craft

Photography

Vignette: Marcia Lamont Hopkins


“Time, memory, and the natural world always play a key role in my work.” – Marcia Lamont Hopkins


Photographer, Marcia Hopkins

Photographer, Marcia Hopkins

By applying a poetic and often metaphorical language to her photographic images, Marcia Lamont Hopkins opens the door to the unknown, to multiple realities, both real and artificial, so that one questions what is really happening.

Her images establish a link between the landscape’s reality and the artist’s imagination. While this could, to some extent, be said to be true of any artist using landscapes, Hopkins pushes the limits of our perception of what is real. Each object or environment seems entirely natural and plausible, yet the juxtaposition within the artist’s gauzy, dreamlike atmosphere creates an uneasy sense of mystery. Is our understanding shifting in relationship to time, memory, or some other reality that we can’t quite define?

"Casaubon" by Marcia Hopkins, 17x22in, digital archival print (2017), $500 |    BUY NOW

"Casaubon" by Marcia Hopkins, 17x22in, digital archival print (2017), $500 | BUY NOW

In her artist’s statement, Hopkins explains it this way: “The series, Causabon’s Illusion, crafts a series of metaphorical vignettes rooted in elements of magical realism and the mind’s tendency to search for all-inclusive answers. In George Elliot’s Middlemarch, Edward Causabon spends his life in a futile and absurd attempt to find a comprehensive explanation for the whole of civilization’s knowledge and mythologies. Deluded, he believes that he alone has the key to humanity’s searching, an illusion which may be reflected in our culture today.”

"The Beekeeper" by Marcia Hopkins, 17x22in, digital archival print (2017), $500 |  BUY NOW

"The Beekeeper" by Marcia Hopkins, 17x22in, digital archival print (2017), $500 | BUY NOW

As part of her 60WRD/MIN project, Art Historian and Chicago Tribune art critic Lori Waxman wrote of Hopkin’s work: “We like to control animals and nature, but when they get beyond our understanding things tend to get interesting. Hopkins envisions overgrown forests, historic graveyards, farm animals, and occasionally people, often in combination, in impeccable digital prints that blend multiple shots into believable wholes. The weirder and more convincing, the better: a sheep enmeshed in a dense forest seems as if it and the trees are made of the same stuff, a lama in a rolling meadow becomes one with the horizon and the clouds.”

Hopkins currently has a solo exhibit at Gratz Park Inn in Lexington, KY.

*Burnaway: The Voice of Art In The South, March 27, 2017

Hometown: Lexington, Kentucky
Education: BFA in Film and Fine Art and a Ph.D. in Psychology.
Website: http://www.marcia-hopkins.squarespace.com/

"Cemetery Sheep" by Marcia Hopkins, 17x22in, digital archival print (2017), $500 |  BUY NOW

"Cemetery Sheep" by Marcia Hopkins, 17x22in, digital archival print (2017), $500 | BUY NOW

"Wedding" by Marcia Hopkins, 17x22in, digital archival print (2017), $500 |  BUY NOW

"Wedding" by Marcia Hopkins, 17x22in, digital archival print (2017), $500 | BUY NOW

"Pyramid" by Marcia Hopkins, 17x22in, digital archival print (2017), $500 |  BUY NOW

"Pyramid" by Marcia Hopkins, 17x22in, digital archival print (2017), $500 | BUY NOW

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

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Photography

Vignette: Sid Webb


“I think of art as making a statement about the artist’s time and place and/or turning points in techniques and tools that give the next generation of artists a new outlook.” — Sid Webb


"Skipping" by Sid Webb, 10x27in, photograph (2011), $89 |  BUY NOW

"Skipping" by Sid Webb, 10x27in, photograph (2011), $89 | BUY NOW

Photographer, Sid Webb

Photographer, Sid Webb

Sid Webb creates in a variety of mediums, and today we see some of his photographs. “I have taken nearly 100,000 photographs,” claims Webb, “and although I am tempted by beaches, mountains, sunsets, and sunrises and their breath-taking beauty as much as anyone, I rarely find lasting substance in such images. We can count the significant landscape photographers on one hand. Landscape painters fare a little better because technique and interpretation come into play.”

