public

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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Public Art

Feature: Sarah Lindgren

Sarah Lindgren

Sarah Lindgren

Raising The Ante On Public Art

Sarah Lindgren is a government employee, which makes her, almost by definition, a bureaucrat - a terrible word with little positive association. Yet, as Public Art Administrator at Louisville Metro Government, she is the top authority on public art in the city, a job description that sounds anything but monotonous.

In conversation, Lindgren speaks of the issues surrounding public art with detail and confidence, but she also effectively illustrates the complexity of the topic. With substantial experience in museum administration with The Speed in Louisville and the St. Louis Art Museum, she clearly has the bona fides for the job.

Public Art Administrator is a job that never existed before 2014, a creation of the long in development Louisville Public Art Master, which in turn gave birth to COPA, the Commission On Public Art. Part of Lindgren’s role is to, in effect, head up COPA. But what does a commission on public art do exactly?

“COPA was established to advocate for all of the recommendations in the Master Plan, which included a position for Public Art Administrator,” explains Lindgren. “My job is to help artists and arts organizations navigate their way through the bureaucracy of public art. What permits are needed? What is required to site artwork in the right-of-way?”

So COPA is an advisory body making recommendations to Mayor Greg Fischer and the Metro Government on such questions as how to adequately archive and maintain the rich history of public art in the city. How much does the general public know about the significance of sculptures that have been a part of the fabric of the city for generations? How often do you drive past the Daniel Boone statue at the entrance to Cherokee Park with any thought to the fact that it was created by one of the most important women sculptors in the United States, Louisville-born Enid Yandell (1869-1934), who studied with Auguste Rodin? How many of us know with assurance where to find all of the Barney Bright statues in the city? Or works by Ed Hamilton?

That archive was one of the first tasks implemented from the Master Plan, with the help of Kristin Gilbert, Lindgren and photographer Luke Seward, who took fresh pictures of many of the pieces. But there also is a need to build consistent public policy towards public art, both old and new.

Beneath the Surface by Mary Carothers. Part of the 2015 Connect/Disconnect: A Public Art Experience.

Beneath the Surface by Mary Carothers. Part of the 2015 Connect/Disconnect: A Public Art Experience.

COPA is what Lindgren calls “a nexus for various areas of expertise to come together to address public art policy.” In some instances, city and state government might cross paths, and if the topic involves an institution such as the University of Louisville, the paths between action and accountability can be difficult to chart. “We also work with city departments and overlay review committees. Depending on the project, it can be a lot of moving parts.”

Most cities have requirements in place for new construction that demand developers include initiatives public space and/or public art, and so does Louisville. “We have a unique formula in the Land Development Code,” explains Lindgren, “which stipulates outdoor amenities or focal points be included in building plans for large-scale developments, or the developer can choose a fee in lieu of the amenity or focal point which goes into a restricted fund for public art.” The result is the establishment of a funding opportunity that will be offered in the next fiscal year, a grant application for funding new public art. The size and availability of this opportunity will, of course, vary depending upon the volume of new construction each year and developers that opt for the fee-in-lieu to support public art. “The fee-in-lieu option was added to the Code in 2010, but the recession slowed down construction. By 2016 with an increase in new development projects, there is also an increase in this type of funding for public art.”

The funding opportunity is just the latest initiative that Lindgren has brought to the Metro Government’s renewed attention to public art. In 2015 she managed Connect/Disconnect: A Public Art Experience, the inaugural project of COPA and Louisville Metro Government’s Public Art, which featured outdoor installations by five artists – Simparch, Jean Shin, Mark Reigelman, Jenny Kindler, and Louisville artist Mary Carothers. The pieces were only in place for a few months, but several have received national recognition. Other projects in various stages of development include:

River Monument (glomus) by SIMPARCH (Steven Badgett and Matt Lynch). Photo from Develop Louisville.

River Monument (glomus) by SIMPARCH (Steven Badgett and Matt Lynch). Photo from Develop Louisville.

