history

Mixed Media

Vignette: Curtis Uebelhor

"1894 World Geography Redacted" by Curtis R. Uebelhor, Mixed media, 12x18x1.5in, 2015, collection of Jeremy Efroymson

"1894 World Geography Redacted" by Curtis R. Uebelhor, Mixed media, 12x18x1.5in, 2015, collection of Jeremy Efroymson

When Curtis Uebelhor was last on Artebella (July 2014), we described him as a “mixed media“ artist, but the word “interdisciplinary” has since gained usage and seems perhaps more apt. Like so many creative, Uebelhor seems to have a restless imagination that is not easily contained by any one medium. He is best known for his found-object constructions:

“I usually strive to utilize my fondness for ‘stuff’ by being very selective in the objects I pick for individual artworks.  An idea may lay dormant for quite some before just the right object(s) is found or decided upon. Such is the case for ‘Latchkey # 2’ and ‘1894 World Geography-Redacted’. The keys, faux marble blocks, photograph and textbook had been in my possession for quite some time.”

"Willard Carpenter Home- Drive-by Archeology" by Curtis R. Uebelhor, Mixed media, 24x30x1.5in, 2017,  $350.00

"Willard Carpenter Home- Drive-by Archeology" by Curtis R. Uebelhor, Mixed media, 24x30x1.5in, 2017,  $350.00

“With the recent Drive-By Archeology Series I have departed from that work plan somewhat by limiting the objects used in a specific collage to only things collected at a specific site on a specific date. The series started in 2012 when I filled in as interim director of the New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art and was staying in town during the week at a private residence, and then at the USI guesthouse. I collected bits of ephemera from the yard of those houses and took photos of both places. Being in that historic town and revisiting the Historic New Harmony sites and the Working Men’s Institute and its plethora of odd and interesting collections became a starting point for this series that continues to evolve. The element of chance is an important part of these pieces; how to interpret what is found to make a cohesive composition shifts my role as curator from judiciously selecting items from an existing collection of objects to quickly jurying objects in or out of a collection as they present themselves ‘in the field’. “

“Willard Carpenter Home” and “Willard Library”, both seen here, are the most recently completed works in this series.

The artist here shares two pieces, “Focus, Please Focus,” and “Le Grande Bicentennial Tribute,” that are distinctly different from his sculptures, 2-D works that use intense color and patterns of shape in a whimsical manner.

“A sense of humor or playfulness is pervasive even when tackling serious topics like climate change, gender issues and our current political scene.”

"Focus, Please Focus" by Curtis R. Uebelhor, Acrylic on canvas, 24x30in, 2017, $300.00

"Focus, Please Focus" by Curtis R. Uebelhor, Acrylic on canvas, 24x30in, 2017, $300.00

Uebelhor currently has a one-person exhibition: Hunting and Gathering, at St. Meinrad Archabbey Library Gallery in St. Meinrad, IN that continues through February 20, 2018. He also has two sculptures in: The Chair: writ small - Invitational Exhibition, University of Southern Indiana, McCutchan Art Center, which runs through February 19, 2018

Hometown: Ferdinand, Indiana
Education: BS, Art, University of Southern Indiana; MFA, Sculpture, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; Teaching Certification, University of Southern Indiana
Gallery Representation: New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art, Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana

"Latchkey II" by Curtis R. Uebelhor, Mixed media, 15x12x1.5in, 2015, $300.00

"Latchkey II" by Curtis R. Uebelhor, Mixed media, 15x12x1.5in, 2015, $300.00

"Willard Library-Drive-by Archeology" by Curtis R. Uebelhor, Mixed media, 24x30x1.5in, 2017, $350.00

"Willard Library-Drive-by Archeology" by Curtis R. Uebelhor, Mixed media, 24x30x1.5in, 2017, $350.00

"Le Grande Bicentennial Tribute" by Curtis R. Uebelhor, Acrylic on handmade paper 26x36x1.5in, 2016, $400.00

"Le Grande Bicentennial Tribute" by Curtis R. Uebelhor, Acrylic on handmade paper 26x36x1.5in, 2016, $400.00


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

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Special, Photography

Feature: PYRO Relocation

From The Firehouse to The Butcher Block: PYRO Gallery On The Move.

It was christened PYRO because it made its first home in a converted firehouse on Hancock Street nestled along Nanny Goat Strut. Yet it has always seemed a good name for an artist’s cooperative: a word suggesting the fire of inspiration but also containing a note of danger. As the members prepare to move into their fourth home at 1006-1004 East Washington Street, they seem poised to rediscover the upstart nature of their beginning.

