flower

Painting

Vignette: Cheryl Buhrman


The dream of making art becomes a reality.


Painter, Cheryl Buhrman

Painter, Cheryl Buhrman

“Beauty in nature is everywhere you look!” exults Cheryl Buhrman. “That is where I get my inspiration, and through the use of color and composition on my canvas I hope to portray my connection with all living things.”

Burhman has explored a wide range of subject matter, but has recently been working on a floral series. Like so many artists who explore such imagery, she finds the power of flowers as symbols for life and reproduction, finding these inherent qualities not through overt or pretentious awareness, but through a concentration on the delicacy of the form, petals enveloping the stamen, pistil and ovary of the plant. The idea of a flower representing femininity has long since entered the realm of cliché, but there is truth in every trope, and if the balance of strength and vulnerability expressed in “Orange Delight,” “Georgia On My Mind, or ”White Rose” is any indication, Buhrman has discovered that truth for herself.

"Georgia on My Mind" by cheryl Buhrman, 18x24in, acrylic on canvas (2017), $275 |  BUY NOW

"Georgia on My Mind" by cheryl Buhrman, 18x24in, acrylic on canvas (2017), $275 | BUY NOW

“Although I taught art for several years, life got in the way and after working for 30 years in a job that wasn't my dream, my dream became a reality in retirement when I decided to start painting! I hope my paintings will fill some people with the joy that it's given me!”

Buhrman studied under Wine Kemple Harrison, Elizabeth Dawn Johnson, and Susan Tolliver, is a member of LVA, and in 2016 became a juried member of the Louisville Artisan Guild in acrylics. She just appeared at the Butchertown Art Fair in June, and will be at The Highlands Festival Sept 9, and Holiday Showcase in November 2017.

Name: Cheryl Buhrman
Hometown: Roanoke, Virginia
Education: BS, Art Education Longwood University, Farmville, Virginia.
Website: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/artists/cherylbuhrman

"Spring Garden" by Cheryl Buhrman, 24x12in, acrylic on canvas (2017), $185 |  BUY NOW

"Spring Garden" by Cheryl Buhrman, 24x12in, acrylic on canvas (2017), $185 | BUY NOW

"Blue Iris" by   Cheryl Buhrman, 12x24in, acrylic on canvas (2017), $185 |  BUY NOW

"Blue Iris" by Cheryl Buhrman, 12x24in, acrylic on canvas (2017), $185 | BUY NOW

"White Rose" by Cheryl Buhrman, 18x24in, acrylic on canvas (2017), $250 |  BUY NOW

"White Rose" by Cheryl Buhrman, 18x24in, acrylic on canvas (2017), $250 | BUY NOW

"Orange Delight" by cheryl Buhrman, 16x8in, acrylic on canvas (2016), $95 |  BUY NOW

"Orange Delight" by cheryl Buhrman, 16x8in, acrylic on canvas (2016), $95 | BUY NOW

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

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Photography

Vignette: Patricia Brock

“Bathed in Sunlight” by Patricia Brock, 20x20in, photography on brushed aluminum, $320 |  BUY NOW

“Bathed in Sunlight” by Patricia Brock, 20x20in, photography on brushed aluminum, $320 | BUY NOW

In the work of Patricia Brock we see how versatile the camera can be as a creative tool. Brock shoots a broad range of images, including work of a distinctly commercial sensibility. The intimate close-ups of flora capture the grace and delicacy of nature in representational terms, yet “Bathed in Sunlight” also allows the recognizable forms of flower petals to begin a shift into abstraction. The overwhelming light of the sun subtly blinding the detail at the very moment it clarifies it.

And then the high contrast of her recent exploration of the newly opened Lincoln suspension bridge stands apart from the flowers; expansive in their composition, Brock pushes the color into extremes through digital manipulation, now emphasizing the geometric abstraction of the vertical cables through deliberate choice. The older bridge we see through those dissecting vertical elements establishing context and even further contrast.

Patricia Brock taking a photo with her camera.

Patricia Brock taking a photo with her camera.

