urban

Painting

Vignette: Joshua Jenkins

"Searching For Enlightenment" by Joshua Jenkins, 43 x 64 x 1 in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2017)

"Searching For Enlightenment" by Joshua Jenkins, 43 x 64 x 1 in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2017)


“Art to me is the soul’s communication - a response to experience and life.” — Joshua Jenkins


"Summertime Contemplation" by Joshua Jenkins, 24 x 18 x 1 in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2017)

"Summertime Contemplation" by Joshua Jenkins, 24 x 18 x 1 in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2017)

Like any good Expressionist, Joshua Jenkins builds an atmosphere divorced from recognizable reality, and then populates it with figures of solidity that are often indistinct, occupying space as a mass but lacking the specifics of individual character. There is some detail in the faces he attaches to these figures, often on necks that protrude forward, so that the features often give the impression of a mask. Oftentimes the only insight provide for these figures are what they are holding: a stringed instrument is a common item, or a particular hat might give us some clue about the personality. Jenkins is more concerned with the composition and action of the paint, using setting and placement to suggest narrative.

“Some of the works in the show, like 'Summertime Contemplation' & 'Searching for Enlightenment' are an obvious transition from the body of work from my show Somewhere In Between Anxiety & Serenity,” states Jenkins. “There a lot of the paintings had more muted colors and calmer lines. A lot of these newer pieces harken back to my earlier work, the bolder style with warmer colors that I’m known for.”

"Summer Heat (detail)" by Joshua Jenkins

"Summer Heat (detail)" by Joshua Jenkins

"Summer Nights" by Joshua Jenkins, 48 x 30 x 1.5 in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2017)

"Summer Nights" by Joshua Jenkins, 48 x 30 x 1.5 in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2017)

For many artists, the theme of summer would conjure up images of sunbaked landscapes, perhaps a beach-lined coastline - open areas of escape. But in “Summer Heat”, Jenkins captures the claustrophobic swelter of a crowded urban environment. This artist’s summer also include a domestic scene of four figures in a modern day family in “Summer Nights”, and the detail of the faces is noticeably more developed, with hair and facial details that suggest an element of autobiography in the scene. As most of the paintings show figures of some universality, here we get the sense that Jenkins knows these people, that this is his summer, and not necessarily anyone else’s.

Jenkins’ solo show, Summertime, will be opening at Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty, 3803 Brownsboro Road, August 10 with an Artist’s Open House from 5:00pm-7:30pm.

Hometown: Poughkeepsie, NY
Age: 30
Education: BA in Digital Media with a Minor in Studio Art, Marist College (Poughkeepsie, New York)
Gallery Representative: Joshua is self-represented locally, but has works available at Revelry Gallery, KORE Gallery, New Editions Gallery (Lexington, KY), and at Caza Sikes (Cincinnati, OH)
Website: http://www.joshuajenkinsart.com

"Summer Heat" by Joshua Jenkins, 64 x 59 x 1 in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2016-2017)

"Summer Heat" by Joshua Jenkins, 64 x 59 x 1 in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2016-2017)

"Summer Nights (detail)" by Joshua Jenkins

"Summer Nights (detail)" by Joshua Jenkins

"Nature’s Musicians" by Joshua Jenkins, 36 x 48 x 1.5 in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2017)

"Nature’s Musicians" by Joshua Jenkins, 36 x 48 x 1.5 in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2017)

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.

Painting

Vignette: Jordan Lance Morgan

Artist, Jordan Lance Morgan in front of his painting "Rising and Setting"

Artist, Jordan Lance Morgan in front of his painting "Rising and Setting"

Jordan Lance Morgan describes himself as a figurative painter, and he seems concentrated on the head and face. Yet, his work doesn’t feel as if a limitation has been imposed on the artist and his themes, and Morgan imbues his work with a powerful sense of narrative. His subjects are captured indoors, but there is little evidence of a typical studio environment: the lighting is muted and the surroundings feel urban and dank, as if we have wandered into an abandoned basement.