Webb prefers people as subjects for his camera. Here we see a young boy approaching a large 17th-century canon at Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine with appropriate trepidation, sheepishly inching his foot forward, a look eager anticipation mixed with supreme caution on his face. The shot is from a distant, raised point-of-view, and if the child had a clue he was being photographed, would he have been so expressive?

"Cigar Roller" by Sid Webb, 11x17in, photograph (2013), $45 |  BUY NOW

"Cigar Roller" by Sid Webb, 11x17in, photograph (2013), $45 | BUY NOW

The locations here cover a range of territory, from Germany to Portugal, and Webb’s camera finds the ordinary, universal truths of people instead of the divisive artificial barriers that arise from nations and politicians. Webb sees people experiencing the wonders of the world as a respite from their normal, daily existence.

“It is my feeling that about 80 percent of creating art is the process of making it,” says Webb. “By which I mean just being focused and absorbed in the process of creation. Another 15 percent or so has to do with skill and craft, and 5 percent is drawn from our sensitivity to the world around us and how finely tuned we are to form and balance and color. Somewhere in this mix is a bit of rational thinking and reasoning that lead us in deciding subject matter and content. Generally, artists are thought of as being creative and original. And artists think of themselves in those terms, too.”

Hometown: Lexington, KY
Education: Majored in journalism and political science, University of Kentucky; Atlanta School of Art (High Museum)
Website: http://www.sidwebb.com/

"Skipping (detail)" by Sid Webb

"Skipping (detail)" by Sid Webb

"Boys and Guns" by Sid Webb, 11x17in, photograph (2014), $45 |  BUY NOW

"Boys and Guns" by Sid Webb, 11x17in, photograph (2014), $45 | BUY NOW

"Boys and Guns (detail)" by Sid Webb

"Boys and Guns (detail)" by Sid Webb

"Fairy Dust" by Sid Webb, 11x17in, photograph (2013), $45 |  BUY NOW

"Fairy Dust" by Sid Webb, 11x17in, photograph (2013), $45 | BUY NOW

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

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Painting

Vignette: Tom Cannady

"Scooch Over, Hon" by Tom Cannady, 48x60in, acrylic on canvas (2016), $3600  |  BUY NOW

"Scooch Over, Hon" by Tom Cannady, 48x60in, acrylic on canvas (2016), $3600  | BUY NOW

Tom Cannady describes his paintings as, “nostalgic representations of Americana,” and he has expressed that notion primarily through the use of mid-20th century automobiles, vacation images, and signs. Iconic images filled with the sunlight and faux innocence of Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello.

There were often people before, but they were typical – middle class Americans living the dream on a hard-earned vacation, but in newer work, Cannady introduces some of the same over-exaggerated quality that we find in the 1950’s cars: sleek, fins and detailing that call attention to themselves and remind us of a time when how a car looked mattered more than fuel efficiency, into human female figures. “They Went That Away” highlights the kind of emphatic sex symbol of the period, while “Scooch Over” completes the relationship between objectification of women and automobiles that has never left us, but which was in much greater bloom at this seminal moment.  

"OneTwoThree" by Tom Cannady, 24x36in, acrylic on canvas (2016), $1800  |  BUY NOW

"OneTwoThree" by Tom Cannady, 24x36in, acrylic on canvas (2016), $1800  | BUY NOW

Cannady creates paintings in what he describes as, “a pop impressionist style creating new perspectives or recreating unique moods from another time. I use vintage photographs acquired from multiple sources as reference points and inspiration. Many were originally printed in black & white, which gives me complete freedom to choose the pallet best suited to the composition. I lean to warm, bright hues with strong contrast.”

