Print Making, Drawing, Illustration, Mixed Media, Painting, Ceramics

Feature: Studio 2000 - Making It Count

Studio 2000 students at the start of the program.

Studio 2000 students at the start of the program.

On a hot and humid July afternoon at the Shawnee Arts and Cultural Center, the gym is alive with the sounds of basketball - the hard, sharp squeak of shoes on the wood floor and the pounding dribble of the ball up and down the court. But adjacent to the gym, 14 young high school students are working diligently, focused and oblivious to the soundtrack of frenetic activity only a few feet away. They are earning money over the summer - by making art.

Studio 2000 was for several years an initiative of Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation to foster young artists by paying them to create. It was, in effect, a summer job. After a time, it was suspended, but it was resurrected in 2015 as an ongoing partnership between Metro Parks and Louisville Visual Art (LVA). Studio 2000 pairs high school students who aspire to be visual artists with professional artists to work in clay, fiber and mixed media. Each participant receives a $500 stipend at the end of the eight-week session.

The program culminates with a public exhibition and sale on August 3 at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Proceeds from this sale are recycled through Studio 2000 to support future programming.

Instructors Ehren Reed & Simon Gallo

Instructors Ehren Reed & Simon Gallo

Managing the program for LVA is Outreach Coordinator Ehren Reed, who reviews the applications and supervises the classes. She is also one of three teachers, along with Simon Gallo and J.D. Schall. Reed works with fibre arts, while Gallo, a printmaker, handles 2-D mixed media and Schall focuses on ceramics. Reed and Schall have participated since LVA became involved three years ago, and this is Gallo’s second year.

Carol Watson, a student at Presentation Academy, applies hot wax with a brush to fabric, part of the Batik process of dying cloth that is a staple of visual arts education. She explains that she is very active in arts in school, and will be the President of Presentation’s chapter of the National Art Honor Society (NAHS) in the coming school year. Next to her, Jenee’ Whitt uses one of two sewing machines to hem a small piece of Shibori-dyed fabric that will become a table decoration. A student at Butler Traditional High School, her ambition is to be a fashion designer, and normally she fills sketchbooks with her ideas, but she has no other access to a sewing machine, so this constitutes a rare opportunity for hands-on fabrication.

Joseph Falcon & Lilah Pudio

Joseph Falcon & Lilah Pudio

Also in the fiber group is Lilah Pudio, who is felting, patiently but steadily working a 6” x 8” field of alpaca with a small tool so that it becomes a handmade piece of fabric. Although she is anxious to make progress, the tool contains several very sharp, barbed needles, so the work demands caution. Only moments after Pudio demonstrates the process, Reed, who is working with the same tool, shouts out after catching her fingertip on a needle, dancing around the room sucking on her wounded digit. Despite the pain, it is a lighthearted moment, and Reed laughs as she explains: “We’re definitely the most dangerous area down here: needles, sewing machines, hot wax!”  

Joachim Uy

Joachim Uy

There doesn’t appear to be any such risk at the 2-D station, where Simon Gallo oversees a variety of techniques. Ella Gorstein is happily painting multiple images of a corgi that will be sold at the upcoming sale, while DuPont Manual HS student Braeden Helby concentrates on painting an original design on a skateboard deck, although he’s not happy with it right now. “But it’ll get there,” he assures me. “I’ll make it work.” Across the table from him Joachim Uy is sketching a design in a sketchbook. This is the Male Traditional Senior’s second year in Studio 2000, and he understands that he is fortunate to have had the experience. Working now in the final days of the 2017 iteration, he is intent to complete more work. “Make it count,” he says in a low, soft voice.

