installation

Conceptual, Interdisciplinary

Vignette: Luke Gnadinger

Disrupting a Sense of Linear Time

"IghborhoodNe" by Luke Gnadinger, Ceramic, 7Hx 24W,x2.75in, 2017, POR 

"IghborhoodNe" by Luke Gnadinger, Ceramic, 7Hx 24W,x2.75in, 2017, POR 

On Luke Gnadinger’s website we find a statement in which the artist describes his work as, “…being post-media and concerned with the ways domestic ‘containers’ impart a shaping force on our notions of home and identity. Generally, this foregrounds what would otherwise be supplemental or armature. While not limited to, this often employs the industrial history and materials of ceramics, photography, or coding languages to position the work someplace between archival-object and design-object, disrupting a sense of linear time.”

"Fluids" by Luke Gnadinger, Ceramics, Steel, Acrylic, 48Hx24Wx8Din, 2017, POR

"Fluids" by Luke Gnadinger, Ceramics, Steel, Acrylic, 48Hx24Wx8Din, 2017, POR

There is an intriguing balance of rustic and digital in Gnadinger’s work. He seems as comfortable using “a hexadecimal editor to produce coding aberrations”, as he is creating somewhat traditional, functional, ceramic vessels. He incorporates found objects that evoke nostalgia in installations of a very modern sensibility. In “House”, the effect is entirely modern, but “Fluids” mines a collective memory that elicits a sentimental response. The vintage ceramic knobs on the fixture have been recoated with slip and fired again by Gnadinger, giving the artifacts a new sheen that makes nostalgia more seductive.

In “Super Great Horse Art”, the packaging concept merges bourbon and horse racing culture in a pointed commentary on art as product in Kentucky. As both are Sacred Cows in the Bluegrass State, the implications, however undeniable, are still somewhat bold for a Kentucky-born artist, and it seems an especially clear example of Gnadinger’s statement about positioning work “between archival-object and design-object”.

Another balance that fascinates is the notion of complex ideas expressed through graphic forms of great simplicity. Those “Horse Art” bottles recall generic labeling from the 1970’s, and in the curiously titled “ighborhoodNe” the forms are equally fundamental, with red map diagrams that have the effect of stamps. There is an ornate quality to the surface design, yet the work remains straightforward and uncluttered, allowing for a direct understanding between the artist and the viewer. For being so conceptual an artist, Gnadinger’s work is refreshingly accessible, but never dumb.

Since receiving his degree from Transylvania University in Kentucky, Gnadinger has worked as an assistant and been a winter resident at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina.

Gnadiniger’s work is currently featured in show MAP/PING in Morlan Gallery in Lexington, through December 5, 2017.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BFA, Studio Art, Transylvania University
Website: www.lukegnadinger.com
Instagram: lukegnadinger/

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"SUPER GREAT HORSE ART" by Luke Gnadinger, Ceramic, Set: 12Hx24Wx48Din, 2015, POR

"SUPER GREAT HORSE ART" by Luke Gnadinger, Ceramic, Set: 12Hx24Wx48Din, 2015, POR

"Lagrange, #2" by Luke Gnadinger, Cyanotype, Birch, 20Hx36Wx.5Din, 2017

"Lagrange, #2" by Luke Gnadinger, Cyanotype, Birch, 20Hx36Wx.5Din, 2017

"House" by Luke Gnadinger, Windows, Cord, Lights, Slumped Plexiglass, 4Tx20Wx20Dft, 2014

"House" by Luke Gnadinger, Windows, Cord, Lights, Slumped Plexiglass, 4Tx20Wx20Dft, 2014

"Landscape, #5" by Luke Gnadinger, Digital print, 6dx0in, 2017, POR

"Landscape, #5" by Luke Gnadinger, Digital print, 6dx0in, 2017, POR

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

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Mixed Media

Vignette: Wendi Smith

Fetish \ˈfe-tish\ :an inanimate object worshiped for its supposed magical powers or because it is considered to be inhabited by a spirit.

"Multicolor Stick Fetish Box" by Wendi Smith, Acrylic on reclaimed pine box, sticks, floss, beads, 9.25 x 14 x 1.25in, 2017

"Multicolor Stick Fetish Box" by Wendi Smith, Acrylic on reclaimed pine box, sticks, floss, beads, 9.25 x 14 x 1.25in, 2017

When we speak of installations, we conjure up memories of three-dimensional work that would fill up a wall or even a room – at times whole environments are created. So when an installation artist such as Wendi Smith builds small boxes, we should not be surprised that each one might come across to the viewer as a miniature installation.

