portland neighborhood

Photography

Vignette: Mia Hanson

“Ida Disa” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Ida Disa” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

To begin at the beginning, photographer Mia Hanson has a first memory of a camera: “While my parents were away, I sought out a 35mm film camera from a glass case and held it to my right eye; instantly, the world around me had space and definition unlike before. It was a new way of seeing, I realized.”

Today when Hanson teaches digital photography for Louisville Visual Art, she keeps this important “first time” in mind. “We’re not just  taking fun pictures in class, we are learning how to see in a new way.”

Hanson’s images often discover an otherworldly quality, a view of human figures that escapes the mundane details of corporeal existence. One is tempted use the word ghost, and while it is true that a ghost might appear in a Mia Hanson photograph, we must be open to a more organic and ephemeral relationship between the artist and her subject. As Hanson explains in a 2006 interview:

“I'm always searching for the soul of my subject. As a photographer, I try to tap into some other frequency of mood and emotion that is there, yet hidden. Unlike the painter who creates from imagination, I'm fascinated with the thought of lifting the veil from our given reality.”

All art can investigate this thin place of transition between Illusion and Reality, Life and Death, posing questions about different planes of existence, if not always answering them. Photography occupies a special place in this territory, because it plays on our expectations that the camera is capturing an objective reality, when the truth is that it is another tool in the artist’s box. Even when Hanson is using natural environments, such as in “Disturbance in Central Park”, the location is suggestive of a fantasy world. The pensive pose could be anywhere in the world, and only the title ties it to a few yards from a busy Manhattan street. And the image is timeless. It looks to me like a frame enlargement from an early silent film. Look at stills from F.W. Murnau’s Sunrise for a comparison.

“Disturbance Central Park” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Disturbance Central Park” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

Hanson has lived in Stockholm but returned to the states with her partner, painter Hawk Alfredson to live for several years in the fabled Chelsea Hotel in NYC. While in residence there she, “Created portraits utilizing the light and charged energy of the hotel atmosphere while careful not to disturb or “document “ what is not entirely capable of being captured. The ghosts are best left alone.”

We can venture a guess how much the Hotel Chelsea influenced Hanson’s images, but it may a rhetorical question. If we entertain the notion of an artist connecting to other realities, then both she and Alfredson might have arrived at the Chelsea guided by unseen but always present forces. That may sound eccentric and picturesque, but, after all, we are talking about connecting to an ethereal plane.

Hanson’s work has appeared as cover art illustration for publishing houses such as Random House, Houghton & Mifflin, and Simon & Schuster, as well as magazine editorial work for Psychology Today and New York Black Book. She has exhibited internationally and is currently teaching for Louisville Visual Art.

Photo: Hawk Alfredson

Photo: Hawk Alfredson


Hometown: Santa Monica, Ca.
Education: Studied film theory and photography in San Francisco’s Bay Area before leaving to pursue a photographic mentorship with influential photographer/ videographer Matt Mahurin in NYC in the 90’s.
Website: www.miahanson.com


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“Jennica” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Jennica” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Balance” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Balance” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Terezka the Betrothed Shrew” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Terezka the Betrothed Shrew” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.

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Painting

2019 art[squared] Featured Artist: Richard Sullivan

“Untitled” by Richard Sullivan, Acrylic on panel, 24x24in, 2019, $1500. Available for purchase through silent auction at the 2019 Art[squared] Fundraiser

“Untitled” by Richard Sullivan, Acrylic on panel, 24x24in, 2019, $1500. Available for purchase through silent auction at the 2019 Art[squared] Fundraiser

The 2019 art[squared] Fundraiser will feature the work of three local artists sold through silent auction.

Richard Sullivan was a ballplayer before he was an artist - or was he an artist before he was a ballplayer? Both talents are accepted as inherent abilities; that to excel in either requires hard work, but to be really good requires you to be born with some ephemeral spark of ability.

“Folty 25” by Richard Sullivan, Acrylic on canvas, 24x36in, 2019, POR

“Folty 25” by Richard Sullivan, Acrylic on canvas, 24x36in, 2019, POR

Sullivan combines the two worlds in his subject matter: “My sports watercolors are directly linked to my past as a professional athlete. My goal is to convey the intense focus and concentration of athletes at the highest level of competition. I draw from my past experiences as a former professional pitcher to harness the emotion of each moment that I portray.”

Which might beg the question of how far does personal experience take you as an artist instead of observation. I’m sure Sullivan does not shirk on the latter, but he also knows the feeling of the pull and balance when the left leg ascends to its peak just before the pitcher unfurls that fastball, or the very specific cock of the shoulder before the batter swings.

