childhood

Installation

Vignette: Jada Lynn Dixon

“Clothesline Spirit” by Jada Lynn Dixon, Mixed Media, 26x12in, 2019, $300

“Clothesline Spirit” by Jada Lynn Dixon, Mixed Media, 26x12in, 2019, $300

It may oversimplify to consider that so much of what adult artists search for is a rediscovery of the simple, pure artistic expression of childhood; to clear away the responsibilities of family, employment, debt and other impediments of adulthood. In her most recent Artist’s Statement Jada Lynn Dixon connects her practice to her childhood experiences with great deliberation:

“I have a longstanding fascination with the idea of  ‘Safe Spaces.’ There are many different definitions for this title, frequently personal, and can shield an individual from an emotional trigger. Other people may consider it a public space to receive help. As for myself, my grandmother and her creativity defined my version of a ‘Safe Space.’ I grew up in a very volatile environment, but fortunately had a devoted mother who tried her best to compensate. My Granny was a source of comfort. She was not an artist in the traditional sense, but crafted a series of pillow forts, clothesline tents, and shoebox dollhouses that occupied me for hours. These spaces kept me safe from anger, sadness, and uncertainty. I would watch eagerly as Granny took a simple cardboard shoebox and turned the bottom into a dollhouse with furniture created from the lid. I’d escape with it to a tent made from sheets on her clothesline, and exist safe in a created world for hours.”

“Little Sanctuary” by Jada Lynn Dixon, Mixed Media, 16x12in, 2018, $150

“Little Sanctuary” by Jada Lynn Dixon, Mixed Media, 16x12in, 2018, $150

“Today my adult self enjoys ‘Safe Spaces’ in my artwork. I use wooden boxes, large canvases, cast resin pieces, clay, and found objects instead of shoeboxes and sheets to make meditative areas. My recent work incorporates a peaceful palette of pale blues, yellows and greens. Natural elements appear reclusively in many of my pieces, such as leaves, small branches, moss, and crystals. These reference the settings I enjoyed with my shoebox dollhouse, and it’s adornments. I work in a space created long ago, an emotional area originated by my grandmother, and perpetuated by materials and symbols that I associate with safety and happiness. It is my hope and intention that my viewers will find a moment of comfort and sanctuary in my pieces.“   

Selected Exhibitions:

2018 Safe Spaces Dual Exhibit – Art Sanctuary, Louisville, KY
2018 Lexington Art League: PRHBTN 2018 – The Loudoun House, Lexington, KY
2018 Art at the Old Capitol (Juried) Featured Gallery Artist – Corydon, IN
2018 Cosmic Revelation LAG Annual Exhibit – KORE Gallery, Louisville, KY
2017 Funny Little Things Solo Art Exhibit - Day’s Espresso, Louisville, KY 2017 Art at the Old Capitol (Juried) Featured Gallery Artist – Corydon, IN
2016 Scars Group Exhibit – Tim Faulkner Gallery, Louisville, KY
2016 Trees Are Poems Group Invitational Exhibit - Cook Studio and Gallery, Louisville, KY 

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: Currently attending Kentucky College of Art + Design (KyCAD) for a BFA in Studio Art
Instagram: @jynnart

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“Cloud Birds” by Jada Lynn Dixon, Mixed Media, 26x12in, 2019, $350

“Cloud Birds” by Jada Lynn Dixon, Mixed Media, 26x12in, 2019, $350

“Luna Memory” by Jada Lynn Dixon, Mixed Media, 12x8in, 2018, $125

“Luna Memory” by Jada Lynn Dixon, Mixed Media, 12x8in, 2018, $125

“Back Yard Spirit” by Jada Lynn Dixon, Mixed Media, 30x16in, 2019, $300

“Back Yard Spirit” by Jada Lynn Dixon, Mixed Media, 30x16in, 2019, $300


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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Mixed Media, Sculpture

Vignette: Miranda Becht

"The sweet nostalgic sadness of something lovely and lost. (Order)" by Miranda Becht, 13x68x5in, tinted cast resin, flocking, lace, shelves (2016)