"Bone Fetish Box" by Wendi Smith, Acrylic on reclaimed cedar box, jawbone, feather, bead, cord, 5.75x3.75x1.5in, 2016

"Bone Fetish Box" by Wendi Smith, Acrylic on reclaimed cedar box, jawbone, feather, bead, cord, 5.75x3.75x1.5in, 2016

The wooden objects are adorned with images representing small organic items that are matched by the actual items themselves, revealed when we open the snug and perfectly fitted drawers. Seashells, seedpods feathers, and small twigs are placed inside, intimately positioned with beads and thread; handmade bits that echo the forms found in nature.

"Bone Fetish Box" by Wendi Smith (detail)

"Bone Fetish Box" by Wendi Smith (detail)

“A long fascination with ritual objects has brought me to fetishes,” states Smith. “A fetish may be a figure or a non-figurative object that is associated with a spiritual connection, magic, or offerings. Creating a fetish is a way of making a prayer or intention physical, of calling upon an unseen power, of trying to influence that which we cannot control.”  

“These particular pieces are culled from found natural objects, and influenced by Native American design. They are not intended to be powerful or magical, except in the reverence for Nature in which they are designed and executed.”

If Smith doesn’t seek to overwhelm with these fetish boxes, there is still undeniable attraction in their mystery and discovery. The viewer is inextricably drawn to the sensuous warmth of the well-crafted wood and to the preciousness of the objects contained within. They might be seen to replace the aged cigar boxes and old canning jars that those of us of a certain generation can recall using to safeguard found treasures in our childhood. And what can be more powerful than memory?

This past June, Smith was a part of Curio Cabinet, a curated group exhibit at the Indianapolis Art Center. In February 2018 she will have a solo show at garner narrative contemporary gallery in Louisville.

Hometown: Corydon, Indiana
Education: BS Art Education, Illinois State University 1972:
MS Painting, Illinois State University, 1975
Gallery Representation: garner narrative (Louisville)

"Fetish Box III" by Wendi Smith, Acrylic on reclaimed cigar box, pod, beads, thread, 6.25x5.75x1.5in, 2016

"Fetish Box III" by Wendi Smith, Acrylic on reclaimed cigar box, pod, beads, thread, 6.25x5.75x1.5in, 2016

"Fetish Box III" by Wendi Smith (detail)

"Fetish Box III" by Wendi Smith (detail)

"Shell Fetish Box" by Wendi Smith, Acrylic on reclaimed cedar box, shells, acorn, feather, vine, beads, 5.5x8.25x5in, 2017

"Shell Fetish Box" by Wendi Smith, Acrylic on reclaimed cedar box, shells, acorn, feather, vine, beads, 5.5x8.25x5in, 2017

"Shell Fetish Box" by Wendi Smith (detail)

"Shell Fetish Box" by Wendi Smith (detail)

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

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Q&A: Dave Caudill


“My sculpture is often placed in public spaces, and it celebrates attributes that enable all of us to thrive – idealism, enthusiasm and the joy of life.” — Dave Caudill


Artist, Dave Caudill at work.

Artist, Dave Caudill at work.

Dave Caudill and the “Odyssey” project

A well-liked, long-time fixture in the local art community, Dave Caudill has several public sculptures in Louisville: at 6th & Main St, the University of Louisville School of Music, Maryhurst Alternative School, the Crescent Hill public library, and the offices of the Waterfront Development Corp in downtown. His latest project is ambitious, even for an artist who has installed a large metal sculpture on the ocean floor.

How did you first hit upon the idea of “Odyssey”?

A few years ago, I realized the synthesis of a fingerprint and labyrinth could make a powerful combination that prompted consideration of identity and our individual journeys though life.

How do you think it fits in with the themes of your past work? Or does it?

I see it as another iteration of the theme of humanity in harmony with the rest of nature, a theme that I first addressed with an undersea sculpture in 1995.

Do you worry a labyrinth will intimidate people? Are people afraid of getting lost?

Labyrinth concept drawing by Dave Caudill.

Labyrinth concept drawing by Dave Caudill.

