social

Painting, Drawing

Feature: 2017 Academy of LVA Seniors, Part 2 of 2


“I learned so much that helped me to become a better artist.” — Mayteana Williams


Student, Mayteana Williams working on a drawing.

Student, Mayteana Williams working on a drawing.

The art of youth is often the transition between the joyful, unfettered creativity of a child, and the first deliberate intention of an adult artist. The senior students departing the Academy of LVA for college in the fall have discovered that they have something to say to the world, and they are choosing to say it through art.

Moving from the idealized and fantastical images of children from Mayteana Williams, to the more polished and well-observed self-portraits and startlingly brutal scene pulled from archetypal childhood we find in the work of Madison McGill, we get some understanding of how young artist may surprise us with caustic social commentary or reach beyond the obvious assumptions of perceived cultural identity. Then Katie Montgomery shows a full embrace of Expressionism and an authoritative command of her medium in capturing raw human emotion. A child’s first art making is fundamental expression of their emotional being – the elemental satisfaction of finger paints, and Montgomery reconnects to that need.

Mayteana Williams – CFAC/Academy student for 8 years
Has been accepted to Spalding University for their college of art and design.

“I am grateful to William Duffy in sculpture, because I had never done that before, and Dennis Whitehouse, because I learned so much that helped me to become a better artist.”

Work by Mayteana Williams

Work by Mayteana Williams

Madison McGill – Scholastic Silver Key
Will be attending the University of Kentucky to major in Studio Arts.

“I learned a lot from Wilma Bethel and we had some great conversations. She has such a loving heart for every one of her students and is an outstanding artist! It was my pleasure to learn from such an amazing woman. Jean Smith was also an amazing teacher. When I started the mural, she graciously took me under her wing and assisted me in any questions I had for her. This was my first mural and without her encouragement and guidance, I don't know if I could've completed it. Both of these wonderful ladies have impacted my life greatly and have taught me so, so much. I would definitely recommend LVA to someone with an interest in art!”

Work by Madison McGill

Work by Madison McGill

Katie Montgomery
Has been accepted into and will attend The School of the Art Institute of Chicago on a scholarship.

“Classes with LVA/CFAC have made me the incredible artist and person that I am today. I've learned everything that I know from being taught and influenced by their teachers, especially Dennis Whitehouse.”

Work by Katie Montgomery

Work by Katie Montgomery

These students, and others, have created small-scale work especially for The Academy of LVA exhibition, which will be at Revelry Boutique Gallery May 19 – May 25. There will be an Opening Reception May 19, 6-8pm.

Revelry Boutique Gallery
742 E. Market Street

Gallery Hours
Tuesday – Saturday, 11am-7pm
Sunday & Monday, 11am-5pm

Work by Mayteana Williams

Work by Mayteana Williams

Work by Katie Montgomery

Work by Katie Montgomery

Work by Madison McGill

Work by Madison McGill

Work by Mayteana Williams

Work by Mayteana Williams

Work by Katie Montgomery

Work by Katie Montgomery

Work by Madison McGill   

Work by Madison McGill
 


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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Special, Mural, Painting, Photography

Feature: 1619 Flux

1619 FLUX is re-opening for our One-Year Anniversary on April 15th, 2017 with a new Exhibition about Revitalization in West Louisville, and other surrounding neighborhoods.


“1619 Flux is NOT an art gallery.” — Kara Nichols


Neighborhood Revitalization & The Creative Flow Exhibition  Co-Curators:  Jesse Levesque, Kara Nichols, and Gwendolyn Kelly

Neighborhood Revitalization & The Creative Flow Exhibition
Co-Curators:  Jesse Levesque, Kara Nichols, and Gwendolyn Kelly

Kara Nichols and Jessie Levesque did not want to open an art gallery on West Main Street. Not that there’s anything wrong with that notion, it’s just that the pair had something else in mind. The full name they gave their venture, 1619 Flux Art + Activism is actually fairly direct in announcing the mission, but once you put art on the walls with a price tag, “gallery” is the easy assumption. People get it – they know what that is and they can feel good about it. But the real mission – the second part of that name – is an idea that still struggles to gain currency in the mainstream. What exactly does it mean to use art to effect social change?