But Sullivan, as most Kentucky painters inevitably will, has recently turned his attention to horses, so we can more accurately weigh the kineticism of his approach, the spontaneity of his marks, all of which make his work look deceptively easy.  

“I convey action, movement, and emotion through loose brush strokes and expressionist watercolor style. I have learned that watercolor is really about letting go. Each painting that I create requires the same amount of concentration that it took for me to pitch in a game, but after every successful painting I receive the same burst of energy and awareness. My hope with every painting is for the viewer to feel the same connection between art and sports that I do.”

“I have found parallels between painting and pitching that I would not have known existed until I was introduced to watercolor. When on the mound, once the ball would leave my hand, I would have little control over what would happen next. The same is true for watercolor. Every time I place a brushstroke, I have little control once it is on the paper. Just like facing a new opponent, each painting has new challenges.”

His work has been accepted into the permanent collection of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Yogi Berra Museum and exhibited by the Louisville Slugger Museum and the Kentucky Derby Museum. Over a dozen Major League Baseball players, including Tom Glavine have started collecting his work. Coca Cola recently commissioned him to create a special 75th Anniversary painting for USO.

“Hank Aaron” by Richard Sullivan, Acrylic on panel, 24x36in, 2019, Private collection

“Hank Aaron” by Richard Sullivan, Acrylic on panel, 24x36in, 2019, Private collection

In 2017 the Atlanta Braves commissioned Sullivan to create 18 original watercolor paintings and 20 prints for their new stadium SunTrust Park. The paintings line the corridors of the Champions suite and the Executive Offices. The Atlanta Falcons commissioned Sullivan to create a portrait of their owner, Arthur Blank, that hangs in the owner’s suite of the new Mercedes Benz Stadium.

Sullivan is a member of the 2019 Hadley Creatives Class, an initiative from the Community Foundation of Louisville.

In April Sullivan will be showing at Craft(s) Gallery. Horsepower: The Latest Works of Jeaneen Barnhart, Jaime Corum, Tyler Robertson and Richard Sullivan will run April 5th through May 31st, with an Opening Reception with the artists scheduled for Friday, April 5th from 6-10pm.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BFA, Illustration, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)
Website: Richardsullivanillustration.com

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“Shohei Ohtani” by Richard Sullivan, Acrylic on board, 36x48in, 2019 , POR

“Shohei Ohtani” by Richard Sullivan, Acrylic on board, 36x48in, 2019 , POR

“Charismatic and Field” by Richard Sullivan, Watercolor, 36x48in, 2019, Kentucky Derby Musuem

“Charismatic and Field” by Richard Sullivan, Watercolor, 36x48in, 2019, Kentucky Derby Musuem


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.

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Painting, Photography

Feature: John Brooks

“An Abyss Of Thighs” by John Brooks, 37.5x33.5in, Oil on canvas, 2019, $3800

“An Abyss Of Thighs” by John Brooks, 37.5x33.5in, Oil on canvas, 2019, $3800

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John Brooks has work all over Louisville right now. He is a part of the Imagined Monuments exhibit at Metro Hall, he is showing with Letitia Quesenberry at O Gallery, and some of his paintings from a just closed show at Moremen Gallery will remain on view in a space adjacent to the main gallery (he’ll be showing there again this summer). On top of all of that, his Quappi Projects exhibition initiative, in which he shows other artist’s work in his studio in the Portland neighborhood, is going strong in its second year. He is especially articulate about the foundations of his practice and the imagery he creates, so we will let his most recent Artist’s Statements speak for themselves:

“I consider myself foremost an oil painter. This new and developing body of work represents the first time I have integrated two other areas of my creative practice - collage making and poetry - with my painting practice. This solution evolved out of what was primarily a crisis of composition: after nearly a decade of almost exclusively creating expressive faces, my painting practice had reached a standstill. I did not see a way forward until it occurred to me to utilize my collages - during the making of which I do not suffer from compositional frustrations - to help facilitate composition in my painting. Through this change in method and approach, I feel unbounded. The addition of poetic text into my painting has also made my work more expansive and allows for a more comprehensive representation of my artistic conceptions. In the past, I have mostly resisted incorporating text into my visual work out of a fear that it could be too leading, but as a person who writes constantly in my head as I move throughout the day, the appeal of joining my poetry practice and my painting practice was undeniable. The way in which I have incorporated text into these paintings provides a narrow window into an idea or feeling but bewilders more than illuminates.”

