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Drawing, Mixed Media, Painting

Feature: The Future Is Now, Part 2 of 2

Getting Down To Business

LVA is really stepping up to fill a need in a time when support for art is on a decline in schools. It’s an honor and privilege to be a part of helping our community grow. It’s something that is very important to me personally, and I’m glad that there are others out there that feel the same so we can collectively do things much bigger than we could ever do on our own.
— Daniel Pfalzgraf (2016 artist mentor)
"Horny Sea Puppy #1" by Jake Ford (Mentor), fleece, hand dyed cotton, and polyfi (2015)

"Horny Sea Puppy #1" by Jake Ford (Mentor), fleece, hand dyed cotton, and polyfi (2015)

The Future Is Now is a program that pairs aspiring young artists with adult, working artists so that they might provide an example by working together on projects that will be exhibited at the end of the process. Facilitated by LVA Director of Education and Outreach Jackie Pallesen in conjunction with Kentucky College of Art + Design at Spalding University (KyCAD), the program selects students through an application process each year. Pallesen gathers a pool of prospective mentors for the students to choose from - working artists whose work and/or studio practice will complement the young artist’s creative talents.

Andrew Cozzens, KyCAD Assistant Professor and manager of the school’s 849 Gallery, was a mentor in the first year, and the experience motivated him to work with Pallesen to forge a formal collaboration on the program. Now many of the combined meetings, which began on May 30, take place in KyCAD studios, with all the efforts culminating in an exhibit that opens July 20 in the 849 Gallery.

On July 11, Cozzens shepherded the group through the final critique, imposing strict time limits to structure the discussion. “This is how we do it in classes here at KyCAD,” he explained, underscoring the intention of the program to prepare the students to function most effectively in a real-world environment with other artists. Most of the mentors spoke, some framing their pairings individual experience before letting the student take over.

Although there is painting and drawing in the work, it was mostly untraditional, using unconventional substrates and illustrating a high degree of experimentation resulting from the interaction between mentor and mentee.

Mentor, Bobby Barbour & Mentee, Brittney Sharp

Mentor, Bobby Barbour & Mentee, Brittney Sharp

Brittney Sharp and I are a great match for this project, both as individuals and creatives. Brittney’s work mainly consists of illustration, but she wishes to try new mediums. I was about her age when I started to branch out from drawing, thanks to a student teacher’s assignment that pushed me to try new media. I’m really thankful for the experience and for that teacher challenging me. My hope is to be that person for Brittney, supporting her in expanding her definition of art and how to create it.
— Bobby Barbour

If the student artists were ever shy about discussing their work in such a format, they were pretty much over it by this meeting. Sunny Podbelsek was highly articulate in deconstructing her process, explaining the very specific emotions that her images were meant to express, while her mentor, Lauren Hirsch, was content to take a back seat in the presentation, only interjecting some observations towards the end of their time.

Working with Sunny Podbelsek has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I have learned a lot from Sunny and enjoy facilitating her creative process. Pushing her to explore different processes helps me reflect on my own work from a new perspective, and the shared energy of the collaborative process gives me a renewed sense of excitement to explore new ideas in my own work.
— Lauren Hirsch
Mentor, Lauren Hirsch & Mentee, Sunny Podbelsek

Mentor, Lauren Hirsch & Mentee, Sunny Podbelsek

Hannah Lyle and Dominic Guarnaschelli described how their images, portraits of family members painted on transparent plexiglass, would be hung from a sculptural apparatus attached to the ceiling, and how they were hoping to have some reflection, or shadows, cast on the gallery walls if the lighting could be managed.

From the start I was immediately impressed with Hannah. Very sharp and eager to dive in, Hannah was overflowing with ideas for our collaboration and ready to learn new skills and work with unfamiliar media. Hannah has been open to experimentation and incorporated other interests in math and science during this process. Throughout the summer, I was very struck by Hannah’s confidence. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Hannah.
— Dominic Guarnaschelli

Deb Whistler and Rashad Sullivan showed what felt like nearly finished twin B&W self-portraits that were striking in their consistency. Working from photographs they took together, the drawings incorporated autobiographical text painstakingly rendered into the background, a feature inspired by their conversations together.

Rashad and I spoke quite often, sometimes by phone, and I loved the stream-of-consciousness in the way he talks.
— Deb Whistler

The final instruction for the evening was for each pair to place themselves in the gallery in the place they imagined the work would be presented, so that Cozzens could discuss specifics of installation. It was interesting that no pair had selected the same spot, and that the mentors had already discussed hanging and placement with the students as the work developed.

