art teachers

Painting

Vignette: Sharon Weis

“Color Slice” by Sharon Weis, Oil paint on birch plywood, 13x42in, 2019, $1200

“Color Slice” by Sharon Weis, Oil paint on birch plywood, 13x42in, 2019, $1200

would that we could wake up to what we were
when we were ocean and before that

to when sky was earth, and animal was energy, and rock was
liquid and stars were space and space was not

at all----- nothing

-       From “Singularity” by Marie Howe

Are landscape painters drawn to nature as a subject because of a spiritual affinity, or do they discover that affinity through the act of painting nature? Such chicken and the egg queries may indeed miss the point, but we come across that relationship between nature and spirituality all the time. By quoting this Marie Howe poem, written in tribute to Stephen Hawking, Sharon Weis lets us know in no uncertain terms that her practice may be nothing less than a search for understanding about the very beginning of life. Hawking was a scientist, but Howe is a poet and Weis a painter, and both of these artists find beauty in the level of discovery in the work of the world-famous physicist. 

Weis describes her act of creation, the action of painting in language that reinforce that connection between rationality and the spiritual:

“Moved by lavish paint and painters, I love the lush, liquid stokes attainable with oil paint. I use birch plywood as it is the ideal surface to accept the viscosity of paint I work to acquire. For color and compositional rhythms, I look to the natural world for inspiration.”

“In my latest series, the sea is lush, I play with composition and perspective shifts using panoramic views, emotive color correlations, and natural rhythms set up by sea and sky to create aesthetic divisions of space. However, it is the physical texture of the paint itself, the charge of paint I push into the clouds or the clean, thick, fluid stroke added to the sea that excite me most when creating these works.”

“Sugar Fix” by Sharon Weis, Oil paint on birch plywood, 13x42in, 2019, $1200

“Sugar Fix” by Sharon Weis, Oil paint on birch plywood, 13x42in, 2019, $1200

“These paintings heighten our connection to the sea, intensifying our vast range of emotion in the form of water, land and sky.”

Weis teaches Art at Walden School. In the past two years she has exhibited at Ann Tower Gallery and New Editions Gallery in Lexington KY as well as Art Prize in Grand Rapids, MI.

Some of the work we see here is currently on public view as part of the Spring Invitational at Kleinhelter Gallery, 701 E 8th Street, New Albany. The exhibit runs May 10 through July 6.   

Weis has exhibited in the Louisville area for years, and her work was shown in two International Shows; Septemberfest International at Period Gallery in Omaha and Across the Atlantic in Dublin Ireland. 

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She is included in these corporate collections:

Barnstable Brown Center for Diabetes ~ Lexington KY
Bluegrass Eye Center~ Crestwood KY
Brown Forman Corporation~ Louisville KY
Caritas Medical Center~Louisville KY
Cobalt Bravura Lofts~ Louisville KY
Commonwealth Bank and Trust~ Louisville KY
Masonic Homes~ Louisville KY
Pediatrics South~ Lexington KY
Saint Joseph Hospital~ Lexington KY
Summit One Partners~Louisville KY
Square One Offices~ Louisville KY
The Center for Women and Families ~Louisville KY
Time Warner~ Louisville KY
Turfland Medical Clinic~ Lexington KY
U of K Woodland Glen Dormitory~ Lexington KY
Ventas, Inc~ Louisville KY
Waterfront Park Place Club Room and Lobby~ Louisville KY
Woodward Hobson and Fulton~ Louisville KY

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BA, University of Louisville
Website: sharonweis.com
Gallery Representation: Kleinhelter Gallery (New Albany), New Editions Gallery (Lexington)

“Tide Pull” by Sharon Weis, Oil paint on birch plywood, 13x42in, 2019, $1200

“Tide Pull” by Sharon Weis, Oil paint on birch plywood, 13x42in, 2019, $1200

“State of Contentment” by Sharon Weis, Oil paint on birch plywood, 13x42in, 2019, $1200

“State of Contentment” by Sharon Weis, Oil paint on birch plywood, 13x42in, 2019, $1200

“Begin After” by Sharon Weis, Oil paint on birch plywood, 13x42in, 2019, $1200

“Begin After” by Sharon Weis, Oil paint on birch plywood, 13x42in, 2019, $1200


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


Scroll down for more images

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