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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: Stephanie Tanner

"Up The River" by Stephanie Tanner, Mixed Media Fiber Art Metal, Wool, Driftwood, 12x60in, 2018, $600

"Up The River" by Stephanie Tanner, Mixed Media Fiber Art Metal, Wool, Driftwood, 12x60in, 2018, $600

Stephanie Tanner makes sculptures that scream out to be touched. The tactile quality of the wool she often uses is particularly alluring, but more importantly, the pieces communicate an emotional intensity that is utterly compelling.

"Holding Fast" by Stephanie Tanner, Concrete, Wool, Wood, 8x22x18in, 2018, $250

"Holding Fast" by Stephanie Tanner, Concrete, Wool, Wood, 8x22x18in, 2018, $250

“I like to think of myself as a woven word artist,” explains Tanner, “a poet that wants to hold words in my hands and show how they appeared as I wrote them. I write passionately about love, loss, longing, and mental illness. My rendering of each poem uses discarded household objects, concrete sculpture and various types of fiber (wool, yarn, fabric etc.) to move the poem from paper into this dimension.”

The recognizable objects are filled with fabric situated in forms and patterns suggestive of the ordinary contents or attachments, but the softness of the materials, including the delicate interplay of pastel colors that suggest Baroque paintings, lends a dream-like quality to the sculptures. Tanner’s formal education may have not included an art degree, but her work is nonetheless filled with academic references from history, even while it expresses complex emotional states that reflect.

“I am stubbornly self-taught in that I learned my techniques through a great deal of curiosity and experimentation. There is never a sketch or a plan…just the thought ‘I wonder what would happen if I did… X?’ and then surrender myself fully until it tells me it is finished. My goal is to bridge the gap between poetry and visual art and create a fuller sensory experience.”

“I loved the people I worked for but found the 9-5 life unfulfilling. I quit in 2008 after the birth of my daughter and jumped head first into art, pursuing a career as a professional photographer. After 9 years of photographing weddings, babies, and families my heart once again felt restless and I felt a desire to further push my creative limits. I began exploring all kinds of artistic mediums but none of them felt right for me. I had always written poetry but in 2016 I began weaving as a way to battle my chronic depression and anxiety and it quickly moved from a hobby to a full-time passion. Recently I have been working on larger pieces that incorporate my poetry, weaving, and found objects.”

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On September 29, Tanner 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: Grew up in Germany, Alabama, South Carolina, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania. But for the last 15 years, I have called Louisville my home.
Education: Degree in Hospitality Management, MBA, Johnson and Wales University
Website: www.iamstephtanner.com
Instagram: iamstephtanner

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"Starships" by Stephanie Tanner, Wool, antique fish basket, 24x18in, 2018, $300

"Starships" by Stephanie Tanner, Wool, antique fish basket, 24x18in, 2018, $300

“Nowhere to Keep This” by Stephanie Tanner, Wool, vintage suitcase, 26x20in, 2018, $425

“Nowhere to Keep This” by Stephanie Tanner, Wool, vintage suitcase, 26x20in, 2018, $425


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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Installation

Vignette: Tammy Burke

Tammy Burke inside Navy and orange personal enclosure

Tammy Burke inside Navy and orange personal enclosure

Tammy Burke is a multi-disciplinary artist working on her MFA through the Hite Institute for Art at the University of Louisville. Her history shows a good deal of installation and performance work, and here she shows us a concentration on the tactile as well as visual textures of fabric in recent sculptural pieces. In her statement she explicates her unique take on materialism:

“We use materials to psychologically or physically transform us every day, to conduct daily living, by believing in them to catapult us to higher moments, and by designing an identity. I create constructions that comment on and respond to humans’ sometimes irrational, but deeply seated relationships to things, how people use things and materials to generate and reinforce meaning, to project beliefs and identities, and how fragile but potent that dependency is.”

