surface

Ceramics

Vignette: Amy Chase

"Complacency" by Amy Chase, 9x5.5x5in, Porcelain Cone

"Complacency" by Amy Chase, 9x5.5x5in, Porcelain Cone

It was recently announced that Amy Chase is one of the recipients of the 2017 Al Smith Fellowship. The prestigious award, named in honor of former arts council chair and Kentucky journalist Al Smith, recognizes professional artists who have reached a high level of achievement in their careers. Since its beginning in 1983, the program has provided more than $2.5 million in funding to artists in the visual arts, literary arts, media arts, composing and choreography. In this round of funding, the fellowships were awarded to artists in the choreography and literary arts disciplines.

Examining a selection of Amy Chase’s work, one gets the sense that a community has been built. The forms are often abstract, but the relationships are clearly drawn, and some of the figures capture very human postures and attitudes. Those figures live on various platforms, so there is always a context of isolation or separation. Sometimes characters are drawn closer, and other times they are widening the distance between them. Often, and most irresistibly, two of them (for they almost always seem to come in pairs) are connected by a slender thread, pulling on their tether in a precarious fashion that creates a delicate tension.

"Compliance" by Amy Chase, 10x8x10in, Porcelain

"Compliance" by Amy Chase, 10x8x10in, Porcelain

“The surface consists of intricate patterns that are applied using precise silkscreened slip and glazing techniques. These choices in pattern address personal experiences, while at the same time evoking the viewer’s own memories.”

Chase’s artist’s statement makes it explicit that these patterns and textures are drawn from childhood memory, so there is an undeniable element of autobiography in this work. Yet the abstraction puts us at a distance; we are empathetic because the fundamental dynamic at play resonates within our own memory. The anonymity allows us to see ourselves in this nebulous but welcoming community.

"Enticement" by Amy Chase, 3x4x3in, Porcelain, Underglaze, Luster

"Enticement" by Amy Chase, 3x4x3in, Porcelain, Underglaze, Luster

Chase is currently the Design Coordinator for Louisville Visual Art in Louisville, Kentucky. Since residing in Louisville she has also been the Ceramics Instructor and Gallery Director at Spot 5 Art Studio and taught Ceramics at Jefferson Community and Technical College. From 2010–2012 she was the Adjunct Professor of Ceramics at Southeast Missouri State University located in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Amy Chase has been awarded the title of ‘Emerging Artist’ by American Style magazine, has been featured in Ceramics Monthly, Clay Times, 500 Ceramic Sculptures and 500 Ceramic Vases. Chase has also has an extensive exhibition record including venues such as: The Clay Studio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; The Clay Studio of Missoula in Missoula, Montana; The Washington Project for the Arts in Washington D.C.; Carbondale Clay Center in Carbondale, Colorado and Lincoln Arts in Lincoln, California.

Hometown: Murray, Kentucky
Education: BFA, Murray State University; MFA, Southern Illinois University
Website: http://amychaseceramics.com

"Inclination" by Amy Chase, 8x4x3in, Earthenware, Fibers

"Inclination" by Amy Chase, 8x4x3in, Earthenware, Fibers

"Solidarity" by Amy Chase, 9x7x4in, Porcelain, Stoneware, Flocking, String, Luster

"Solidarity" by Amy Chase, 9x7x4in, Porcelain, Stoneware, Flocking, String, Luster

"Deciphering Fiction" by Amy Chase,  6x6x6in, Terracotta, Wood, String, Underglaze

"Deciphering Fiction" by Amy Chase,  6x6x6in, Terracotta, Wood, String, Underglaze

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

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Photography

Vignette: Steve Squall


"Wabi-sabi is the quintessential Japanese aesthetic. It is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble. It is a beauty of things unconventional..." — Leonard Koren


Photographer, Steve Squall

Photographer, Steve Squall

Photographer Steve Squall’s images luxuriously embrace old school Black & White tonalities and the now-rare use of nude models in nature. As an artist, he is seeking to reconnect to the fundamentals, an intention driven by a specific, almost spiritual motivation.