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From the firehouse they relocated to the former Chapman-Friedman Gallery on West Market Street, one of the most beautiful gallery spaces in town, with high ceilings and polished wood floors. The location felt premium, but the traffic didn’t match the mission. Too many tourists carrying miniature bat souvenirs from the nearby Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory and not enough art collectors.

Meanwhile, 10 blocks east on the same street an explosion of restaurants, local retail, and galleries called NuLu was happening, gaining national attention with coverage in the New York Times. PYRO joined in by moving to a space in the 909 East Market building. It was an effective exhibition space, but positioned away from the street in an L-shaped structure, it was hidden from view to passing traffic.

“If we had been one block west it might have made all of the difference,” laughs James “Chip” Norton. Norton has been conducting a tour of the new location, which still needs a lot of work, some of which will take a period of months to complete. As opposed to the idea of a large, single gallery, the new location is actually two adjacent buildings that will house five separate exhibition spaces for PYRO, as well as a home for DE Gallery Boutique, which has shared space with PYRO at 909 East Market. The two will be connected by an addition whose construction is currently underway, the foundation blocks still visible as of this writing. Beyond this is a common outdoor area that the building’s owner, Andy Bleiden, is planning on developing in such a way that it will connect with the businesses on the equivalent block on Main Street, Hi-Five Doughnuts, and Pho Ba Lu.

"Untitled #1" by Keith Auerbach, archival digital print, 2017

"Untitled #1" by Keith Auerbach, archival digital print, 2017

“This community - which is named Butcher Block - consists of several renovated National Historic homes and is a family of retailers, galleries and restaurants that work together to promote their members,” explains PYRO member Debra Lott. “The Butcher Block businesses will be connected by a green space in the center and we believe it will become a destination for tourists and local customers for a unique, relaxing, shopping experience.”  

Despite the broken up space, Norton states, “Once we are finished I think we will have pretty close to the same linear square feet that we had in the previous location, but it will be easier to have multiple exhibits when we choose.” There will also be a full working kitchen, which will help facilitate public events.

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PYRO Gallery was founded in 2003 by CJ Pressma, Marilyn Whitesell, Debra Clem, Erin Devine, Susan Gorsen, Michael Brohm, David Modica, Cean Peevey-Rosenthal, Mitch Eckert, Keith Auerbach, and Susan Moffett, who is still a member and very excited about what she sees as potential and possibilities: “Potential in that, this "Butcher Block" area will be a destination once all the development is complete - Butchertown is blooming! And possibilities in that having several smaller galleries will allow us to have more exhibits up by different people, perhaps some guests of PYRO. Not to mention some fun and challenging installation/performance artwork.”

PYRO Gallery’s FINAL show in its current location, 909 E. Market St., is a group exhibit featuring members and several invited guest artists. PYRO Squared, through August 26.

The current membership consists of: Debra Lott, Jeffrey Skinner, Bette Levy, Mike McCarthy, Susan Moffett, Guinever Smith, Bob Lockhart, C J Pressma, James Norton, Claudia Hammer, Corie Neumayer, Nancy Currier, John McCarthy, Keith Auerbach, Beverly Glascock, Shawn Marshall, Julia Davis, Kathy Loomis, Leslie Anglin.

The first show in the new space will be Experimenting with Light by Keith Auerbach. It will run September 7 through October 21, with an opening reception September 7 from 5 to 9pm. The exhibit will be part of the 2017 Louisville Photo Biennial. PYRO will also be open for the First Friday trolley Hop on October 6.

PYRO has a Grand Opening planned for December of 2017 - exact date to be announced.

"Untitled #3" by Keith Auerbach, archival digital print, 2017

"Untitled #3" by Keith Auerbach, archival digital print, 2017


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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 © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Painting

Q&A: Quappi Projects


“We have more knowledge than at any time in human history, yet not only do we not seem comforted or buoyed by that knowledge, we have - or some of us have, I suppose - begun to openly reject knowledge, experience and even commonly agreed-upon facts.“ – John Brooks


Artist, John Brooks

Artist, John Brooks

Q&A with John Brooks about Quappi Projects

‘Quappi’ was the nickname of Mathilde von Kaulbach, who was married to German New Objectivist painter Max Beckmann (1884-1950). It was derived from the similarity of her surname to the German word Kaulquappe, meaning ‘tadpole’.