"Marbled enclosure" by Tammy Burke, umbrella frames, fabric, paint, LED candles, blacklight, paper hand fans, ink, table, exotic plant, black light, 2017

"Marbled enclosure" by Tammy Burke, umbrella frames, fabric, paint, LED candles, blacklight, paper hand fans, ink, table, exotic plant, black light, 2017

“Possessions project meaning and construct identities. The body is a charged vehicle, unequally distributed, and the bearer of our intentions, delivering coded messages through possessions: adornments, positions, companions, vehicles, and domiciles. Regarding this, Russell Belk summarized Sartre: ‘the only reason we want to have something is to enlarge our sense of self, and the only way we can know who we are is by observing what we have.’* Possessions act to amplify, mask, or create the self. They describe and extend the self and have the power to transform a believer. Identity is a territory, which can be acquired or at least pantomimed through possessions and performance.”

“Materials embody beliefs and facilitate sacred acts. Rituals, among life’s daily routines, are intentional simulations in which the outcomes may not be certain, but desired and envisioned. The ritual process may be the totality of the experience, but through ritual simulation we manufacture transcendence. For the faithful participant, objects and materials used to carry out, or that are produced through rituals become cathected.”

“Cathexis involves the charging of an object, or idea with emotional energy by the individual. They retain residues of the encounter in the mind of the participant. The simulation hallows the materials as well as the faithful.”

“I provide sensory experiences through seductive constructions. They may be exotic spaces, imagery, and materials, or commonplace things thinly veiled with pageantry. These objects provide an opportunity to experience cathexis. In turn, the viewer-participant’s engagement cathects these objects and materials, a transformative process for the construction, just as the encounter may be for the visitor. The materials are the message, and momentarily, they deliver something greater than their parts. Momentarily, they look divine. For a moment they enable a transformation.”

"Tall black personal enclosure" by Tammy Burke, umbrella frame, wood, gold leaf, sequined fabric, 48x82in, 2018

"Tall black personal enclosure" by Tammy Burke, umbrella frame, wood, gold leaf, sequined fabric, 48x82in, 2018

Burke has kept a busy exhibition schedule while working on her MFA, most recently mounting an installation concurrent with the run of Eurydice, at the U of L Thrust Theater in January, and participating in the Artlink Regional Exhibition, Artlink Contemporary Gallery, Fort Wayne, IN, January through March of this year.

Hometown: Jeffersonville, Indiana
Education: MFA Candidate, Hite Art Institute; MA Media Communications, Webster University; BFA Painting, Herron School of Art, IUPUI
Website: tammymburke.com

Belk, Russell W. “Possessions and the Extended Self”. Journal of Consumer Research, 15 No. 2 (1988), pp. 139-168. New York: Oxford University Press. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2489522.

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"Tall black personal enclosure" (detail) by Tammy Burke, umbrella frame, wood, gold leaf, sequined fabric, 48x82in, 2018

"Tall black personal enclosure" (detail) by Tammy Burke, umbrella frame, wood, gold leaf, sequined fabric, 48x82in, 2018

"Exponential" by Tammy Burke, cardboard boxes, sequin tarp, 9x12x8ft, 2018

"Exponential" by Tammy Burke, cardboard boxes, sequin tarp, 9x12x8ft, 2018

"Big Dumb" by Tammy Burke, wood, cardboard, spandex, zippers, 62in diameter, 2017

"Big Dumb" by Tammy Burke, wood, cardboard, spandex, zippers, 62in diameter, 2017

"Navy and orange personal enclosure" by Tammy Burke, umbrella frame, wood, gold leaf, synthetic fabrics, 56x56in, 2018

"Navy and orange personal enclosure" by Tammy Burke, umbrella frame, wood, gold leaf, synthetic fabrics, 56x56in, 2018


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Glass

Vignette: KCJ Szwedzinski

“Every time a story is retold it takes on a new life…” - KCJ Szwedzinski

"Hidden Histories I" by KCJ Szwedzinski, mixed media, 51x48x34in, 2017, POR

"Hidden Histories I" by KCJ Szwedzinski, mixed media, 51x48x34in, 2017, POR

Storytelling is the root of history. It's how we transmit the lessons of the past, either in oral or written narrative, and therefore how we learn about ourselves. And, of course, the first “written” stories were visual: pictographs on cave walls that carried the burden of documenting entire communities through cycles.