“I am a figurative painter with an emphasis on portraiture, symbolism and storytelling,” explains Morgan. “While my work reflects a desire for realism, my main concern is to emphasize tension between the illusion of volume and flatness within the picture plane. Beyond this formal interest, I am heavily influenced by early American art, historical iconography, military and political history.”

"Black Bile" by Jordan Lance Morgan, 6x8in, oil on linen on board (2015)

"Black Bile" by Jordan Lance Morgan, 6x8in, oil on linen on board (2015)

The allusions to history were once overt in Morgan’s work – portraits of individuals in military uniform that were strictly formal in their composition, but in these recent paintings, the references are more elusive: a Phrygian cap, an early 20th century German army helmet, and…could that be Benjamin Franklin in the dour, oversize portrait, “Rising and Setting”, or are we just meant to ponder the identity? In any event, the image is startling in its immediacy, demanding attention from the viewer and displaying a sure psychological understanding.

“I paint and draw to understand people. Aesthetically I am constantly changing how to produce a portrait. My ambition is to connect myself and the viewer with history and the people who made it.”

Morgan certainly seems in control of his medium and the expression of his themes, yet we catch him here in a moment of crucial development, an emerging artists who is ready to launch.

Hometown: Goshen, Kentucky
Age: 28
Education: BFA, University of Louisville, 2012, Lou, KY; MFA, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 2016, Philadelphia, PA
Website: http://www.jordanlancemorgan.com
Instagram: http://instagram.com/Jordanlancemorgan

"Phrygian" by Jordan Lance Morgan, 24x24in, oil on linen on board (2015)

"Phrygian" by Jordan Lance Morgan, 24x24in, oil on linen on board (2015)

"Ray" by Jordan Lance Morgan, 12x9in, oil on linen on board (2015)

"Ray" by Jordan Lance Morgan, 12x9in, oil on linen on board (2015)

"Rising or Setting" by Jordan Lance Morgan, 64x64in, oil on canvas (2016)

"Rising or Setting" by Jordan Lance Morgan, 64x64in, oil on canvas (2016)

"Appeal to Heaven" by Jordan Lance Morgan, 12x9in, oil on board (2016)

"Appeal to Heaven" by Jordan Lance Morgan, 12x9in, oil on board (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.

Painting, Mixed Media, Installation, Public Art, Ceramics

Feature: LVA Studios


“It's an exciting time for Portland! It is where the artists are now.” – Lynn Dunbar


Casey McKinney at work on his mural.

Casey McKinney at work on his mural.

Artists place a high value on space, particularly the space in which they work. It can define them and their work more than even they themselves sometimes realize. When Louisville Visual Art (LVA) moved into its new home in the Portland neighborhood, the 32,000 square foot warehouse was a raw shell except for a cozy 1000 sq. ft. office space. That office remains the only part of the building with heat and air conditioning, and the seasonal extremes in temperature make occupying the vast open space a challenge. A complete renovation of the building that will include studio space for artists is being planned, but for now, LVA staff didn’t anticipate very much use of the facility when they moved in at the beginning of September 2015.

But a tour of the building for a small group of local artists a month later demonstrated that some artists were ready to move in immediately, with or without amenities. The “rawer” the better seemed to be the attitude, “It doesn’t intrude,“ explains sculptor, curator, and LVA board member Andrew Cozzens, “and it provides the space needed to build and experiment without limitations.” With elbowroom to spare, the first three tenants, painters Joshua Jenkins and Clare Hirn, and ceramicist Amy Chase, moved in before the end of 2015.