The Louisville Knot

A project to install public art and lighting features to enhance the Ninth Street underpass, it is being developed in coordination with the Louisville Downtown Partnership. A multi-disciplinary team led by Interface Studio Architects (ISA), based in Philadelphia, and includes Shine Contracting, Louisville; Core Design, Louisville; Element Design, with offices in Lexington and Louisville; and LAM Partners, Cambridge, MA, would seek to turn the area under the 9th Street I-64 ramps into “an engaging and enticing public space tied together by local influences and traditions, providing a destination for exploration, commerce, and play.”

Love In The Street

An initiative by local poet and artist Lance Newman to curate a selection of poems by local poets and stamp them in a newly laid concrete sidewalk on 4th Street, between Chestnut and Broadway. The poems are intended to be love letters to the city. The project has a target completion date in spring 2018.

"Opportunity Portal" by Don Lawler & Meg White. Photo courtesy Meg White.

"Opportunity Portal" by Don Lawler & Meg White. Photo courtesy Meg White.

Bike Sense Louisville

Bike Sense Louisville is a public art project designed by Todd C. Smith. By providing sensor units to 100 Louisville cyclists (Citizen Cyclist Volunteers), data will be translated into helpful maps online as well as drive a public sound composition on the pedestrian Big Four Bridge. The resulting dataset will be open to the public and used by the city at the project's end to help in developing further improvements in bike infrastructure and planning.

Marquis Marie de Lafayette by Jean-Antoine Houdon (after). Photo by Michael Popp

Marquis Marie de Lafayette by Jean-Antoine Houdon (after). Photo by Michael Popp

It’s fair to observe that the creation of a Public Art Administrator position and the formulation of COPA represent a renewed focus on arts and culture that accompanied Greg Fisher into office, so given the shifting political landscape that characterize America in the last few years, how long can Louisville expect an arts professional such as Lindgren to have a seat at the public policy table?

“Well, my job is as vulnerable as any to a change in administration, but COPA is a public commission without salaries or budget of any kind – members are appointed by the Mayor and serve as volunteers, so it would be difficult to imagine why any new administration would not see their value.”

The recommendations are not limited to the benefit of the current administration or the city of Louisville but also extend to the uncertainty and lack of protections for individual artists. “As an artist, you deserve to work under a proper contract, to be paid appropriately and on time, and, when necessary, to have liability insurance in your project budget provided by your client. I want Louisville to raise the ante in advocating and implementing for best practices creating art in public spaces.”

Public Art Database: http://louisvilleky.pastperfectonline.com/
Explore Public Art: https://louisvilleky.gov/government/public-art/explore-public-art


This Feature article was written by Keith Waits.
In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, www.Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.


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

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Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery: art[squared]

"Untitled" by an anonymous artist, 8x8in (2017)

"Untitled" by an anonymous artist, 8x8in (2017)

The simple, ubiquitous square - Some artists are uncomfortable with it: better to occupy the expanding horizontal form, which feels as if it matches our comprehension of the world around us, yet this year’s call for artist’s to donate original work to art[squared] has resulted in 300 pieces – a dizzying array of images of inestimable range and appeal.

On April 7 and 8, Louisville Visual Art will offer these 8” x 8” pieces from local and regional artists at the 4th Annual art[squared] Sale. All of the work is displayed anonymously and available for $100 and all proceeds support the Children’s Fine Art Classes.

Friday, April 7th - Preview, Sale & Party - (Ticketed Event)
Pre-sale: $20 members/$25 guests, At the Door: $25 members/$30 guests
7:00pm-7:30pm – Preview
7:30pm – Sale Begins

Saturday, April 8th - Public Sale - (Free Event)
10am-1pm – Sale open to the public

For Tickets: http://www.louisvillevisualart.org/artsquared2017/

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

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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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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.

Are you interested in being on Artebella?    Click here    to learn more.

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