music

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.

2017-04-29 11.05.09.jpg

Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. 

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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.

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Mixed Media

Q&A: Deborah Stanley


“Experience will be more valuable than anything learned in the classroom.”
— Deborah Stanley


Artist Deborah Stanley

Artist Deborah Stanley

Deborah Stanley has been a juried member of the Louisville Artisans Guild (LAG) since 2011 and a member of the Louisville Visual Art (LVA) since 2014 and have been a participatant in the Art[squared] project since its inception.  Her work has been displayed and featured in various art galleries and exhibitions in the Louisville area such as LAG 2016 Holiday Showcase and 2016 Annual Exhibit; Kaviar Forge and Gallery (Touched with Fire, 2016 and The Figure Revealed, 2014, juried participant); Gallery 104 in La Grange, KY (the 2014 Red Show, juried participant), 2013 Crafts of Kentucky Exhibition, (juried participant), JCC Patio Gallery Presents Louisville Artisans Guild, 2013, the 2012 and 2013 Brown-Foreman Annual Pride Fair, The KORE Gallery (former partner), 2012 September Art Fair Mellwood Art Center, juried participant, Louisville Artisans Guild Annual Art Exhibit, and The Women's Club of Louisville (2012 Annual No-Jury Art Show).

When did you first think you would be an artist?

2004

Who or what inspires you now?

Beautiful and colorful visual imagery in nature or photo images  

"Lukas" by Deborah Stanley, 8x10in, polymer clay (2016) $350 |  BUY NOW

"Lukas" by Deborah Stanley, 8x10in, polymer clay (2016) $350 | BUY NOW

Your work is unique, and blurs many lines. How did you come to work with polymer clay?

I was working on an art project with my young son and needed something different and colorful that would be easy enough for a child to make into simple shapes. However, I found an immediate connection and affinity for the feel of the clay and the endless possibilities I saw when the colors are blended. 

You describe yourself as an “abstract expressionist,” yet the images also contain representational figures and faces – talk about how you balance the two strains in your work?

I strive to express an emotion or feeling with every piece I create. While many of my creations contain representational figures and faces, my concentration is on communicating emotion or feeling rather than trying to create a technically correct replica of a particular subject. I would say my balance of the two strains is giving just enough technical detail to capture the essence of the subject and let abstract expressionism take over from there.

"  Gypsy Dancer" by Deborah Stanley, 9x12in, polymer clay (2016) $425 |  BUY NOW

"Gypsy Dancer" by Deborah Stanley, 9x12in, polymer clay (2016) $425 | BUY NOW

If you could do anything else but make art, what would it be?

Photography. I have always had a passion for photography and previously owned and operated a photography business specializing in wedding and family photographs.

What frightens you the most?

Bugs!

What challenges you more than anything?

Coloring within the lines.

What is your favorite music to listen to when making art?

R&B/hip hop/rap/oldies/pop  

Vinyl or CD?

iTunes - Sorry but if I have to choose between the two, it would be CD

What advice would you give a young artist just out of college?

Experience will be more valuable than anything learned in the classroom. Keep working and never feel like you've "arrived". You will always improve if you keep working.

Tell us about an important moment of transition for you as an artist?

For my first several years as an artist, I exclusively created abstract designs, always determined to "let go/let flow" with the clay. A few years ago, I accepted a commission, which required the inclusion of a representational figure. This commission challenged me to find the most creative way to express freedom while meeting the requirement of my client. This was a pivotal moment for me and gave me the outlet to express myself or an idea or feeling in every piece I now create.

"Sheba" by Deborah Stanley, 9x12in, polymer clay (2016) $425 |  BUY NOW

"Sheba" by Deborah Stanley, 9x12in, polymer clay (2016) $425 | BUY NOW

How do you feel about local art scene in Louisville? What would you change about it?

I love the art scene in Louisville. As a transplant from the Washington, DC area, I was pleasantly surprised at how art friendly Louisville is. Just walking downtown and admiring the artistic bike racks and generations of "Gallopalooza" horse statues is always entertaining. There are plenty of galleries and venues that are very welcoming for local artists of all levels. I wouldn't change a thing.

