mfa

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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Mixed Media, Photography

Vignette: C.J. Pressma

"Dangerous Passage" by CJ Pressma,   quilt - photographic collage printed on cotton and quilted on a long arm machine $1800 |  BUY NOW

"Dangerous Passage" by CJ Pressma, quilt - photographic collage printed on cotton and quilted on a long arm machine $1800 | BUY NOW

It is the hope of the individual artist to make work that speaks to their time, to influence the world around them. C.J. Pressma has done that – maybe enough for several artists, through his personal work, certainly, but also by operating the Center for Photographic Studies - an alternative school of creative photography, in Louisville in the early 1970’s.

When he founded the Center for Photographic Studies in 1970, Pressma’s initiative was part of what can now be seen halcyon period in Louisville’s creative life. Although open only eight years, the Center’s influence is still felt nearly forty years later. Nearly every photographer above a certain age working in this town seems to have spent time studying there, connecting local commercial and artist photographers with national names in the field such as Henry Horenstein, currently a professor at the Rhode Island School of Design.

"Nightmare in the City" by CJ Pressma,   quilt - photographic collage printed on cotton and quilted on a long arm machine, $1800 |  BUY NOW

"Nightmare in the City" by CJ Pressma, quilt - photographic collage printed on cotton and quilted on a long arm machine, $1800 | BUY NOW

On his website, Pressma explains: “The Center provided a learning experience for those seeking to explore photography as creative expression. During its existence the center attracted students from over 35 states and foreign countries to its full-time resident program and provided part-time instruction and darkroom access for hundreds of students in the Louisville metropolitan area. Its two galleries provided monthly photographic exhibits featuring the works of local, regional, and internationally acclaimed photographic artists including Ansel Adams and Minor White.”

Pressma’s work can be currently be seen in Altered Perceptions, an LVA Photo-Biennial Exhibit at Metro Hall, which runs July 17 through January 12, 2018. Some of the images we see here are featured in that show, which also includes work from Mitch Eckert and Jenny Zeller. There are certainly many facets to this artist’s work, but here we view pieces from a period when he printed photographic images and digital graphics onto fabric, allowing him to incorporate them into quilts; a non-traditional photographic presentation tied to a form steeped in tradition.  

Pressma enjoyed a highly successful career as a multimedia producer and marketing communications specialist. In 1984, his seven part series Witness to the Holocaust, was released in the U.S. and Canada where it remains in distribution today. Witness to the Holocaust is one of the first productions to use survivor interviews as the exclusive content to tell the story of the Holocaust, and has received numerous national awards.

"Beware" by CJ Pressma, $1800 |  BUY NOW

"Beware" by CJ Pressma, $1800 | BUY NOW

Pressma has been recognized nationally:

1978 - National Endowment Fellowship in Photography.

1997  - American Advertising Federation’s prestigious Silver Medal Award for “outstanding contributions to advertising and furthering the industry’s standards, creative excellence, and responsibility in areas of social concern.”

2001 - Fellowship by the Kentucky Arts Council.

C.J. Pressma is a graduate of Antioch College and holds an MFA. in Photography from Indiana University. He studied as a special graduate student with Minor White at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and with Henry Holmes Smith at Indiana University.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 72
Education: BA, Antioch College; MFA, Indiana University
Gallery Representative:  Pyro Gallery (Louisville)
Website: http://cjpressma.com

"Cartoon Weave" by CJ Pressma, 74x76.5in, quilt - photographic collage printed on cotton and quilted on a long arm machine (2008), $1800 |  BUY NOW

"Cartoon Weave" by CJ Pressma, 74x76.5in, quilt - photographic collage printed on cotton and quilted on a long arm machine (2008), $1800 | BUY NOW

"Cumberland Burial Site" by CJ Pressma, 79x81in,   quilt - photographic collage printed on cotton and quilted on a long arm machine (2006), $1800 |  BUY NOW

"Cumberland Burial Site" by CJ Pressma, 79x81in, quilt - photographic collage printed on cotton and quilted on a long arm machine (2006), $1800 | BUY NOW

