraits of pets are the work of “hobbyists” they might say. Yet the concept that any artist’s practice draws directly from their immediate environment and experience is a common point of discussion in any critical appraisal.

Macel Hamilton resides in the knobs of Casey County, Kentucky, a rural area in in which her menagerie of12 dogs and 12 cats is not that unusual. So why shouldn’t these plaintive yet precocious subjects serve as a valid expression of Hamilton’s environment? Hamilton was raised in the hills of Eastern Kentucky, so the attachment to the land and its non-human inhabitants comes naturally to Hamilton.

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A nurse by profession, Hamilton has only been painting for about 4 years, and for having painted for so brief a time, there is authoritative us of the brush in capturing the details of this “Rooster” that is compelling. Nothing is overworked. The relative lack of experience seems to have merged with the intimate understanding of subject to finish a simple, naturalistic expression of wariness in this Bantam’s face. It is as individual as any portrait of a human subject.

Hometown: Ligon, Kentucky
Facebook: Macel's art

“Dobey” by Macei Hamilton, Pastel on sanded paper, 14x10in, 2019, Private Collection

“Dobey” by Macei Hamilton, Pastel on sanded paper, 14x10in, 2019, Private Collection

“Horse” by Macei Hamilton, Acrylic on wood, 12x10in, 2018, Private Collection

“Horse” by Macei Hamilton, Acrylic on wood, 12x10in, 2018, Private Collection

“Baby” by Macei Hamilton, Acyrlic on canvas, 16x20in, 2018, Private Collection

“Baby” by Macei Hamilton, Acyrlic on canvas, 16x20in, 2018, Private Collection

“Low Rider” by Macei Hamilton, Acyrlic on canvas, 12x16in, 2019, Private Collection

“Low Rider” by Macei Hamilton, Acyrlic on canvas, 12x16in, 2019, Private Collection

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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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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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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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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