classes

Print Making, Drawing, Illustration, Mixed Media, Painting, Ceramics

Feature: Studio 2000 - Making It Count

Studio 2000 students at the start of the program.

Studio 2000 students at the start of the program.

On a hot and humid July afternoon at the Shawnee Arts and Cultural Center, the gym is alive with the sounds of basketball - the hard, sharp squeak of shoes on the wood floor and the pounding dribble of the ball up and down the court. But adjacent to the gym, 14 young high school students are working diligently, focused and oblivious to the soundtrack of frenetic activity only a few feet away. They are earning money over the summer - by making art.

Studio 2000 was for several years an initiative of Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation to foster young artists by paying them to create. It was, in effect, a summer job. After a time, it was suspended, but it was resurrected in 2015 as an ongoing partnership between Metro Parks and Louisville Visual Art (LVA). Studio 2000 pairs high school students who aspire to be visual artists with professional artists to work in clay, fiber and mixed media. Each participant receives a $500 stipend at the end of the eight-week session.

The program culminates with a public exhibition and sale on August 3 at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Proceeds from this sale are recycled through Studio 2000 to support future programming.

Instructors Ehren Reed & Simon Gallo

Instructors Ehren Reed & Simon Gallo

Managing the program for LVA is Outreach Coordinator Ehren Reed, who reviews the applications and supervises the classes. She is also one of three teachers, along with Simon Gallo and J.D. Schall. Reed works with fibre arts, while Gallo, a printmaker, handles 2-D mixed media and Schall focuses on ceramics. Reed and Schall have participated since LVA became involved three years ago, and this is Gallo’s second year.

Carol Watson, a student at Presentation Academy, applies hot wax with a brush to fabric, part of the Batik process of dying cloth that is a staple of visual arts education. She explains that she is very active in arts in school, and will be the President of Presentation’s chapter of the National Art Honor Society (NAHS) in the coming school year. Next to her, Jenee’ Whitt uses one of two sewing machines to hem a small piece of Shibori-dyed fabric that will become a table decoration. A student at Butler Traditional High School, her ambition is to be a fashion designer, and normally she fills sketchbooks with her ideas, but she has no other access to a sewing machine, so this constitutes a rare opportunity for hands-on fabrication.

Joseph Falcon & Lilah Pudio

Joseph Falcon & Lilah Pudio

Also in the fiber group is Lilah Pudio, who is felting, patiently but steadily working a 6” x 8” field of alpaca with a small tool so that it becomes a handmade piece of fabric. Although she is anxious to make progress, the tool contains several very sharp, barbed needles, so the work demands caution. Only moments after Pudio demonstrates the process, Reed, who is working with the same tool, shouts out after catching her fingertip on a needle, dancing around the room sucking on her wounded digit. Despite the pain, it is a lighthearted moment, and Reed laughs as she explains: “We’re definitely the most dangerous area down here: needles, sewing machines, hot wax!”  

Joachim Uy

Joachim Uy

There doesn’t appear to be any such risk at the 2-D station, where Simon Gallo oversees a variety of techniques. Ella Gorstein is happily painting multiple images of a corgi that will be sold at the upcoming sale, while DuPont Manual HS student Braeden Helby concentrates on painting an original design on a skateboard deck, although he’s not happy with it right now. “But it’ll get there,” he assures me. “I’ll make it work.” Across the table from him Joachim Uy is sketching a design in a sketchbook. This is the Male Traditional Senior’s second year in Studio 2000, and he understands that he is fortunate to have had the experience. Working now in the final days of the 2017 iteration, he is intent to complete more work. “Make it count,” he says in a low, soft voice.

TaneJa Eden with Instructor J.D. Schall

TaneJa Eden with Instructor J.D. Schall

At the back of the room, four young women are industriously producing work in clay. TaneJa Eden from duPont Manual takes a break to eat a plate of homemade food delivered by her younger sister. Another artist returning for a second year, Eden worked in the 2-D section last year. “But we feel it is important to mix it up for returning students,” explains Clay Instructor Schall. “Give them different experiences.” Interestingly, a common motif in this summer’s ceramics work is the octopus. Elizabeth Hill (Corydon Central HS) is attaching octopus tentacle legs to her box project, while Andrea Priddy (Academy @ Shawnee) is in the last stages of an octopus teapot that is somewhat astonishing. “We all came up with the octopus idea on our own,” Priddy claims shyly. “We all had octopus sketches in our notebooks.” She seems appreciative when I note the suppleness in the shapes that wrap around her form so that the handle and the spout emerge as tentacles.

