value

Painting, Mixed Media

Feature: Keeping It Weird For The Holidays

Revelry Gallery located at 742 E Market Street, Louisville, KY 40202

Revelry Gallery located at 742 E Market Street, Louisville, KY 40202

“Buy Local” has become a rallying cry in American communities in the last several years, and with good reason. As outlined by the Louisville Independent Business Alliance (LIBA), the impact on local economy is obvious, but that impact extends to environmental and philanthropic ideals that are equally important. Businesses that market the work of local artists may not be the first local business that comes to mind, but Revelry Boutique Gallery exemplifies the points in the LIBA checklist. All of its products are Kentucky-made, its gallery space has become a spotlight location for local artists, and the owner, Mo McKnight Howe, has emerged as a community leader who works tirelessly in support of cultural non-profits (full disclosure: Ms. Howe serves on the board of Louisville Visual Art). As the intense holiday shopping season is now upon us, it is important to take note of the range of local creations available. Three Revelry artists provide examples of the range of unique gifts available.

"Scenes Of The Seasons" by Kevin Oechsli, Mini Paintings, Acrylic on Wood (2016), $30 Each

"Scenes Of The Seasons" by Kevin Oechsli, Mini Paintings, Acrylic on Wood (2016), $30 Each

Kevin Oechsli

For a holiday founded on the most sacred of events in Christianity, Christmas has become surprisingly characterized by lightness and humor. The debate that the holiday has become overwhelmed by materialism has continued for decades and will likely continue for decades more, but some that feeling is founded, appropriately, in the innocence of children. The good will and jolly tone of the iconic Santa Claus figure never fails to find welcome at this time of the year, and Santa always seems to have good sense of humor about himself. Artist Kevin Oechsli’ s perennial series “Scenes of the Season” takes full advantage of this quality by placing an uncharacteristically athletic St. Nick swimming underwater, surfing a high wave, or airborne on a snowboard. It should not come as any surprise that the generous and beneficent figure should enjoy himself to the fullest, but that he is never seen except in his traditional red and white costume just might.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 55

"Three Wise Men (Scenes Of The Seasons)" by Kevin Oechsli, Mini Painting, Acrylic on Wood (2016), $30 |  BUY NOW

"Three Wise Men (Scenes Of The Seasons)" by Kevin Oechsli, Mini Painting, Acrylic on Wood (2016), $30 | BUY NOW

"Santa, Sled, and R eindeer  (Scenes Of The Seasons)" by Kevin Oechsli, Mini Painting, Acrylic on Wood (2016), $30 |  BUY NOW

"Santa, Sled, and Reindeer (Scenes Of The Seasons)" by Kevin Oechsli, Mini Painting, Acrylic on Wood (2016), $30 | BUY NOW

Various Works   by Wood & Twine, wood, string (2016)

Various Works by Wood & Twine, wood, string (2016)

Wood & Twine

An emphasis on “local” artists and craftspeople might not require motifs unique to Louisville, but perhaps it is inevitable that at the intersection of creativity and commerce we find community pride. Melody Niemann and Jessica England, who together form the team Wood & Twine, make no bones about their love for their hometown: “We feel that it is important to represent Louisville and its distinct culture in our artwork. This can be seen in pieces such as Kentucky, Louisville Skyline and Fleur de Lis. Our participation in the Louisville art scene, such as the Flea off Market, Deck the Walls, Cuteopia!, and local charity events, exemplifies the importance we place on giving back to the city that raised us.”

The simple appeal is not dissimilar to folk art, one of the virtues of which is the ability to connect on straightforward level with a wide audience. “Our artwork takes a very unique approach to utilizing raw materials. Using wood, nails and twine, we are able to create distinct pieces with an unprocessed and rustic, yet simple feel. Our work is very accessible to all, available in a variety of sizes and designs. And no two pieces are exactly the same, making each a one-of-a-kind staple for the home.”