Brock had used her mother’s box camera as a child, and returned to photography after retiring from teaching elementary school 18 years ago, embarking on a new career and opening her own photography business. She has printed on various materials such as photo paper, metallic papers, canvas and brushed aluminum recently introduced a new creative line for the home or garden with her photographs printed on brushed aluminum or acrylic, which can be used in outdoor spaces. 

Brock is a juried participant of the Kentucky Arts Council’s Kentucky Crafted Program, The Architectural Artists Directory, and a juried exhibiting member of The Louisville Artisans Guild. Her work is represented by KORE Gallery in Louisville, KY. Currently her work is on exhibit as a part of At the Rivers Bend: Our Place on the Ohio, at the Evansville Museum in Evansville, IN. It runs through November 27.

“Riveted (Big 4 Pedway Bridge)” by Patricia Brock, 16x20in, photography on brushed aluminum, $275 |  BUY NOW

“Riveted (Big 4 Pedway Bridge)” by Patricia Brock, 16x20in, photography on brushed aluminum, $275 | BUY NOW

PUBLISHED WORKS
2015 BLINK, Art Design Consultants, Cincinnati, OH
2008 Kentucky Quilt Trails
2007 Saint Paul’s Art on The Parish Green, New Albany, IN, advertising material
2006 The Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, Vol. 72-4
2006 The Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, Vol. 72-3
2006 Promotional Materials, KY Crafted: The Market, KY
2004 Botanica Fleur de Lis Poster, Louisville, KY

COLLECTIONS
Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, KY
Saint Joseph Hospital, KY
Private collections, Louisville, KY
Private collections, The Villages, FL

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 68
Education: BS in Education, MA in Education from Eastern Kentucky University 
Gallery Representation:
KORE Gallery (Louisville)
Website: http://www.PatriciaBrockPhotography.com

“Suspension I (Lincoln Bridge)” by Patricia Brock, 36x22in, photography, triptych on acrylic, $575 |  BUY NOW

“Suspension I (Lincoln Bridge)” by Patricia Brock, 36x22in, photography, triptych on acrylic, $575 | BUY NOW

“Bermuda Hibiscus” by Patricia Brock, 36x24in, photography on brushed aluminum, $454 |  BUY NOW

“Bermuda Hibiscus” by Patricia Brock, 36x24in, photography on brushed aluminum, $454 | BUY NOW

“Suspension V (Lincoln Bridge)” by Patricia Brock, 16x20in, photography on archival photo paper (matted and framed), $225 |  BUY NOW

“Suspension V (Lincoln Bridge)” by Patricia Brock, 16x20in, photography on archival photo paper (matted and framed), $225 | BUY NOW

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

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Mixed Media

Curatorial Spotlight: Ann Stewart Anderson


“I believe that I’m here to create in a world that’s falling apart.”


A photograph of Ann Stewart Anderson. Photo by Sarah Katherine Davis Photography for LVA

A photograph of Ann Stewart Anderson. Photo by Sarah Katherine Davis Photography for LVA

I’ve known Ann Stewart and her work much of my adult life. As I got to know her work, I admired it for its visual accessibility and its conceptual complexity. Her resume of accomplishments and milestones is pages long. Over the past several weeks, I’ve read what others have said about her work, what she’s said about it, and looked at images of pieces I remember, along with ones I’ve never seen. This process has only increased my admiration.

Recently, she and I had a conversation in her studio that ran the gamut from homemade paper dolls to theologian Paul Tillich’s assertion that myths express truth. 

In our conversation, Ann Stewart talked about her father, a Presbyterian minister who studied architecture in college, built a playhouse for his three little girls, and had the courage to stand up publically for civil rights in a time when most other white ministers steadfastly kept their seats; and her mother, an artist who nurtured her daughters’ creativity with easels and paints in the sunroom, building supplies outside, and the steady encouragement to imagine.

Her parents were bedtime story readers, letting the girls take turns picking the book. When it was Ann Stewart’s turn, she always picked Greek mythology, tales of valorous men in war and the women whose lives intersected their personal and public battles. 

