women artists

Painting

Open Studio Weekend Spotlight: Megan Bickel

“You’re Put in A Place Where Everyone Has The Same Delusion” by Megan Bickel, Acrylic on lycra with holographic inkjet print. 22x29in, 2019

“You’re Put in A Place Where Everyone Has The Same Delusion” by Megan Bickel, Acrylic on lycra with holographic inkjet print. 22x29in, 2019

Sometimes artists can speak quite well for themselves, with an Artist’s Statement of such depth and detail that it can be difficult to make any comment on the work in question without seeming at best redundant and at worst meaningless. Megan Bickel is a contemporary Renaissance woman, a multidisciplinary artist who writes and thinks with precision and clarity so that her very thoughtful words are arguably insightful enough to challenge the need for further observation. Of her work in her upcoming exhibit at Quappi Projects, Bickel writes on allusion and illusion:

“Being primarily literary, an allusion can be commonly articulated as an expression designed to call a subject to mind without mentioning it explicitly. It can appear as an indirect or passing reference. The author is allowed freedom in the expectation that the reader is aware of the reference made in the “allusion;" but as an object of literature, it provides safety or security for the reader in requesting the use of the readers’ imagination. Thus, the readers are limited to their own experience or consumption— they are safe to play in deception or truth, because they know the origin of the falsity provided by an allusion.

An illusion —of course—is a trick. Perhaps it appears as camouflage, or perhaps it appears in the process of convincing a viewer that they are witnessing something. It can also appear in the cultivating of a false belief, but however it appears the one in control of the creation of an illusion is the maker. An illusion can be as benign as an illusionistic still life, or as malignant as propaganda. No matter the moral positioning, the illusion is an object of convincing.” 

You can read the full statement on her website, but Bickel appropriately places a burden of interpretative responsibility on the viewer before she concludes:

“Though my approach to media differs from object to object, I would generalize that this body of work utilizes haptic curiosity as a means with which to encourage visual, ethical, or empathic critique of contemporary media images. This skill of inviting curiosity into our daily consumption of images may become an important skill as we approach a period in history where we have to understand and decode how our images may be deceiving us— and just as quickly as we learn to create those deceptions.”

All of which seems to pose the question of how much trust we can place in Bickel’s images. Her work does not accommodate passivity, and we might go further and question the worth of any art that doesn’t provoke us to think differently.

“There Was No Template for His Perceptions” by Megan Bickel, Acrylic on lycra with holographic inkjet print. 44x60in, 2019

“There Was No Template for His Perceptions” by Megan Bickel, Acrylic on lycra with holographic inkjet print. 44x60in, 2019

Bickel is the embodiment of the restlessness of contemporary artists who are proactive in creating opportunities for themselves and others. In 2016 she co-created Five-Dots, a visual arts blog that covers the Midwest Region, and in 2017 she founded houseguest Gallery in Louisville, an example of the growing trend for non-traditional exhibition spaces. She most recently showed work in PLAY THAT ONE BACK, JOHNNY, Megan Bickel and Louis A. Edwards, Erie Art Gallery. Erie, Pennsylvania.

Bickel is an MFA candidate at the University of Louisville and will be participating in the Louisville Visual Art/ Hite Art Institute Open Studio Weekend November 2 and 3. She also is included in the Open Studio Weekend Juried Exhibit opening at U of L’s Cressman Center on November 1, 6-8pm.

Her new one-person show, We Are inside the Fire, runs November 15 through December 20 at Quappi Projects, 827 West Market Street in the NuLu neighborhood.

Education: University of Louisville, Master of Fine Arts Candidate, 2021
Art Academy of Cincinnati, BFA, Painting, Magna Cum Laude, 2012.
Website: www.meganbickel.com

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“TOO FLAT APARTMENT” by Megan Bickel,. Acrylic on lycra with holographic inkjet print. 3x4ft, 2018

“TOO FLAT APARTMENT” by Megan Bickel,. Acrylic on lycra with holographic inkjet print. 3x4ft, 2018

“To My UFO Friend” by Megan Bickel, Acrylic on lycra with holographic inkjet print. 44x60in, 2019

“To My UFO Friend” by Megan Bickel, Acrylic on lycra with holographic inkjet print. 44x60in, 2019

“Aesthetic Think Tanks” by Megan Bickel, Acrylic on lycra with holographic inkjet print. 29x36in, 2019

“Aesthetic Think Tanks” by Megan Bickel, Acrylic on lycra with holographic inkjet print. 29x36in, 2019


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2019 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.

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Photography

Vignette: Mia Hanson

“Ida Disa” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Ida Disa” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

To begin at the beginning, photographer Mia Hanson has a first memory of a camera: “While my parents were away, I sought out a 35mm film camera from a glass case and held it to my right eye; instantly, the world around me had space and definition unlike before. It was a new way of seeing, I realized.”

Today when Hanson teaches digital photography for Louisville Visual Art, she keeps this important “first time” in mind. “We’re not just  taking fun pictures in class, we are learning how to see in a new way.”