Part of the problem is that it can mean so many things. “We want to engage artists who are solving problems creatively,” explains Levesque, “and, of course, part of that engagement will include exhibiting art, but there’s more to it.”

Nichols, who holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Louisville, never saw herself in the role of “curator”, but she and Levesque are inventing a new role for themselves, step-by-step.  The first step was to make a home. The building is a humble, low-slung bungalow-like edifice that sits back off of Main Street between 16th and 17th Streets. It seems utilitarian on the outside, and the interior is open and efficient; a good space for a reception. When 1619 opened its doors one year ago, there was a party attended by a host of Louisville VIP’s: Mayor Greg Fisher, Ghislain D’ Humeires, Teddy Abrams, and many others. The high profile event drew a large crowd and the owners engaged a valet parking company to handle the traffic. That doesn’t seem unreasonable for such a glittering night, but later they heard negative comments from the neighbors. “They said to us, ‘seeing valet parking told us we weren’t welcome,’” says Nichols. “Which is exactly the opposite of what we intended.”

"Portland Car Show" by Adam Horton, 8x11in, photograph

"Portland Car Show" by Adam Horton, 8x11in, photograph

Which just underscores the challenge of trying to focus creative social activism through a physical location designed to pull people across the mythical 9th Street divide.

"Consume" by Bryan K. Holden, 48x72x9in, Plastic Liquor Bottles, Cardboard Homeless Signs, Wood, Resin, Ink, Paint, Liquor, Cigarette Butts, Pills, Syringes, Keys and Wedding Ring

"Consume" by Bryan K. Holden, 48x72x9in, Plastic Liquor Bottles, Cardboard Homeless Signs, Wood, Resin, Ink, Paint, Liquor, Cigarette Butts, Pills, Syringes, Keys and Wedding Ring

Hoping to clarify their intentions, Nichols and Levesque invited artist and West End resident Gwendolyn Kelly to co-curate a new exhibit that opens April 15, Neighborhood Revitalization & The Creative Flow. Although it does feature artists: Adam Horton, Randall Webber, Anne Huntington, Gwendolyn Kelly, Bryan K. Holden, Scott Vinson, D.R. Stewart, REMI, Kacy Jackson, Dwayne Whidby, Josh Ison, Shaun Sargent, Andrew Cozzens, and Erik Nohalty will all have work in the show, it will also highlight people and businesses that are making a creative difference in neighborhoods in transition: Algonquin, Butchertown, California, Chickasaw, Germantown, NuLu, Parkland, Park DuValle, Park Hill, Phoenix Hill, Portland, Russell, Shawnee, Smoketown, and SoBro/SoFo, among others.

One of the ways they accomplish this is by devising categories for people who affect change through creative action. In the statement for the exhibit, the curators state: “Creative people help to revitalize neighborhoods as architects, artists, connectors, employers, muralists, navigators, and witnesses. Art and activism emerges when creative people invest their time, money, and energy in neighborhoods in flux.”

"Pharoah Sanders" by Kacy Jackson, 48x24in, acrylic and spray paint on board

"Pharoah Sanders" by Kacy Jackson, 48x24in, acrylic and spray paint on board

Nichols, Levesque and Kelly came up with a series of identities:

Navigator
Architects
Witnesses
Connectors
Muralists
Employers
Artists
Evolvers

They see these terms as establishing entry points for individual to become a part of the discussion. “There is so much going on,” says Kelly, “but if people can identify with one of these roles, then they are involved.” The roles encompass people, businesses, social agencies, and art non-profits. “Connectors are churches, school, organizations like Louisville Visual Art,” explains Levesque, “Employers are obvious, but some of the other categories are more subtle in their definition, and, of course, we are all witnesses.”

It may seem surprising that Nichols and Levesque opened their space while still trying to figure things out, but their lack of arrogance and willingness to learn and grow provides an important example for people of means who want to make a difference in the community. It’s too easy to talk yourself out of taking such a risk, and nobody wants to look foolish, but perhaps in the territory where angels fear to tread is exactly where we might find the greatest opportunity for change.

