Louisville Artists

Painting

Vignette: Monica Barnett

“Thoroughbred Stallion” by Monica Barnett, Graphite, 40x30in, 2019, $975

“Thoroughbred Stallion” by Monica Barnett, Graphite, 40x30in, 2019, $975

In Kentucky, you will find horses as a subject in the work of many artists. It seems particularly inevitable for painters. Perhaps it is the power and speed, or the movement even in more relaxed moments, that draws them. For Monica Barnett, it seems to be all of these things.

“I have been an artist my entire life, and while I have focused on animals in my drawings and paintings, my work is centered on horses.”

In one image we have an anatomical study suitable for a veterinary text, and in another, the equine forms are highly stylized as figures on a spectral carousel, uneasily situated in an undetermined fantasy space that elicits the opposite of the expected reaction to a child on a carnival ride. The subjective use of color even lends the human child in the image a slightly sinister aspect. 

“Carousel Ride” by Monica Barnett, Acrylic on wood, 48x48in, 2019, $3000

“Carousel Ride” by Monica Barnett, Acrylic on wood, 48x48in, 2019, $3000

Barnett was for many years a Part-time Staff Artist at The Courier-Journal and Louisville Times, where she created drawings, maps, and charts for daily news articles and was a page designer for all feature sections, The Saturday Scene, and the Sunday Magazine.

In March of 2019 Barnett was in the Huber Farm Winery Art and Wine "Stella di Luce" Show; in May she was in the Mother's Day Spring Art Show at Mellwood Art & Entertainment Center; and early March through late May she had a drawing in a juried show in Lexington at the Living Arts and Sciences Center.



Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: Berea College, B.A., 1986, drawing and sculpture.
Website: monicawbarnett.wordpress.com

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“Mare and Foal” by Monica Barnett, Acrylic on wood, 48x24in, 2019, $975.

“Mare and Foal” by Monica Barnett, Acrylic on wood, 48x24in, 2019, $975.

“Cougar Outlook” by Monica Barnett, Graphite, 24x30in, 2019, $500

“Cougar Outlook” by Monica Barnett, Graphite, 24x30in, 2019, $500

“Cougar Outlook” (detail) by Monica Barnett, Graphite, 24x30in, 2019, $500

“Cougar Outlook” (detail) by Monica Barnett, Graphite, 24x30in, 2019, $500


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: 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

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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Photography

Vignette: Mia Hanson

“Ida Disa” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Ida Disa” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

To begin at the beginning, photographer Mia Hanson has a first memory of a camera: “While my parents were away, I sought out a 35mm film camera from a glass case and held it to my right eye; instantly, the world around me had space and definition unlike before. It was a new way of seeing, I realized.”

Today when Hanson teaches digital photography for Louisville Visual Art, she keeps this important “first time” in mind. “We’re not just  taking fun pictures in class, we are learning how to see in a new way.”

Hanson’s images often discover an otherworldly quality, a view of human figures that escapes the mundane details of corporeal existence. One is tempted use the word ghost, and while it is true that a ghost might appear in a Mia Hanson photograph, we must be open to a more organic and ephemeral relationship between the artist and her subject. As Hanson explains in a 2006 interview:

“I'm always searching for the soul of my subject. As a photographer, I try to tap into some other frequency of mood and emotion that is there, yet hidden. Unlike the painter who creates from imagination, I'm fascinated with the thought of lifting the veil from our given reality.”

All art can investigate this thin place of transition between Illusion and Reality, Life and Death, posing questions about different planes of existence, if not always answering them. Photography occupies a special place in this territory, because it plays on our expectations that the camera is capturing an objective reality, when the truth is that it is another tool in the artist’s box. Even when Hanson is using natural environments, such as in “Disturbance in Central Park”, the location is suggestive of a fantasy world. The pensive pose could be anywhere in the world, and only the title ties it to a few yards from a busy Manhattan street. And the image is timeless. It looks to me like a frame enlargement from an early silent film. Look at stills from F.W. Murnau’s Sunrise for a comparison.

“Disturbance Central Park” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Disturbance Central Park” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

Hanson has lived in Stockholm but returned to the states with her partner, painter Hawk Alfredson to live for several years in the fabled Chelsea Hotel in NYC. While in residence there she, “Created portraits utilizing the light and charged energy of the hotel atmosphere while careful not to disturb or “document “ what is not entirely capable of being captured. The ghosts are best left alone.”

We can venture a guess how much the Hotel Chelsea influenced Hanson’s images, but it may a rhetorical question. If we entertain the notion of an artist connecting to other realities, then both she and Alfredson might have arrived at the Chelsea guided by unseen but always present forces. That may sound eccentric and picturesque, but, after all, we are talking about connecting to an ethereal plane.

Hanson’s work has appeared as cover art illustration for publishing houses such as Random House, Houghton & Mifflin, and Simon & Schuster, as well as magazine editorial work for Psychology Today and New York Black Book. She has exhibited internationally and is currently teaching for Louisville Visual Art.

Photo: Hawk Alfredson

Photo: Hawk Alfredson


Hometown: Santa Monica, Ca.
Education: Studied film theory and photography in San Francisco’s Bay Area before leaving to pursue a photographic mentorship with influential photographer/ videographer Matt Mahurin in NYC in the 90’s.
Website: www.miahanson.com


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“Jennica” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Jennica” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Balance” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Balance” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Terezka the Betrothed Shrew” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Terezka the Betrothed Shrew” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR


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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