germantown

Painting

Vignette: Laurie Fader - Open Studio Weekend Artist

Making the painting is a mysterious and compulsive search for an emotional reality.”      – Laurie Fader

Abstract art is a loaded phrase, words that conjure as much misunderstanding as mystery. In the simplest terms, perhaps the best thing we can say is that abstraction is universal - artists tapping into the subconscious to elicit emotional reactions and develop visual relationships through elements of color, shape, and texture. The same equation is typically at work in representational art, but with those elements fashioned within the familiar.

"Big Toe" by Laurie Fader, oil, 48x42in, 2017, $3200

"Big Toe" by Laurie Fader, oil, 48x42in, 2017, $3200

“Unconscious, subversive preoccupations are the driving force behind my paintings,” is how Laurie Fader puts it, “stabilized and excavated through the use of light and woven shapes of color. Making the painting is a mysterious and compulsive search for an emotional reality. Visual touchstones reveal complex psychological and intellectual states, contained within fragile, blistered and bubbled boundaries. It has become a metaphor for our political landscape as well, polarized and charged with dichotomies.”

"Plumage" by Laurie Fader, oil, mixed media on paper, 19x15in, 2017, $2200

"Plumage" by Laurie Fader, oil, mixed media on paper, 19x15in, 2017, $2200

Fader came to the abstract. Like so many artists, after years of representational work: “Freed from the perimeters of painting the landscape on site, which caught my interest for twenty years, now color can lead in a way it could not before. And with color comes delight in a different sort of visual and emotional journey.”

Fader is Associate Professor and Chair of Academic Affairs at Kentucky College of Art + Design at Spalding University, where she teaches Drawing II, Color and Design, Color and Design II, and Painting II. Since joining the faculty in 2010, she co-authored the BFA program before becoming Chair in 2011. In addition, she organized a Study Abroad Program and took 3 students to Umbria, Italy.

 

Earlier this year she finished an Artist’s Residency at Scuola Grafica in Venice, Italy.

Laurie Fader will be participating in the 2017 Open Studio Weekend, sponsored by Louisville Visual Art and University of Louisville’s Hite Art Institute. Her studio, located in the Germantown neighborhood, will be open the weekend of November 4 and 5. Tickets for Open Studio Weekend will go on sale October 16. Click here for more information.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 60
Education: BS, Honors, New York University, NYC; MFA, Painting, Yale School of Art.
Website: lauriefader@squarespace.com

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"Charted Territories" by Laurie Fader, mixed media on paper, 22x18in, 2017, $2500

"Charted Territories" by Laurie Fader, mixed media on paper, 22x18in, 2017, $2500

"Shroud" by Laurie Fader, mixed media, 13x19in, 2017, $2200

"Shroud" by Laurie Fader, mixed media, 13x19in, 2017, $2200

"Diversity" by Laurie Fader, mixed media, 32x28in, 2017, $2200

"Diversity" by Laurie Fader, mixed media, 32x28in, 2017, $2200

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

Special, Mural, Painting, Photography

Feature: 1619 Flux

1619 FLUX is re-opening for our One-Year Anniversary on April 15th, 2017 with a new Exhibition about Revitalization in West Louisville, and other surrounding neighborhoods.


“1619 Flux is NOT an art gallery.” — Kara Nichols


Neighborhood Revitalization & The Creative Flow Exhibition  Co-Curators:  Jesse Levesque, Kara Nichols, and Gwendolyn Kelly

Neighborhood Revitalization & The Creative Flow Exhibition
Co-Curators:  Jesse Levesque, Kara Nichols, and Gwendolyn Kelly

Kara Nichols and Jessie Levesque did not want to open an art gallery on West Main Street. Not that there’s anything wrong with that notion, it’s just that the pair had something else in mind. The full name they gave their venture, 1619 Flux Art + Activism is actually fairly direct in announcing the mission, but once you put art on the walls with a price tag, “gallery” is the easy assumption. People get it – they know what that is and they can feel good about it. But the real mission – the second part of that name – is an idea that still struggles to gain currency in the mainstream. What exactly does it mean to use art to effect social change?