Cannady is currently showing works at Makers Crucible Showroom and Craft(s) Gallery & Mercantile in Louisville, Kentucky. In November 2016 he was selected as one of twenty artists representing the sixty participants in the LVA Open Studio Weekend in a group show of work at the University of Louisville, Hite Gallery.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 59
Education: BS in Marketing and a minor in Art, Murray State University
Website: http://www.tjcannady.com

"They Went That Away" by Tom Cannady, 36x48in, acrylic on canvas (2016), $2400 |  BUY NOW

"They Went That Away" by Tom Cannady, 36x48in, acrylic on canvas (2016), $2400 | BUY NOW

"Launch Party" by Tom Cannady, 48x24in, acrylic on canvas (2016), $2400 |  BUY NOW

"Launch Party" by Tom Cannady, 48x24in, acrylic on canvas (2016), $2400 | BUY NOW

"Hurry Up, Fred!" by Tom Cannady, 48x36in, acrylic on canvas (2015) $2800 |  BUY NOW

"Hurry Up, Fred!" by Tom Cannady, 48x36in, acrylic on canvas (2015) $2800 | BUY NOW

Cannady's studio

Cannady's studio

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

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Illustration

Q&A: Jeff Dehut

Jeff Dehut is a freelance Illustrator working in Louisville, KY specializing in tabletop game design and portraits using traditional mediums such as pen and ink, and watercolor. He is the creator of Pocket Dungeon Quest, a simplified, casual rogue-like tabletop adventure for 2-4 players.

When did you first think you would be an artist?

It was when I was just a small boy. I would sit at home after school and draw comics all afternoon. I knew I wanted to get into art somehow. At that time my thoughts were either as a comic book artist, or concept work for movies and games.

Who or what inspires you now?

I absolutely love Wesley Burt’s style; I could look at his sketches all day. I also love looking at concept art books of any kind.

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

I would probably have to say making coffee. I just love everything about the coffee-making process.

"Homes" by Jeff Dehut, 8x8in, micron pen (2016)

"Homes" by Jeff Dehut, 8x8in, micron pen (2016)

What frightens you the most?

Getting stuck at a job that drains me creatively.

"Enjoy the Little Things" by Jeff Dehut, 8x8in, digital (2017)

"Enjoy the Little Things" by Jeff Dehut, 8x8in, digital (2017)

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

Typically I listen to documentaries about various things, or audiobooks of all kinds. When I listen to actual music, it’s usually soundtracks or instrumental so I can focus on other things at the same time.

Vinyl or CD?

Neither. Digital.

Favorite movie?

Star Wars, IV, V & VI.

What are you reading right now?

Ha. I just finished the Magnolia Story, it was a super cute book.

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

Don’t wait for jobs to come to you. Go get a job - of any kind. Go make your own creative projects while you wait for something creative to turn up. Be proactive. Make the kind of work on your own while you’re not getting paid for it so that when a company is willing to pay someone for it you can be first in line with experience. Go! Do!

"Illustration Samples" by Jeff Dehut, 3.5x2.5in, ink & marker (2017)

"Illustration Samples" by Jeff Dehut, 3.5x2.5in, ink & marker (2017)

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

The moment I lost my first salary job. It forced me into freelance for a while which forced me to learn many valuable skills I would not have otherwise acquired.

"Watercolor Thumb People" by Jeff Dehut, 3.5x2.5in, watercolor & micron pen (2017)

"Watercolor Thumb People" by Jeff Dehut, 3.5x2.5in, watercolor & micron pen (2017)

If you were given a $100,000 what would do with it?

Get a studio of some kind so I could finally unpack all of my art supplies and make bigger work.

What does art mean to you?

This is a huge question... Art is something you create - for me it is usually, to some extent, emotionally charged, and I hope my art makes other people feel that way. Usually I want people to feel happy to see my work.

What do you feel is your greatest flaw?

I typically bite off more than I can chew. I’m getting better at it…kinda.

If you could have a talent that you currently don't already have what would it be and why?

I want to learn about more art mediums or techniques because I always want to learn more about my craft.

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

I would like to get a photo with Enrico Colantoni because I loved him in Galaxy Quest and I think we look very similar. It would be funny!

Does art have a purpose? If so, what is it?