Braeden Helby  & Justina Grossman

Braeden Helby  & Justina Grossman

Elizabeth Hill & Andrea Priddy

Elizabeth Hill & Andrea Priddy

Fiber Group
Joseph Falcon - Academy @ Shawnee
Donielle Panky - Butler Traditional HS
Lilah Pudio - duPont Manual HS
Carol Watson - Presentation Academy
Jenee’ Whitt - Butler Traditional HS

2-D Mixed Media Group
Ella Gorstein - duPont Manual HS
Justina Gossman - Academy @ Shawnee
Braeden Helby - duPont Manual HS
Synclaire Thomas - duPont Manual HS
Joachim Uy - Male HS

Ceramics Group
TaneJa Eden  - duPont Manual HS
Elizabeth Hill - Corydon Central HS
HaYoung Oh - duPont Manual HS
Andrea Priddy - Academy @ Shawnee

Getting Out Of The Studio

This year the program was expanded to encompass public art in the form of a mural executed under the guidance of artist Casey McKinney. A wall on the side of Christ Way Missionary Baptist Church facing Floyd Street had been the target of random graffiti that necessitated costly clean-up, and when the church administrators reached out to LVA because of their MAPped Out program, Ehren Reed thought of beginning a new track for Studio 2000 that covered murals. “I was able to reconfigure the budget to introduce this new element that is so in line with our mission.”

Christ Way Missionary Church Mural

Christ Way Missionary Church Mural

Filming underway at the Christ Way Missionary Church Mural.

Filming underway at the Christ Way Missionary Church Mural.

The Studio 2000 mural was conceived and executed by these students:

Grady Gartland - duPont Manual HS
Nina O’Brien - Atherton HS
Milo Quinn - Fern Creek HS
Zavier Stewart - Eastern HS
Olivia Tierney - duPont Manual HS

McKinney gave his young charges a crash course in community murals with visits around town to some of the many mural projects completed in recent years, and the design concept was developed by the students themselves. Their first choices for inspirational message were a bit wordy for a large-scale mural on a schedule, so McKinney encouraged them to search a bit more, and the Robert Ingersoll quote “We Rise By Lifting Others” was selected.

Braeden Helby

Braeden Helby

Details of the mural will be reproduced as notecards and available for purchase as part of the sale on August 3.

Studio 2000 Exhibit and Sale
Thursday, August 3, 5:00-7:00pm
Actors Theatre of Louisville, 316 West Main Street
Sale Preview: 5:00-5:30 p.m. Sale 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Studio 2000 Mural Unveiling
Sunday, August 6, 12:00-2:00pm
Christ Way Missionary Baptist Church, 237 E. Breckinridge Street

Ceramic pieces waiting to be fired.

Ceramic pieces waiting to be fired.

Andrea Priddy working on her octopus teapot.

Andrea Priddy working on her octopus teapot.

HaYoung Oh

HaYoung Oh

Donielle Panky & Carol Watson at the sewing table.

Donielle Panky & Carol Watson at the sewing table.

Written by Keith Waits. Photos taken by LVA staff members. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Mixed Media, Sculpture

Vignette: Zehui Ni



“I don’t let the passion become overprotective. I want to be always exploring and learning.”
– Zehui Ni


Zehui Ni at work in her studio.

Zehui Ni at work in her studio.

We expect an artist to create out of passion, and even at the tender age of 18, Zehui Ni exemplifies that commitment with an impressive display of technique and accomplishment. Ni doesn’t have a TV in her living space, because she would rather spend her time sculpting, which she describes as, “the ultimate form of entertainment.” She started sculpting seven years ago and hasn’t stopped, spending eight hours a day making art.

Ni is clear about the attraction of the medium, and she talks about, “…clay’s soft and forgiving qualities when moist, the dried dusty surfaces, the small pieces falling and piling up on the floor from a ribbon tool, to its cracking, crumbling, and collapsing…I find my life’s passion in in the cold, smooth, and moist blocks of clay; the high fire that dries white on my palms, the raven stoneware brown that hides deep between my fingernails, or the terracotta stains on my feet after wedging. But I don’t let the passion become overprotective. I want to be always exploring and learning. Marbleize, matte, china paint, each new technique excites me. I embrace it all.”