KCJ Szwedzinski’s work concerns itself with unorthodox realizations of narrative. Much of it uses textual elements functioning more as graphic motifs as explicit linguistic communication. In fact, it is often unreadable; transparent pages layered together to obscure all meaning, as in “hidden Histories II”, or positioned at the ends of an hourglass as in ”A Measure of Time”. And if the cut out, cursive text in “An Absence That Suggests A Significant Presence” is technically legible, our desire to read it is distracted by the play of light and shadow that the artist calls into existence with the folded-page format. Even more startling is how we are forced to ponder the question of why the enigmatic “Hidden Histories I” sculpture mysteriously places four dinner settings on the underside of the table.

"Hidden Histories II" by KCJ Szwedzinski, glass, wood, metal 54x20x8in, 2017, POR

"Hidden Histories II" by KCJ Szwedzinski, glass, wood, metal 54x20x8in, 2017, POR

“Narration, ritual, and object are each mechanisms for the transmission of memory,” Szwedzinski tells us. “As time passes, these stories and carriers of meaning become shadowed with the recollections of others and become imbued with added social, familial, political, and moral values not originally present. Every time a story is retold it takes on a new life, simultaneously preventing that information from being lost to history while slowly transforming into something new altogether. These mechanisms for transmission slowly shape collective memory across time and ultimately have a huge hand in shaping personal identity. My work reflects on the shifting nature of narrative across time and considers the intersection of art, ethics, and atrocity.”

Szwedzinski has work in a show at OPEN Community Art Center, with a closing reception on January 26 from 6-9 pm. She also has have work in an exhibition at the Dairy Barn Arts Center in Athens Ohio, OH + 5 '18: Ohio Border Biennial, which runs through March 17th. She was recently included in The Flow Magazine's Winter 2017 edition of the 13th annual Gallery of Women in Glass.

Szwedzinki exhibited frequently during 2017:

  • Descent: A Collaborative Book Project, University of Louisville, KY
  • Artists in Our Midst, Kaviar Forge Gallery, Louisville, KY (Juried)
  • Glass Show, Gallery 104, La Grange, KY (Juried)
  • Relative Perspective, Gallery K, Louisville, KY (Two person exhibition)
  • Terminus: Portfolio Exchange, SGCI Archives, Zuckerman Museum of Art, Kennesaw, GA (Juried)
  • Student Exhibition, Schneider Galleries, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY (Juried)
  • Apocalypse: A Collaborative Book Project, University of Louisville, KY 
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Hometown: Jacksonville Florida
Education: MFA candidate. University of Louisville, Louisville, KY (expected May 2019):
BA cum laude, Art History and Printmaking, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL, 2009
Website: www.kcjszwedzinski.com

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"An Absence That Suggests a Significant Presence" by KCJ Szwedzinski, book, 11x7in, 2017. POR

"An Absence That Suggests a Significant Presence" by KCJ Szwedzinski, book, 11x7in, 2017. POR

"An Excerpt From a Year in Treblinka" by KCJ Szwedzinski, 7x5in, 2017, POR

"An Excerpt From a Year in Treblinka" by KCJ Szwedzinski, 7x5in, 2017, POR

"A Measure of Time" by KCJ Szwedzinski, blown and sheet glass, stone granules, 10x6in, 2017, POR

"A Measure of Time" by KCJ Szwedzinski, blown and sheet glass, stone granules, 10x6in, 2017, POR

"That Which Comes Unbidden" by KCJ Szwedzinski, mixed media, dimensions variable, 2017, POR

"That Which Comes Unbidden" by KCJ Szwedzinski, mixed media, dimensions variable, 2017, POR


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

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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.

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

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