Oh boy. I think it does. The purpose of my art is to make others feel encouraged to be better people.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 36
Education: Associates in Graphic Design with a specialty in Photography
Social Media: https://www.instagram.com/explosivelimes/

"Watercolor Faces" by Jeff Dehut, 8.5x11in, watercolor & micron pen (2016)

"Watercolor Faces" by Jeff Dehut, 8.5x11in, watercolor & micron pen (2016)

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

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Fiber, Ceramics

Feature: Elmer Lucille Allen


"I love the academic environment. I am a perpetual student." — Elmer Lucille Allen


Artist Elmer Lucille Allen ( Photo by Tom LeGoff)

Artist Elmer Lucille Allen (Photo by Tom LeGoff)

When Kentucky Center for African American Heritage Center Director Aukram Burton describes Elmer Lucille Allen as, “one of our Elders,” he is not just acknowledging that the ceramic and fiber artist is an Octogenarian. The term carries weight in various cultures, but in parts of Africa it specifically denotes a connection to ancestors, the dead who remain vested with mystical power in the kin-group, and the elder’s authority stems from the idea that they are representatives of the ancestors to the contemporary community.

Elmer Lucille Allen is as approachable and convivial as anyone you would ever meet, but she is a “senior” (the far less satisfying American appellation) who has never truly retired. She earned the gold watch, so to speak, after 31 years as a chemist at Brown-Forman, where she was the first African American chemist to be hired (in 1966). In the twenty years since she retired, she has established herself as one of the most important artists in Louisville and an important influence on succeeding generations.

In person, Ms. Allen is an archetypal matriarch, speaking in the unadorned but nurturing language you would expect from any great-grandmother. She exhibits little outward evidence of the depth of her academic background, the years spent as a community activist, and the position she occupies in local history; she never wears her ‘status’ on her sleeve. She puts it this way: “I take it as an honor because what I do is part of who I am.”

"Untitled ELA #5" by Elmer Lucille Allen, Shibori Wall Hanging Red Kona Cotton – Stitched Resist – Dyed Blue Price, $2000 |  BUY NOW

"Untitled ELA #5" by Elmer Lucille Allen, Shibori Wall Hanging Red Kona Cotton – Stitched Resist – Dyed Blue Price, $2000 | BUY NOW

“I became involved in the art scene in the early 1980s when Ken Clay, then head of Renaissance Development, held the first African American (AA) Arts Conference at the Galt House. After this conference, the Kentucky Coalition for Afro-American Arts, Inc. (KCAAA) was formed. I was the first and only president of this organization that lasted 10 years. When I decided that I did not want to continue as President, the treasury was donated to the Arts Council of Louisville. I was a charter member of the ACOL and a treasurer for four years.”

Ms. Allen states she has never felt a bias in the arts, but her history before she was an artist is another matter, and reflects the time. “Remember, I came up through a segregated system and did not have classes with a white person until I was a junior in college. I experienced racial difference when Nazareth College (now Spalding University) graduates in 1953 were looking for a place to host a graduation event. The event was eventually held at the Knights of Columbus Hall.”

“When I graduated I could not get a job as a chemist in Louisville. The only jobs available were teaching. My first job was as a clerk typist in Indianapolis, Indiana, at Fort Benjamin Harrison. There was bias on that job - one person from a city in Indiana had never been around a "colored" person, but you have to be who you are and stand up for what you believe. ‘Speak to a person even if the person does not acknowledge you.’” 

Allen took her first pottery class at Seneca High School in the late 1970’s after her children were all grown and out of the house. She never gave empty nest syndrome a chance, following up with mold ceramics or pottery classes through JCPS and New Albany adult education. But this was still just the beginning: “Then I enrolled in a ceramics class at Metro Arts Center where I studied with Melvin Rowe. Also, while I was a student there I had the pleasure to meet Laura Ross, a national ceramic artist who encouraged me to take classes at the University of Louisville with internationally recognized ceramicist Tom Marsh.”

But studying ad hoc wasn’t enough, and, after retiring she decided to seek a masters in ceramics at U of L. It was while studying for her master’s that she was introduced to a second art media - fiber/textiles. “My thesis exhibition consisted of stenciled wall hangings and over 200 reduction fired porcelain sculptural boxes that were placed on boards on the floor, which meant you had to view the pieces while standing.”

Lucille Allen in a workshop (Photo by Aron Conaway)

Lucille Allen in a workshop (Photo by Aron Conaway)

Whatever racial or gender restrictions she encountered in her earlier life, Allen’s first years in the art world were mostly lacking in such difficulties. “I have not experienced any discrimination as a woman artist or as an artist of color. My work does not depict any culture - it speaks for itself. I create work that I enjoy making. I do not do commissions. I have been fortunate because I did not have to depend on selling art for a living. I retired in 1997 and have been volunteering in some capacity ever since.”