Grand Re-Opening and One-Year Anniversary!
1619 FLUX: Art + Activism’s
Neighborhood Revitalization & The Creative Flow Exhibition

Saturday, April 15th, 2017
5:00pm - 10:00pm

Meat from Superior Meats, BBQ by Boss Hog, wine & beer, sides and desserts from The Table, Farm To Fork, and Sweet Peaches

Live music with WoWuWoo & Krew from 8:00pm to 10:00pm

"Phoenix Hill" by Adam Horton, 8x11in, photograph

"Phoenix Hill" by Adam Horton, 8x11in, photograph

"Sweet Peaches Restaurant Mural" by Resko, Photo by Randall Webber. 8x11in

"Sweet Peaches Restaurant Mural" by Resko, Photo by Randall Webber. 8x11in

"Smoketown Teardown" by Adam Horton, 36x36in, photograph

"Smoketown Teardown" by Adam Horton, 36x36in, photograph

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

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Drawing, Painting

Q&A: Dorothy Kavka


“I believe in a primordial sisterhood of women that links them beyond social and territorial boundaries." — Dorothy Kavka


Face.jpg

Dorothy Kavka sees herself as an artist who is a chronicler of women: “…both in the roles they are made to assume within their societies and their historical reality. I believe in a primordial sisterhood of women that links them beyond social and territorial boundaries. The ‘other,’ or cultural diversity becomes the guise they assume that is demanded by their fathers, husbands, religious leaders, and lawmakers. My work explores the tension created by the existence of these forces on every woman.”

Kavka was accepted into a prestigious Women's Gallery Show in Chicago and in exhibits at the Kaviar Gallery and the Gallery Janjobe in Louisville. Recently, she won first place at the Jewish Community Center's 12th Annual Mazin Art Exhibition, juried by Joey Yates from the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft.

"Mood" by Dorothy Kavka

"Mood" by Dorothy Kavka

When did you first think you would be an artist?

I always knew I would be an artist. Even as a young child, I was always drawing, I took classes at the Art Institute of Chicago (giving up ballet because my parents could not afford both classes), and saved a few of the drawings from those classes; it still amazes me that I could do such detailed work at that age.

Who or what inspires you now?

Knowing that people like what I do inspires me. I just won first place at the Mazin Juried Art Exhibit, and that was a real thrill.

You describe yourself as a “chronicler of women” as regards how they are viewed by society. How do you feel your representation of the human figure captures that?

I find that although I have a number of studies of men, my focus has always been on women. That may be because in the workshops I took, we usually had women models. Then again, I guess I just find women more interesting.

Among the images here are nude studies of women. How does your work avoid some of the objectification of the female form that is still so common? 

I don't know. I just draw and paint what I feel at the time I do the work.

"Nude X" by Dorothy Kavka

"Nude X" by Dorothy Kavka

What are you reading right now?

I am reading a book about George Washington and about to read “The Bone Clocks” by David Mitchell, who also wrote “Cloud Atlas”. I was an English teacher, and I do enjoy a good book.

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

I think that it happened as an adult, when I was able to start taking workshops with well-known Chicago artists, such as Ed Paschke and Lillian Desow Fishbein. They never tried to "fix" my work by drawing or painting over them, but would offer suggestions that allowed me to discover for myself what I need to do.

"Garden Party" by Dorothy Kavka

"Garden Party" by Dorothy Kavka

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

I need to do art; it is a calling that I cannot ignore.

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

Yes, my art has changed over the years. Remember that I started art classes when I was a teenager. However, I did not begin to really take my art seriously until I started workshops with Chicago artists. At first I was doing realistic drawings and paintings - which were good, but somehow not fulfilling. Then, I began to work into them, changing the focus, and suddenly I found my stride. 

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

This may sound trite, but I feel that art is the one thing that makes life enjoyable. 

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Age: 76
Education: BA in English Language & Literature, University of Chicago; MA in English; University of Wisconsin; studied at Art Institute of Chicago and in private workshops with Ed Paschke and Lillian Desow Fishbein

"Nude III" by Dorothy Kavka

"Nude III" by Dorothy Kavka

"Nude II" by Dorothy Kavka

"Nude II" by Dorothy Kavka

"Ballerinas" by Dorothy Kavka

"Ballerinas" by Dorothy Kavka

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