“Fizz Of Hornets (Betty)” by John Brooks, 42x56in, Oil on canvas, 2018, $3800

“Fizz Of Hornets (Betty)” by John Brooks, 42x56in, Oil on canvas, 2018, $3800

“For the last decade, my work has explored themes of identity, memory, death, and place, and has been centered around questions of contemplation, the expression of emotion, the transformative power and the emotional resonance of particular experiences and what Max Beckmann described as “the deepest feeling about the mystery of being.” These paintings are a continuation of those notions. Something seems amiss in the zeitgeist; a mood of uncertainty and disquiet has seemingly overtaken the world. We find these moments before in history: in 1929’s Buchmandel, Stefan Zweig wrote: “Something had gone irrecoverably wrong; he was broken; the blood-red comet of the war had burst into the remote, calm atmosphere of his bookish world.” Are we living on the cusp of such an era or has it already begun? Collage is the perfect metaphorical representation of the disjointedness of contemporary life, of this exact moment in the twenty-first century. We are at once both so interconnected and so siloed; we are so fortunate and so starved; we are so inundated with knowledge and information that we ignore it in order to remain ignorant; our societies are unimaginably diverse and complex yet we fear the stranger, the other. “

“In most of these works, I have chosen to leave expanses of canvas unpainted. This is both an aesthetic choice but also a reference to the paintings’ relationship to poetry. Good poetry says the most it can with as few words as necessary; the impact of one correct word far outweighs the impact of several incorrect words. What a poet leaves out is as important as what he or she includes. Rich and luscious, oil paint has inherently excessive qualities; many colors are made from amalgams of precious minerals and metals, and others are made from earth pigments and charred animal bones. Throughout the process of making this series, I became entranced with the challenge of working with materials that dared me to be excessive while trying to employ the restraint of a poet’s eye. In that sense, these paintings are an exercise in spareness.“

“While these works contain some personal references, experiences and particular depictions of extant LBGTQIA+ life, their objective is ultimately not concerned with the specific; rather they are meant to evoke tantalizingly unreachable atmospheres and to engage with nebulous answers to queries about the search for and ambiguity of meaning and the powerful desire for connection and sense of belonging; they approach an attempt to make sense of the constant disparate noises, voices, and directives which contemporary life seems to exist amidst.”

“Stinson” by John Brooks, 8x10in, Digital photograph, 2018, $250 (edition of 5)

“Stinson” by John Brooks, 8x10in, Digital photograph, 2018, $250 (edition of 5)

Brooks offers separate thoughts on his photographs:

“I consider myself foremost an oil painter, and it is in my painting where these fundamental themes are most  rigorously probed, but my creative practice encompasses work in a variety of other media including collage, sculpture, poetry, and photography. While painting mostly happens only in long, designated sessions, I live with and work with poetry and photography on a daily basis. I consider them to be essential to my work as an artist.”

”These works were taken with my iPhone 8 Plus and represent the first time I have exhibited photography. Locations include Louisville, Miami, the San Francisco Bay area, New York City, the Hamptons, Athens and other parts of Greece. Even as a writer, I think visually. I see in images; I look in frames. Before the proliferation of mobile phones and the vast improvements made in their camera lenses, I often carried around a Nikon 35mm camera, and later a Leica X1. In the last several years I have become inseparable from my iPhone - less so for internet access than for wanting to have the camera with me at all times. In case a bird comes; in case the light moves. It isn’t documentation of occurrences that I am compelled to capture, but rather what I feel, or see, or what I think I almost see. Permeated with an atmosphere of loss and longing, or what the Germans describe as Sehnsucht, these meditative and emotionally resonant images do not posture a sense of knowing, but rather disclose themselves as unknowing, even unknowable. Joy is present, too, and praise for the ephemeral delicateness of existence. In thinking about this joint exhibition with Letitia Quesenberry, she and I came to understand that what binds these two bodies of work together is the subtle tension between the promise of an attainable understanding and the elusiveness of the answer. There is never any arrival; understanding is just out of reach, tantalizingly beyond what is within grasp. These non-arrivals are, of course, what compels us to revisit works of art time and time again.”

“Statement of Other History” by John Brooks, 72x96in, Oil on canvas, $2200.00

“Statement of Other History” by John Brooks, 72x96in, Oil on canvas, $2200.00

Jim Zimmer / Often the Content is Impenetrable is at Quappi projects through March 3.

Non-Arrivals, with Letitia Quesenberry at O Art, 1000 Swan Street, runs through March 9.

“Statement of Other History” is a part of Imagined Monuments, an LVA exhibit for Metro Hall, 527 West Jefferson Street, runs through July 12.