It is a singular phrase with no other formal meaning, which seems to delight Louisville artist John Brooks, and so he chose it as the moniker of his new exhibition initiative, Quappi Projects. Occupying most of his current studio space at 1520 B Lytle Street in the Portland neighborhood, the mission is to showcase four artists each year from in and outside of Louisville. The inaugural show will be work of Adam Chuck, a Cleveland, Ohio native, now living and making work in Brooklyn, New York.

What motivated you to devote some of your studio space to exhibition space for other artists?

"Diogo In Pink" by Adam Chuck, 5x7in, oil on mylar

"Diogo In Pink" by Adam Chuck, 5x7in, oil on mylar

Running a gallery is an endeavor I've long been interested in, but it was difficult to imagine a way in which I could maintain a studio practice, run a gallery, and afford to do both. I was between studios in 2015 and spent the summer in Berlin. Part of that time was spent studying under the German artist Norbert Bisky, whose work I've admired for a long time.  We discussed a lot of things, including lamenting the difficulty of finding avenues to show and share work. He advised that I (or anyone!) should just "start my own thing;" so I've had this bee in my bonnet for a couple of years. Since January 2016 I've shared my Lytle Street studio space with another artist, and when he decided to move out I knew that this was my opportunity. The space is perfect - clean, bright, white, and with enough room to allow me to continue my studio practice and to exhibit others' work in a proper way.

As an artist, I know how difficult it can be to find arenas in which to show your work, and I am thrilled by the idea that I can provide that opportunity to other artists. Also, I've been fortunate to live in both London and Chicago, and have traveled the United States and Europe fairly extensively, so I feel like I have a broad range of art-related experiences and knowledge that I can rely on to help inform the direction of the gallery's platform.

"Baptism" by Adam Chuck, 4x7.35in, oil on mylar

"Baptism" by Adam Chuck, 4x7.35in, oil on mylar

How did you become aware of Adam Chuck's work?

"Hand Palm" by Adam Chuckn, 5.5x7in, oil on mylar

"Hand Palm" by Adam Chuckn, 5.5x7in, oil on mylar

Adam Chuck paints primarily images from social media; fittingly, we "met" quite randomly through Instagram a few years ago. Though we've never yet met in person, we have developed what I consider to be a real friendship, which speaks both to the power and possibilities of social media but also the power and purity of his work. When it became clear that Quappi Projects was really going to happen, I knew I wanted to inaugurate the gallery with a show of Adam's work and happily he said yes. I'm a fan (and a collector) of his work and am so excited to be able to share it with the Louisville art community and the city at large. At first glance, Adam's work might seem to border on the salacious, but I think it creeps up to that line and then walks back. Most of the work is tiny, phone-screen-sized, owing its existence to social media platforms such as Instagram. The work is intimate, sensual and extremely honest. Each work is an exposure, really; it is essentially about reaching out, about the deep desire to connect, and represents an attempt to know and be known. In an age of terror and big fears, Adam's work seems infused with knowledge of those fears, but speaks more to the fundamental needs and basic human fears of need: to be desired, to be loved, to be seen, to be considered.

Tell me about the term "quappi"? I know the Beckman story, but what does it mean to you?

I believe very much in the transformative power of art. I have experienced this enough times in my own life to understand and value its merit, and I firmly believe that the highest function of art is to allow human beings to know ourselves more deeply. My own work has been concerned with the emotional resonance of particular experiences and what Max Beckmann described as "the deepest feeling about the mystery of being." Quappi Projects' goal is to exhibit contemporary art reflecting the zeitgeist, and the zeitgeist is mighty strange. Perhaps all times are strange, but I don't think there's any arguing that we are living in very strange times.

"Bildnis Quappi" by Max Beckmann

"Bildnis Quappi" by Max Beckmann

We have more knowledge than at any time in human history, yet not only do we not seem comforted or buoyed by that knowledge, we have - or some of us have, I suppose - begun to openly reject knowledge, experience and even commonly agreed-upon facts. I find that very worrying. I think the experiences of 20th Century German artists like Max Beckmann (and others) are relevant to us today.  Beckmann didn't consider himself a political person, yet his entire life was thrown into upheaval because of politics. He considered political concerns to be secondary to the concerns of the spiritual or metaphysical. Although I am a political person (and have a BA in Political Science) I agree with him and certainly find most explicitly political work too narrowly focused. At the same time, I think the best art reflects the times in which it was created, so it must have some element of the political. Take Velazquez' "Las Meninas," for example - artistically, it is a masterpiece, but it also tells us so much about the Spanish Court and what was going on at the time. I find that balance fascinating, and hopefully we can show work that is interesting in the same way. Even if we fall just a little short of "Las Meninas," we'll be very successful!