"Bull & Friends" by CJ Pressma, 72x78in (2008), $1800 |  BUY NOW

"Bull & Friends" by CJ Pressma, 72x78in (2008), $1800 | BUY NOW

"Secrets" by CJ Pressma, 94x68in, quilt - photographic collage printed on cotton and quilted on a long arm machine (2011), $1800 |  BUY NOW

"Secrets" by CJ Pressma, 94x68in, quilt - photographic collage printed on cotton and quilted on a long arm machine (2011), $1800 | BUY NOW

"Great Snakes Alive" by CJ Pressma,   88x77.5in,   quilt - photographic collage printed on cotton and quilted on a long arm machine (2008), $1800 |  BUY NOW

"Great Snakes Alive" by CJ Pressma, 88x77.5in, quilt - photographic collage printed on cotton and quilted on a long arm machine (2008), $1800 | BUY NOW

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

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Drawing

Vignette: Helen Payne


“…Our identities and trajectories are shaped by tests and how testing is a reflection of power.” — Helen Payne


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Helen Payne’s ink wash drawings occupy a fluid space between representational and non-representational, ink washes built upon a solid draughtsmenship yet rendered with great immediacy. As if each one took only minutes to complete, the artist working nimbly with her brush with an economy of effort and heightened deliberation.

The drawings are part of a series that attempts to take a fresh perspective on questions if identity and the metrics of human existence. “I work in the studio creating objects and images that help me process and understand how the world works,” explains Payne. “These days, I am thinking about ways we measure and monetize our bodies and minds. My current work, The ABCs of the Weight of Measures, is an installation about how we measure and mismeasure ourselves and how what is the messiest and intensely private is often the focus of measurement. Each letter of the alphabet is the start of an acronym for a common test of human measurement, i.e. A is for APGAR; B is for BMI, and so on. The ABC of the Weight of Measures examines how our identities and trajectories are shaped by tests and how testing is a reflection of power.”

"B is for BMI, Yr width to yr girth" by Helen Payne, 11x14in, ink on paper (2016) $150 |  BUY NOW

"B is for BMI, Yr width to yr girth" by Helen Payne, 11x14in, ink on paper (2016) $150 | BUY NOW

Although Payne does not specifically frame the work as self-portrait or autobiography, introspection feels at the root of her observations, although the academic motif enables her to expand the idea to a universal context to which anyone might be able to relate. There is neat balance of the intellectual and populism in the belief that we are only able to understand ourselves through such often arbitrary and artificial constructs. The commentary Payne seems to offering is not necessarily comforting, but it is a healthy challenge to our programmed notions of self.

Hometown: Jamestown, Rhode Island
Education: MFA Candidate at University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, 2019;
BA, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, 2000;
With additional studies at: The Maryland Institute, College of Art, Baltimore, MD, The Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, UK. Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, Naropa Institute, Boulder, CO
Website: http://www.helenpayne.us

"E is for EQ, I love you" by Helen Payne, 11x14in, ink on paper (2016) $15 |  BUY NOW

"E is for EQ, I love you" by Helen Payne, 11x14in, ink on paper (2016) $15 | BUY NOW

"Title F is for FICO, but I can't pay the rent" by Helen Payne, 11x14in, ink on paper (2016) $15 |  BUY NOW

"Title F is for FICO, but I can't pay the rent" by Helen Payne, 11x14in, ink on paper (2016) $15 | BUY NOW

"A is for APGAR, You were bluish at birth" by Helen Payne, 11x14in, ink on paper (2016) $150 |  BUY NOW

"A is for APGAR, You were bluish at birth" by Helen Payne, 11x14in, ink on paper (2016) $150 | BUY NOW

"W is WAIS, Wr melting, we two" by Helen Payne, 11x14in, ink on paper (2016) $15|  BUY NOW

"W is WAIS, Wr melting, we two" by Helen Payne, 11x14in, ink on paper (2016) $15| BUY NOW

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

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Mixed Media, Painting

Vignette: Patrick Donley


Where our army has gone and established a long-term presence, there has sprouted an interest in America’s game…” – Patrick Donley


“Taijitu (South Korea)" by Patrick Donley, 20x26in, mixed media on arches (2016)

“Taijitu (South Korea)" by Patrick Donley, 20x26in, mixed media on arches (2016)

Not very long ago, we were discussing the use of flags in art, and their importance as symbols. Patrick Donley is a painter, sculptor, and collage artist who uses found materials to a significant degree. In his artist’s statement for his new exhibit at Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty, he provides insight into his process, but also illuminates how the weight of memory in reclaimed objects can raise the artist’s own awareness through discovery, in this case, tying in to themes of geo-political influence.