Part of the problem is that it can mean so many things. “We want to engage artists who are solving problems creatively,” explains Levesque, “and, of course, part of that engagement will include exhibiting art, but there’s more to it.”

Nichols, who holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Louisville, never saw herself in the role of “curator”, but she and Levesque are inventing a new role for themselves, step-by-step.  The first step was to make a home. The building is a humble, low-slung bungalow-like edifice that sits back off of Main Street between 16th and 17th Streets. It seems utilitarian on the outside, and the interior is open and efficient; a good space for a reception. When 1619 opened its doors one year ago, there was a party attended by a host of Louisville VIP’s: Mayor Greg Fisher, Ghislain D’ Humeires, Teddy Abrams, and many others. The high profile event drew a large crowd and the owners engaged a valet parking company to handle the traffic. That doesn’t seem unreasonable for such a glittering night, but later they heard negative comments from the neighbors. “They said to us, ‘seeing valet parking told us we weren’t welcome,’” says Nichols. “Which is exactly the opposite of what we intended.”

"Portland Car Show" by Adam Horton, 8x11in, photograph

"Portland Car Show" by Adam Horton, 8x11in, photograph

Which just underscores the challenge of trying to focus creative social activism through a physical location designed to pull people across the mythical 9th Street divide.

"Consume" by Bryan K. Holden, 48x72x9in, Plastic Liquor Bottles, Cardboard Homeless Signs, Wood, Resin, Ink, Paint, Liquor, Cigarette Butts, Pills, Syringes, Keys and Wedding Ring

"Consume" by Bryan K. Holden, 48x72x9in, Plastic Liquor Bottles, Cardboard Homeless Signs, Wood, Resin, Ink, Paint, Liquor, Cigarette Butts, Pills, Syringes, Keys and Wedding Ring

Hoping to clarify their intentions, Nichols and Levesque invited artist and West End resident Gwendolyn Kelly to co-curate a new exhibit that opens April 15, Neighborhood Revitalization & The Creative Flow. Although it does feature artists: Adam Horton, Randall Webber, Anne Huntington, Gwendolyn Kelly, Bryan K. Holden, Scott Vinson, D.R. Stewart, REMI, Kacy Jackson, Dwayne Whidby, Josh Ison, Shaun Sargent, Andrew Cozzens, and Erik Nohalty will all have work in the show, it will also highlight people and businesses that are making a creative difference in neighborhoods in transition: Algonquin, Butchertown, California, Chickasaw, Germantown, NuLu, Parkland, Park DuValle, Park Hill, Phoenix Hill, Portland, Russell, Shawnee, Smoketown, and SoBro/SoFo, among others.

One of the ways they accomplish this is by devising categories for people who affect change through creative action. In the statement for the exhibit, the curators state: “Creative people help to revitalize neighborhoods as architects, artists, connectors, employers, muralists, navigators, and witnesses. Art and activism emerges when creative people invest their time, money, and energy in neighborhoods in flux.”

"Pharoah Sanders" by Kacy Jackson, 48x24in, acrylic and spray paint on board

"Pharoah Sanders" by Kacy Jackson, 48x24in, acrylic and spray paint on board

Nichols, Levesque and Kelly came up with a series of identities:

Navigator
Architects
Witnesses
Connectors
Muralists
Employers
Artists
Evolvers

They see these terms as establishing entry points for individual to become a part of the discussion. “There is so much going on,” says Kelly, “but if people can identify with one of these roles, then they are involved.” The roles encompass people, businesses, social agencies, and art non-profits. “Connectors are churches, school, organizations like Louisville Visual Art,” explains Levesque, “Employers are obvious, but some of the other categories are more subtle in their definition, and, of course, we are all witnesses.”

It may seem surprising that Nichols and Levesque opened their space while still trying to figure things out, but their lack of arrogance and willingness to learn and grow provides an important example for people of means who want to make a difference in the community. It’s too easy to talk yourself out of taking such a risk, and nobody wants to look foolish, but perhaps in the territory where angels fear to tread is exactly where we might find the greatest opportunity for change.

