getting down to business

Drawing, Mixed Media, Painting

Feature: The Future Is Now, Part 2 of 2

Getting Down To Business

LVA is really stepping up to fill a need in a time when support for art is on a decline in schools. It’s an honor and privilege to be a part of helping our community grow. It’s something that is very important to me personally, and I’m glad that there are others out there that feel the same so we can collectively do things much bigger than we could ever do on our own.
— Daniel Pfalzgraf (2016 artist mentor)
"Horny Sea Puppy #1" by Jake Ford (Mentor), fleece, hand dyed cotton, and polyfi (2015)

"Horny Sea Puppy #1" by Jake Ford (Mentor), fleece, hand dyed cotton, and polyfi (2015)

The Future Is Now is a program that pairs aspiring young artists with adult, working artists so that they might provide an example by working together on projects that will be exhibited at the end of the process. Facilitated by LVA Director of Education and Outreach Jackie Pallesen in conjunction with Kentucky College of Art + Design at Spalding University (KyCAD), the program selects students through an application process each year. Pallesen gathers a pool of prospective mentors for the students to choose from - working artists whose work and/or studio practice will complement the young artist’s creative talents.

Andrew Cozzens, KyCAD Assistant Professor and manager of the school’s 849 Gallery, was a mentor in the first year, and the experience motivated him to work with Pallesen to forge a formal collaboration on the program. Now many of the combined meetings, which began on May 30, take place in KyCAD studios, with all the efforts culminating in an exhibit that opens July 20 in the 849 Gallery.

On July 11, Cozzens shepherded the group through the final critique, imposing strict time limits to structure the discussion. “This is how we do it in classes here at KyCAD,” he explained, underscoring the intention of the program to prepare the students to function most effectively in a real-world environment with other artists. Most of the mentors spoke, some framing their pairings individual experience before letting the student take over.

Although there is painting and drawing in the work, it was mostly untraditional, using unconventional substrates and illustrating a high degree of experimentation resulting from the interaction between mentor and mentee.

Mentor, Bobby Barbour & Mentee, Brittney Sharp

Mentor, Bobby Barbour & Mentee, Brittney Sharp

Brittney Sharp and I are a great match for this project, both as individuals and creatives. Brittney’s work mainly consists of illustration, but she wishes to try new mediums. I was about her age when I started to branch out from drawing, thanks to a student teacher’s assignment that pushed me to try new media. I’m really thankful for the experience and for that teacher challenging me. My hope is to be that person for Brittney, supporting her in expanding her definition of art and how to create it.
— Bobby Barbour

If the student artists were ever shy about discussing their work in such a format, they were pretty much over it by this meeting. Sunny Podbelsek was highly articulate in deconstructing her process, explaining the very specific emotions that her images were meant to express, while her mentor, Lauren Hirsch, was content to take a back seat in the presentation, only interjecting some observations towards the end of their time.

Working with Sunny Podbelsek has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I have learned a lot from Sunny and enjoy facilitating her creative process. Pushing her to explore different processes helps me reflect on my own work from a new perspective, and the shared energy of the collaborative process gives me a renewed sense of excitement to explore new ideas in my own work.
— Lauren Hirsch
Mentor, Lauren Hirsch & Mentee, Sunny Podbelsek

Mentor, Lauren Hirsch & Mentee, Sunny Podbelsek

Hannah Lyle and Dominic Guarnaschelli described how their images, portraits of family members painted on transparent plexiglass, would be hung from a sculptural apparatus attached to the ceiling, and how they were hoping to have some reflection, or shadows, cast on the gallery walls if the lighting could be managed.

From the start I was immediately impressed with Hannah. Very sharp and eager to dive in, Hannah was overflowing with ideas for our collaboration and ready to learn new skills and work with unfamiliar media. Hannah has been open to experimentation and incorporated other interests in math and science during this process. Throughout the summer, I was very struck by Hannah’s confidence. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Hannah.
— Dominic Guarnaschelli

Deb Whistler and Rashad Sullivan showed what felt like nearly finished twin B&W self-portraits that were striking in their consistency. Working from photographs they took together, the drawings incorporated autobiographical text painstakingly rendered into the background, a feature inspired by their conversations together.

Rashad and I spoke quite often, sometimes by phone, and I loved the stream-of-consciousness in the way he talks.
— Deb Whistler

The final instruction for the evening was for each pair to place themselves in the gallery in the place they imagined the work would be presented, so that Cozzens could discuss specifics of installation. It was interesting that no pair had selected the same spot, and that the mentors had already discussed hanging and placement with the students as the work developed.

All of the work will be installed by the group before the opening reception for the exhibit, which is July 20, 5-7pm at KyCad’s 849 Gallery.

Anyone interested in participating in the 2018 Future Is Now can find more information on applying at this link:

Guarnaschelli's (Mentor) Studio

Guarnaschelli's (Mentor) Studio

"Drawing 1" by Lauren Hirsch (Mentor), 24x36in, mixed media, $550 |  BUY NOW

"Drawing 1" by Lauren Hirsch (Mentor), 24x36in, mixed media, $550 | 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,, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.

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.