Has your style changed or evolved over the years? If so what do you think influenced this?

Yes. As I described above, my style has evolved from strictly abstract, to Abstract Expressionism utilizing representational figures or faces. It was a required element in a new commission, so I had to give it a try and have not looked back!

MV5BMzMzNzU0NzQ1NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTMzOTEzMQ@@._V1_SY1000_SX670_AL_.jpg

Favorite movie?

"Something New"

If you could meet any celebrity who would it be and what would you ask them?

Boy George. I would ask him where his courage comes from to have demanded to live and look his own way since childhood. His love of freedom and honest way of expressing himself has always been an inspiration to me.

Hometown: Silver Spring, Maryland
Age: 52
Education: Studied Business Administration and Sociology at Montgomery College in Rockville, MD
Website: http://www.aegalleryshop.com

"Color Chameleon" by Deborah Stanley, 9x12in, polymer clay (2016) $425 |  BUY NOW

"Color Chameleon" by Deborah Stanley, 9x12in, polymer clay (2016) $425 | BUY NOW

"The People's Champ" by Deborah Stanley, 9x12in, polymer clay (2016)

"The People's Champ" by Deborah Stanley, 9x12in, polymer clay (2016)

"The Purplest" by Deborah Stanley, 11x142in, polymer clay (2016), $500   |  BUY NOW

"The Purplest" by Deborah Stanley, 11x142in, polymer clay (2016), $500 | BUY NOW

Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Q&A: Sid Webb


“Art is a creation that aptly describes its time and place.”
— Sid Webb


"Untitled #1" by Sid Webb, 6x18in, ash and honeysuckle (2016), $350 |  BUY NOW

"Untitled #1" by Sid Webb, 6x18in, ash and honeysuckle (2016), $350 | BUY NOW

Sid Webb is a Lexington native who studied journalism at the University of Kentucky and attended the Atlanta School of Art. He came back to Kentucky to be the first art director at the Kentucky Educational Television network (KET), where he was an early advocate of using the digital canvas to create art and to make gicleé prints. He created a 13-part show for public television called Sid Webb’s Digital Studio, in which he demonstrated several ways to create art and paintings on a computer. After many years at KET, Webb turned to travel and editorial photography.

When did you first think you would be an artist?

I was convinced at a very early age that I would be an artist…maybe 10 or 12 years old.  I had done some freelance work for the new IBM plant in high school and local TV stations plus some other work in high school. Sometimes clinging adamantly to such an idea can lead one astray, as it did me. I joined the Air Force after my freshman year in college. At that time the military was very sensitive to the criticism that they were assigning recruits to the wrong jobs and they had developed an elaborate test to discover one’s potential military vocation. I insisted that I wanted to be a graphic artist and passed the test with a near 100 percent score. No portfolio was required. Just several hours of reading questions and guessing at answers to questions like “Which Speedball pin tip would you use to letter a diploma?” Even though I had passed the test, there were few graphic artists needed in the Air Force. No openings were available. There were plenty of openings for cooks and cops, however, and those occupations were in the same category as graphic artists for some reason. I opted for cop.

"Urn" by Sid Webb, about 11in tall, cherry wood (2016), $1200 |  BUY NOW

"Urn" by Sid Webb, about 11in tall, cherry wood (2016), $1200 | BUY NOW

If you could do anything else but make art, what would it be?

Fortunately, during my career I found several creativity roles that were very fulfilling. After college and art school, I came back to Kentucky to work for KET just as it was going on the air. During those early years I did set designs and construction, make-up, newsletters, ads, photography…you name it. Later, I became director of production, and then created and headed a department that sold and distributed KET programs to stations in other states. Surprisingly, that time was perhaps the most fun and productive. We were distributing GED and adult literacy programs and I tried to break new ground in reaching those who could benefit from KET’s creations. I had workbooks translated to Spanish and programs subtitled. I looked for ways to make the content work on computers and audiotapes. I looked for ways to help adult education centers.  Perhaps most importantly, I explored ways to get the message of “help” to those who needed it. In the process I met some very talented and wonderful people and felt gratified. 