"The sweet nostalgic sadness of something lovely and lost. (Order)" by Miranda Becht, 13x68x5in, tinted cast resin, flocking, lace, shelves (2016)


“An imagination is a powerful tool. It can tint memories of the past, shade perceptions of the present, or paint a future so vivid that it can entice… or terrify, all depending on how we conduct ourselves today.”– Jim Davis, from Garfield “Alone,” October 23, 1989


Artist, Miranda Becht

Artist, Miranda Becht

Miranda Becht is having a moment. One of only three students in the University of Louisville’s MFA program at the Hite Institute of Art, she is taking her three degrees and wasting no time positioning herself to have a positive impact in the Louisville and Southern Indiana arts community. This fall, she will be teaching foundation art courses as an Adjunct Professor at Bellarmine University, and be working as a instructor in LVA’s Academy program for high school students. She also has recently been offered an adjunct position at IUS. At the same time, she will a part of the St. James Court Art Show Emerging Artist Program and has been commissioned to create public art through the Jeffersonville Public Art Committee, Powering Creativity.

Becht’s work has largely been installation based, exploring how memory and nostalgia form our idea of the past: “I have always seemed to long for some sort of metaphorical home located somewhere in the past. Homesickness is defined as the longing for a particular home, nostalgia as a longing for a lost time. Nostalgia may carry with it a yearning for home, but it is a home faraway in time rather than space. Nostalgia, oftentimes used to refer to something sweet and pleasant, is bittersweet. It is the longing for something that is unattainable.”

"I can feel your sweet decay." by Miranda Becht, 38x73x73in, wood, sticker paper, acrylic paint, cast resiin, linoleum, found objects (2017)

"I can feel your sweet decay." by Miranda Becht, 38x73x73in, wood, sticker paper, acrylic paint, cast resiin, linoleum, found objects (2017)

“As a society we tend to idealize our vision of the past, particularly our vision of home. Our idealized notion of home presents itself as a supposedly traditional form of domestic life, but bears little relation to the way people actually lived. This concept of a cozy home full of family love is an invented tradition. Inevitable in our linear understanding of time, we are constantly being uprooted from home and from the past. Because of the fallibility of our memory, the past and home as we remember them, no longer exist. I mourn for a home that perhaps I never had.”

"The sweet nostalgic sadness of something lovely and lost. (Order) (detail)" by Miranda Becht

"The sweet nostalgic sadness of something lovely and lost. (Order) (detail)" by Miranda Becht

Becht cites “The pleasant, nostalgic sadness of something lovely and lost. I would sit and play with an odd, white vessel, full of wonder about its use and its origin. This vessel seemed so big, so white and pure, so curious. My grandmother told me it was a bedpan, but it wasn’t until much later in life that I realized just what a bedpan was. My most cherished childhood memory is soiled with urine and feces. Lost innocence often takes the guise of idealized memories. My work is a vehicle for my fetishized, fragile memories. I am pressured to be the object of desire… this untrue illusion, the ideal.”

Becht’s work is filled with mid-20th century design layered with a cotton-candy colors (she seems especially fond of pink), which adroitly captures the unique collective memory of what is arguably the most idealized period in modern American history, the 1950’s. The artist reminds us that what seems too good to have been true, often is.

Age: 31
Education: MFA Sculpture, University of Louisville, 2017; BFA Ceramics, Indiana University Southeast, 2012; BA Printmaking, Indiana University Southeast Minor Psychology, 2012
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Miranda.indiana/

"I can feel your sweet decay (detail)" by Miranda Becht

"I can feel your sweet decay (detail)" by Miranda Becht

"In Hiding" by Miranda Becht, 119x64x24in, wood, cast resin, acrylic paint, shag carpet, embroidery floss, light fixture (2017)

"In Hiding" by Miranda Becht, 119x64x24in, wood, cast resin, acrylic paint, shag carpet, embroidery floss, light fixture (2017)

"Underside" by Miranda Becht, 96x96x66in, wood, screenprint, cast resin, rug, embroidery floss (2016)

"Underside" by Miranda Becht, 96x96x66in, wood, screenprint, cast resin, rug, embroidery floss (2016)

