Academy at LVA

Drawing

Spotlight: The Academy at LVA Graduating Seniors, Part Two

“Birds on a Branch” by Ian Kimbell, New Albany High School, from the Academy class at IUS

“Birds on a Branch” by Ian Kimbell, New Albany High School, from the Academy class at IUS

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

“Feathers Perspectives” by Ian Kimbell, New Albany High School, from the Academy class at IUS

“Feathers Perspectives” by Ian Kimbell, New Albany High School, from the Academy class at IUS

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.”

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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.

“Dude It's 3AM” by Sydonia Kinderman, from the Academy class at DuPont Manual

“Dude It's 3AM” by Sydonia Kinderman, from the Academy class at DuPont Manual

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.”

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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. 

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“Cerynitis” by Sydonia Kinderman, from the Academy class at DuPont Manual.

“Cerynitis” by Sydonia Kinderman, from the Academy class at DuPont Manual.

“Coercion” by Sydonia Kinderman, from the Academy class at DuPont Manual.

“Coercion” by Sydonia Kinderman, from the Academy class at DuPont Manual.

“Savannah Scene” by Ian Kimbell, New Albany High School, from the Academy class at US

“Savannah Scene” by Ian Kimbell, New Albany High School, from the Academy class at US


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

The Academy at LVA 2018 Senior Spotlight: Claire Mundy

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Claire Mundy took classes with LVA for about eight years with Mr. Dean Mistler at Scribner Middle School and Indiana University Southeast.

She won a second place award and scholarship at the 2018 Ivy Tech Art Competition. Claire placed in 4H competitions for two years, and this year she also placed in several events with her Academic Bowl team. With all of this and making art, Claire also is very active in her church, volunteering each month with the food pantry and Community Meal, and having participated on several work mission trips.

In the fall of 2018 Claire will be attending the University of Montana, where she has received a Leadership, Achievement, & Service scholarship for $11,000. She will be majoring in Environmental Sciences and Wildlife Biology.

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“LVA classes have not only helped me become a better artist, but they made me want to be better and to push myself. Art is a huge part of my life and LVA has been with me for most of my journey as an artist. I wouldn’t be where I was today without these classes.”

Claire's work is 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. 

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Drawing

The Academy at LVA 2018 Senior Showcase: Payton Sprau

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Payton Sprau was a student in the Academy at LVA for 4 years, taking Drawing 1 and 2, and Digital Art classes. She first became involved with LVA’s Children’s Fine Art Classes (CFAC) after being nominated in sixth grade.

Payton attended a small Christian based school that had no visual art curriculum, so her participation in CFAC was crucial for her. She was involved in several after-school sports: soccer, volleyball, basketball, softball, and she was in the senior production of Cinderella, but she was still motivated enough to find time for art classes. During high school, Payton was also a Senior Girl Scout and volunteer aide at the Shanituck Day Camp every summer.

"I was accepted into both Northern Kentucky University and Purdue Polytechnic. For both colleges, I’ve been offered an average of $7,000 because of my test scores and GPA, and for being a Kentucky resident."

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“Because of the people I have met and learned from I can say with honesty and pride that I have become a more supportive person for younger artists to lean on and gather inspiration from. I have learned to be more accepting of everyone’s unique attributes and to acknowledge people with greater capabilities without feeling personally threatened. Wilma Bethel was an amazing teacher for the past 5 years. She made a connection with me and I learned to accept my flaws and constantly work to improve not only my art but also myself. I can say without a doubt that she has made a positive difference in my life.”

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Payton's work is 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. 

 

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Painting

The Academy at LVA 2018 Senior Spotlight: River Skipworth

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River Skipworth has been taking Louisville Visual Art (LVA) classes for nine years, starting in fourth grade and continuing up through his senior year. His teachers have included Annette Cable, William Duffy, Dennis Whitehouse, Claudia Hammer, Colin Lloyd, and Sunny Ra, and ranged in location from Douglass Community Center to DuPont Manuel High School, Spalding University, and the Holy Trinity/Clifton Community Center.

He has received nine Gold Keys, a Gold Key Portfolio, two Silver Keys, and Eight Honorable Mentions in the Scholastic art Awards. River also won a first, two seconds, and a third place in the KY Art Education Association All State Art Awards in the region, and a second place in the state. He was a member of Art Club at school, and participated in Studio 2000 (through Metro Parks & LVA), The Future is Now (a mentorship program through LVA), and the Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA).

River will be attending Murray State University in fall 2018. “So far I have received around $4,000 in financial aid, KEES money and academic scholarships. I plan on majoring in some art form, but I haven’t decided yet exactly which one. I have also won the John Botto Award for overall body of work in the 2018 Scholastic Art Awards that included a scholarship of $250.”

“I give Louisville Visual Art (LVA) a lot of credit over the years for helping me succeed in not only the many classes but also helping me to participate in multiple programs including: Studio 2000, The Future is Now, and GSA. I have also volunteered for a United Way daycare teaching art to kids for a week during Christmas break, and for Squallis Puppeteers on multiple occasions. The class I have enjoyed and learned from the most is Painting with Dennis Whitehouse and Sunny Ra.”

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“Children’s Fine Art Classes (CFAC) and The Academy at LVA have made a huge impact on my life, I would not be the artist I am today with out the many years and mentors I have learned from. I have enjoyed learning from each and every one of these teachers and have tried to absorb as much of their knowledge and skill as possible. It saddens me to know that this constant source of help and guidance for me will soon be gone, but I hope it will continue to help and inspire young artists in Louisville like my little sister. I have recommended CFAC to many people and feel that this program is more important to our community than it has been credited. All of my teachers have been great but I feel that Mr. William Duffy has gone above and beyond for me, not only because I was with him the longest but also because I could always tell he genuinely cared for me and the other students. He is very knowledgeable in multiple techniques and is an overall kind human. Thank you.”

River'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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