Walking a labyrinth is different from a maze, in that once you'e on a path, it takes you to the center and back out again - there is no confusion or opportunity to get confused or lost as in a maze, as long as you stay on a path. Also, everything is at ground level - there are no walls that create blind spots. This misunderstanding is common, but a small plaque at the entrance to Odyssey will clarify the difference.

We are creating a meditative walking experience fused with a bold piece of public art.

You just returned from Bolivia, where you were involved in a similar project. What was your experience there?

The Bolivian Odyssey differs from my proposal for Louisville in that it’s half the size (1/4 the size of a football field) and uses gravel instead of flat terrazzo over concrete for the paths. The Bolivian project is located in a rural area and creating a handicapped accessible design was not an option.

Who are your collaborators, and how did you connect with them?

This unique labyrinth will engage people through the consideration of identity and personal journeys through.

This unique labyrinth will engage people through the consideration of identity and personal journeys through.

I received a residency to start construction from Teresa Camacho-Hull, the owner and director of Ars.Natura.Uta, an art center near La Paz. She has been developing the center as a site dedicated to addressing the need to understand that the wholeness of our relationship to nature is essential to the health of both humanity and the planet. I met her at a sculptor’s conference in Pittsburgh, an event I was able to attend by a grant from Louisville’s Great Meadows Foundation. Teresa’s staff of three men was indispensable for a 2-week schedule.

What would be your dream location for “Odyssey”?

I’d like to see it in an area conducive to reflection and meditation, like a park. That being said, a strong design can go a long way toward overcoming the noise of an urban environment and establishing a unique asset for the city.

Hometown: Corbin, Kentucky
Age: 66
Education: University of Kentucky, 1970; Louisville School of Art, 1973; Anderson Ranch, CO, 2000 & 2001
Website: http://www.caudillart.com

An illustration showing an example of the terrazzo artwork that would cover the concrete paths of Odyssey. Each path would be a winding, evolving, unique design.

An illustration showing an example of the terrazzo artwork that would cover the concrete paths of Odyssey. Each path would be a winding, evolving, unique design.

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Installation, Mixed Media, Painting

Vignette: Lennon Michalski

"Ghost Bike" Installation by Lennon Michalski (2016)

"Ghost Bike" Installation by Lennon Michalski (2016)

In a body of work entitled Ghost Bike, Lennon Michalski explores the relationship between man and machine, expressing a complex array of themes, most importantly, the tyranny of technology and the fragility of the human form.

“Ghost Bike takes a specific look at Motorcycles, considering the uniqueness that describes the machine, the man that chooses to indulge in that machine, and the nature of their relationship,” says Michalski. “The imagery in the series considers motorcycle accidents to represent their dangerous cultural association. I specifically chose the motorcycle, the imagery, and popular icons to reflect my personal engagement with this idea. My grandfather was killed on a motorcycle, and this has largely inspired these pieces in the hopes of bringing attention to the motorcycle to provide an understanding of their own distinctive culture.”

"Wrecked Bike"   by Lennon Michalski, 36 x 48 x 84 in, Honda Motorcycle and paint (2016) |  Photograph by Brian Campbell

"Wrecked Bike" by Lennon Michalski, 36 x 48 x 84 in, Honda Motorcycle and paint (2016) | Photograph by Brian Campbell

Michalski in his studio | Photograph by Adam Brester

Michalski in his studio | Photograph by Adam Brester

“Even when these tragedies strike, society often places blame on the cyclist, for they, have willingly put them selves in harm’s way. Motorcycles are largely considered unsafe and rebellious in the eyes of the public because of the sense of vulnerability and danger associated with motorcycles. In an effort to define the broad spectrum of this machine’s interaction with the human condition, I sought to understand why so many individuals crave to connect with it. I realized that engagement with motorcycles cultivated an undeniable sense of community. Motorcyclists feel passionately about their investment in this machine, creating a strong bond between, not only the machine and its owner, but also everyone who rides. In order to incorporate this idea of community, I created works that also represent this aspect of motorcycle culture. I examine the documentation of a group of cyclists traveling cross-country to pay tribute to the fallen. Rather than viewing the death of the biker as a careless rebel, he is considered a fallen hero, who deserves the greatest of respect. Within the motorcycle community there is boundless devotion, which allows for the machine to act as a tool in eliciting genuine human interaction.”