Dolls hanging in Anderson's studio. Photo by Sarah Katherine Davis Photography for LVA.

Dolls hanging in Anderson's studio. Photo by Sarah Katherine Davis Photography for LVA.

After graduating with honors from Wellesley with a BA in art history, Ann Stewart got a job as a secretary to the Assistant Director of the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. With additional odd jobs and what she saved (proudly recalled) from her $2,700 a year job, she paid her own way through graduate school, earning a degree in painting from The American University.

Although she began her career in art as a painter, early collaborations with friends like potter Sarah Frederick and fiber artist Lida Gordon offered opportunities to experiment with other media. Her first big collaboration came when the Louisville Visual Art Association chose Ann Stewart as one of five artists for its “Collaborative Effort” show. The only condition was they needed to pick an artist from outside the region to work with.

But whom would she ask? “Somebody suggested Judy Chicago,” Ann Stewart recalls. At that time, Chicago was gaining a national reputation as a feminist artist with The Dinner Party. So Ann Stewart wrote a letter and sent some of her work. Miraculously, Chicago called. 

“What do you want to do?” Chicago asked.

A close look at Anderson's studio's desk. Photo by Sarah Katherine Davis Photography for LVA

A close look at Anderson's studio's desk. Photo by Sarah Katherine Davis Photography for LVA

Ann Stewart recalls feeling unprepared. “When she was on the phone, I had to say something, so I just said ‘menopause.’”

And that was the birth of the Hot Flash Fan project, a giant multi-media collaboration that eventually included work by over 50 artists and helped bring menopause out of the shadows and away from silly euphemisms like, “the change.”

Throughout her career, Ann Stewart’s subject has been women and the sustaining rhythm of their ordinary days. Her goal has always been to see women as subjects, not as objects. “That opens the possibility for other women to identify with the women in my work. I don’t paint portraits. I make up these women and somebody will say, ‘That reminds me of so-and-so,’ or the situations will remind them of themselves. Only women can do that. I admire male artists and have been influenced by the painting of Matisse, Bonnard and Max Beckmann, but I think there’s something significant about a woman artist being able to see something and identify with other women.”

But she’s also been a thoughtful artist, one who reads widely, assesses dispassionately and, for much of her life, kept an ongoing journal about her work: a conversation of ideas, technical struggles, connected and disconnected thoughts.

"Esther" by Ann Stewart Anderson, 14x12in, paper mosaic (2016)

"Esther" by Ann Stewart Anderson, 14x12in, paper mosaic (2016)

It’s Ann Stewart’s point of view that makes her work so provocative. In one series, she creates women in conversations. “It’s the kind of thing women are criticized for,” she says, “nattering, gossiping, but it’s how people learn things. It’s how the important things of life are passed on.” 

Her point of view sometimes reveals a wicked sense of humor, too, like the Ugly Bride series, and the Reject project that she put together at a time when she wasn’t being accepted in shows. “I got depressed,” she says. “Nobody wanted my work. It was going on too long and I decided I had to do something, so I created an art project.” By following the steps to enter a juried exhibit--excruciatingly well known by most artists—she made a point of attempting acceptance in twelve shows. The project culminated in a gala at Louisville Visual Art (LVA) when their home was the Louisville Water Tower, where all her rejection letters were displayed.

“The theme was ‘lemonade from lemons.’ Everything was yellow, and I put up all my rejections on a big wall and invited everybody else to stick theirs on, too, and then I gave ribbons for the best and worst rejections.” Although it was not part of the plan, the mojo worked. After that show—she started getting accepted again.

In her artist’s statement, Ann Stewart says her work is “characterized by dynamic ambiguity.” You can see that in the planes and angles of her “broken dish” women, or in those whose faces are partially hidden—under the brim of a hat, behind a veil or sunglasses, or the old women in extravagant dress and accessories. “You have to fill in the spaces yourself,” she says.

Various works hanging in Anderson's studio. Photo by Sarah Katherine Davis Photography for LVA.