You were an early practitioner of digital art and the use of computers for reproductions. What do see as the future of digital art?

I had one of those "ah-ha" moments sometime ago. I was thinking about the artwork and photography I have done over the last few years.

Early on, I became enamored with the possibilities for digital printmaking and the computer as an art-making tool. I also knew that inkjet prints would face stiff opposition from galleries and buyers. I thought the process needed to be elevated and legitimized, so I invented a new term for it: "digitography".

I pat myself on the back for seeing the need, and kick myself for not being outrageously inventive.

For my intended purpose, any word that too easily revealed its derivation like digitography did was destined for the scrape heap, where it soon found itself. The word that emerged and quickly claimed proper respect among the art community was "gicleé". It was a flash of brilliance.

"Untitled #2" by Sid Webb, about 11in tall, spalted maple and catalpa (2016), $800 |  BUY NOW

"Untitled #2" by Sid Webb, about 11in tall, spalted maple and catalpa (2016), $800 | BUY NOW

It didn't matter that the true definition could be easily discovered, which is "to spit," or "to sputter". What mattered was that it had a nice ring to it.  The beauty of the choice was that it is a French word, always nice sounding; and it helped that France was the birthplace of modern, avant-garde art. Also, it helped that the definition of gicleé, even when discovered, did not immediately reveal its connection to the mechanical and digital aspects of computers.

That leads me to the "ah-ha" about what I have been doing.

I have been doggedly creating "paintings" on the computer that looked as though they were created with traditional media. Again, I wanted to legitimize the computer as an art tool, and I have been trying to do it by demonstrating that my approach worked as well as other tools by inviting comparisons.

The epiphany was the realization that every new medium first gained legitimacy in this way. For instance, early films and radio productions "translated" books and theater before it found firm artistic footing of its own.

Even though I am someone who adopted the computer early on as an art tool, others have moved beyond "translations".  I decided I would, too.

What advice would you give a young artist just out of college?

The challenge is how to pay off the student loan, pay the rent, and have enough money left over to create art the way you want to do it. Facing this reality is often shocking and overwhelming . . . and defeating. I have a lawyer friend who told me that in law school he learned the law but left school with no idea how to practice it or run a business. That’s so very true of young artists just finishing their degrees. How to sell art is the very first thing a graduate needs to learn. I suggest an internship with a successful artist or photographer. Working in a craft shop or gallery is also a great option. 

Tell us about an important moment of transition for you as an artist?

Retiring from my day job freed me to explore the world around me . . . libraries, museums, friends, travel. I was usually free to spend as much as I wished on my art projects. I had no deadlines, self imposed or otherwise as a rule.

"Untitled #3" by Sid Webb, about 16in tall, wood (2016), $180 |  BUY NOW

"Untitled #3" by Sid Webb, about 16in tall, wood (2016), $180 | BUY NOW

What's your favorite place to visit?

Tough question. I love France because I have an insatiable appetite for great food, and it is hard to find mediocre or bad food in France. France, like so many other places I have visited, is candy to the eye and fresh air to the inner spirit. I am able to see and feel that which has become too familiar to local people. I do love my home but there lives within me a need to see beyond the next horizon.

What's the most challenging part when starting on a piece of work of art?

How to create the next piece and push beyond my “style”. My style is like my shadow. It is glued to me and I have little control over it. I can walk around a room with a single light source in the center of it and my shadow will mutate, but I still own it. I can’t shake it. But I try.

How long do you usually spend on a specific piece of art?

It depends. I may spend less than an hour to several days. Sometimes the pieces that take less than an hour to create have taken shape in my head over days.

Does art have a purpose? If so what is it?

It defines us, our place in time. Our culture. Our beliefs. None of this is too obvious until we travel and become aware of what surrounds us.