Hanson’s images often discover an otherworldly quality, a view of human figures that escapes the mundane details of corporeal existence. One is tempted use the word ghost, and while it is true that a ghost might appear in a Mia Hanson photograph, we must be open to a more organic and ephemeral relationship between the artist and her subject. As Hanson explains in a 2006 interview:

“I'm always searching for the soul of my subject. As a photographer, I try to tap into some other frequency of mood and emotion that is there, yet hidden. Unlike the painter who creates from imagination, I'm fascinated with the thought of lifting the veil from our given reality.”

All art can investigate this thin place of transition between Illusion and Reality, Life and Death, posing questions about different planes of existence, if not always answering them. Photography occupies a special place in this territory, because it plays on our expectations that the camera is capturing an objective reality, when the truth is that it is another tool in the artist’s box. Even when Hanson is using natural environments, such as in “Disturbance in Central Park”, the location is suggestive of a fantasy world. The pensive pose could be anywhere in the world, and only the title ties it to a few yards from a busy Manhattan street. And the image is timeless. It looks to me like a frame enlargement from an early silent film. Look at stills from F.W. Murnau’s Sunrise for a comparison.

“Disturbance Central Park” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Disturbance Central Park” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

Hanson has lived in Stockholm but returned to the states with her partner, painter Hawk Alfredson to live for several years in the fabled Chelsea Hotel in NYC. While in residence there she, “Created portraits utilizing the light and charged energy of the hotel atmosphere while careful not to disturb or “document “ what is not entirely capable of being captured. The ghosts are best left alone.”

We can venture a guess how much the Hotel Chelsea influenced Hanson’s images, but it may a rhetorical question. If we entertain the notion of an artist connecting to other realities, then both she and Alfredson might have arrived at the Chelsea guided by unseen but always present forces. That may sound eccentric and picturesque, but, after all, we are talking about connecting to an ethereal plane.

Hanson’s work has appeared as cover art illustration for publishing houses such as Random House, Houghton & Mifflin, and Simon & Schuster, as well as magazine editorial work for Psychology Today and New York Black Book. She has exhibited internationally and is currently teaching for Louisville Visual Art.

Photo: Hawk Alfredson

Photo: Hawk Alfredson


Hometown: Santa Monica, Ca.
Education: Studied film theory and photography in San Francisco’s Bay Area before leaving to pursue a photographic mentorship with influential photographer/ videographer Matt Mahurin in NYC in the 90’s.
Website: www.miahanson.com


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“Jennica” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Jennica” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Balance” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Balance” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Terezka the Betrothed Shrew” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Terezka the Betrothed Shrew” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.

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Mixed Media

Vignette: Janis Kirstein

“Freedom Collage” by Janis Kirstein, Mixed Media, 24x36in, 2018, $1000

“Freedom Collage” by Janis Kirstein, Mixed Media, 24x36in, 2018, $1000

Janis Kirstein is a painter, photographer, and writer, but primarily a painter. She combines a mixture of media and collage, including acrylic, pastel, colored pencil, & Photoshop, Sumi-E Ink and Japanese Rice paper. In the work we see here, the energy is loose and spontaneous, at times nearly explosive, betraying the level of discipline required in both the composition and the technique.

“The Majestic Horse Race” by Janis Kirstein, Mixed Media, 20x32in, 2018, $750

“The Majestic Horse Race” by Janis Kirstein, Mixed Media, 20x32in, 2018, $750

“I love making collages,” states Kirstein. “Action painting has been my joy for more than 30 years and continues to this day, today, using Sumi-E ink and a Haiki brush. I add torn scraps of Japanese rice paper and combine a variety of media including paint, watercolor, graphite, ink, colored pencil - even glitter, all to capture the free flowing creative energy that surrounds me at any given moment.”

“To achieve the atmospheric abstraction seen in my work, I make use of transparent layering. My canvases and paper works range in size, the scale of my pieces ranging from my use of the Nano image to images of outer space. That means all realities are visible simultaneously, which creates a paradox or sense perceptive omnipotence within you, the perceiver; much like being able to see all dimensions of reality within one gaze.” 

Kirstein speaks of her work using cosmic nomenclature suggesting a meaningful spiritual component. Abstraction opens the mind to welcome a subjective interpretation, and it can be fascinating to imagine the range of response, yet the calculated choice made by the artist even when they are giving themselves over to the organic experience of creative expression will usually be a guide for the viewer.

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Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: Master of Fine Art, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1981;
Bachelor of Arts, University of Louisville, KY, 1977;
Indiana University Bloomington, 1973-75
Website: kirsteinfineart.com
Instagram: janiskirstein

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All artwork is copyright ©Janis Kirstein 2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material in whole or part without express and written permission from this blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janis Kirstein and http://www.kirsteinfineart.com, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

“Moment in Time” by Janis Kirstein, Mixed Media, 20x32in, 2018, $750

“Moment in Time” by Janis Kirstein, Mixed Media, 20x32in, 2018, $750

“Jungle Heat” by Janis Kirstein, Mixed Media on stretched canvas, 32x48in, 2017, $2000

“Jungle Heat” by Janis Kirstein, Mixed Media on stretched canvas, 32x48in, 2017, $2000

“Frankfort Avenue” by Janis Kirstein, Mixed Media on stretched canvas, 32x48in, 2018, $2000

“Frankfort Avenue” by Janis Kirstein, Mixed Media on stretched canvas, 32x48in, 2018, $2000

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.