"One In Four" by Zehui Ni, 20x12x10in, clay, glaze |  Price available upon request

"One In Four" by Zehui Ni, 20x12x10in, clay, glaze | Price available upon request

Her work in clay is highly detailed, with a level of development that only comes from such single-minded dedication, but there is also an assured embrace of the conceptual that drives her work outside of that medium, as in the mixed media constructions of “Porcelain Nights (Lantern Piece)”, or ”Red Birds on Violin”.

"Porcelain Nights" by Zehui Ni, 40x10x20in, lights, battery, fishing lines, paper, marker, spray paint, mat board, bamboo cane|  |  Price available upon request

"Porcelain Nights" by Zehui Ni, 40x10x20in, lights, battery, fishing lines, paper, marker, spray paint, mat board, bamboo cane|  | Price available upon request

Ni explores fearlessly, a nascent artist whose work shows limitless potential, and we can see her overtly acknowledging her influences. Her use of Asian motifs ties a reverential attitude to nature to a contemporary aesthetic that extends to multi-media installation. Yet Ni’s relationship to her work is far from academic; she expresses almost a symbiotic connection with the clay, describing her process in nurturing terms that equate brushing water onto the clay with bathing an infant. It is an elemental, empathetic understanding of medium that borders on the spiritual.

"Yellow Squares And Black Lines" by Zehui Ni, 12x1x12in, acrylic paint, foam board |  Price available upon request

"Yellow Squares And Black Lines" by Zehui Ni, 12x1x12in, acrylic paint, foam board | Price available upon request

Zehui Ni is Member of Louisville Visual Art and The National Council On Education For The Ceramic Arts. She is currently traveling outside of the U.S, but will be entering the Art Center College of Design in Chicago in January 2017

Exhibition History:
2016 – Sharron Art Center Gallery “Charity Art Exhibition” South Brunswick, NJ. USA.
2016 – Norma E. Brown Gallery “Aurora” Louisville, KY. USA.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 18
Education:  Alumni LVA Children’s Fine Art Classes, graduated from duPont Manual High School's Visual Art Magnet.
Website: http://zehuini.weebly.com/

"Inside Out Red Dot" by Zehui Ni, 18x9x26in, wood, acrylic paint |  Price available upon request

"Inside Out Red Dot" by Zehui Ni, 18x9x26in, wood, acrylic paint | Price available upon request

"Red birds on Violin" by Zehui Ni, 26x22x55in, wood, string, acrylic paint, tape, metal, paper, found branches |  Price available upon request

"Red birds on Violin" by Zehui Ni, 26x22x55in, wood, string, acrylic paint, tape, metal, paper, found branches | Price available upon request

"Golden Peacocks" by Zehui Ni, 16x11x14in, paperclay, found wood, paint, rub n buff | Price available upon request |  Price available upon request

"Golden Peacocks" by Zehui Ni, 16x11x14in, paperclay, found wood, paint, rub n buff | Price available upon request | Price available upon request

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

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Sculpture, Public Art

Feature: Ed Hamilton

"Ed Hamilton's Studio"     P    hoto by Sarah Katherine Davis For LVA (2016)

"Ed Hamilton's Studio" Photo by Sarah Katherine Davis For LVA (2016)

On the west-facing side of the Glassworks building in downtown Louisville you will find an over-size image of sculptor ED HAMILTON with the legend, “Ed’s Louisville.” Part of a series of such tributes to native sons and daughters located throughout the city, the placement of this particular portrait is significant because the west side of town is where Hamilton came of age. Although born in Cincinnati, he grew up on what was then Walnut Street (later rechristened Muhammad Ali Boulevard); a stretch from 6th Street west to 18th Street that he describes in his autobiography as, “…my street, and I owned every crack and every weed in those concrete sidewalks.”* So it is appropriate that his visage is cast out onto what truly was Ed’s Louisville. 

It also explains why the renowned artist has never let fame lure him away. His heart is here, where his parents, Edward Hamilton, Sr. and Amy Jane Hamilton, ran the family business, a tailoring and barbershop, in the early Mammoth Building at 6th and Walnut Streets. Hamilton’s first steps as an artist were at Parkland Junior High School, where art teacher Harriet O’ Malley nominated him for the Children’s Free Art Classes (CFAC) operated by Louisville Visual Art, then called The Art Center, located on the University of Louisville campus. 