"What’s a dream and what is real? (Entropy)" by Miranda Becht, 84x54x6in, wood, cast resin, hydrocal, embroidery floss, lace (2016)

"What’s a dream and what is real? (Entropy)" by Miranda Becht, 84x54x6in, wood, cast resin, hydrocal, embroidery floss, lace (2016)

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

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Painting, Drawing

Vignette: Sunny Ra

"Radiate" by Sunny Ra, 32x48in, oil on canvas (2016), $1300 |  BUY NOW

"Radiate" by Sunny Ra, 32x48in, oil on canvas (2016), $1300 | BUY NOW

Artist, Sunny Ra. Photo by Dan Lubbers.

Artist, Sunny Ra. Photo by Dan Lubbers.

In striking abstract compositions, painter Sunny Ra uses the landscape form to investigate questions of identity in both a social and highly personal context.

“The foundation of my work originates from my experience of growing up Korean in Louisville, Kentucky. I did not have any Korean friends and since I spoke little Korean and could not read or write Hangul, I was an outsider in the Korean community. Similarly, I never quite identified myself as American since I was not white, and was living among majority white Americans.  I remember people would ask me where I was from or comment on how well I spoke English. I grew up feeling and eventually believing that I did not belong anywhere - perhaps nowhere. It is from this limbo that my night landscapes emerge and my journey into the obscure and the unknown began.”

"Untitled #3" by Sunny Ra, 9x12in, pastel on paper (2016)

"Untitled #3" by Sunny Ra, 9x12in, pastel on paper (2016)

It is a common, and let’s be honest, lazy assumption to confuse an individual artist’s racial and cultural identity. Ra makes paintings with no overt ties to traditional Korean pictorial forms, and her formative culture was Middle American, so it is fascinating to hear how she connects the luxurious darkness of her imagery with an evolving personal journey. 

“In these night landscapes, I revisit my childhood memories - what has been lost and what remains. Through the application of layers of paint, the images at first recognizable, slowly evolve and merge into the abyss of the dark palette. But through the darkness emerges light and color, a new image surfaces, perhaps this is where I belong.”

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 35
Education: MFA, Hunter College, CUNY, 2011; BFA, University of Pennsylvania, 2005; Painting Certificate, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 2005
Website: http://www.sunny-ra.com

"Harvest" by Sunny Ra, 11x14in, oil on paper (2016), $450 |  BUY NOW

"Harvest" by Sunny Ra, 11x14in, oil on paper (2016), $450 | BUY NOW

"Untitled #2" by Sunny Ra, 9x12in, pastel on paper (2016)

"Untitled #2" by Sunny Ra, 9x12in, pastel on paper (2016)

"Kinetic" by Sunny Ra, 14x11in, oil on paper (2016), $450 |  BUY NOW

"Kinetic" by Sunny Ra, 14x11in, oil on paper (2016), $450 | BUY NOW

"Untitled #1" by Sunny Ra, 9x12in, pastel on paper (2016)

"Untitled #1" by Sunny Ra, 9x12in, pastel on paper (2016)

"Might" by Sunny Ra, 11x14in, oil on paper (2016), $450 |  BUY NOW

"Might" by Sunny Ra, 11x14in, oil on paper (2016), $450 | BUY NOW

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

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Mixed Media

Q&A: Deborah Stanley


“Experience will be more valuable than anything learned in the classroom.”
— Deborah Stanley


Artist Deborah Stanley

Artist Deborah Stanley

Deborah Stanley has been a juried member of the Louisville Artisans Guild (LAG) since 2011 and a member of the Louisville Visual Art (LVA) since 2014 and have been a participatant in the Art[squared] project since its inception.  Her work has been displayed and featured in various art galleries and exhibitions in the Louisville area such as LAG 2016 Holiday Showcase and 2016 Annual Exhibit; Kaviar Forge and Gallery (Touched with Fire, 2016 and The Figure Revealed, 2014, juried participant); Gallery 104 in La Grange, KY (the 2014 Red Show, juried participant), 2013 Crafts of Kentucky Exhibition, (juried participant), JCC Patio Gallery Presents Louisville Artisans Guild, 2013, the 2012 and 2013 Brown-Foreman Annual Pride Fair, The KORE Gallery (former partner), 2012 September Art Fair Mellwood Art Center, juried participant, Louisville Artisans Guild Annual Art Exhibit, and The Women's Club of Louisville (2012 Annual No-Jury Art Show).