TaneJa Eden with Instructor J.D. Schall

TaneJa Eden with Instructor J.D. Schall

At the back of the room, four young women are industriously producing work in clay. TaneJa Eden from duPont Manual takes a break to eat a plate of homemade food delivered by her younger sister. Another artist returning for a second year, Eden worked in the 2-D section last year. “But we feel it is important to mix it up for returning students,” explains Clay Instructor Schall. “Give them different experiences.” Interestingly, a common motif in this summer’s ceramics work is the octopus. Elizabeth Hill (Corydon Central HS) is attaching octopus tentacle legs to her box project, while Andrea Priddy (Academy @ Shawnee) is in the last stages of an octopus teapot that is somewhat astonishing. “We all came up with the octopus idea on our own,” Priddy claims shyly. “We all had octopus sketches in our notebooks.” She seems appreciative when I note the suppleness in the shapes that wrap around her form so that the handle and the spout emerge as tentacles.

Braeden Helby  & Justina Grossman

Braeden Helby  & Justina Grossman

Elizabeth Hill & Andrea Priddy

Elizabeth Hill & Andrea Priddy

Fiber Group
Joseph Falcon - Academy @ Shawnee
Donielle Panky - Butler Traditional HS
Lilah Pudio - duPont Manual HS
Carol Watson - Presentation Academy
Jenee’ Whitt - Butler Traditional HS

2-D Mixed Media Group
Ella Gorstein - duPont Manual HS
Justina Gossman - Academy @ Shawnee
Braeden Helby - duPont Manual HS
Synclaire Thomas - duPont Manual HS
Joachim Uy - Male HS

Ceramics Group
TaneJa Eden  - duPont Manual HS
Elizabeth Hill - Corydon Central HS
HaYoung Oh - duPont Manual HS
Andrea Priddy - Academy @ Shawnee

Getting Out Of The Studio

This year the program was expanded to encompass public art in the form of a mural executed under the guidance of artist Casey McKinney. A wall on the side of Christ Way Missionary Baptist Church facing Floyd Street had been the target of random graffiti that necessitated costly clean-up, and when the church administrators reached out to LVA because of their MAPped Out program, Ehren Reed thought of beginning a new track for Studio 2000 that covered murals. “I was able to reconfigure the budget to introduce this new element that is so in line with our mission.”

Christ Way Missionary Church Mural

Christ Way Missionary Church Mural

Filming underway at the Christ Way Missionary Church Mural.

Filming underway at the Christ Way Missionary Church Mural.

The Studio 2000 mural was conceived and executed by these students:

Grady Gartland - duPont Manual HS
Nina O’Brien - Atherton HS
Milo Quinn - Fern Creek HS
Zavier Stewart - Eastern HS
Olivia Tierney - duPont Manual HS

McKinney gave his young charges a crash course in community murals with visits around town to some of the many mural projects completed in recent years, and the design concept was developed by the students themselves. Their first choices for inspirational message were a bit wordy for a large-scale mural on a schedule, so McKinney encouraged them to search a bit more, and the Robert Ingersoll quote “We Rise By Lifting Others” was selected.

Braeden Helby

Braeden Helby

Details of the mural will be reproduced as notecards and available for purchase as part of the sale on August 3.

Studio 2000 Exhibit and Sale
Thursday, August 3, 5:00-7:00pm
Actors Theatre of Louisville, 316 West Main Street
Sale Preview: 5:00-5:30 p.m. Sale 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Studio 2000 Mural Unveiling
Sunday, August 6, 12:00-2:00pm
Christ Way Missionary Baptist Church, 237 E. Breckinridge Street

Ceramic pieces waiting to be fired.

Ceramic pieces waiting to be fired.

Andrea Priddy working on her octopus teapot.

Andrea Priddy working on her octopus teapot.

HaYoung Oh

HaYoung Oh

Donielle Panky & Carol Watson at the sewing table.

Donielle Panky & Carol Watson at the sewing table.