Various works hanging in Anderson's studio. Photo by Sarah Katherine Davis Photography for LVA.

One of the most satisfying experiences she’s had as an artist came with a series depicting the relationship between mother and daughter from the time the mother was pregnant until the day her daughter stood by her mother’s flower draped coffin. At the time, this work was displayed through LVA at Louisville International Airport. One day, Ann Stewart got a call from LVA telling her a woman had called, wanting to talk with her. She assumed the caller wanted to purchase her work, but as Ann Stewart recalls, “It was even better.”

“Are you the artist?” the woman asked.

When Ann Stewart said yes, the woman told her she’d never talked to an artist before but, ”’I was at the airport between planes when I saw your work. My daughter and I were having a big fight, but after I saw your work I was moved to reconcile with her.’ I tell that story to a lot of artists—it’s easy to feel guilty for ignoring social ills, but we don’t really know how our work affects people. “

"Sun Stand" by Ann Stewart Anderson, broken dish mosaic (2008) NFS

"Sun Stand" by Ann Stewart Anderson, broken dish mosaic (2008) NFS

Throughout her life, she’s been blessed with having good jobs to “support my habit,” she laughs. For her, there’s never been a question of how to balance making a living with making art. “Art has always come first. I always had a studio because making art is what I do.” Even marriage to Ron Mikulak, food writer and retired Food Editor for the Courier-Journal, has not created the tension some artists experience trying to balance home with making art. “I’ve been lucky. Ron cooks and I make art. When I’m working in the studio, he’s creating in the kitchen, where he loves to be. And when I come out of the studio, there’s a beautiful meal on the table.” 

Her work has tended to follow the chronology of her life. Today, she’s working on “old women” and, most lately, a series she calls the Teffubud Sisters

“I was working on the broken dish women, and I was getting really tired having to be in a mask breaking dishes. It was a big mess.” A friend gave Ann Stewart a book about paper mosaics. “I thought, ‘I’d like to try that,’” so she began hunting through some old art magazines she’d tried unsuccessfully to sell at a yard sale for material to use in mosaics. “I discovered I loved working with paper and scissors.”

"Discord (Women and War)" by Ann Stewart Anderson, 46x40in, oil on canvas (2010)

"Discord (Women and War)" by Ann Stewart Anderson, 46x40in, oil on canvas (2010)

That change of medium was fortuitous when she and her husband moved into a condominium where she couldn’t work with oil paints any more because of the fumes, and still more so later when she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. “There are some things I can’t do, but fortunately, I can still cut.”

The Teffubud Sisters were born from a picture of a grotesque man by artist Jean Dubuffet that Ann Stewart discovered in one of the art magazines. Each sister’s face takes its basic shape from the Dubuffet “parent,” but after that the ridges, lines and contours of each woman—and her adornments—belong to her alone. 

Parkinson’s has forced other accommodations. The most painful? - The fact that she can’t write any more. As she tells me this, Ann Stewart points to a long row of books and notebooks on the top shelf in her studio. “I’ve always journaled about what I’m doing—and I can’t any more. That’s really hard.”

So how does she look at her art now? “I don’t think being recognized is the most important thing anymore. I want to be like Renoir—and this story might be apocryphal—but he’s supposed to have painted on the day he died. That’s what I want to be. I want to keep creating.” 

Today, she says, that’s more important than ever. “I believe that I’m here to create in a world that’s falling apart. Creative energy is the only counter to all the destructive energy out there. That’s why it’s so important for all of us.”

"Phoebe" by Ann Stewart Anderson, 14x12in, paper mosaic (2015)

"Phoebe" by Ann Stewart Anderson, 14x12in, paper mosaic (2015)

"Millie" by Ann Stewart Anderson, 14x12in, paper mosaic (2016)

"Millie" by Ann Stewart Anderson, 14x12in, paper mosaic (2016)


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This Feature article was written by Sarah Yates.
Sarah Yates is a writer who lives and works in Louisville, KY.


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

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