objects

Photography

Vignette: Garin Horner

Photographer, Garin Horner (Photo by Colleen Small)

Photographer, Garin Horner (Photo by Colleen Small)

A Photo-ethnographic Study of Personal Spiritual Shrines & Altars

Most people likely think of religion and spirituality in monolithic terms: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islamism, Judaism, etc., but by some estimates tally as many as 4,200 different religions existing in the world today. And spiritual practice is often a very individual and private action. Garin Horner seeks out and documents what he calls, “…intimate connections people have with places and objects that serve as focal points, where subjects feel strong links with transcendent beings, ethereal energies, and/or supernatural realities.”

‘The subjects I collaborate with are a combination of artists, actors, and spiritual practitioners who want to give voice to and celebrate their own distinct views as part of a multitude of spiritual beliefs. They are believers in a supernatural meta-ecology, or structure of subtle dimensions that co-exist with our reality comprised of various beings (or forces). Part of this view recognizes altars to be microcosms and/or nexuses of those subtle dimensions.”

"A Collection of 2016 Relics from the World's Religions" by Garin Horner, 24x30in, photography (2016), $450 |  BUY NOW

"A Collection of 2016 Relics from the World's Religions" by Garin Horner, 24x30in, photography (2016), $450 | BUY NOW

It should come as no surprise that Horner sometimes encounters resistance from his subjects. He turns his lens on a topic that is sensitive even in the mainstream, so to ask people to reveal themselves in such specific, confessional terms requires delicacy.

“I contact my subjects through calls for collaboration and word of mouth. It’s a fairly complicated process that doesn't always work out. Whenever I am traveling to a city (for a conference or exhibition) I research spiritual organizations in the area and reach out to people. I also use a catalog from the Parliament for the World's Religions.  Sometimes I get positive responses and people invite me to photograph them, but when I get there they have a change of heart.”

Horner keeps the identities and locations secret, and in some cases where the subject has refused to be photographed, Horner has, with permission, recreated what he has witnessed from detailed notes and sketches. So far, in the last 18 months he has produced about 25 separate images in the series.

"Ancestors Guide Us and Protect Us" by Garin Horner, 24x24in, photography (2017), $450 |  BUY NOW

"Ancestors Guide Us and Protect Us" by Garin Horner, 24x24in, photography (2017), $450 | BUY NOW

“Most people don't want me to photograph them, but some do. Some are very excited to show other people their connection to their spiritual practices. Some are excited in the beginning and change their minds in the end. If someone goes as far as being photographed and signing a model release and then asks me to not show their photos - I don't.”

Horner exhibited photos in Louisville a few years ago as part of a show curated by the Midwest Society for Photographic Education. He was recently named Director of the Adrian College Center for Effective Teaching. Adrian College, Adrian, Michigan.

Horner’s newest exhibit, Otherworldly Signs / Unworldly Believers will be at the Prairie Center of the Arts, Peoria Ill, in October 2017.

Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Education: BFA, Sienna Heights University; MFA, Cranbrook Academy of Art
Website: www.garinhorner.net
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/garinhorner

"Calling the Spirits of the Fallen" by Garin Horner, 24x30in, photography (2017), $450 |  BUY NOW

"Calling the Spirits of the Fallen" by Garin Horner, 24x30in, photography (2017), $450 | BUY NOW

"rive Deep the Magic Nail" by Garin Horner, 24x30in, photography (2016), $450 |  BUY NOW

"rive Deep the Magic Nail" by Garin Horner, 24x30in, photography (2016), $450 | BUY NOW

"The Souls of Four Enemies and One Friend" by Garin Horner, 24x30in, photography (2017), $450 |  BUY NOW

"The Souls of Four Enemies and One Friend" by Garin Horner, 24x30in, photography (2017), $450 | BUY NOW

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

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Ceramics

Feature: Tom Marsh Legacy


“By practicing a potentially usable art and by insisting on its usability, and the commonness and local peculiarity of his materials, he points it toward the older, finer, healthier sort of artistic success: that such excellent workmanship, such beauty and distinction, might again become ordinary.“ — Wendell Berry on Tom Marsh*


Artists, Ginny & Tom Marsh.

Artists, Ginny & Tom Marsh.

If past is indeed prologue, then perhaps we live in the present only by the leave of our ancestors; formative influences, and most especially our teachers. Tom Marsh was a teaching artist in the Greater Louisville area for more than 25 years, first at Silver Creek High School in his native Indiana during the 1960’s, and then as the founder of the Ceramics program at the University of Louisville’s Hite Institute for Art, where he taught until his death, in 1991.