When did you first think you would be an artist?

2004

Who or what inspires you now?

Beautiful and colorful visual imagery in nature or photo images  

"Lukas" by Deborah Stanley, 8x10in, polymer clay (2016) $350 |  BUY NOW

"Lukas" by Deborah Stanley, 8x10in, polymer clay (2016) $350 | BUY NOW

Your work is unique, and blurs many lines. How did you come to work with polymer clay?

I was working on an art project with my young son and needed something different and colorful that would be easy enough for a child to make into simple shapes. However, I found an immediate connection and affinity for the feel of the clay and the endless possibilities I saw when the colors are blended. 

You describe yourself as an “abstract expressionist,” yet the images also contain representational figures and faces – talk about how you balance the two strains in your work?

I strive to express an emotion or feeling with every piece I create. While many of my creations contain representational figures and faces, my concentration is on communicating emotion or feeling rather than trying to create a technically correct replica of a particular subject. I would say my balance of the two strains is giving just enough technical detail to capture the essence of the subject and let abstract expressionism take over from there.

"  Gypsy Dancer" by Deborah Stanley, 9x12in, polymer clay (2016) $425 |  BUY NOW

"Gypsy Dancer" by Deborah Stanley, 9x12in, polymer clay (2016) $425 | BUY NOW

If you could do anything else but make art, what would it be?

Photography. I have always had a passion for photography and previously owned and operated a photography business specializing in wedding and family photographs.

What frightens you the most?

Bugs!

What challenges you more than anything?

Coloring within the lines.

What is your favorite music to listen to when making art?

R&B/hip hop/rap/oldies/pop  

Vinyl or CD?

iTunes - Sorry but if I have to choose between the two, it would be CD

What advice would you give a young artist just out of college?

Experience will be more valuable than anything learned in the classroom. Keep working and never feel like you've "arrived". You will always improve if you keep working.

Tell us about an important moment of transition for you as an artist?

For my first several years as an artist, I exclusively created abstract designs, always determined to "let go/let flow" with the clay. A few years ago, I accepted a commission, which required the inclusion of a representational figure. This commission challenged me to find the most creative way to express freedom while meeting the requirement of my client. This was a pivotal moment for me and gave me the outlet to express myself or an idea or feeling in every piece I now create.

"Sheba" by Deborah Stanley, 9x12in, polymer clay (2016) $425 |  BUY NOW

"Sheba" by Deborah Stanley, 9x12in, polymer clay (2016) $425 | BUY NOW

How do you feel about local art scene in Louisville? What would you change about it?

I love the art scene in Louisville. As a transplant from the Washington, DC area, I was pleasantly surprised at how art friendly Louisville is. Just walking downtown and admiring the artistic bike racks and generations of "Gallopalooza" horse statues is always entertaining. There are plenty of galleries and venues that are very welcoming for local artists of all levels. I wouldn't change a thing.

Has your style changed or evolved over the years? If so what do you think influenced this?

Yes. As I described above, my style has evolved from strictly abstract, to Abstract Expressionism utilizing representational figures or faces. It was a required element in a new commission, so I had to give it a try and have not looked back!

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Favorite movie?

"Something New"

If you could meet any celebrity who would it be and what would you ask them?

Boy George. I would ask him where his courage comes from to have demanded to live and look his own way since childhood. His love of freedom and honest way of expressing himself has always been an inspiration to me.