An installation by Andrew Cozzens (2016)

An installation by Andrew Cozzens (2016)

This hardy trio worked through the cold winter months with space heaters. For Jenkins, who has previously worked in smaller spaces that offered isolation, the difference has impacted the work itself. “Raw space to me is like a blank canvas,” he says. “It has unlimited possibilities and room to breath. I have found that just from painting in a raw/large space such as LVA’s, that my work has naturally evolved and that my compositions have grown to have more white space in them.” Since the first humid, dog days of summer the number of tenants has more than doubled, with seven others moving into the 2nd floor space: besides Cozzens, they are painter Ashley Brossart, installation artist Vinhay Keo, muralist Alyx Mclain, painter Casey McKinney, sculptor and installation artist Kyle Sherrard, and painter Lynn Dunbar. Other artists that have used the building on a temporary basis for murals and other projects on a scale that their normal workspace could not contain have included Shohei Katayama, Carrie Neumayer, Annette Cable, Noah Church, McKenna Graham, Ewa Perz, and Mary Dennis Kannepell.

The increased number of working artists is welcomed by Clare Hirn, who was the first to move in: “After working in a fairly isolated situation this is a nice change to be in a space with other artists.  There are challenges of giving up the complete privacy of one's own space, but the potential for collaboration in spirit, if not in actual work, is a huge payoff. It is inspiring to be around other artists of such variety and as a slightly older artist (at 52!) it is a bonus to be around younger people as well.”

"Share the Summer" (Painted at the  at the Botanica Paint Out)  by Clare Hirn, mixed media, $350 |  BUY NOW

"Share the Summer" (Painted at the at the Botanica Paint Out) by Clare Hirn, mixed media, $350 | BUY NOW

Not surprisingly, some of the occupants have taken a hand in improving the space themselves, with Cozzens and Sherrard building and installing temporary partitions, and Dunbar replacing broken glass panes, building a shared space that is still open and accessible. Cozzens admits, “I always prefer to work communally- it brings good energy.”

Artist Joshua Jenkins working in studio. Photo by Sarah Katherine Davis For LVA (2016)

Artist Joshua Jenkins working in studio. Photo by Sarah Katherine Davis For LVA (2016)

That the building is located in the Portland neighborhood also seems to hold an appeal, as Jenkins explains: “I have always been attracted to urban environments and inner cities. There's just inspiration to me in every direction that I look, along with the ghost of so much history. When I first heard of artists moving into the Portland area for studio spaces I was extremely excited and jumped on board as soon as I could.” The history of the area, which was once one of the most important freight stops on the Ohio River and the economic center of Louisville until the early 1800’s, is rich but largely ignored or taken for granted by the city as a whole, if not necessarily by the artists who are working there. “There is a fresh vibe in Portland,” observes Cozzens“…a lot of stored energy.”

Indeed, with a warren of more developed studio spaces in the connected building, Tim Faulkner Gallery across the street, and the forthcoming Hite Art Institute’s MFA studios scheduled to open 2 blocks away, things seem to be happening – positive and creative things that feed into the larger Portland revitalization plan spearheaded by Gill Holland. Part of the realization of such plans is certainly deep-pocket investors, but equally important are the series of choices made by individuals to live and work in such neighborhoods. These artists have made that choice.

"Untitled" by Ashley Brossart, 5x5ft, aerosal, acrylic, ink, paper photo (2016), NFS (commissioned)

"Untitled" by Ashley Brossart, 5x5ft, aerosal, acrylic, ink, paper photo (2016), NFS (commissioned)

"Withstanding Fiction" by Amy Chase, 5x9x5in, ceramic, flocking (2016), $410 |  BUY NOW

"Withstanding Fiction" by Amy Chase, 5x9x5in, ceramic, flocking (2016), $410 | BUY NOW

"Boy Blue" by Joshua Jenkins, 40x30x1in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2016)

"Boy Blue" by Joshua Jenkins, 40x30x1in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2016)

"Belle in the Lead" by Lynn Dunbar,  24x36in,  oil on canvas

"Belle in the Lead" by Lynn Dunbar, 24x36in, oil on canvas

"Watchful Eye" by Casey McKinney, 45x56in, acrylic and mixed media (2016), $900 |    BUY NOW

"Watchful Eye" by Casey McKinney, 45x56in, acrylic and mixed media (2016), $900 | BUY NOW


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.


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

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

Please contact    josh@louisvillevisualart.org    for further information on advertising through Artebella.

Please contact josh@louisvillevisualart.org for further information on advertising through Artebella.