“My current body of work focuses on the female form with an emphasis on the Japanese aesthetic philosophy of Wabi-Sabi,” explains Squall. “The images focus on simplicity in execution, embracing spontaneity - the ‘happy accident’, and finding the beauty in imperfection. It's largely a reaction to the highly produced work that I do for a living that often requires an entire team of creatives, heavy attention to detail, and a sizable amount of equipment to create.”  

"Kasho" by by Steve Squall, 20x20in, photograph (2016), $350 |  BUY NOW

"Kasho" by by Steve Squall, 20x20in, photograph (2016), $350 | BUY NOW

“Allowing myself to simply walk into a setting with nothing but a camera body, a single lens, a model, and just exploring while stopping to shoot when we find interesting scenes or stunning natural light has been quite a freeing experience. The work has helped me to rediscover the simple joy of just taking a photo without having a jumble of variables running through my head. It's reminiscent of the feeling I got so hooked on when I first picked up a camera and would just point it at whatever I thought looked interesting without worrying about too much else.”

"Wabi-Sabi Portfolio No. 1" by by Steve Squall, 810in, photographs (2016), $350 |  BUY NOW

"Wabi-Sabi Portfolio No. 1" by by Steve Squall, 810in, photographs (2016), $350 | BUY NOW

Squall’s images are classic in their juxtaposition of the soft human flesh against the stark and harsh textures of the elements. A woman stretched out across a large rock, her hair spread across the surface, is a formal study in contrasting textures, but also a suggestion of humankind in relationship to the environment, the artificial raiment of society discarded but the exposed flesh separated from nature by a vulnerability that cannot be so easily erased.

“I liken the experience to the famous quote attributed to Picasso: "It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child." Well, it took me more than four years to photograph like a pro, and now I'm learning how to photograph like a child.”

Hometown: Shively, Kentucky
Education: BA in Graphic Design, Indiana University Southeast, 2009.
Website: www.stevesquall.com

"Cassandra No. 1" by by Steve Squall, 20x26in, photograph (2016), $350 |  BUY NOW

"Cassandra No. 1" by by Steve Squall, 20x26in, photograph (2016), $350 | BUY NOW

"Enso" by by Steve Squall, 20x20in, photograph (2016), $350 |  BUY NOW

"Enso" by by Steve Squall, 20x20in, photograph (2016), $350 | BUY NOW

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.

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Painting, Drawing

Vignette: Sunny Ra

"Radiate" by Sunny Ra, 32x48in, oil on canvas (2016), $1300 |  BUY NOW

"Radiate" by Sunny Ra, 32x48in, oil on canvas (2016), $1300 | BUY NOW

Artist, Sunny Ra. Photo by Dan Lubbers.

Artist, Sunny Ra. Photo by Dan Lubbers.

In striking abstract compositions, painter Sunny Ra uses the landscape form to investigate questions of identity in both a social and highly personal context.

“The foundation of my work originates from my experience of growing up Korean in Louisville, Kentucky. I did not have any Korean friends and since I spoke little Korean and could not read or write Hangul, I was an outsider in the Korean community. Similarly, I never quite identified myself as American since I was not white, and was living among majority white Americans.  I remember people would ask me where I was from or comment on how well I spoke English. I grew up feeling and eventually believing that I did not belong anywhere - perhaps nowhere. It is from this limbo that my night landscapes emerge and my journey into the obscure and the unknown began.”

"Untitled #3" by Sunny Ra, 9x12in, pastel on paper (2016)

"Untitled #3" by Sunny Ra, 9x12in, pastel on paper (2016)

It is a common, and let’s be honest, lazy assumption to confuse an individual artist’s racial and cultural identity. Ra makes paintings with no overt ties to traditional Korean pictorial forms, and her formative culture was Middle American, so it is fascinating to hear how she connects the luxurious darkness of her imagery with an evolving personal journey. 