Grand Re-Opening and One-Year Anniversary!
1619 FLUX: Art + Activism’s
Neighborhood Revitalization & The Creative Flow Exhibition

Saturday, April 15th, 2017
5:00pm - 10:00pm

Meat from Superior Meats, BBQ by Boss Hog, wine & beer, sides and desserts from The Table, Farm To Fork, and Sweet Peaches

Live music with WoWuWoo & Krew from 8:00pm to 10:00pm

"Phoenix Hill" by Adam Horton, 8x11in, photograph

"Phoenix Hill" by Adam Horton, 8x11in, photograph

"Sweet Peaches Restaurant Mural" by Resko, Photo by Randall Webber. 8x11in

"Sweet Peaches Restaurant Mural" by Resko, Photo by Randall Webber. 8x11in

"Smoketown Teardown" by Adam Horton, 36x36in, photograph

"Smoketown Teardown" by Adam Horton, 36x36in, photograph

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.

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

Painting, Mixed Media, Photography, Ceramics

Feature: Building A Foundation At Art Sanctuary

"Branching Out" by  Britany Baker,  103x23in, charcoal on paper (2016)

"Branching Out" by Britany Baker, 103x23in, charcoal on paper (2016)

Photo by  Sarah Katherine Davis

Photo by Sarah Katherine Davis

One of the aspects of the art community that tends to be under appreciated is how much artists, especially visual artists do for themselves; taking care of business independently, often with a scrappy, can-do attitude. It happens often out of necessity, because social infrastructure and municipal support for such projects can be hard to come by, even in a city that prides itself on generations of support for local artists, but it also has always been a part of the counter-culture identity embraced by many younger artists, one in which integrity is equated with struggle.

I’m not sure that Lisa Frye and Britany Baker had any such thoughts in mind when organizing Art Sanctuary, the artist’s studio space located at 1433 South Shelby Street in the Germantown neighborhood. The current President and Vice-President, respectively, are overflowing with war stories of the constant uphill battle to make the dream a reality. But I guess if it were easy to build a vision, everyone would be doing it.

Frye, a visual artist, founded Art Sanctuary in 2004. Her first efforts were pop-up exhibits, or ‘art soirees’, as they became know, at locations such as River Bend Winery, Felice Vineyard, Flame Run, Petrus Nightclub, Main Street Lounge, Mellwood Arts Center, and many more. “That was back when art shows in coffee shops wasn’t even a thing yet,” remembers Frye. An attempt to secure a permanent space led to collaborations with The Alley Theater when they were occupying various spaces at The Pointe on East Washington Street, but the uncertainties of that circumstance led Frye to believe that Art Sanctuary needed to follow its own path. “We applied for and were granted non-profit status in 2006, but we still found ourselves with no place to show on a regular basis.”

Artist Victoria Klotz at work. Photo Sarah Katherine Davis

Artist Victoria Klotz at work. Photo Sarah Katherine Davis

It was in this period that Frye became involved with the Va Va Vixens, a neo-burlesque, vaudevillian style performance troupe who mount extravagant shows of music, dance, and acrobatics. Original founder Christiane Nicoulin moved on to other creative adventures and left Frye as Producer/Manager, writing and producing shows such as the upcoming yuletide holiday show, Va Va Festivus, at Headliners Music Hall, December 8 -10.

Frankie Steele at work. Photo by Brian Bohannon.

Frankie Steele at work. Photo by Brian Bohannon.

Enter photographer Frankie Steele, who was looking for a building to develop as a “maker space.” It’s a phrase that has gained currency in the intervening years, but Steele had managed Ice Box Co-Labs, an earlier co-working space on Main Street, long before the trend picked up steam in Louisville. He met Dennis Becker, who in 2008 had purchased the wedge-shaped building at 1433 South Shelby Street to use as a warehouse for his business, Voit Electric. Steele made a formal presentation to Becker outlining his vision for the building, and began work on the first spaces – studios for he and his wife, Baker, independently. The need for a non-profit organization to structure fundraising seemed important, and Baker reached out to her friend Lisa Frye about Art Sanctuary, which had no brick and mortar location. A union was born, and Steele and Baker joined the AS board in 2012. Scott Slusher joined shortly thereafter, and the first formal lease was signed as Art Sanctuary.