Yet she is not blind that many artists of color find it a challenge to reach wider audiences and secure their place at the larger community table, particularly in the visual arts world. “I think that one organization needs to take control. At the present every organization's president has their own agenda and is not looking out for other persons or organizations, and small organizations normally do not have a specific place, computer equipment, or expertise for such large undertaking.” 

One of the values of being an Elder is that you have been a witness to the changes in the arts and cultural landscape that surrounds you. Allen can recount a time when there was much effort in the name of unity and inclusion. “Years ago, Louisville Visual Art had a large (non-digital) database of artists and arts organizations. The Kentucky Arts Council funded two directories of African American artists in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Two conferences were held, one in Lexington, and one in Louisville. They conducted free workshops for the community at the Chestnut Street YMCA, West End branch of the YWCA, as well as other venues. Bale McKnight, who conducted drum making at the YMCA, created a drum that was in Chickasaw Park, which was the first public art project in the West End. KCAAA was the fiscal agent for Educations Arts and the dance group founded by Harlina Churn.” You see, Elders know the history.

So how does Louisville recapture that level of motivation again? What actions need to be taken today to build a functional community network? Allen feels, “Everyone is waiting for someone else to do the hard work,” but individuals who want to be leaders need to focus on developing their game in crucial ways; Elders also get to give advice:

  • Organizational and leadership skills are a must. 
  • You have to show up and be willing to assume responsibilities. 
  • You must not be afraid to fail. You learn from your mistakes.
  • You, as a leader, must be presentable and responsible for your actions at all times. Remember the golden rule - Do unto others as you want others to do to you.
  • You must be punctual.
  • Respect the time of others. Meetings should have an agenda and should not exceed two hours.
"Untitled ELA #2" by Elmer Lucille Allen, Stenciled Wall Hanging Black Polyester Fabric Price, $750 |  BUY NOW

"Untitled ELA #2" by Elmer Lucille Allen, Stenciled Wall Hanging Black Polyester Fabric Price, $750 | BUY NOW

So how does this near-iconic status affect Elmer Lucille Allen’s work as an artist? Or does it? “My work is not impacted by my place in history,” states Allen. ”The work that I have done since 1981 speaks for itself. I have been the volunteer curator/director of Wayside Christian Mission's Wayside Expressions Gallery since 2005.  My goal is to showcase artists, some of which have never exhibited. My second goal has been to have an African American artist or artists for February. I have done the scheduling, press releases, fliers, finding new artists, etc., from my home. I think my presence in the art world has afforded me the opportunity to be asked to serve as judge for the 2016 Fund for Arts, as a panelist for Metro arts grants, etc.”

“I think that over the years, the community sees who is where and what you are doing. Action speaks louder then words.”

You can see Elmer Lucille Allen’s work as a part of the Louisville Visual Art exhibit Tessile Ora, at Metro Hall, now through May 26, 2017. 

Recognitions/Awards: 
Louisville Defender – Lifetime Community Service Recognition Award (2016)
Outstanding Community Leader by Metro Council (2016) 
Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft’s First Art and Advocacy Award – Bourbon Bash (2015) 
Parkland Rising Up Project (2015) 
Community Spirit Award given by the University of Louisville College of Arts and Science and the Yearlings Club (2015) 
Spalding University Caritas Medal (2011) - the highest honor awarded to an alumnus 

"Untitled ELA #4 – Shibori Wall Hanging" by Elmer Lucille Allen, Natural Silk Noil – Three Panels - Stitched Resist and Pole Wrapped – Dyed Blue, $1000 |  BUY NOW

"Untitled ELA #4 – Shibori Wall Hanging" by Elmer Lucille Allen, Natural Silk Noil – Three Panels - Stitched Resist and Pole Wrapped – Dyed Blue, $1000 | BUY NOW

"Untitled ELA #1" by Elmer Lucille Allen, Stenciled Wall Hanging Black Polyester Fabric Price, $750 |  BUY NOW

"Untitled ELA #1" by Elmer Lucille Allen, Stenciled Wall Hanging Black Polyester Fabric Price, $750 | 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 © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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

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