“The Flags series began as an excuse to use the imagery of ‘America’s Game’ in my art. For years, I have been fascinated by the gritty, rugged, glorious, and often tarnished visual lexicon of baseball, a game full of heroes, heroines, legends, myths, successes and failures.

The choice to use the flag as an inspiration was somewhat accidental. I had been making collage paintings on paper that were made up of horizontal bands like the strata of the earth, or like the stripes on a flag. The paintings being on paper seemed appropriate, more ephemeral - more flag-like. I came across a cache of baseball images I had saved including some torn up baseball cards found while walking my dogs (the source for much of my collage). So the Baseball Flags were born (however, I never understood why the championship is called ‘the World Series’).

“The Girl Next Door (Aruba)" by Patrick Donley, 20x26in, mixed media on arches (2016)

“The Girl Next Door (Aruba)" by Patrick Donley, 20x26in, mixed media on arches (2016)

The first pieces were mainly suggestive of flags: very colorful with lots of random collage, words and letters buried in the paint. After making about ten of these, I chose to leave the idea for a while and venture elsewhere, as is my way of working. Several years and several very different bodies of work ensued.

One day last year, I decided to revisit the flags, but this time I thought to use flags of the world as the platform. I had done a large commission piece for Kentucky Refugee Ministries here in Louisville, and while cleaning the studio I came across the images of all of the flags that represent the refugees who have been resettled into our town, and thus, these were my initial inspirations. After completing several, though interesting conceptually, something just did not feel right about the flags I was using, other than their graphic nature. Where was the connection to baseball?

“8 Men Out (Venezuela)” by Patrick Donley, 19x26in (framed), mixed media on arches (2016)

“8 Men Out (Venezuela)” by Patrick Donley, 19x26in (framed), mixed media on arches (2016)

So I researched how many countries are actually represented by players throughout the major leagues. The number varied, but twenty-something is the rough tally. From that point on, the flags became about countries that have contributed players to the sport.

One of the fun challenges of using ‘real’ flags as the departure point is that there is not a huge diversity of colors used in national flags. It is a fairly basic palette, which allows me the license to explore layering, variation, and texture.

“Daddy-O” by Patrick Donley, 8x8in, mixed media on wood (2015)

“Daddy-O” by Patrick Donley, 8x8in, mixed media on wood (2015)

At this point, I began to connect the dots between our military presence throughout the world and the growth of baseball in many of those places. It made sense. Where our army has gone and established a long-term presence, there has sprouted an interest in America’s game: Japan, Korea, Germany, Cuba, and Vietnam. But the list extends well beyond that to some places that honestly I could not guess why players would come from there: Australia, the Netherlands, Aruba, Venezuela, Columbia, Greece Baseball, Taiwan, Curacao, Brazil. And the list goes on.

It fascinates me that although Soccer is the ‘World’s’ game, Baseball has ‘the World Series’, and now, for me, that phrase finally makes a little more sense.”

Flags: A World Series, New Work by Patrick Donley, is now on exhibit at Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty at 3803 Brownsboro Road in Louisville. There is an Artist Open House Thursday, February 16, 5:00-7:30pm.  On March 3, Donley will open The Memento Series: Travel and Leisure at Craft(s) Gallery in Louisville. 

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 54
Education: BA in Painting, Davidson College in Painting; MFA in Painting and Drawing, Northwestern University
Website: http://patrickdonley.wix.com/donleyart

“Beer Is Food” by Patrick Donley, 8x8in, mixed media on wood (2016)

“Beer Is Food” by Patrick Donley, 8x8in, mixed media on wood (2016)

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

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Print Making, Drawing

Vignette: Rachel Singel

“Lily Leaves” by Rachel Singel, 12x18in, intaglio on mulberry paper (2016)

“Lily Leaves” by Rachel Singel, 12x18in, intaglio on mulberry paper (2016)

A photograph of Singel at work in her studio.