"Ed Hamilton working in his studio" P    hoto by Sarah Katherine Davis For LVA (2016)

"Ed Hamilton working in his studio" Photo by Sarah Katherine Davis For LVA (2016)

Hamilton becomes animated talking about this turning point: “If that teacher hadn’t picked me out for CFAC - she could have picked any of those other kids – but she picked me. I never would have gotten there on my own. I had no thought, no ambition to be an artist. That’s an example of why teachers are so important.”

Jean Mulhall, a professional medical illustrator taught that CFAC class, but the human form was not a subject. “We were mostly outside. We drew all over campus.”

Later he attended Shawnee High School, where his art instructor was Patsy Griffiths. In his autobiography, Hamilton describes the contentious atmosphere created by the push for “total” integration in the city schools: “I still remember the animosity and disrespect from white students in that school.” So the fact that Griffith, a white teacher, fostered the talent of a black student in the midst of such tension made an important impression on the budding young artist. When Hamilton graduated in 1965, she pushed him to apply for a scholarship to the Art Center School, which was located in the same building where he had taken CFAC classes. When he returned, with portfolio under his arm, for his interview, he was taken aback: “It had been a few years, and I was still young,’ he laughs, ”and I kept thinking, ‘this place sure seems familiar’.”

Art Center building,ULUA.001.0026, University of Louisville Archives & Records Center, Louisville, Kentucky

Art Center building,ULUA.001.0026, University of Louisville Archives & Records Center, Louisville, Kentucky

The Art Center building was located on South First Street on the U of L campus, and Hamilton used to hang out between classes at a café in Bigelow Hall that was a gathering place on campus for Black students. It was there he met his wife. “I made my move… and introduced myself. When she said her name was Bernadette…well, the name alone was enough for me!” For their 50th Wedding Anniversary in 2017, the Hamiltons are planning a trip to Europe to celebrate.

Of course, there is a lot more life and history between that meeting and today. For 49 years Ed Hamilton has built a career and a reputation that now positions him as one of the foremost American sculptors of public work. Yet his studio is surprisingly modest considering the scale of some of his most famous pieces: the Lincoln Memorial in Louisville, the Joe Louis statue in Detroit, or the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial, in Newport News, Virginia. It is a reminder of Hamilton’s humble roots and that, whatever his preeminence, he remains a hard-working artist.

"Bust of George DeBaptiste". Madison Indiana commission of an   Underground Railroad conductor.

"Bust of George DeBaptiste". Madison Indiana commission of an Underground Railroad conductor.

His latest commission is a life-size bronze bust of George DeBaptiste to be installed in a park development in Madison, Indiana. DeBaptiste (1815-1875) was a freeborn black man who settled in Madison before the Civil War and was a conductor on the Underground Railroad, ferrying slaves across the Ohio into Indiana, and later a key figure in the abolitionist movement after riots forced him to move his family to Michigan. It is a subject that fits very well into Hamilton’s oeuvre of African-American History. Taking on such stories as the mutiny of the slave-ship Amistad, African American soldiers during the American Civil War, the migration of southern blacks to the western United States, or the contributions of such individuals as Booker T. Washington and Medgar Evers, seems a natural task for someone with such an acute sense of history. Hamilton does extensive research into the historical background of each project just to prepare his submission, long before he has been formally selected. “I’d like to think it makes the difference – one of the reasons they choose ME.” Even 25 years after completing the Amistad Memorial in New Haven, Connecticut, he speaks extemporaneously and in great detail of Cinque’s mutiny aboard the notorious slave ship and the landmark Supreme Court ruling that finally allowed he and his compatriots to return to their native Sierre Leone twenty years before the Civil War. Should Hamilton ever wish to “retire” from making monuments, he could easily forge a lucrative career as a guest lecturer in history classes, just don’t expect that retirement to come anytime soon.

A 360° video featuring the "Bust of George DeBaptiste" (Madison Indiana commission of an Underground Railroad conductor) by Ed Hamilton. 

"Ed Hamilton" Photo by Sarah Katherine Davis For LVA (2016)

"Ed Hamilton" Photo by Sarah Katherine Davis For LVA (2016)

*The Birth of An Artist: A Journey of Discovery, by Ed Hamilton, Chicago Spectrum Press, 2006


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.


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

Please contact    josh@louisvillevisualart.org    for further information on advertising through Artebella.

Please contact josh@louisvillevisualart.org for further information on advertising through Artebella.