It is also said, by those who loved and admired him the most, that he was demanding. Surely this is a requisite quality for any worthwhile mentor, and, from all accounts, Marsh set expectations as high for his own work as he did for anyone else, and the program he developed for U of L was unorthodox, moving beyond traditional studio parameters. Certainly experience has taught us that innovation often translates for some as ‘difficult’.

Marsh was raised by missionaries, and studied painting with Mary Spencer Nay at the University of Louisville. A missionary trip took him to Mashiko, Japan, where he ended up staying for several years, studying pottery with Sakuma Totaro (1900-1976), and learning various strands of Buddhism, most notably Rinzai. Once he returned to the U.S. he eventually resettled in Borden, Indiana, living his later years in adherence to ethical and spiritual practices born of his time in Japan, building an aesthetically spare house in the secluded woods that featured multi-functional space - the bed was raised on pulleys to make room for working.

Works by Marsh Pottery,   Install Image from UofL Faculty show (1984) . Photograph courtesy of the Hite Art Institute.

Works by Marsh Pottery, Install Image from UofL Faculty show (1984) . Photograph courtesy of the Hite Art Institute.

This holistic approach was indicative of what University of Louisville colleague and current faculty Jim Grubola calls the, “potter-philosopher” ideal that Marsh strived to embody. He brought it into his teaching, breaking out of the confines of the studio to instruct students in building outdoor kilns as a part of curriculum, a practice that brought many conflicts with both the Louisville Fire Department and University officials.

"  Approaching" by Marsh Pottery,   conjunction in situ (1992). Photograph courtesy of the Hite Art Institute.

"Approaching" by Marsh Pottery, conjunction in situ (1992). Photograph courtesy of the Hite Art Institute.

As for the work, Marsh’s ceramic pottery follows the Japanese aesthetic that finds beauty – “art,” in the strictly functional: large scale vessels for storage (because smaller pieces for daily use were commonly made from lacquer or wood), and tea pots. The full, earthen physicality might seem to contradict the western (mis) perception of delicacy as a defining characteristic of Japanese art; these are full, solid forms of visual and tactile weight. Their functionality never feels in question.

Another U of L associate, retired Print Faculty John Whitesell, describes how Marsh developed his techniques for the “expanded form jar,” in which the walls of the vessel are pushed to their limits and the outer surface begins to “crack”: “He would go beyond what you would imagine was possible… he would just keep working it, and working it.” The resulting complex, “fractured” surface texture became a trademark of Marsh’s work, a careful balance between structural integrity and creative aesthetic. However much the artist valued function, the rustic, earthy beauty of the work was always astonishing.

Whitesell also talks of “the anonymous potter,” which is a term that evolved when Marsh worked alongside his wife, Ginny Marsh. In the images of work shown here, from a 1984 sabbatical exhibit at U of L’s Schneider Galleries, all of the work is identified as simply Marsh Pottery, with no distinction given as to which Marsh created which piece. While there may be some who felt they could detect differences, Grubola, for one, could not be certain, because the nature of the vessels had gone in such an elemental direction: “Particularly towards the end,” says Grubola, “the work became more intuitive and less refined.”

"Mark" by Tom Marsh. Photo Courtesy of Hite Art Institute.

"Mark" by Tom Marsh. Photo Courtesy of Hite Art Institute.

Students came to U of L to study with Marsh specifically tolearn the Japanese-based techniques and life philosophy he expounded. Laura Ross, Wayne Ferguson, Sarah Frederick, Fong Choo, Pam Korte, Bran Hazelet, and Gwen Heffner are but a few notable potters for whom Marsh was a mentor, and many of them still live, work and teach in the area.

"Teapot" by Ginny and Tom Marsh

"Teapot" by Ginny and Tom Marsh

All of the concentration suggests that Marsh never did anything halfway. One of his teaching tools were sophisticated, multi-media presentations that he also took all around the U.S. at a time when such things were not common. “For someone so dedicated to a simple agrarian lifestyle,” remembers Whitesell, ”Tom was well-versed in technology, and had multiple projections fading in and out… synched to a pre-recorded soundtrack. It was very impressive.”

"These pots and cups and bowls are not busy calling attention to themselves as 'art objects.' Their preferred habitat is a kitchen, not a museum. They invite use. They are not just viewed. Viewing, by itself, will misunderstand them--just as, by itself, it
will misunderstand the food." — Wendell Berry

Examples of Marsh pottery are in permanent collections of museums worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art in Kamajura, Japan.