Name: Melody Niemann and Jessica England (Wood & Twine)
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 23 and 25
Education: BA in Marketing, with Minors in Communications and Management, University of Louisville (both)
Website: https://www.instagram.com/woodntwine/

“Louisville Skyline” by Wood & Twine, 16x12in, wood, string (2016), $75 |  BUY NOW

“Louisville Skyline” by Wood & Twine, 16x12in, wood, string (2016), $75 | BUY NOW

“But First, Bourbon” by Wood & Twine, 6x8in, wood, string (2016), $35 |  BUY NOW

“But First, Bourbon” by Wood & Twine, 6x8in, wood, string (2016), $35 | BUY NOW

“My Old Kentucky Home” by Wood & Twine, 8x6in, wood, string (2016), $35 |  BUY NOW

“My Old Kentucky Home” by Wood & Twine, 8x6in, wood, string (2016), $35 | BUY NOW

"Inspiration Bracelets" by Gretchen Leachman

"Inspiration Bracelets" by Gretchen Leachman

Gretchen Leachman

Gretchen Leachman works in a variety of mediums, but the majority of her time is spent in jewelry design, mainly working with metal, wire, and gemstones. Some of the pieces are plaintive and understated, such as the necklace charms we see here, but others are more intricate and luxurious in their impact. “I pay close attention to creating pieces that will have meaning for the person wearing it,” explains Leachman.

She is currently involved in several pen & ink projects as well. “One of my current favorites involves collecting a series of words from family members about their home and family life … then using those words to depict a drawing of their house. Thoughts & feelings are the heart of what makes each home unique and loved, and I want to capture that as a reminder to those living there.”

“I love art. I always have. I fully support the theory that art should be fun and inspirational, and that is what I want to bring out in everything I do. It is my goal to make a connection with each individual, providing a small reminder of inner strength, joy and empowerment. Everyone has greatness and worth. Sometimes we just need a tangible reminder that we are, indeed, enough.”

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: SHA 1990; BA, Advertising, Western Kentucky University 1994
Website: http://www.GretchenLeachmanDesigns.com

"Symbols Of Peace Made With Vintage Safety Pins" by Gretchen Leachman

"Symbols Of Peace Made With Vintage Safety Pins" by Gretchen Leachman

" Hammered & Stamped Necklaces " by   Gretchen Leachman

"Hammered & Stamped Necklaces" by Gretchen Leachman

Other artists to be found at Revelry include painters Bob Lockhart, Julio Cesar, Melissa Crase, Ewa Perz, Joshua Jenkins, Erik Orr, and Gibbs Rounsavall, jewelry makers Rachael Erickson and Lindsay Hack, and household crafts by Ashleigh Anthony, DayNa Gliebe, Paul Nelson and Mark McGee, just to name a few.

Mo McKnight Howe, Molly Huffman and Major Hanging Out At Revelry Gallery.

Mo McKnight Howe, Molly Huffman and Major Hanging Out At Revelry Gallery.

In Louisville, the Buy Local catchphrase is “Keeping Louisville Weird,” which captures the unique tone of the River City’s celebration of the individualism of locally owned businesses. Flair and eccentricity are part and parcel of the experience, in which the idiosyncratic personalities of the owners are a crucial part of the identity of the enterprise. When you visit Revelry this holiday season, you also will meet Mo, Molly, and Major (the official greeter), and that personal connection to the community they represent gives added value to the shopping experience and deeper meaning to the act of giving.


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.


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Painting

Vignette: Barry Motes

"Annunciation" by Barry Motes, 30x40in, Oil on canvas, $1700 |  BUY NOW

"Annunciation" by Barry Motes, 30x40in, Oil on canvas, $1700 | BUY NOW

Barry Motes his studio.

Barry Motes his studio.

In his best work, painter Barry Motes creates enigmatic tableau of surrealist scenes that seek to explain some aspect of human existence. Often there are suggestions of supernatural elements in the inscrutable narratives, and, in the titles, the artist solves whatever mystery the viewer may be experiencing: Motes is unabashedly a person of faith. 