Written by Keith Waits. Photos taken by LVA staff members. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Public Art, Conceptual

Q&A: Todd Smith

“I am increasingly interested in developing projects that engage the community…”
— Todd Smith

Louisville artist Todd Smith is currently an Adjunct instructor at Bellarmine University and Indiana University Southeast. He is now in the prototype phase of an ambitious public art project commissioned through Louisville’s Commission on Public Art’s (CoPA) ARTmovesLOUISVILLE alternative transportation project initiative. His project, Bike Sense Louisville, will need over 100 citizen cyclist volunteers to use custom sensor units to track their bike usage around the city for one year. He took the time to answer questions about his work and this unique project.

Where did the idea for Bike Sense originate? How long have you been developing the project?

Just after completing my MFA in Buffalo, NY last spring I got an email from Sarah Lindgren from CoPA about their latest public art call for proposals. The theme was ARTmovesLOUISVILLE, with a focus on projects that engage and educate the public in alternative transportation issues in the city. I was moving back to Louisville and excited to have the opportunity to potentially participate in the city’s growing public art programming.

From the call, I began to think about biking and biking infrastructure. I am an avid biker and have been trying to get lost all over Louisville since I was a kid in the Goose Creek neighborhood. Since then I have lived in 7 different neighborhoods in the city and watched the infrastructure change. I commend the city and the last couple of mayors on their initiatives to make Louisville more bike friendly, but I have also seen the efforts come slowly and with mixed results. I have experience biking in Portland, Oregon, and New York City, where separated bike lanes and bike sharing have been well funded and implemented. Louisville has a bike share program that I have rarely seen used and painted bike lanes that many cars ignore. I wanted to come up with an idea that would help the city get more information about bike usage that could be used to raise awareness about biking in the city and potentially be used to improve bike infrastructure.

My most recent projects in grad school were based around data and sensor technology. I had created a glove with pressure-sensitive fingertips, which in its prototype phase, measured the quality of a handshake. The intention is to create a pair of pressure-sensitive gloves and shoes that can measure the relative distributions of pressure in a tree climb and give it to multiple climbers to see how climbing techniques vary.

In my thesis project I embedded an accelerometer into a large Y-shaped branch that was attached to a sturdy steel frame. I placed that branch in the center of an abandoned grain silo and invited people to climb onto it. As they moved and shook the branch the lights in the silo would flicker and a hidden subwoofer would rumble at very low frequencies. The intent was to make the participant feel as if their movement on the tree branch was causing the destruction of the silo. Essentially it’s an interactive metaphor for the history of the industrial site: man makes concrete silo infrastructure, industry booms and busts, vegetation begins to spread across the site inserting roots into cracks allowing water and rust to slowly destroy it.

My idea for Bike Sense Louisville is to take sensor technology and give it to citizen cyclist volunteers, collect their usage over one year, and interpret that data into a real-time sound work that will be broadcast on the Big Four Bridge. In a way, it is a combination of the two previous projects I described, only it’s about micro-measurements of where people are biking and creating a responsive sound piece that draws the public’s attention to bike usage and infrastructure. I also want to add ambient temperature and carbon monoxide sensors in an attempt to see how weather is changing across the city, as well as monitoring the worst part of car exhaust. Then at the end of the year-long project, the entire dataset will be open and available for anyone to see and use, and maybe even help to determine ways of improving Louisville’s bike paths and routes.

I submitted my idea to CoPA in June 2016. I then was selected to develop a more detailed proposal and budget in the fall. CoPA helped to facilitate meetings with members of the city from their bike program, innovation, parks and more. I also met with the Louisville Waterfront Corporation who graciously agreed to broadcast the project on the pedestrian bridge. Then on December 12th I presented my project to the public art commission committee. The project was approved and the prototyping and marketing phase is beginning now. We hope to launch the project with 100 cyclist volunteers by late summer.

You’ve secured support from Metro Louisville and the Commission on Public Art? How are they helping?

CoPA is funding the project, helping to organize PR, public outreach, and facilitating partnerships with the Louisville Waterfront Corporation, Bike Louisville, and more to make sure the project is successful. They will also start a speaker series this summer to be held at Metro Hall and I hope to participate and present the project in relation to art and infrastructure.