All of the work will be installed by the group before the opening reception for the exhibit, which is July 20, 5-7pm at KyCad’s 849 Gallery.

Anyone interested in participating in the 2018 Future Is Now can find more information on applying at this link: http://www.louisvillevisualart.org/the-future-is-now

Guarnaschelli's (Mentor) Studio

Guarnaschelli's (Mentor) Studio

"Drawing 1" by Lauren Hirsch (Mentor), 24x36in, mixed media, $550 |  BUY NOW

"Drawing 1" by Lauren Hirsch (Mentor), 24x36in, mixed media, $550 | BUY NOW


This Feature article was written by Keith Waits.
In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, www.Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.


Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Drawing

Vignette: Susan E. Brooks


“How do we respond to the stark contrasts and overwhelming misery that exist in our world?”
- Susan Brooks


"Burkina Boy and His Donkey" by Susan Brooks, 31x20in, pastel on mat board (2017)

"Burkina Boy and His Donkey" by Susan Brooks, 31x20in, pastel on mat board (2017)

Susan Brooks is a children’s book illustrator, drawing on her own life experience in Mozambique, Africa, and Turkish Cypress to create original stories. Her images are prosaic, with notes of affectionate sentimentalism. “As an artist I am fascinated with the human countenance,” explains Brooks. “I believe every person is created in the image of God, having an inner light that can sometimes be captured or at least hinted at in great art. The challenge of creating a painting that gives the viewer pause, that causes them to feel a connection with the divine through beauty, keeps me returning to my first artistic love, portrait drawing and painting.”   

On her website, Brooks talks about how some of her images are inspired by her encounters with poverty: “How do we respond to the stark contrasts and overwhelming misery that exist in our world? How can we help? Guilt and shame are not the answer. The answer is probably different for each one of us.”

Brooks taught art for many years, including her current position at Portland Christian School. She has worked in various mediums, but she uses primarily oil pastels now. “I have developed a style of painting with oil pastels that results in striking portraits that glow with dramatic light, various textures, and complementary color contrasts. I work with oil pastels on a textured surface of mat board or pastel paper, which allows me to build up many layers of color with a thick, buttery, texture in some areas, while leaving other areas thin, allowing the background colors and the texture of the surface to show. For me, working with oil pastels is the best of both worlds, allowing for painterly textures and colors combined with expressive mark making.”

"Tanzanian Children" by Susan Brooks, 17x20in, pastel on paper (2017)

"Tanzanian Children" by Susan Brooks, 17x20in, pastel on paper (2017)

Brooks is a member of the American Impressionist Society, Inc. & Louisville Visual Art, and has been included in Fine Art America’s Artist Listings.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts from Lipscomb University 1985; Master of Education from Indiana Wesleyan, 2007
Website: http://www.susanebrooks.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sebrooks81/

"Keeping Up with Big Sister" by Susan Brooks, 14x11in, pastel on paper (2017)

"Keeping Up with Big Sister" by Susan Brooks, 14x11in, pastel on paper (2017)

"Ollie at the Beach" by Susan Brooks, 19x25in, pastel on paper (2017)

"Ollie at the Beach" by Susan Brooks, 19x25in, pastel on paper (2017)

"Tanzanian Children (detail)" by Susan Brooks

"Tanzanian Children (detail)" by Susan Brooks

"Reading with Poppy" by Susan Brooks, 25x19in, pastel on paper (2016)

"Reading with Poppy" by Susan Brooks, 25x19in, pastel on paper (2016)

"Ollie at the Beach (detail)"  by Susan Brooks

"Ollie at the Beach (detail)"by Susan Brooks

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. 

Written by Keith Waits.      Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. 

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. 

Special

Q&A: Abbie Springer


"We are poised to bring our aerial cube, stilt walking, juggling, contortion and hand balancing and possibly some other “hot” things not normally seen!" — Abbie Springer


Performer, Abbie Springer

Performer, Abbie Springer

As part of the 4th Annual art[squared] Sale Launch Event on April 7, CirqueLouis will be performing before the sale begins, and will present ongoing performance entertainment throughout the evening. To shed some light on this type of circus/theatre format, we asked some questions of Abbie Springer, one of the founders of CirqueLouis and currently Director of Monies & Donations.