Hometown: Frankfort, Kentucky
Education: BA in Political Science, Minor in English literature from College of Charleston, SC 2000; continuing education at Central St Martins, Hampstead School of Art, Camden Art Centre, London, England 2006-2009
Website: johnedwardbrooks.com
Instagram: narcissusandgoldmund

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“Wind Is Wild Now”by John Brooks, 42x56in, Oil on canvas, 2018, $3800

“Wind Is Wild Now”by John Brooks, 42x56in, Oil on canvas, 2018, $3800

“Mother(Darrell)” by John Brooks, 8x10in, Digital photograph, 2018, $250 (edition of 5)

“Mother(Darrell)” by John Brooks, 8x10in, Digital photograph, 2018, $250 (edition of 5)


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.

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Special

Open Studio Spotlight: Hite Institute Grows West in Portland

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On the outside, right now, it is a decidedly non-descript building. There is evidence of renovation, but no signage yet. Come closer to the building at 1606 Rowan Street though…press your face against the new glass windows and you will discover that the interior is much further along. Freshly painted drywall and track lights are visible and some random art paraphernalia is finding its way to these rooms.  

Helen Payne

Helen Payne

The University of Louisville Hite Art Institute’s Master of Fine Arts program is moving into the historic Portland neighborhood of Louisville a little early because this Saturday and Sunday is the annual Open Studio Weekend, and Curatorial Studies professor and Director of Galleries Chris Reitz has been determined to see this location included on this 5th year of touring artist’s studios. Open Studio Weekend is a co-production of Louisville Visual Art and the University of Louisville’s Hite Institute, a fundraiser for LVA’s Children’s Fine Art Classes and the Hite’s Mary Spencer Nay Scholarship.

The inclusion of the Hite MFA studios represents a dramatic expansion of Open Studio Weekend participants in the Portland neighborhood, which includes artists Victor Sweatt and Tara Remington in the LVA building at 1538 Lytle Street, just 2 blocks from Hite, John Brooks’ Quappi Projects space next door to LVA, Billie Bradford’s woodworking shop across Lytle Street from LVA, sculptor Bryan Holden on Main Street, and the Dolfinger Building on Montgomery Street, which will include painter Julia Davis and fiber artists Colleen and Maggie Clines.

Occupying a renovated warehouse constructed in the 1800s, the Fine Arts Department will offer studio space for MFA students and faculty focusing on ceramics, drawing, fiber, glass, painting, printmaking, sculpture, mixed media, book arts, and design. Faculty and MFA program artists who are listed as participants in the 2018 Open Studio Weekend are: 

Mitch Eckert – Photography                         James Grubola - Drawing
Scott Massey - Sculpture                              Tiffany Calvert – Painting
Ying Kit Chan – Mixed Media                      Moonhe Baik - Fiber
Barbara Hanger - Drawing                          Mary Carothers – Mixed Media
Zed Saeed – Photography                            Megan Bickel - Painting
Helen Payne – Drawing                                Reid Broadstreet – Mixed Media
Che Rhodes - Glass                                       Rachid Tagoulla – Photography
Monica Stewart – Mixed Media                   Lauren Bader - Sculpture
Shae Goodlet - Drawing                                Katherine Watts - Printmaking
Todd Burns – Ceramics                                KCJ Szwedzinski - Glass
Tammy Burke – Mixed Media                     Meena Khalili – Mixed Media         
Karen Weeks - Printmaking                                                                                               

                                                       

The building will also provide space for the Anthropology department’s Master’s program, with gallery space and outreach programs planned for the Portland neighborhood. Construction will continue for some time, but classes in the building are scheduled to begin in January 2019.   

Open Studio Weekend Directories are being sold at the following locations:

Moonhe Baik, 33"x168" 100% cotton thread, 100% linen thread threadwork

Moonhe Baik, 33"x168" 100% cotton thread, 100% linen thread threadwork

AA Clay Studio & Gallery - 2829 S 4th Street, Louisville, KY
AC Hotel Marriott - 727 E Market Street, Louisville, KY
Artist & Craftsman Supply - 1002 Barret Avenue, Louisville, KY
CRAFT{s} Gallery & Mercantile - 572 S 4th Street, Louisville, KY
Cressman Center for Visual Arts - 100 E Main Street, Louisville, KY
Kentucky Fine Art Gallery - 2400 Lime Kiln Lane, Louisville, KY
Kentucky Mudworks - 506 Baxter Avenue, Louisville, KY
Louisville Visitor Center - 301 S 4th Street, Louisville, KY
Louisville Visual Art - 1538 Lytle Street, Louisville, KY
Nitty Gritty - 996 Barret Avenue, Louisville, KY
Preston Arts Center - 3048 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY
Revelry Boutique Gallery - 742 E Market St, Louisville, KY
Silica Ceramic Studio - 222 W 6th Street, Jeffersonville, IN 

Juried Exhibition Opening Reception and OSW Launch Party

November 2, 2018
6:00pm–8:00pm
The Cressman Center (100 E. Main St.)