This is pretty conceptual with a capital “C”, was it difficult to get that level of municipal involvement?

The most difficult part of the project is explaining how the technology will work and be translated into art. Once I broke it down to the basic concept and explained the possible benefits from such a massive dataset, the project was very well received. The sound portion will be accessible and the complexity of sound will directly relate to the level of bike usage. No bikers = no sound. A few bikers = simple sounds. A lot of bikers in a lot of different locations = lots of sounds...and all in the vein of a wind chime or wood blocks. I control the harmony and chords so that the differing sounds firing at random will work together, just like the tones of a wind chime are made of notes in a harmonious chord. It involves public interaction, citizen science, and lots of potential for public good. I didn’t find that it was difficult at all to get people on board.

You are asking for volunteers who use bicycles on a regular basis? What is it exactly you need them to do?

First, I am asking all interested cyclists of all kinds go to and fill out a volunteer survey. I am interested in seeing who you are, where you live in the city, how often you bike, where you bike, etc. Then I will select 100 volunteers that best represent all the different kinds of Louisville bikers, plus a waiting list. Then I will hand out the sensor units to the volunteers with these instructions:

  • Use the sensor unit whenever you bike.
  • Keep the sensor unit charged.
  • Return if it stops working or you no longer wish to participate.

Your work is very focused on the subject of urban ecology, and is dominated specifically by trees. This is relative to that, but also different. How would you characterize the relationship between this and your previous work?

During my time in Buffalo I made the conscious decision to expand my practice beyond tree-climbing. I believe this was a natural evolution from all my time in the treetops, seeing all the ways in which humans impact trees and natural spaces. A large part of my Daily Climb project involved walking, biking, and driving around Louisville in parks and neighborhoods to find trees to climb.

Over the many years climbing, my observation of trees inspired me to research the heat island effect, tree canopy studies, writings about invasive plants vs. native, tree and urban ecology, previous weather disasters and floods, and more. I also spent countless hours up close with varying infrastructure in the city. In learning how every creature, plant and thing are connected in our ecology, I found more and more ways to approach making art that draw attention to our impact on our environment. When it all comes down to it, I still love trees and believe that the more people bike instead of drive and the more people support initiatives to improve bike infrastructure, the better the trees will be.

I also believe the more people in the community become directly involved in issues like alternative transportation and collecting data about bike usage, getting their hands dirty planting trees with groups like Louisville Grows, the more they will care about their city. Most of my previous work was about me and my personal experiences climbing. I am increasingly interested in developing projects that engage the community in activities that can provide positive results.

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

I have experienced 3 important transitions as an artist. The first happened in undergrad in 2002 when a visiting artist challenged me to share my perspective as a climber. From that moment forward I stopped drawing and painting and started using whatever means necessary to share my experiences climbing trees.

The second was when my Daily Climb project ended in July of 2010. It was unexpected, incredibly sad, and my obsession was broken. It was a relief, but also such a hard place to rebuild after so long. It has taken me since then to slowly let go of my identity as strictly the tree-climbing guy. I still haven’t let it go completely.

The last transition just recently happened in grad school. I came into my first year ready to discard tree climbing and start new. The first year beat me down, confused me, and cornered me into re-embracing tree climbing again. Then finally, one month before my thesis exhibition was to open in my last semester, I had an on-site meeting with my 3 committee members. They finally saw my idea to share my tree-climbing experience with projection and virtual reality in an abandoned grain silo and they all thought it wasn’t right for the site. They challenged me to reassess. I went back to the drawing board, spent hours walking the site, and through some research and countless discussions and writing and sketching, I came up with an idea with two weeks left. It still may have had an element of trees and climbing, but it went beyond sharing my own perspective as a climber. I finally moved on. It allowed me to create works focused outward. It’s where I find myself now.

What's the most challenging part when starting on a new work?