Name: Tom Marsh (1934 -1991)
Hometown: Sellersburg, Indiana

The Marsh's 30 cubic foot cross draft salt kiln (c.1979). Photograph courtesy of the Hite Art Institute.

The Marsh's 30 cubic foot cross draft salt kiln (c.1979). Photograph courtesy of the Hite Art Institute.

"  Approaching Conjunction"   by Marsh Pottery,   stoneware   (1984). Photograph courtesy of the Hite Art Institute.

"Approaching Conjunction" by Marsh Pottery, stoneware (1984). Photograph courtesy of the Hite Art Institute.

"Vase with Brass Rings" by Marsh Pottery, 14in H, coarse stoneware   (1973). Photograph courtesy of the Hite Art Institute.

"Vase with Brass Rings" by Marsh Pottery, 14in H, coarse stoneware (1973). Photograph courtesy of the Hite Art Institute.

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

*From “Tom Marsh/Potter: Twenty Three Years of Clay”, published by University of Louisville, 1979.

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Photography

Vignette: Charles Mintz


“Hardware stores are about self-reliance and culture that values results rather than shiny new things. In today’s world, they are survivors.” — Charles Mintz


"Cedar Center Hardware" by Charles Mintz, 32 x 40in, Inkjet Print From Scanned FIlm (2015), $1000 |  BUY NOW

"Cedar Center Hardware" by Charles Mintz, 32 x 40in, Inkjet Print From Scanned FIlm (2015), $1000 | BUY NOW

As we make the world shiny and new with urban renewal and fashionable shopping malls, there is still a network of old-fashioned hardware stores located in American communities. The counters are aged; once sharp corners worn to a nub, yellowed tile floors, the glare of fluorescent lights on plastic packaged merchandise filling every square inch of space, so that the color of the walls remain a mystery. Photographer Charles Mintz has been documenting these archetypal exemplars of the American character for the last few years, searching out the rustic and utilitarian businesses wherever he travels.

As is his custom, Mintz uses a large format film camera with interior exposures ranging from one to six minutes. He explains how it serves to break the ice with his subjects:  “Though ungainly, the camera is appreciated by the owners, who gave their permission for the project, and allows some control over focus and perspective. The project is a continuation of work exploring the Great American Dream and the meaning of home. Hardware stores are where we go to fix things - to make things. They are about self-reliance and culture that values results rather than shiny new things. In today’s world, they are survivors.”

"  Heuser Hardware" by Charles Mintz, 32 x 40in, Inkjet Print From Scanned FIlm (2016), $1000 |  BUY NOW

"Heuser Hardware" by Charles Mintz, 32 x 40in, Inkjet Print From Scanned FIlm (2016), $1000 | BUY NOW

“All of my work is about things that are important to me. It is built around my biography but is not about me. Rather it is about the culture of my time and place. It is intended to make you feel and to make you think, though it is not didactic. While this project is not traditional portraiture, it pictures the people that own, operate and shop in these stores. In addition, we can see both common elements and hints of where we are. There is a sense of belonging, a sense of place. To the extent possible, I want the subjects to speak for themselves with a minimum of my interpretation.”

Since becoming a full time photographer in 2008, Mintz has explored portraiture through objects and locations: The Album Project, Precious Objects and, still in progress, Costumes. Even Every Place – I Have Ever Lived, where people in the images are largely unrecognizable, is uniquely personal, beginning with my childhood home that was in foreclosure and continuing in all my lifetime neighborhoods the work has become less traditionally photographic both in form and method.

"  Hollywood Hardware" by Charles Mintz, 32 x 40in, Inkjet Print From Scanned FIlm (2016), $1000 |  BUY NOW

"Hollywood Hardware" by Charles Mintz, 32 x 40in, Inkjet Print From Scanned FIlm (2016), $1000 | BUY NOW

Mintz was Artist in Residence at the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley CA in March 2016, and he was was awarded an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for 2015. His work can be found in museums, including the Smithsonian Museum of American History, private and corporate collections in North America, Europe and Asia.

Trillium Books, an imprint of The Ohio State University Press, published his latest book, “Lustron Stories”, in 2016. The Lustron series was exhibited at LVA’s PUBLIC Gallery in Louisville in 2015.

Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Age: 69
Education: Mintz studied photography at Maine Photographic Workshop, Parsons School of Design, the International Center for Photography, Lakeland Community College and Cuyahoga Community College. He has a BSEE from Purdue University and an MSEE from Cleveland State University.
Gallery Representation: 1point618 Gallery
Website: www.chuckmintz.com

"  Krays Hardware" by Charles Mintz, 32 x 40in, Inkjet Print From Scanned FIlm (2015), $1000 |  BUY NOW

"Krays Hardware" by Charles Mintz, 32 x 40in, Inkjet Print From Scanned FIlm (2015), $1000 | BUY NOW

"  Rodeo Hardware" by Charles Mintz, 32 x 40in, Inkjet Print From Scanned FIlm (2016), $1000 |  BUY NOW

"Rodeo Hardware" by Charles Mintz, 32 x 40in, Inkjet Print From Scanned FIlm (2016), $1000 | BUY NOW

"  Rutledge Hardware" by Charles Mintz, 32 x 40in, Inkjet Print From Scanned FIlm (2015), $1000 |  BUY NOW

"Rutledge Hardware" by Charles Mintz, 32 x 40in, Inkjet Print From Scanned FIlm (2015), $1000 | BUY NOW

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

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Painting, Photography, Mixed Media, Digital

Vignette: Jacqlynn Hamilton


“Creating art evokes an emotional catharsis, and encourages emotional rejuvenation and transformation.” – Jacqlynn Hamilton


Hamilton in her studio.

Hamilton in her studio.

All art might be described to some degree as therapeutic; if an individual feels compelled to create, how could it not? The creative process always channels energy and reveals the character of the artist. Yet sometimes making art is an acutely self-aware journey of healing for both the artist, and the community that they reach. This is certainly the case for Jacqlynn Hamilton.

“I strive to incorporate the essence of aesthetic splendor visually, while displaying to the viewer what may be seen as slightly psychologically dark personal narrative. I cultivate eternal psychological images within my paintings in hopes to link the viewer to a personal introspection. By incorporating several levels of meaning, I hope can relate to work, yet still take away some notion of intrigue and ambiguity.”

“I also endeavor to include elements of womanhood conveyed in prescribed female gender roles, including being a daughter, sister, wife and mother. Symbols form most of the distinctive layers of psychological meaning. My intention is to try to incorporate symbolic meaning to as many objects within the piece, while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing visual whole; thus, allowing the piece to be appreciated on several different levels.“

"Angel" by Jacqlynn Hamilton, 8.5x11in, digitally manipulated photographic & mixed media (2017) $125 |  BUY NOW

"Angel" by Jacqlynn Hamilton, 8.5x11in, digitally manipulated photographic & mixed media (2017) $125 | BUY NOW

"White Rabbit (3 of 3)" by Jacqlynn Hamilton, 8.5x11in, blind embossing print (2016) $175 |  BUY NOW

"White Rabbit (3 of 3)" by Jacqlynn Hamilton, 8.5x11in, blind embossing print (2016) $175 | BUY NOW

Hamilton has spent several years working on a series titled, The Island of My Own Creation, which together forms a personal narrative depicting the realm of psychological disassociation. “Dissociation is a psychological coping mechanism to help minimize or tolerate conflict and stress in the outside world. The act of daydreaming is a mild form of dissociation, and the phenomena can even lead an individual to altered states of consciousness.”

In 2016, Hamilton was included in two exhibits at Kaviar Forge and Gallery, Kentucky Printmaking and Touched With Fire.

Hometown: Sarasota, Florida
Age: 38
Education: Fine Arts, Ringling College of Art, 2000; Fine Arts, JCTS (Louisville), 2012; Major in Fine Arts, University of Louisville’s Hite Institute
Website: http://jacq2di.wix.com/artist-painter

"Treva" by Jacqlynn Hamilton, 8.5x11in, digitally manipulated photographic image (2017) $125 |  BUY NOW

"Treva" by Jacqlynn Hamilton, 8.5x11in, digitally manipulated photographic image (2017) $125 | BUY NOW

"The White Rabbit" by Jacqlynn Hamilton, 48x48in, acrylic on panel board (2016) $875 |  BUY NOW

"The White Rabbit" by Jacqlynn Hamilton, 48x48in, acrylic on panel board (2016) $875 | BUY NOW

"Treva Blue" by Jacqlynn Hamilton, 8.5x11in, digitally manipulated photographic image (2017) $125 |  BUY NOW

"Treva Blue" by Jacqlynn Hamilton, 8.5x11in, digitally manipulated photographic image (2017) $125 | BUY NOW

"Her Brother" by Jacqlynn Hamilton, 11x17in, acrylic and mixed media (2016) $350 |  BUY NOW

"Her Brother" by Jacqlynn Hamilton, 11x17in, acrylic and mixed media (2016) $350 | BUY NOW

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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