A photograph of Singel at work in her studio.

The line as an element in art is often taken for granted. The common layperson’s observation that “I can’t even draw a straight line,” betrays a common misunderstanding about how an artist approaches line. When an artist wants to draw a straight line, they pick up a ruler, but a line has so much more potential. Printmaker Rachel Singel thoughtfully explores the linear in her work: “Lines are the building block of my world. The printmaking process allows for a technical consideration of how these lines are distributed throughout the work, with the weight of each line relating directly to how much time it etches. Their physical qualities carry weight; they do not descend into the paper but protrude from the surface.” 

If that explanation sounds academic, it fairly reflects the intellectual aspect of the printmaking process as well as Singel’s position as Assistant Professor at University of Louisville’s Hite Art Institute, but her lines also describe recognizable forms in nature, and in Venetian Vortex, there is a discovery of the hallucinatory character that can be found in the natural world, and line works in concert with scant patches of color to move into the realm of the abstract.

“Venetian Vortex” by Rachel Singel, 56x72in, intaglio on cotton paper (2013)

“Venetian Vortex” by Rachel Singel, 56x72in, intaglio on cotton paper (2013)

“Lines develop into curves, from curves to semi-circles, and from semi-circles to the full circle. This stylistic tendency comes from my interest in openings in nature—those places around which nature’s complex forms develop. Close studies of natural objects reveal holes in their surfaces. The space is a source of weight—a fulcrum point that seizes my attention by giving the illusion of an even deeper space, seeming to recede to infinity. The lines radiate out from these seeming voids—the starting points for infinite variation within the work.”

Singel was one of the organizers of the October 2016 Mid America Print Conference hosted by Indiana University Southeast and The University of Louisville. Her work was featured in an exhibit with Susan Moffett, Marilyn Whitesell, Mary Lou Hess, Susanna Crum, and Susan Harrison.

Singel was also selected to participate in the Mid-America Print Council Members Juried Exhibition at the Carnegie Center for Art and History, October 2016.

Singel currently is co-curating a group exhibition at Asheville Bookworks. She has exhibited internationally in Venice, China, Korea, Chile, Japan, Slovenia, Bulgaria, and the United Arab Emirates, and her work is included in 2016 Literary Innovation: A Juried National Exhibition Inspired by William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway at the Catapult Gallery in Cape Girardeau, MO, through November 27, 2016, and in Points of Departure: An Exhibition without Borders, at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center on Sheboygan, WI through January 15, 2017.

“Seed Pods” by Rachel Singel, 18x20in, intaglio on mulberry paper (2015)

“Seed Pods” by Rachel Singel, 18x20in, intaglio on mulberry paper (2015)

In Louisville, you can next view Singel’s work in The Art and Architecture of the Jewish Ghetto in Venice, Italy, The Jewish Community Center, Louisville KY, January 15-February 21, 2017. 

Permanent Collections (selected)

Tipoteca Italiana Archives, Cornuda, IT
Jewish Museum of Venice, Venice, IT
Baylor University Libraries, Waco, TX
Avery Architecture and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York, NY
University of Denver Special Collections & Archives, Denver, CO
DePaul University Special Collections & Archives, Chicago, IL
Stanford University Special Collections & University Archives, Stanford, CA
Artist Books Collection, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
SGCI Archives, Pacific NW College of Art and Portland State University, OR
John C. Hodges Library Special Collections. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
Guanlan International Print Biennial, Shenzhen, China
Permanent Collection Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, Christchurch, New Zealand
Proyecto´ace Print Collection, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Venice Printmaking Studio Print Collection, Venice, IT
Indiana University Print Collection, Bloomington, IN
University of New Mexico Print Collection, Albuquerque, NM
Pyramid Atlantic Art Center Print Collection, Silver Springs, MD

Age: 29
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: MFA, University of Iowa, 2013 BA, University of Virginia, 2009
Website: http://www.rachelsingel.com

“Exploding Flower” by Rachel Singel, 16x20in, intaglio on handmade cotton paper (2015)

“Exploding Flower” by Rachel Singel, 16x20in, intaglio on handmade cotton paper (2015)

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

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