Every project presents different challenges at different times in the process. I’d say for Bike Sense Louisville, my challenge was how I would translate the data into sound. I went to a Sound Builders meeting at LVL1 Hackerspace and asked them about programs that can translate data streams into sound, and someone recommended Pure Data. This open source programming language has been around for a while and is incredibly flexible. I started teaching myself by watching YouTube tutorials and fell in love with it. It’s been a steep learning curve but it has been really exciting to add another tool to my toolkit.

Plus, every new language or skill I learn I look for opportunities to include it in my teaching. My students teach me so much in return when I see what they do with these skills. I can’t wait to have the opportunity to teach Pure Data and physical computing using sensors. Teaching and creating has really become a rich back and forth.

Given how project oriented you work is, how long do you usually spend on a specific piece?

This is a difficult question to answer. I suppose there is no “usual.” At times, I have felt frustrated when I compare my productivity to other artists who work in more traditional media. I see them pumping out a series of paintings or object-based work they can do by themselves and I feel the pressure to be as prolific. But I don’t usually work in a studio where I can go and make something. I am more interested in larger projects that are outside and involve long periods of learning new technology and working with other people. I finally came to accept that I work a different way and that’s okay. That’s why I have really come to enjoy teaching at a University. It allows me to fulfill my teaching passion as well as make connections with students and faculty that might be interested in collaborating. The time in the classroom feeds my art while also providing a way to support projects that don’t always pay.

"the GOOD GUY glove" by Todd Smith (2015) |  Click here  to learn more about this project

"the GOOD GUY glove" by Todd Smith (2015) | Click here to learn more about this project

That being said, I recently participated in one of Zephyr Galleries Project shows with a series of photographs called Conic Sections . The series was inspired by my hobby of doing parkour. I had discovered that I could use my iPhone to take panoramic pictures, but rather than scan from side to side, I would arc backward or scoop the phone in a “U” shape and get really interesting images with 2 horizons. I asked a close friend to do parkour through spaces around Louisville and New Albany while I shot the pictures. He was often in the picture 2 or 3 times in different locations, moving as I slowly bent over backwards. The results were really disorienting and playful.

It all depends on the idea I suppose. That idea came to me one day walking around in a park and playing with my phone. The moment I realized I could capture two horizons I had the idea in a flash. I scheduled the shoot, spent a few hours shooting and then ordered the prints from the best few shots.

Other project ideas pop into my head at random moments and I keep a list. Then when opportunities present themselves like public art calls, I look back at my previous projects and my list of ideas and see if any apply or can be tweaked or altered to fit. The bike project wasn’t something I had thought of before, but elements of previous projects helped form the final concept.

How do you feel about local art scene in Louisville? Would you change anything about it?

I see two sides to the art scene here. One, it’s cheap to live and still relatively cheap to rent studio space. The culture is supportive of the arts and there is more and more programming going on with public art. Plus, with U of L and IUS and Bellarmine and KyCAD there are programs producing young artists...I just don’t know where they go after they graduate.

The flip side is that there is a very small group of people/collectors who support all the arts in the city. It doesn’t seem like Louisville is a draw for outsiders to look in and see what’s happening here. That means it’s up to us artists to look elsewhere for opportunities. And then many leave. Because of that, great galleries and art spots like Land of Tomorrow are forced to close. I love the energy that Dan Pfalzgraf is bringing to the Carnegie in New Albany.

He’s trying new things, getting local institutions and artists involved, and he’s especially open to young, local talent. It would be great to see all the curators from all the local museums and cultural institutions get more hands on with local artists and include them in programming. I assume it is happening more than I know and am just not aware of it.