“In these night landscapes, I revisit my childhood memories - what has been lost and what remains. Through the application of layers of paint, the images at first recognizable, slowly evolve and merge into the abyss of the dark palette. But through the darkness emerges light and color, a new image surfaces, perhaps this is where I belong.”

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 35
Education: MFA, Hunter College, CUNY, 2011; BFA, University of Pennsylvania, 2005; Painting Certificate, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 2005
Website: http://www.sunny-ra.com

"Harvest" by Sunny Ra, 11x14in, oil on paper (2016), $450 |  BUY NOW

"Harvest" by Sunny Ra, 11x14in, oil on paper (2016), $450 | BUY NOW

"Untitled #2" by Sunny Ra, 9x12in, pastel on paper (2016)

"Untitled #2" by Sunny Ra, 9x12in, pastel on paper (2016)

"Kinetic" by Sunny Ra, 14x11in, oil on paper (2016), $450 |  BUY NOW

"Kinetic" by Sunny Ra, 14x11in, oil on paper (2016), $450 | BUY NOW

"Untitled #1" by Sunny Ra, 9x12in, pastel on paper (2016)

"Untitled #1" by Sunny Ra, 9x12in, pastel on paper (2016)

"Might" by Sunny Ra, 11x14in, oil on paper (2016), $450 |  BUY NOW

"Might" by Sunny Ra, 11x14in, oil on paper (2016), $450 | BUY NOW

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.

Photography

Vignette: Mark Lenn Johnson

"Lesedi" by   Mark Lenn Johnson, multiple sizes available, photography (2017), price varies

"Lesedi" by Mark Lenn Johnson, multiple sizes available, photography (2017), price varies

Artist,   Mark Lenn Johnson

Artist, Mark Lenn Johnson

Mark Lenn Johnson’s Fountainfalls series are photographs of drops of water impacting onto a liquid surface with startling drama and beauty. The extreme close-ups show us something we don’t see every day, and the highly reflective dispersal patterns shot through with intense color look more like glass than water. As Johnson is also a glass artist, this makes sense.

“All of my work, whether it is in glass, creative photography or abstract painting, is the physical manifestation of my intrigue, my captivation, my obsession with color,” explains the artist. “I see my glassmaking process as being much more rigid, orderly, patient and well defined while my painting, in all of its abstract audaciousness, requires a much less systematic and structured approach. My creative photography harnesses aspects from both of these processes. In its own right being systematic and methodical while, at the same time, yielding a completely random, arbitrary and ungovernable outcome. All three, however, are equally important to me and equally necessary and contribute to an all-important sense of balance in my life. Ultimately, I aspire to create art that stirs viewers to a deeply emotional response, even if it's only subconscious – a fitting acknowledgment to work that I hope is considered beautiful by everyone while at the same time being significant to the individual.”

"Cia" by   Mark Lenn Johnson, multiple sizes available, photography (2017), price varies

"Cia" by Mark Lenn Johnson, multiple sizes available, photography (2017), price varies

Several images from Johnson’s Fountainfalls Creative Photography Series were added to the permanent collection of Eastern Kentucky University's Library System and placed for display at the John Grant Crabbe Main Library. He is represented in Louisville by Kore Gallery at Mellwood Art Center, where his most recent solo art exhibit, "Nothing But Color!!!" was held in December 2016.

"Masika" by   Mark Lenn Johnson, multiple sizes available, photography (2016), price varies

"Masika" by Mark Lenn Johnson, multiple sizes available, photography (2016), price varies

Johnson is being honored by Art Tour International Magazine as one of its Top 60 Contemporary Artists of the Year, in an Award Ceremony to be held in Florence, Italy on May 27, 2017.