Hometown: Silver Spring, Maryland
Age: 52
Education: Studied Business Administration and Sociology at Montgomery College in Rockville, MD
Website: http://www.aegalleryshop.com

"Color Chameleon" by Deborah Stanley, 9x12in, polymer clay (2016) $425 |  BUY NOW

"Color Chameleon" by Deborah Stanley, 9x12in, polymer clay (2016) $425 | BUY NOW

"The People's Champ" by Deborah Stanley, 9x12in, polymer clay (2016)

"The People's Champ" by Deborah Stanley, 9x12in, polymer clay (2016)

"The Purplest" by Deborah Stanley, 11x142in, polymer clay (2016), $500   |  BUY NOW

"The Purplest" by Deborah Stanley, 11x142in, polymer clay (2016), $500 | BUY NOW

Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Painting

Vignette: Catherine Bryant


“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” — Edgar Degas


"Yellow Villa" by Catherine Bryant, 12x9in, oil on canvas, plein air (2010), $395 |  BUY NOW

"Yellow Villa" by Catherine Bryant, 12x9in, oil on canvas, plein air (2010), $395 | BUY NOW

Catherine Bryant’s outlook on life may best be expressed in a phrase she likes, “Art is the breath of life.” After experiencing a troubled childhood, Bryant used art to change her life, or at least get moving in a better direction. Armed with a sketchbook and charcoal, she set out to find beauty and record the wonders around her. This journey took her into a world of constant growth.

Bryant is a landscape painter, but she doesn’t restrict herself to panoramic scenes of nature. In fact, her compositions tend to be more intimate glimpses of the way the trees and vegetation frames our point-of-view on the bucolic environment. “Yellow Villa” shows the expansive view that reaches off to the horizon, the diminishing fields becoming more abstract as the distance increases, but in “The Trees Speak Softly”, the viewer feels hidden in the shade, poised to eavesdrop on whatever privileged moment might be about to transpire just beyond the trees.

Another aspect of landscape compositions is the still, unmoving aspect that is so common, but in “Warm H20” Bryant captures a spontaneous moment in time, the immediacy of the interaction between horse and human palpably communicated with certainty and skill. Perhaps it is the introduction of animals, always a favorite with this artist, that represents an opportunity to inject some modicum of unpredictability into her compositions.

"Warm H2O" by Catherine Bryant, 36x48in, oil on canvas (2015)

"Warm H2O" by Catherine Bryant, 36x48in, oil on canvas (2015)

After a career in advertising as a Graphic Designer and airbrush illustrator, teaching classes at Ivy Tech, Bryant created her own business, working as a muralist for 25 years.  Realizing she wouldn’t always want to climb scaffolding, she started honing her skills as a fine art painter.

"The Trees Speak Softly" by Catherine Bryant, 8x10in, oil on canvas (plein air), $395 |  BUY NOW

"The Trees Speak Softly" by Catherine Bryant, 8x10in, oil on canvas (plein air), $395 | BUY NOW

Now, during the summer months, one can find the artist outdoors throughout the state of Kentucky and southern Indiana, painting  “plein air” (painting outdoors). She finds “plein air” painting to be the best method for sharpening her quick decision making skills; an invaluable exercise for simplifying composition, value assessment and color acuity, all the while completing a painting in a matter of a couple of hours. These lessons carry over back in the studio during the winter months.

Ms. Bryant teaches her passion for painting at Preston Arts Center on Bardstown Road, and in her private studio.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BA, University of Louisville
Gallery Representative: Jane Morgan Gallery; Edenside Gallery; Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft, and Hoosier Salon (Louisville) Broad Ripple Gallery (Indianapolis)
Website: http://www.catherinebryantart.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/catherinebryantstudio/

"1st Notes of Spring" by Catherine Bryant, 30x24in, oil on canvas, $2950 |  BUY NOW

"1st Notes of Spring" by Catherine Bryant, 30x24in, oil on canvas, $2950 | BUY NOW

"Sweet Dreams Dear Light," by Catherine Bryant, 11x14in, oil on canvas, plein air (2016), $495 |  BUY NOW

"Sweet Dreams Dear Light," by Catherine Bryant, 11x14in, oil on canvas, plein air (2016), $495 | BUY NOW

"Dance of the Texasbonnets and Indian Paintbrush" by Catherine Bryant, 48x36in, encaustic & oil on canvas (2016), $3500 |  BUY NOW

"Dance of the Texasbonnets and Indian Paintbrush" by Catherine Bryant, 48x36in, encaustic & oil on canvas (2016), $3500 | BUY NOW

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

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