"Wreck" by Lennon Michalski, 72 x 108 in, water based pigment and mixed medium on canvas (2016)

"Wreck" by Lennon Michalski, 72 x 108 in, water based pigment and mixed medium on canvas (2016)

In his paintings, Michalski often uses his hands directly in applying the medium, building transparent layers that evoke a passage of time. “My paintings are not objects assembled by machines or other individuals; I develop a bond and communicate through the development of each work. This technique is based on a physical language; by pushing the paint with my hands, I am infusing my energy into the gestures. I learn something new from each piece allowing my process to open doors I would have never thought to walk through. Through the creation of digital work, paintings, and sculpture, I hope to bring attention to the motorcyclist so that the sense of community motorcycle culture creates can continue to thrive. The motorcycle acts as a metaphor to represent the motorcyclist himself, with the engine acting as the heart of the individual, and the community. While many have fallen victim to the unpredictability of this machine, it uniquely acts as a tool to cultivate relationships, activate commitment, and instill a sense of community.”

Michalski also just self published a children's book called "How Penguins Save Television," a story that explores what it means for society as it attempts to evolve with the aid of science and innovation. The book engages children with the natural world around them through technological modifications, such as the jetpack.

Since 2008 Michalski has been an Instructor of Digital Media, Drawing, and 2D Design at the University of Kentucky.

Hometown: Lexington, Kentucky
Age: 36
Education: BFA in Painting, Eastern Kentucky University 2004; MFA in Painting and Digital Media, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2006
Website: http://www.lennonmichalski.com

"Stoplights" by Lennon Michalski, 72 x 108 in, water based pigment and mix medium on canvas (2016)

"Stoplights" by Lennon Michalski, 72 x 108 in, water based pigment and mix medium on canvas (2016)

"Heart" by Lennon Michalski, 72 x 108 in, water based pigment and mixed medium on canvas (2016)

"Heart" by Lennon Michalski, 72 x 108 in, water based pigment and mixed medium on canvas (2016)

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

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Photography, Fiber, Installation

Vignette: Sarah Kinslow

"Parachute Room" by Sarah Kinslow, 25x14in, still frame of cinemagraph (2016), $100 |  BUY NOW

"Parachute Room" by Sarah Kinslow, 25x14in, still frame of cinemagraph (2016), $100 | BUY NOW

Artists change over time. As a student in LVA’s Children’s Fine Art Classes, Sarah Kinslow was adept at highly detailed pen & ink drawings, the highlight of a portfolio that earned her a scholarship. Now in art school, she has shifted into fiber as a medium: “From a young age I was introduced to the art world via textile crafts such as crocheting, knitting, embroidery, cross-stitch, and many other processes. This was part of my everyday life and it impacted the trajectory of my career path early on. Through these processes I have been able to express myself and look to other artists following the same lines.”

Like many artists that work with fiber, Kinslow has an acute awareness of the history and heritage of these techniques as, "woman's work" or as menial household activities that, however important to daily life they might have once been, they were not by any means considered art.

“I want my work with textiles to give the viewer a different perspective, and provide them a place visually or physically to see that these realities are not what we may perceive them to be. They are to question what impact they themselves have on to the pieces, such as my installation work, and what their presence does to the work and their impact on their own reality.” 

Who wouldn’t welcome the opportunity to revisit the tent forts of their childhood? Kinslow’s installations are at once modern and traditional, anachronistic yet cozy. By building space that invites a viewer to sit in quiet contemplation, she explores the layers of meaning in the word “comfort” and reconnects us to the fundamental touchstones of family with a sure sense of place. The larger cultural associations can run even deeper, with the universality of a tented enclosure found in enough history to provide a common thread of understanding.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 20
Education: Currently a student at the Kentucky College of Art and Design at Spalding University, Louisville, Kentucky for a BFA in Painting/Drawing and Pre-Art Therapy.

"A Place For Contemplation #2" by Sarah Kinslow, 30x20in, digital photo of installation (2016)

"A Place For Contemplation #2" by Sarah Kinslow, 30x20in, digital photo of installation (2016)

"Exploration #4" by Sarah Kinslow, 6x10in, monotype dry point print (2016)

"Exploration #4" by Sarah Kinslow, 6x10in, monotype dry point print (2016)

"Fluidity" by Sarah Kinslow,  20x14in,  digital print (2016)

"Fluidity" by Sarah Kinslow, 20x14in, digital print (2016)

Sarah Kinslow (2016)

Sarah Kinslow (2016)

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

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