Hometown: Lexington, Kentucky
Age: 49
Education: B.S., Mathematics - University of KY, Glassmaking instructional classes with Laura Hallock (Hallock's Stained Glass, Lexington) and Brook White, Jr. (Flame Run, Louisville), Photography instructional classes with John Snell (John Snell Photography, Lexington)
Website: Marklennjohnson.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/MarkLennJohnson
Instagram: Instagram.com/MarkLennJohnson

"Dayo" by Mark Lenn Johnson, multiple sizes available, photography (2016), price varies

"Dayo" by Mark Lenn Johnson, multiple sizes available, photography (2016), price varies

"Fontana" by   Mark Lenn Johnson, multiple sizes available, photography (2017), price varies

"Fontana" by Mark Lenn Johnson, multiple sizes available, photography (2017), price varies

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.

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Painting

Vignette: Shawn Marshall

Artist Shawn Marshall

Artist Shawn Marshall

It may too often be seen as a Pop Culture cliché of Modern Art, but there is genuine reality to the idea of art as a direct, frequently cathartic expression of raw emotion; perhaps a means of exorcising negative and even destructive feelings. When looking at the work of Shawn Marshall, it is easy to believe that the rich plasticity of her medium is affording her exactly this opportunity; the layered build up of paint resulting in a heavy impasto that begs to be touched, so seductive is the textured surface.

“My painting is a meditative practice,” states Marshall, “an outlet to release intuitive energy and let go of preconceived notions and self-imposed rules or judgments of how I and my work interpret and portray the world. My ‘practice’ and expression are restorative for me, and often for others, as I create what I refer to as ‘Inward Landscapes.’”

"East Side" by Shawn Marshall, 48x24x1.5in, oil on canvas (2016)

"East Side" by Shawn Marshall, 48x24x1.5in, oil on canvas (2016)

Yet for all the rough quality, there is great subtlety in the placement of mark and color. The catharsis occurs within an artistic process of discipline developed from years of experience, and an unexpectedly schematic underlying visual structure that may point to Marshall’s training as an architect, in which she holds advanced degrees.  

Marshall is the Visual Arts Teacher at North Oldham High School, Goshen, KY. In 2016 she was chosen for the 27th Annual International Juried Show, Viridian Artists Gallery, New York, NY, curated by Tumelo Mosaka, Independent Curator, former Curator at Krannert Art Museum and the Brooklyn Museum.

The next opportunity to see Marshall’s work is Inward Landscapes - a Solo Painting Exhibit by Shawn Marshall with guest sculptor Jeanne Dueber at PYRO Gallery from February 23 through April 8, 2017. There will be an Opening Reception Friday, February 24 from 6-9pm.

In March 2017 she will also be participating in Gridworks Revisited at the New Editions Gallery, Lexington, KY, and in the fall she will have work in the Contemporary Invitational Landscape Exhibit, McGrath Gallery, Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 48
Education: 1992, Bachelor of Architecture, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY; 1996, Master of Architecture, Minor Fine Arts, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; 2009, Master of Art in Teaching, Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY
Website: www.shawnlmarshall.com

"Excavating the Surface" by Shawn Marshall, 12x12x1.5in, oil on canvas (2016)

"Excavating the Surface" by Shawn Marshall, 12x12x1.5in, oil on canvas (2016)

"Storms Pass" by Shawn Marshall, 12x12x1.5in, oil on canvas (2017)

"Storms Pass" by Shawn Marshall, 12x12x1.5in, oil on canvas (2017)

"Halfway There" by Shawn Marshall, 48x30x1.5in, oil on canvas (2016)

"Halfway There" by Shawn Marshall, 48x30x1.5in, oil on canvas (2016)

"More Than a Climb" by Shawn Marshall, 24x24x1.5in, oil on canvas (2016)

"More Than a Climb" by Shawn Marshall, 24x24x1.5in, oil on canvas (2016)

"The Roots Run Deep" by Shawn Marshall, 12x12x1.5in, oil on canvas (2016)

"The Roots Run Deep" by Shawn Marshall, 12x12x1.5in, oil 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.

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