I plan to alternate non-Louisville-based and Louisville-based artists have a great series of artists lined up: Baghdad, Iraq-born artist Vian Sora, who now lives and works in Louisville; Louisville native Whit Forrester, who lives in Chicago and just graduated with an MFA from Columbia College; wood artisan Michael James Moran, a central Kentucky native who now lives and works in the Hudson Valley; and photographer Ryan Tassi.

"Raven Wings" by Adam Chuck, 5.5x7.25in, oil on mylar

"Raven Wings" by Adam Chuck, 5.5x7.25in, oil on mylar

Beckmann credited Quappi with keeping him going, keeping him on task and inspired. I think we're living in times when we must keep going, be on task, and be inspired. It's very easy to want to give into the notion of being quiet and comfortable, but I think we must resist that. We must be open, communicate, and connect. I'm hoping the spirit of Quappi can help me do that.

Adam Chuck / Instant Gratification

August 18 – September 29
Opening: Friday, August 18 / 5:00-9:00pm

Quappi Projects
1520 B Lytle Street
Gallery open by appointment only
www.quappiprojects.com

"Portrait of Les" by Adam Chuckn, 3.25x4in, oil on mylar

"Portrait of Les" by Adam Chuckn, 3.25x4in, oil on mylar

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Mixed Media, Sculpture

Vignette: Miranda Becht

"The sweet nostalgic sadness of something lovely and lost. (Order)" by Miranda Becht, 13x68x5in, tinted cast resin, flocking, lace, shelves (2016)

"The sweet nostalgic sadness of something lovely and lost. (Order)" by Miranda Becht, 13x68x5in, tinted cast resin, flocking, lace, shelves (2016)


“An imagination is a powerful tool. It can tint memories of the past, shade perceptions of the present, or paint a future so vivid that it can entice… or terrify, all depending on how we conduct ourselves today.”– Jim Davis, from Garfield “Alone,” October 23, 1989


Artist, Miranda Becht

Artist, Miranda Becht

Miranda Becht is having a moment. One of only three students in the University of Louisville’s MFA program at the Hite Institute of Art, she is taking her three degrees and wasting no time positioning herself to have a positive impact in the Louisville and Southern Indiana arts community. This fall, she will be teaching foundation art courses as an Adjunct Professor at Bellarmine University, and be working as a instructor in LVA’s Academy program for high school students. She also has recently been offered an adjunct position at IUS. At the same time, she will a part of the St. James Court Art Show Emerging Artist Program and has been commissioned to create public art through the Jeffersonville Public Art Committee, Powering Creativity.

Becht’s work has largely been installation based, exploring how memory and nostalgia form our idea of the past: “I have always seemed to long for some sort of metaphorical home located somewhere in the past. Homesickness is defined as the longing for a particular home, nostalgia as a longing for a lost time. Nostalgia may carry with it a yearning for home, but it is a home faraway in time rather than space. Nostalgia, oftentimes used to refer to something sweet and pleasant, is bittersweet. It is the longing for something that is unattainable.”

"I can feel your sweet decay." by Miranda Becht, 38x73x73in, wood, sticker paper, acrylic paint, cast resiin, linoleum, found objects (2017)

"I can feel your sweet decay." by Miranda Becht, 38x73x73in, wood, sticker paper, acrylic paint, cast resiin, linoleum, found objects (2017)

“As a society we tend to idealize our vision of the past, particularly our vision of home. Our idealized notion of home presents itself as a supposedly traditional form of domestic life, but bears little relation to the way people actually lived. This concept of a cozy home full of family love is an invented tradition. Inevitable in our linear understanding of time, we are constantly being uprooted from home and from the past. Because of the fallibility of our memory, the past and home as we remember them, no longer exist. I mourn for a home that perhaps I never had.”

"The sweet nostalgic sadness of something lovely and lost. (Order) (detail)" by Miranda Becht

"The sweet nostalgic sadness of something lovely and lost. (Order) (detail)" by Miranda Becht

Becht cites “The pleasant, nostalgic sadness of something lovely and lost. I would sit and play with an odd, white vessel, full of wonder about its use and its origin. This vessel seemed so big, so white and pure, so curious. My grandmother told me it was a bedpan, but it wasn’t until much later in life that I realized just what a bedpan was. My most cherished childhood memory is soiled with urine and feces. Lost innocence often takes the guise of idealized memories. My work is a vehicle for my fetishized, fragile memories. I am pressured to be the object of desire… this untrue illusion, the ideal.”