Artists Lisa Frye and Britany Baker. Photo by Frankie Steele.

Artists Lisa Frye and Britany Baker. Photo by Frankie Steele.

It is where Art Sanctuary now makes its home. The 26,000 square foot space seemed well suited to the two-fold mission to house individual artist’s studios and rehearsal/performance space. It came equipped mostly with potential, and multiple loading doors into a wide, high-ceilinged space and a second floor. The group started with just a few spaces, but it wasn’t long before landlord Becker opened up more space for them, until, in stages, they had a lease on the entire building. “Dennis has been terrific,” remarks Frye. “It really feels like he is on our side, and wants us to succeed.”

Baker estimates that Steele has personally been responsible for about 90% of the work that has been accomplished: “He envisioned the space as what it has become, built the stage, installed the fire-rated doors, designed and built the rolling gallery walls. He fixed everything that needed fixing, found deals on what we were missing, did all the heavy lifting - literally.” Frye concurs wholeheartedly: “Without Frankie, we would not be a fraction of what we are today.” Now the board numbers seven, with approximately sixty visual and performing artists involved.

The current entrance is from McHenry Street, on the southeast side, and this half of the building is devoted to visual art, with a spare gallery space and photography studio for rent by the hour on the first floor, and individual studio spaces upstairs. Many of the occupants are painters: Rita Cameron, Sabra Crockett, Victoria Klotz, Brittni Pullen, Kelly Rains, Shahn Rigsby, Nancy Ann Sturdevant, and Charlotte Pollock to name a few, mixed media artists Michael Braaksma, and Kate Mattingly, ceramicist Sarabeth Post, photographers Frankie Steele and Tony Dixon, can also be found there, and even one playwright and free-lance journalist who also works the arts and culture beat, Eli Keel. 

"March 30, 2016 1pm" by Charlotte Pollock, 16x20in, oil on canvas (2016), $350 |  BUY NOW

"March 30, 2016 1pm" by Charlotte Pollock, 16x20in, oil on canvas (2016), $350 | BUY NOW

On the Shelby Street side, a high and wide space that aches to be performed in stands idle while various permit issues wait to be resolved. The entry doors open into a suitable little box office nook, which spills into an ample lobby where Frye and Baker see a permanent gallery space. Beyond that stands an ample proscenium stage and floor that could likely accommodate several hundred seats. It will someday make a perfect home for Va Va Vixens, but for now it settles for prep space for multi-media artists like Ryan Daly, who is working on the upcoming Louisville Ballet production of Swan Lake

Photo by  Sarah Katherine Davis

Photo by Sarah Katherine Davis

How long it will take to fully realize Art Sanctuary’s potential in this facility is difficult to estimate. One of the challenges in adapting such an old building with so much history, and repurposing it for multiple uses, is that the past is revealed layer by layer, excavating a crazy-quilt legacy of zoning and renovations that did, or didn’t follow, regulations. “I can’t believe we’ve gotten this far,” exclaims Frye. Baker is slightly more philosophical about this moment for Art Sanctuary: “ It also feels healthy. It's like how you can intentionally stress a plant, by picking off the earliest buds or breaking branches to encourage a stronger, more stable foundation, then it flowers more beautifully than you ever thought it would.”

Art Sanctuary will once again be participating in Open Studio Weekend, November 5 and 6, sponsored by Louisville Visual Art and the University of Louisville’s Hite Institute. Participating Artists will include Britany Baker, Michael Braaksma, Rita Cameron, Sabra Crockett, Jada Lynn Dixon, Victoria Klotz, Samantha Ludwig, Kate Mattingly, Brittni Pullen, Shahn Rigsby, Frankie Steele, & Joseph Welsh. Three artists who have moved in since the original deadline for the event will also be working in their studios during those times. They are Nancy Ann Sturdevant, Charlotte Pollock, and Sarabeth Post.

"Through A Veil" by SaraBeth Post, 9x5.25in, lathe carved blown glass (2016), $500 |  BUY NOW

"Through A Veil" by SaraBeth Post, 9x5.25in, lathe carved blown glass (2016), $500 | 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.


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

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.