Open Studio Weekend Self-guided Tours

November 3-4, 2018
Saturday and Sunday 12 noon–6pm

“35 THINGS THAT HAVE ONCE TOUCHED EACH OTHER STAY UNITED” by Megan Bickel, c-print. Digital Collage of artist materials: glitter, holographic film, excerpts from "too nice"

“35 THINGS THAT HAVE ONCE TOUCHED EACH OTHER STAY UNITED” by Megan Bickel, c-print. Digital Collage of artist materials: glitter, holographic film, excerpts from "too nice"


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.

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Fiber

Vignette: Joanne Weis

“…respect for and celebration of the world we were given is the story I want to record.” – Joanne Weis

"The Banks of Pope Lick" by Joanne Weis, Textile - Hemp, Hand Dyed, printed, appliqued and stitched, 32x18in, 2018, $350

"The Banks of Pope Lick" by Joanne Weis, Textile - Hemp, Hand Dyed, printed, appliqued and stitched, 32x18in, 2018, $350

Arguably, all art is storytelling. Even the most singular or abstract image is at least an element of a larger narrative. Joanne Weis is a textile artist working with non-representational components to create broad, elemental compositions that represent something. In the examples we see here, Weis is looking at rivers and streams but, even more importantly, the life of those waterways. Mussels juxtaposed with barges, clover growing on the riverbanks, and fish swimming alongside – even the intricate web of color at the bottom of “The Banks of Pope Lick” are suggestive of the network of organisms found within any organic body of water. The textures of fabric, whether natural or imposed by technique, speak the story of the worlds beneath the water’s surface, away from our hearing.

“My recent work demonstrates my awareness of the links between the earth’s environment and the spiritual.”  

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“I start with white fabric and cord,” Weis explains her process. “Then develop the piece using a variety of dyeing and printing techniques. The final layer is typically stitched with dyed cords, adding detail and texture. I get excited about every phase of the creative process – choosing and researching the subject matter, selecting the fiber, experimenting with techniques to achieve the look I want, handling, even smelling the silk, linen, hemp or other fabric, discovering new colors with dye, making composition and design decisions as the work grows, stitching into the cloth, touching the embroidered textures of the finished piece – all of these are thrilling and fulfilling. Most rewarding is when this art graces someone’s wall.”

“With this in mind, respect for and celebration of the world we were given is the story I want to record.”

Weis currently has a piece in the Fall of the Leaf Autumn Art Show at Kaviar Forge & Gallery in Louisville through October 13, 2018

On September 29, Weis will be part of the Louisville Visual Art’s Juried Exhibit in the 2018 Portland Art & Heritage Fair. The exhibit will be available for viewing at the Marine Hospital from 11am-5pm. Jury prizes will be awarded at 2:00pm.

Hometown: Cranston, Rhode Island
Education: BA English and Education, Salve Regina University, Newport, RI; MA, Fine Arts, focus on fiber; University of Louisville, KY, 2010; MSW, Washington University St. Louis, MO; Art Cloth Mastery Program, with Jane Dunnewold, 2009, ArtCloth Studio, San Antonio, TX.
Website: joanneweis.com

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"Mussels Under and Barges Over the Ohio" by Joanne Weis, Textile - Hemp, Hand Dyed, printed, appliqued and stitched, 20x43in, 2018, $400

"Mussels Under and Barges Over the Ohio" by Joanne Weis, Textile - Hemp, Hand Dyed, printed, appliqued and stitched, 20x43in, 2018, $400

"Clover by the Salt River" by Joanne Weis, Textile - Hemp, Hand Dyed, printed, appliqued and stitched, 40x22in, 2018, $400

"Clover by the Salt River" by Joanne Weis, Textile - Hemp, Hand Dyed, printed, appliqued and stitched, 40x22in, 2018, $400

"Water Dance, Floyds' Fork" by Joanne Weis, Cotton, hand dyed, printed, stitched, 26.5x46in, 2018, $400

"Water Dance, Floyds' Fork" by Joanne Weis, Cotton, hand dyed, printed, stitched, 26.5x46in, 2018, $400


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.

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