Becht’s work is filled with mid-20th century design layered with a cotton-candy colors (she seems especially fond of pink), which adroitly captures the unique collective memory of what is arguably the most idealized period in modern American history, the 1950’s. The artist reminds us that what seems too good to have been true, often is.

Age: 31
Education: MFA Sculpture, University of Louisville, 2017; BFA Ceramics, Indiana University Southeast, 2012; BA Printmaking, Indiana University Southeast Minor Psychology, 2012
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Miranda.indiana/

"I can feel your sweet decay (detail)" by Miranda Becht

"I can feel your sweet decay (detail)" by Miranda Becht

"In Hiding" by Miranda Becht, 119x64x24in, wood, cast resin, acrylic paint, shag carpet, embroidery floss, light fixture (2017)

"In Hiding" by Miranda Becht, 119x64x24in, wood, cast resin, acrylic paint, shag carpet, embroidery floss, light fixture (2017)

"Underside" by Miranda Becht, 96x96x66in, wood, screenprint, cast resin, rug, embroidery floss (2016)

"Underside" by Miranda Becht, 96x96x66in, wood, screenprint, cast resin, rug, embroidery floss (2016)

"What’s a dream and what is real? (Entropy)" by Miranda Becht, 84x54x6in, wood, cast resin, hydrocal, embroidery floss, lace (2016)

"What’s a dream and what is real? (Entropy)" by Miranda Becht, 84x54x6in, wood, cast resin, hydrocal, embroidery floss, lace (2016)

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

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Photography

Vignette: Brett Sutton


“The natural world is truly remarkable and we are an intimate part of this environment.” — Brett Sutton


"Neighborhood Runoff" by Brett Sutton, size made to order, film photography (2016),   f  rom $85 and up |  BUY NOW

"Neighborhood Runoff" by Brett Sutton, size made to order, film photography (2016), from $85 and up | BUY NOW

Photographer, Brett Sutton

Photographer, Brett Sutton

Even a casual study of these photographs from Brett Sutton reveal the common thread of patterns in nature. The black & white images of the city illustrate humankind’s imprint of construction on the urban landscape, the latticework reinforcement of a fire escape and the shadows cast by the late afternoon sun. Sutton crops the main support of the structure out of frame, lending it an unexpected tension.

“While working at Luna Lodge, an eco-lodge retreat on the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, I was granted the opportunity to truly connect with the landscape, flora and fauna. The natural world is truly remarkable and we are an intimate part of this environment.”

Sutton’s images of the natural world share that same fascination with pattern, but the color places a greater emphasis on texture, and there is a more epic sense of composition in many of the pictures. He also seeks out unique vantage points; as he explains: “(they can be) hugely important when considering how one connects to and interprets reality, location, and relationship.” He achieves some mystery through abstraction, just as he cropped the fire escape, we here see two runners moving across a mercurial landscape that we can’t quite place, a scene bisected by an indefinable graphic element that visually appears to stop the joggers in their tracks.

"Costa Rican Leaf Cutter Ants" by Brett Sutton, size made to order, film photography (2017), f  rom $85 and up |  BUY NOW

"Costa Rican Leaf Cutter Ants" by Brett Sutton, size made to order, film photography (2017), from $85 and up | BUY NOW

“Not only is my zest for life and vitality enhanced through my creative pursuits but to my connections with others…location, and the environment as well. Whether working in film or digital photography, oil paint, or collages of the bark of decaying trees, I attempt to deliver messages of local-ism, connection to the land, and textural nuance.”

Hometown: Covington, Kentucky
Age: 29
Education: BA, History & Fine Arts from Xavier University (Cincinnati)
Website: https://brettmsutton.wordpress.com

"White Sands National Monument" by Brett Sutton, size made to order, film photography (2017), f  rom $85 and up |  BUY NOW

"White Sands National Monument" by Brett Sutton, size made to order, film photography (2017), from $85 and up | BUY NOW

"Fire Escape" by Brett Sutton, size made to order, film photography (2017), from $85 and up |  BUY NOW

"Fire Escape" by Brett Sutton, size made to order, film photography (2017), from $85 and up | BUY NOW

"Central Bridge: Newport, Kentucky" by Brett Sutton, size made to order, film photography (2017), from $85 and up |  BUY NOW

"Central Bridge: Newport, Kentucky" by Brett Sutton, size made to order, film photography (2017), from $85 and up | BUY NOW

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

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