When one views Water & Spirit with no understanding of the source in biblical text (Acts 8:38) what conclusions would be drawn? How important is the race of the human figure in the bathtub? That his head has been opened and filled with water seems an ominous and disturbing image, as will most deconstruction of the body in art; but what are we to make of the bird in the small opening that could hardly be called a window. Yet the surreal anxiety is leavened by Motes’ deliberate choices in color and the serene expression of the man. 

The use of parable in religious storytelling follows a long tradition, but Motes marries the morality to unorthodox juxtapositions of object and setting. He is also unafraid to inject nuance into the message, so that the ghostly image of the iconic Venus di Milo statue seen through the door of a strip club provocatively questions the viewer’s easiest assumptions. Although Motes explicitly uses his art to express Christian themes, he does not relinquish the artist’s less sacred but no less important mission to encourage, or even demand that the viewer be an active participant in the process by actively thinking. Such an exchange between artist and audience is the final link in the chain of insight and understanding that is the imperative value of art to any society.

"Water & Spirit"  by Barry Motes, 24x30in, oil on canvas, $900 |  BUY NOW

"Water & Spirit"  by Barry Motes, 24x30in, oil on canvas, $900 | BUY NOW

Motes was born in San Diego, California and grew up in Xenia, Ohio. He is a Professor of Art at Jefferson Community & Technical College in Louisville, Kentucky and resides in Prospect, Kentucky with his wife, Carla. Their two sons, Zach and Griff, are graduates of the University of Kentucky and both live in Lexington, KY.

If you wish to see Motes’ work first hand, his solo exhibit Sacred Stories, Wayside Expressions Gallery, Louisville, KY, continues through November 27, 2016. He will also have work in two upcoming solo shows at the Harvill Gallery, Customs House Museum in Clarksville, TN. December 1, 2016 -January1, 2017, and at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, KY January 18-February 24, 2017. His work will also be included in 58th Mid-States Art Exhibition, Evansville Museum in Evansville, IN, December 10, 2016 -March 5 2017

Hometown: San Diego, California
Educational: MFA in Painting/Drawing, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TNB.A. & MA degrees in Art, Morehead State University
Website: http://www.jbmotesart.com

"Supper at Yummaus" by Barry Motes, 36x48in, oil on canvas, $2400 |  BUY NOW

"Supper at Yummaus" by Barry Motes, 36x48in, oil on canvas, $2400 | BUY NOW

"Midnight in the Garden" by Barry Motes,, 36x48in, oil on canvas, $2400 |  BUY NOW

"Midnight in the Garden" by Barry Motes,, 36x48in, oil on canvas, $2400 | BUY NOW

"Sibling Rivalry (Cain & Abel)" by Barry Motes, 30x40in, oil on canvas, $1700 |   BUY NOW

"Sibling Rivalry (Cain & Abel)" by Barry Motes, 30x40in, oil on canvas, $1700 | BUY NOW

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

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Painting, Mixed Media

Q&A: Artist David Iacovazzi-Pau


"People need to be educated about the value of art." — David Iacovazzi-Pau


David Iacovazzi-Pau: Photo by Michael Brohm

David Iacovazzi-Pau: Photo by Michael Brohm

David Iacovazzi-Pau’s work focuses on the human figure and is a visual diary of the people he encounters. His series reveal different aspects of the sitters and the link between their physical appearance and personality. “My aim is to portray idiosyncrasies and evoke the mood of the subject in order for the portrait to have an accurate likeness and affect. The work reflects what I sense about a person and is a documentation of my community.” 

Born 1978 in Luxembourg, Iacovazzi-Pau began his education in fine arts from the age of 15 in Belgium. He later attended the Centre Académique des Arts in Luxembourg and immigrated to the United States in 1997, studying at Indiana University Southeast. He currently lives and works in Louisville, Kentucky.