A few decades ago, André Malraux wrote a little book titled “Museum Without Walls” and I used it to make a compelling case that art is dead. Malraux thesis was that the industrial age had made it possible to exactly duplicate fine works of art so that people no longer had to flock to the museums of the world to see and appreciate them. 

In his view we needed to disconnect the ideas of “original,” and “art”. In other words the fact that a piece is an original or part of a limited edition may make it costly, but its cost doesn’t make it art. 

This of course leads back to the question of “what is art?” To be candid, the answer is a moving target with philosophical overtones. The layman’s answer often is “I don’t know what art is, but I know what I like.” That usually puts an end to the discussion as the remark is often intended to do. But there is a measure of truth in it. 

"Untitled #4" by Sid Webb, about 16in tall, wood (2016), $180 |  BUY NOW

"Untitled #4" by Sid Webb, about 16in tall, wood (2016), $180 | BUY NOW

The German word “gestault” describes that measure of truth. But the best way to think about it may be by using music as an analogy. Most people know when a singer or an instrumentalist hits a sour note or is off key. The ability to detect harmonic sounds is built into our physical make up, at least in most of us. We are painfully aware of singers who are off key or hit a bad note and we know when the rhythm is not quite right. But being aware of the correctness of those essentials of music doesn’t determine the kind of music we enjoy or make us good critics. 

In a general way, what most of us think of as good music has to do with lots of other things. If we play an instrument or sing in a group we are certain to pay closer attention to music than others who don’t. The music we grew up listening to affects our appreciation of it and how we feel about music outside of that genre, too. 

As with music there are physical attributes we humans have that determine our feelings about art. Perhaps surprisingly, one is in our inner ears that keep us balanced and on our feet. Gravity and that liquid in our inner ears keeps us keenly attuned to weight and what’s up and what's down. 

The physical mechanics of the way most of us see color is another factor. Some people are color blind or “tone deaf” to color, but most of us know when colors clash. It takes only a little experimentation to sharpen ones sensitivity to the harmonies of color, but as with music, our taste in color has much to do with our cultural background and where we live. 

So in both music and art we humans share common tools for creating and appreciating them. From there, defining what is good or bad, great or worthless becomes a stroll in the wilderness of philosophical thought that leads to questions like these: 

"Untitled #5" by Sid Webb, about 16in tall, spalted maple and walnut dowels (2016), $325 |  BUY NOW

"Untitled #5" by Sid Webb, about 16in tall, spalted maple and walnut dowels (2016), $325 | BUY NOW

— Is craftsmanship important or necessary? 
— Can utilitarian objects like knifes and forks, pottery, etc., be considered art? 
— What’s the difference between arts and crafts? 
— Is folk art really art? 
— Is performance art, art? 
— Should commercial art be considered as worthy? 
— Does museum ownership make it art? 
— Must an artist know art history to create “real” art? 
— Should photography be considered art? 
— If a sculptor creates a model that someone else casts into bronze, should the piece be considered art? 
— What if the sculptor intends that only one piece be cast but two are actually made. Is the second piece art? 
— Must a work have lasting value to be considered art? 
— Are movies to be considered as art?

Twenty-four images a second pass the shutter of a movie projector. Should we select only a few of the frames to consider as art or are each of the frames to be considered art? 

I could go on, but you get the idea. 

Music is also exposed to these same sorts of questions when trying to separate “great” music from the commonplace, but the answers are usually less vague and troubling. We all know what music is; because, it seems, we trust our ears more than our eyes, and because the word “music” never took on a double meaning as the word “art” has. It makes the discussion about great music easier. Music is also less complicated in other ways. Utilitarian items crafted by a master can be considered art, but elevator music remains merely utilitarian. 

Various details of Webb's work.

Various details of Webb's work.

Art critics will say that you cannot know what “art” is until you have immersed yourself in it. On the other hand I suspect many artists would tell you the process is more important to them than the product. 