Another example I did recently see was Human Abstract at the Kentucky Center put on by Louisville Ballet. It featured the collaborative work of Tiffany Carbonneau, Andrew Cozzens, and Ezra Kellerman, and the show was amazing! I really appreciate that these kinds of opportunities are coming to local artists. I guess it’s up to me to stay plugged in and make sure I am not missing more of these opportunities to get out and support my fellow artists.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 35
Education: MFA, Emerging Practices, University at Buffalo, NY, 2016; BA, Studio Fine Art, Amherst College, Amherst, MA, 2003

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

"Inward Out: Spontaneous Reverberations" by Todd Smith (Exhibited on April 30th 2016 at Silo City in Buffalo, NY) |  Click here  to learn more about his Master Thesis exhibition

"Inward Out: Spontaneous Reverberations" by Todd Smith (Exhibited on April 30th 2016 at Silo City in Buffalo, NY) | Click here to learn more about his Master Thesis exhibition

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Painting, Mixed Media

Curatorial Q&A: 9 Questions for Peter Bodnar III

"Indehiscent form #2" by Peter Bodnar, 19x46x4in, acrylic on steel ( 2016) , $1200 |  BUY NOW

"Indehiscent form #2" by Peter Bodnar, 19x46x4in, acrylic on steel (2016), $1200 | BUY NOW

Having known Peter Bodnar for a LONG time, in fact since my days in New Harmony, which date back forty years, I am always excited to see what he is up to, so the prospect of a show of new work at Swanson Contemporary (opening Oct. 7) is indeed something to look forward to.

I value Peter for lots of reasons, his thoughtfulness, his integrity, and ability to question authority, his persistence and dedication, his humor, both good and funky, and his ironic stance in the face of a non-caring universe.  All these character traits show up in his art, which to my mind is the principal duty of being an artist: putting in, giving form to the world an authentic and personal vision.

These questions are all things, that while I had made assumptions about, I had never really asked Peter directly, so this was a chance to learn from him in a new way.  — John Begley

When starting on a piece of work of art, what's the process?

PDBIII - An idea becomes a drawing, which begets more drawings until a path toward final execution is clear. Small models make form concrete and guide the larger work. Paul Klee showed me that one could invent a living world with a pencil and paper.

JPB – I am delighted to see the Paul Klee reference, have always liked his “taking a line on a walk” statement.

Since you work abstractly, how do you know when you are finished with a specific piece of art?

PDBIII - I’m not sure that the moment a work is “finished” is any different for abstract or representational work, having done both. It generally is the point at which something cannot be added without losing something else. I live with my pieces for a long time. They are released into the world when they possess fewer things that bother me than excite me. That said, the desire to make new work comes from a feeling that I never quite get it completely right.

JPB – I should have realized that you do work in a multitude of manners and not asked the question so narrowly.  I find your explanation of not being able to add something without losing something to be very revelatory, and right.  And the motivation to do new work because there was always a choice that you could have made, and did not, and therefore are not sure that you indeed get it right to be compelling.

“Liquid Structures Suite” by Peter Bodnar, 15x67in, acrylic on paper (2013), $950 |  BUY NOW

“Liquid Structures Suite” by Peter Bodnar, 15x67in, acrylic on paper (2013), $950 | BUY NOW

Since you have long tenure in the Louisville art community, how are you feeling about local art scene in Louisville?  What's good? What's not so?

PDBIII - Things change, some for the better, some not. I am especially grateful for the support & leadership you, John, have given this community over many years. With experience comes the long view. I am still dismayed at the lack of institutional support for regional artists. From an ART BASEL perspective, we’re all folk artists.

JPB – Thank you for the compliment, and I do agree that the art history of our community is neglected and deserves the same thoughtful analysis that work in other places receives.

“Cusp #5” by Peter Bodnar, 24x28in, acrylic on steel (2016), $1200 |  BUY NOW

“Cusp #5” by Peter Bodnar, 24x28in, acrylic on steel (2016), $1200 | BUY NOW

You have exhibited with Chuck Swanson for several years, what are your thoughts on the artist/ dealer relationship? What makes it work?

PDBIII - I am lucky to have had Chuck’s friendship over these years.  I have been able to show bodies of work in an un-curated context. The classic artist/ gallerist model is a rare bird these days, and Louisville is fortunate to still have a few long standing examples. Sales and promotion have few rewards in hinterland markets.