When did you first think you would be an artist?

I don’t recall a specific time or moment. Over the years I gradually felt I was one. It was obvious early on that I was not going to be a mathematician …

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

Probably something related to art history. Then again running a vineyard could be fun too.

"Little Miss Flint" ("Conversation with Teddy Abrams" Series) by David Iacovazzi-Pau, 12x8.5in, Ink drawing and inkjet on paper (2016)—5999 ink lines representing the amount of children that were affected by lead in Flint's tap water.

"Little Miss Flint" ("Conversation with Teddy Abrams" Series) by David Iacovazzi-Pau, 12x8.5in, Ink drawing and inkjet on paper (2016)—5999 ink lines representing the amount of children that were affected by lead in Flint's tap water.

What frightens you the most?

Crowd manipulation, albeit interesting, is frightening. I also have a phobia of reptiles, especially snakes. 

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

That varies, a lot of jazz and classical. Sometimes I turn on the French news for a while. And sometimes silence seems to be my preference.

Favorite movie?

A Pure Formality by Giuseppe Tornatore, starring Roman Polanski and Gérard Depardieu.

What are you reading right now?

“Portraits by Ingres: Image of an Epoch", and the Philip Guston Retrospective (2003) catalogue.

"Self Portrait with Maya (in the studio)" by David Iacovazzi-Pau, 30x24in, oil on paper (2016)

"Self Portrait with Maya (in the studio)" by David Iacovazzi-Pau, 30x24in, oil on paper (2016)

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

I'll let you know when I get the $100,000.

What advice would you give a young artist just out of college?

I would encourage them to see as much artwork as they can whether it's in museums, galleries, or studios. Contemporary art as well as historical are fabulous sources of inspiration. Also, don't worry about fitting in, paint for yourself and make artwork that excites you. 

What does art mean to you?

Art means different things to me. I was lucky to be encouraged to draw and paint from a young age, so it has become a way of life. As an artist I’m working within my own means and in the process there's self-doubt, frustrations and disappointment but in spite of it all, I enjoy working things out in a painting. It gives me a sense of freedom and purpose when I'm engaged with it.

"Teddy #2" ("Conversation with Teddy Abrams" Series) by David Iacovazzi-Pau, 24x18in, graphite on paper (2016)

"Teddy #2" ("Conversation with Teddy Abrams" Series) by David Iacovazzi-Pau, 24x18in, graphite on paper (2016)

If you could have a talent that you currently don't already have what would it be and why?

Having the skills to be an eloquent orator would be my first choice. It makes things a lot easier if you are able to articulate your thoughts well. 

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

The amount of local artists is increasing and they are good. The problem is that there are just not enough buyers to sustain it. Galleries will close and artists will continue to struggle (nothing new here) but also move away as long as we don't see any changes. People need to be educated about the value of art. They will then in turn invest in the local visual art scene. 

A photo from David's studio (2016)

A photo from David's studio (2016)

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

Yes, it did. Probably because of being exposed to different styles and new artists. Also, making mistakes can take you to uncharted territories; you can learn and grow from it. I like to think that I did. But I think progress and change mainly comes from working. Chuck Close has a great quote, "Inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us just show up and get to work."

What do you feel is your greatest flaw? 

I tend to obsess over things and I can be stubborn, that's the Breton in me.

Name: David Iacovazzi-Pau
Hometown: Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Age: 37
Education: Centre Académique des Arts in Luxembourg and Indiana University Southeast
Website: http://www.davidiacovazzipau.com/
Gallery Representative: Swanson Contemporary Gallery

"Teddy #3" ("Conversation with Teddy Abrams" Series) by David Iacovazzi-Pau, 24x18in, oil on paper (2016)

"Teddy #3" ("Conversation with Teddy Abrams" Series) by David Iacovazzi-Pau, 24x18in, oil on paper (2016)

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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.

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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.