Springer has performed in CirqueLouis’ productions, Bootleg “Untapped” (2015) and A Midsummer Night’s Circus (2016). Springer is also a part of the company’s event performance troupe appearing at prestigious venues all over the city.

At what age did you know you wanted to be a circus performer?

It wasn’t until I was in my mid 30’s that becoming a circus performer ever occurred to me☺. I was pulled into it by my friend (and CirqueLouis co-founder), Lynley Elliott, who had been studying and performing the circus arts her entire life. She and I had cheered together, winning national championships in cheerleading, at the University of Louisville many years before that. We began partner stunts and she excelled at being one of the first women in the country to be able to “lift” females in the cheerleading world. Our natural partner stunt skills and rhythm has aided us in many circus arts like adagio, acro-balancing, duo trapeze and other partner acts.

How did you begin your training?

Almost 8 years ago at Turners Circus with Lynley on Swinging Ladders – considered one of the easiest, yet most terrifying of the aerial apparatus. I also trained and performed on Spanish Webs during my first year and began training on Silks soon after that. Aerial arts really spoke to me on many levels – I was used to flying but usually by being thrown in the air. With aerial arts I became the one in control of every aspect of my flying, and I think I took to it so quickly because of this.

A lot of other skills have also transitioned well from competitive cheerleading, but I also study with a number of women, and men, with completely different backgrounds than cheering. Some have been athletes, gymnasts, dancers, or began circus arts training with no related background at all.

What was your first circus job?  

As a performer, in 2010 in the annual Turners Circus spring production (a 67 year old tradition located off of River Road). My first professional job as a performer was as an aerialist at a Black and Diamond event and an event for Zappos.

How did CirqueLouis begin?  

With the lifelong circus arts knowledge and performance history of Lynley, the artistic visionary brilliance of Christine Moondancer, and my ever-lasting energy for getting things done, CirqueLouis was created as a way to get the circus arts out of the gym and into the community.

Its official conception was in May 2015, but this group of circus freaks has been performing together for more than 5 years now. CirqueLouis was born out of a love of performance art and a strong drive for giving back to our community. We work and train hard, and want to give our city experiential “cirquetheatre” productions, entertaining events, unique and intensive instruction, and social outreach activities that filter circus “love” back into our city.  

What separates your company from a traditional circus?  

For much of its history, traditional circus companies traveled from place to place, putting spectacle, humans and animals on display. Eventually many of the traditional circuses left their tents behind for arenas, but the content remained virtually the same. Contemporary circus companies (which began emerging in the 1970’s) rely on a storyline or theme rather than on 3 rings and animals. CirqueLouis is essentially a blend of both, utilizing traditional circus arts within a contemporary circus setting. With our form of cirquetheater, we strive for originality in show concepts, dramatic costuming and unique presentation at events that is unlike anything else happening in this area.

We also launched ourselves as a non-profit in Louisville to stay true to our belief system and honor our compassion charter (effective January of 2016). The heart of our company beats for social outreach and very quickly established the city’s first social circus program, CirqueCompassion, which has been operating in the Portland area since May 2015. This is the program we are now running out of our new home at Louisville Visual Arts and our hope is to maintain a consistent presence there to help foster self-esteem, confidence, teamwork, trust, discipline and opportunities through circus arts for people seeking meaningful connections and growth.

13600024_1762678617343298_7185984237442471270_n.jpg

Traditional circus has been the focus of a lot of criticism from animal rights groups, and Ringling Bros. announced in January that they will be shutting down for good after May. How does CirqueLouis fit into what seems like a turning point for this form?

There has actually been a ton of press about this lately with the closing of Ringling Brothers, the selling of Cirque du Soleil and the demise of many “tent” traveling circus troupes. Whether you are delighted or saddened by this change, it is evolving and we hope to be part of the evolution of what circus can do for a community.  

The future looks to include even more performance art coupled with fantastic storylines, costuming and music.  We are working hard to pioneer this in our city!

Tell us about the company’s education initiatives?

While we provide upper level training in the form of workshops and intensives for those already on the performance path and eventually have plans to open the area’s first comprehensive circus arts academy, our current education initiatives operate without walls. We are bringing circus arts education into schools and centers around the city. Our teaching artists use a variety of measurable skills such as juggling, stilt walking, plate spinning, rolo-bolo, diabolo, and basic acro-balancing during 6-8 week sessions.