JPB – I think “un-curated” may be a bit misleading. Chuck’s ultimate curatorial choice is to choose the artist and then trust the artist to bring a cogent body of work to the exhibition space.

What advice would you give a young artist? Any regrets for paths not taken? 

PDBIII - Beware of fashion and seriousness. Develop as many skill sets as possible. You will need and enjoy them. Knowing what I know now, I might have chosen another profession.

JPB – I find I am susceptible to the “seriousness” problem, and I think that is why I always find the“dada-fluxus” response so freeing.  I have always loved your “eclectic” cooperative as absolutely fun, anti-seriousness in its most honest form.

What role do you think is important for an artist to play in a community? What is the artist's job? 

PDBIII - I feel my job, as a citizen of this community, is to strive for equality and justice for all its members and to protect the environment of this place. That is my social practice. As an artist, I work to make the community a place that can support creative individuals. When I was starting out, I felt my challenge lay outside NYC, to forge a new art / community dynamic in flyover America. As an educator, I know I have made a difference in specific cases, but in general, after forty years, I fail to see much effect on the community as a whole.

“Oscillating behavior series 02” by Peter Bodnar, 22x28in (framed), mixed media on paper (2014), $400 |  BUY NOW

“Oscillating behavior series 02” by Peter Bodnar, 22x28in (framed), mixed media on paper (2014), $400 | BUY NOW

JPB – I think many of us feel this frustration at the slowness of change, at the same time I remain hopeful that if we keep doing it, we might get it right at some point.  I think you must feel the same way.

You have worked with ideas from science and mathematics for long periods in the past, what is exciting you now?

PDBIII - Same inspirations— just deeper, less literal— in my view. I want to see how an idea looks in the flesh, so I have to make it. I strive to make animate objects, so my metaphors are animal, vegetable & molecular.

JPB – Ideas incarnate, sounds almost religious.

You have used a variety of materials and media, as well as engaged in performance work, collaborations and installations, what is the cause of your restlessness? (I don't want to imply that question as a pejorative.)

PDBIII - I don’t / didn’t want to miss anything, so that when opportunities arose, I took the bait. Different audiences respond to different stimuli, and the question of whom you’re making your work for is an important one. I find I need a better “effort-to-return” ratio to prompt me in my golden years. Large installations with a clear narrative receive a predominance of media coverage, but are usually costly affairs that turn an artist into a fundraiser.

JPB – If we do this kind of thing again, I want to explore this idea of the artist as fundraiser.  You have provoked me again in a most positive way.

“Above / Below (in blue)” by Peter Bodnar, intaglio w/ pigment (2016), $300 |  BUY NOW

“Above / Below (in blue)” by Peter Bodnar, intaglio w/ pigment (2016), $300 | BUY NOW

Your father has had a successful career as an artist/teacher, how has that shaped your approach to making a life as an artist?

PDBIII -. My father has been a great influence on everything I do. I purposely ran in different directions as a youth in order to define my own self, but am constantly aware of how much I’ve circled back to the groove. His work ethic approach to art making—perspiration not inspiration-—kept me going from the start. I was fortunate to catch a career as artist –teacher before that model became difficult to maintain, and was able to develop my expertise in ways that were never available to him. He’s 87 and still painting and I am proud to be carrying on a family tradition. 

JPB – Peter, thank you for your willingness to share these thoughts, as well as your work.  I look forward to the new show at Swanson with much anticipation.

Peter Bodnar’s Neo Phenomena
Swanson Contemporary, October 7 - November 12, 2016
Opening Reception 5-8pm, October 7

“Vibe Series 01” by Peter Bodnar, 14.5x16x5in, intaglio on paper w/ HC (2015), $300 |  BUY NOW

“Vibe Series 01” by Peter Bodnar, 14.5x16x5in, intaglio on paper w/ HC (2015), $300 | BUY NOW

“Whirl Study” by Peter Bodnar, 14x14in, burnt cedar on paper (2015), $200

“Whirl Study” by Peter Bodnar, 14x14in, burnt cedar on paper (2015), $200

This Curatorial Q&A was written by John Begley.
John Begley is a Printmaker, Installation and Video Artist. From 1975 to 2014 he was a Curator and Gallery Director, including 19 years as Executive Director of LVA and several years with the UofL’s Hite Art Institute, where he is now Coordinator of IHQ Project.