In Kurt Vonnegut’s book, “Man without a Country,” Vonnegut, in his usual direct and pithy style, cuts to the chase on the subject. An artist friend told him the way to recognize great art is to look closely at a million pictures. Then he would know what art is. He told his daughter this and she agreed. She told him that after working as an artist for years she could roller skate through the Louvre going “yes, no, yes, no, no, yes,” confidently assessing the value of the works as art. 

I have my own definition of what “art” is that’s fairly encompassing but leaves a few corners uncovered. I choose to think of it as a creation that aptly describes its time and place and sometimes foreshadows its successor. 

I fill in the blanks from the gut.

Name: Sid Webb
Hometown: Lexington, KY
Age: 74
Education: Majored in journalism and political science, University of Kentucky; Atlanta School of Art (High Museum)
Website: http://www.sidwebb.com/

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Print Making, Mixed Media

Vignette: Susan Moffett


“The rhythm of this work is integrated with the presence of music and dance in my life.”
– Susan Moffett


A photograph of Susan Moffett in her studio.

A photograph of Susan Moffett in her studio.

Music is so often, if not always, an integral part of the life of a visual artist. Besides being a highly respected printmaker and teacher, Susan Moffett is also a “Caller” for contra and square dances, and now is playing the fiddle. If we might characterize such pursuits as folk music crossed with precision of execution, it would be perhaps be a fair description of the work we see here.

The tradition and protocol of printmaking includes labored technique, process, and the notion of limited editions of prints pulled by the artist to their exacting standards, but we find Moffett abandoning those for what she calls the, “the freedom and spontaneity of woodcut monoprints. Instead of a traditional series of perfected prints with a consistent image, I opt to use the block prints in an intuitive exploration of organic forms, creating rhythm within and relationships between the prints. Small prints are repurposed in relationships of color, density and repetition, to make a larger installation.”

Although Moffett is too educated and sophisticated in her sensibilities to be labeled a folk artist, there is an elemental quality in these latest images. Yet, because they are densely textured and highly detailed, they are also complex. We often find such tension at the heart of art that is compelling, a balance of contrasting themes and aesthetic that seems the honest, organic result of genuine discovery. 

"Moonlight in the Forest" by Susan Moffett, 19x14in, relief monoprint collage, $375 |  BUY NOW

"Moonlight in the Forest" by Susan Moffett, 19x14in, relief monoprint collage, $375 | BUY NOW

Moffett is Professor Emeritus of Fine Art at Indiana University Southeast where she taught Printmaking, Drawing, and Art Appreciation for many years. She teaches private drawing and printmaking lessons. 

"Seasonal Rhythms" by Susan Moffett, 42x54in, relief Monoprint Installation, $2,250 |  BUY NOW

"Seasonal Rhythms" by Susan Moffett, 42x54in, relief Monoprint Installation, $2,250 | BUY NOW

Moffett is a founding member of PYRO Gallery in Louisville, where she is currently exhibiting with Wendi Smith and Marilyn Whitesell in Ex-Faculty; New, Renewed and Repurposed through November 26, 2016. She has exhibited throughout the United States as well as abroad in Ireland, Poland and Australia. Her work is in numerous public and private collections including:

Selected Collections
• Evansville Museum of Arts and Science, Evansville, IN
• Hyatt Regency, Louisville, KY
• Brown-Forman Distillers Corp., Louisville, KY
• The Kentucky Foundation for Women, Louisville, KY
• Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, Louisville, KY
• University of Dallas, Irving, TX
• The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
• Owensboro Museum of Art, Owensboro, KY
• The University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

Hometown: Dallas, TX
Age: 66
Education: MFA, Northern Illinois University, 1977; Texas Tech University, 1973
Gallery Representation: Pyro Gallery (Louisville) Ro2 Art (Dallas)
Website: http://www.susanmoffett.com

"Seasonal Rhythms (detail)" by Susan Moffett

"Seasonal Rhythms (detail)" by Susan Moffett

"Cool Flow, Fall," by Susan Moffett, 14x20in, relief monoprint collage, NFS

"Cool Flow, Fall," by Susan Moffett, 14x20in, relief monoprint collage, NFS

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

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