Obviously you have to be in great shape to do this type of performance, but how have you made fitness a specific part of the company mission?

For performance, yes. Training our skills (for performance or instruction) actually does keep us in the best shape we can be.  But circus arts can also be used as a fun and exciting way to get fit.

We will also be launching our fitness program, CirqueIt, in the next few months as a way for anyone who wants a great workout to be able to do so utilizing modified circus arts.

What can we expect to see during LVA’s art[squared] event on April 7?

What do you want? No, seriously – we are poised to bring our aerial cube, stilt walking, juggling, contortion and hand balancing and possibly some other “hot” things not normally seen! We are getting so comfortable in that space and that comfort allows us to present our best versions of our performance art, so we can’t wait to join you!

Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Painting

Vignette: Debra Lott

"Virtual Reflection" by Debra Lott, 36x72in (diptych), oil on canvas (2017), $2400 |  BUY NOW

"Virtual Reflection" by Debra Lott, 36x72in (diptych), oil on canvas (2017), $2400 | BUY NOW

Lott in her studio.

Lott in her studio.

When painter Debra Lott observes that we live in a, “…world where the virtual and authentic collide and confuse,” the degree of understatement is not meant to be sarcastic, but simply a way to explain the foundation on which she has built her newest work. Self-portrait has not been such an overt theme in her previous work, although she has been focused on a woman’s existence in the contemporary society in a fashion so personal that it nearly passes as the same thing. Such is the nature of art that it always reveals something important about the artist.

Now Lott places herself unmistakably front and center to speak to the narcissistic tendencies of modern communication:

“My inspiration and influences are the popular mass media. This source became the tipping point for my experimentation into painting this series. The absurdity of the media images prompted me to take my work in a new direction. The paintings form satirical statements that incorporate figurative distortion and exaggeration while mocking the media’s use of photo- shopped, erotic, and often implausible poses.”  

"Going to Great Lengths" by Debra Lott, 30x20in, oil on canvas (2016), $950  |  BUY NOW

"Going to Great Lengths" by Debra Lott, 30x20in, oil on canvas (2016), $950  | BUY NOW

“My techniques include distortion, elongation, detachment and segmentation. The expressive brushstrokes and fantasy color schemes are symbolic of the theatrical and sensational drama of cultural media. My expressive and quasi abstract style combine color, form and texture to convey the illusion of beauty that is often construed as reality.

“My goal is to move in a direction toward further experimentation and abstraction. I began experimenting with the concept of ‘authentic’ versus ‘virtual’ especially as it applies to cultural media. To communicate this idea of counterfeit, I chose a complementary color scheme and ‘like values’ that allow the subject and background to overlap and create some uncertainty as to what is positive and negative space. My goal was to increase the abstraction of the content and cause the body to become part of the surrounding space.”  

"Yes I Can" by Debra Lott, 30x48in, oil on canvas (2017), $1400 |  BUY NOW

"Yes I Can" by Debra Lott, 30x48in, oil on canvas (2017), $1400 | BUY NOW

Lott presently has 2 pieces in the Owensboro Art Guild 55th Juried Exhibition, up through April 14th, 2017, and a solo show titled, Collections, runs through April 16, 2017 at the Pigment Gallery at Mellwood Arts Center in Louisville. There will be an Artist’s Reception, March 31st 6-9pm