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Q&A: Painter Teresa McCarthy

"Art used to feed my belly, now it feeds my soul." - Teresa McCarthy

"Mommy & Me: Elephants" by Teresa McCarthy, 36x36in, oil on canvas (2016), $425 |  BUY NOW

"Mommy & Me: Elephants" by Teresa McCarthy, 36x36in, oil on canvas (2016), $425 | BUY NOW

Who or what inspires you now?

My father, Joseph E. French was a commercial artist for 40 years. My favorite signs that he designed were the iconic Toy Tiger sign on Bardstown Rd and Hungry Pelican. Just prior to my 25 th birthday he asked me what I wanted and I said “a portrait of my boys.” I have cherished a number of his paintings since that day. My husband Keith has been right there with me since I was a teenager.

What is your favorite music to listen to when making art?

My husband Keith McCarthy plays guitar and is a singer songwriter, so I listen to his music and him playing cover songs. Folk songs from my childhood by Peter Paul & Mary make me especially happy. I was once in Kauai with Keith and some friends and we were in Hanalei where we happened to find a little shop with Peter Paul and Mary’s greatest hits and tooled around the country side in a convertible listening to Puff the Magic Dragon in the land of Hanalei, very cool.

"Mommy & Me: Giraffes" by Teresa McCarthy, 30x14in, oil on canvas (2016), $425 |  BUY NOW

"Mommy & Me: Giraffes" by Teresa McCarthy, 30x14in, oil on canvas (2016), $425 | BUY NOW

Favorite movie?

I love to watch movies and I usually have a canvas in front of me if the TV is on. I’ve probably seen the movie Blow too many times, if that’s possible. Any movie with beautiful cinematography I enjoy. I also enjoy the occasional binge watching of a series on Netflix.

What are you reading right now?

I don’t spend much time reading, but I will listen to audio books when we travel. I also sketch future watercolor paintings when I travel.

If you were given a $100,000 what would do with it?

If given $100,000.00, I would further my education in the arts and continue sharing what I learn with others. I am the fine art instructor at Michaels on the Outer Loop, in Louisville and I would continue to do what I love. I also do painting classes in my home.

What does art mean to you?

The art produced by my father was the primary means of supporting our family when I was a child. So art fed my belly and now it feeds my soul.

What's the most challenging part when starting on a piece of work of art?

The only challenge in starting a piece of artwork for me is securing the time to start on it. I finish my projects and don’t leave things undone. I take photos all of the time so that I won’t forget an idea until I get to it. How long do you usually spend on a specific piece of art? Of course, size and medium make a difference on how long a particular piece of art takes to complete. Oil paintings take the longest because of drying time, but on average a portrait takes 20 to 25 hours for me to complete and a landscape takes about 8 hours. Some small acrylic and watercolors I can finish in 3 to 5 hours. I know how long a painting will take me to do, but I’m very patient and I don’t let time dictate when I finish a painting. My favorite painting is always the painting I am working on currently.

If you could meet any celebrity who would it be and what would you ask them?

If I could meet any celebrity, I’m thinking it would be Stevie Nicks, I would ask her if I could wear one of her onstage outfits.

Name: Teresa McCarthy
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Age: 55
Education: Attended St. Agnes and Durrett High School; obtained Broker’s License in 1986

"WWW: Watching Waiting Wolf" by Teresa McCarthy, 16x14in, oil on canvas (2016), $425 |  BUY NOW

"WWW: Watching Waiting Wolf" by Teresa McCarthy, 16x14in, oil on canvas (2016), $425 | BUY NOW

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