"Self Love" by Debra Lott, 30x20in, oil on canvas (2017), $775 |  BUY NOW

"Self Love" by Debra Lott, 30x20in, oil on canvas (2017), $775 | BUY NOW

Selected Adjudicated Exhibitions:
2018 - Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, OAG 55th Juried Exhibition, Owensboro, KY, February 25-April 14, 2017
2017 - Lexington Art League, Demographically Speaking, A Figurative Exhibition, Lexington, KY, January13-February 12, 2017
2016 - Art Comes Alive 2016, ART Design Consultants Inc. Cincinnati, OH, July 23-August 29, 2016 Figurative Artist of the Year Award
2015 - The Chautauqua National Exhibition, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY 1/26/2015-2/20/2015
2013 - The Art at the X National Juried Exhibition, Xavier University, Cincinnati, 'Multicultural Expressions of Faith', Award of Excellence, August 23-October 11, 2013
2010-2013 - National Art Education Women Caucus Juried Art Exhibition, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
2011 - 55th Mid-states Juried Art Exhibition, Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science, Indiana, December- March 2011
2010 -  Manifest Gallery International Drawing Annual- Exhibition in Print, Cincinnati Ohio, art work selected - Seasons of Grace, Charcoal on Paper
2010   Water Tower Regional, Louisville Visual Art Association, KY, January 24-March 7, 2010
2009   54th Mid-States Juried Art Exhibition, Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science, Indiana, Dec 7-January 18, 2009.
2007   Mad Art Gallery, St Louis, Missouri, Contemporary Women Artists XIV, International Juried Exhibition, Sept 7-29, 2007, St Louis Chapter of the National Women’s Caucus for the Arts
2006   Kniznick Gallery of the Women’s Studies Research Center, Brandeis University, Boston, Vital Voices: Women’s Visions, 2006, (National Juried Exhibition in conjunction with National Women’s Caucus for the Arts)

Hometown: Lake Worth, Florida
Age: 65
Education: MAT with a concentration in painting, Florida Atlantic University, a BA in Art Education, Palm Beach Atlantic University
Gallery Representation: PYRO Gallery
Website: http://www.debralott.com/

"Original Selfie" by Debra Lott, 24x24in, oil on canvas (2017), $675 |  BUY NOW

"Original Selfie" by Debra Lott, 24x24in, oil on canvas (2017), $675 | BUY NOW

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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

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Drawing, Painting

Vignette: Joshua Jenkins

"Three Kings No. 2" by Joshua Jenkins, 52 x 41 x 1 in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2016)

"Three Kings No. 2" by Joshua Jenkins, 52 x 41 x 1 in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2016)

Jenkins at his home studio (2017)

Jenkins at his home studio (2017)

For his upcoming show at Kore Gallery in Louisville, painter Joshua Jenkins has been creating a body of work that shows him shifting from the energetic, bold color and mark making that has long characterized his work. A softer approach to outlining form and a comparatively muted color palette rendered in broad washes of acrylic paint has dominated his technique since the end of summer 2016.

“Seeing a muted color pallet can seem calming to the viewer,” explains Jenkins, “but once you look closer at the surface, you can see a juxtaposition of more complex emotions with anxious line work subtly radiating through each canvas. The subject matter of each work focuses on the abstraction of the sorrowful human form in contrast with a slight homage to nature…”

"Drawing #18" by Joshua Jenkins, 9.5 × 7.5 in, graphite and watercolor on paper (2016)

"Drawing #18" by Joshua Jenkins, 9.5 × 7.5 in, graphite and watercolor on paper (2016)

It is in that balance that Jenkins finds contentment, a location that inspired the title of the new exhibit: Somewhere In Between Anxiety and Serenity. “Joys and upsets always seem to come hand in hand. Keeping in mind the current political climate of our country and the world as a whole, along with my own personal life experiences, I wanted to explore the contrasting feelings of fear and happiness. It seems as though neither emotion can shine without the other lingering in the background.”

The artist is featured in the January 2017 issue of Kentucky Homes & Gardens (Louisville). The article is about Carriage House Interiors and their 2016 Homearama design that prominently featured two of Jenkins’ paintings.

The Great Meadows Foundation recently awarded an Artist Professional Development Grant to Jenkins. He will be using the grant money to visit Los Angeles for the first time.

Jenkins has also been accepted to showcase his work at Mellwood Art Center's March Art Show on March 4th & 5th. 

Hometown: Poughkeepsie, NY
Age: 29
Education: BA in Digital Media with a Minor in Studio Art, Marist College (Poughkeepsie, New York)
Website: http://www.joshuajenkinsart.com
Gallery Representative: Joshua is self-represented locally, but is represented by New Editions Gallery in the Lexington area

"Birds Flying High" by Joshua Jenkins, 40 x 40 x 1.5in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2016)

"Birds Flying High" by Joshua Jenkins, 40 x 40 x 1.5in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2016)

"A Moment of Disbelief" by Joshua Jenkins, 40 x 36 x 1in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2016)

"A Moment of Disbelief" by Joshua Jenkins, 40 x 36 x 1in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2016)

A detail of an untitled work by Jenkins.

A detail of an untitled work by Jenkins.

"Wondering What Just Happened" by Joshua Jenkins, 24 x 18 x 1.5in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2016) $750

"Wondering What Just Happened" by Joshua Jenkins, 24 x 18 x 1.5in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2016) $750

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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