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Special

Open Studio Spotlight: Hite Institute Grows West in Portland

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On the outside, right now, it is a decidedly non-descript building. There is evidence of renovation, but no signage yet. Come closer to the building at 1606 Rowan Street though…press your face against the new glass windows and you will discover that the interior is much further along. Freshly painted drywall and track lights are visible and some random art paraphernalia is finding its way to these rooms.  

Helen Payne

Helen Payne

The University of Louisville Hite Art Institute’s Master of Fine Arts program is moving into the historic Portland neighborhood of Louisville a little early because this Saturday and Sunday is the annual Open Studio Weekend, and Curatorial Studies professor and Director of Galleries Chris Reitz has been determined to see this location included on this 5th year of touring artist’s studios. Open Studio Weekend is a co-production of Louisville Visual Art and the University of Louisville’s Hite Institute, a fundraiser for LVA’s Children’s Fine Art Classes and the Hite’s Mary Spencer Nay Scholarship.

The inclusion of the Hite MFA studios represents a dramatic expansion of Open Studio Weekend participants in the Portland neighborhood, which includes artists Victor Sweatt and Tara Remington in the LVA building at 1538 Lytle Street, just 2 blocks from Hite, John Brooks’ Quappi Projects space next door to LVA, Billie Bradford’s woodworking shop across Lytle Street from LVA, sculptor Bryan Holden on Main Street, and the Dolfinger Building on Montgomery Street, which will include painter Julia Davis and fiber artists Colleen and Maggie Clines.

Occupying a renovated warehouse constructed in the 1800s, the Fine Arts Department will offer studio space for MFA students and faculty focusing on ceramics, drawing, fiber, glass, painting, printmaking, sculpture, mixed media, book arts, and design. Faculty and MFA program artists who are listed as participants in the 2018 Open Studio Weekend are: 

Mitch Eckert – Photography                         James Grubola - Drawing
Scott Massey - Sculpture                              Tiffany Calvert – Painting
Ying Kit Chan – Mixed Media                      Moonhe Baik - Fiber
Barbara Hanger - Drawing                          Mary Carothers – Mixed Media
Zed Saeed – Photography                            Megan Bickel - Painting
Helen Payne – Drawing                                Reid Broadstreet – Mixed Media
Che Rhodes - Glass                                       Rachid Tagoulla – Photography
Monica Stewart – Mixed Media                   Lauren Bader - Sculpture
Shae Goodlet - Drawing                                Katherine Watts - Printmaking
Todd Burns – Ceramics                                KCJ Szwedzinski - Glass
Tammy Burke – Mixed Media                     Meena Khalili – Mixed Media         
Karen Weeks - Printmaking                                                                                               

                                                       

The building will also provide space for the Anthropology department’s Master’s program, with gallery space and outreach programs planned for the Portland neighborhood. Construction will continue for some time, but classes in the building are scheduled to begin in January 2019.   

Open Studio Weekend Directories are being sold at the following locations:

Moonhe Baik, 33"x168" 100% cotton thread, 100% linen thread threadwork

Moonhe Baik, 33"x168" 100% cotton thread, 100% linen thread threadwork

AA Clay Studio & Gallery - 2829 S 4th Street, Louisville, KY
AC Hotel Marriott - 727 E Market Street, Louisville, KY
Artist & Craftsman Supply - 1002 Barret Avenue, Louisville, KY
CRAFT{s} Gallery & Mercantile - 572 S 4th Street, Louisville, KY
Cressman Center for Visual Arts - 100 E Main Street, Louisville, KY
Kentucky Fine Art Gallery - 2400 Lime Kiln Lane, Louisville, KY
Kentucky Mudworks - 506 Baxter Avenue, Louisville, KY
Louisville Visitor Center - 301 S 4th Street, Louisville, KY
Louisville Visual Art - 1538 Lytle Street, Louisville, KY
Nitty Gritty - 996 Barret Avenue, Louisville, KY
Preston Arts Center - 3048 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY
Revelry Boutique Gallery - 742 E Market St, Louisville, KY
Silica Ceramic Studio - 222 W 6th Street, Jeffersonville, IN 

Juried Exhibition Opening Reception and OSW Launch Party

November 2, 2018
6:00pm–8:00pm
The Cressman Center (100 E. Main St.)

Open Studio Weekend Self-guided Tours

November 3-4, 2018
Saturday and Sunday 12 noon–6pm

“35 THINGS THAT HAVE ONCE TOUCHED EACH OTHER STAY UNITED” by Megan Bickel, c-print. Digital Collage of artist materials: glitter, holographic film, excerpts from "too nice"

“35 THINGS THAT HAVE ONCE TOUCHED EACH OTHER STAY UNITED” by Megan Bickel, c-print. Digital Collage of artist materials: glitter, holographic film, excerpts from "too nice"


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.

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Drawing, Fiber

Open Studio Spotlight: Samantha Ludwig

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Samantha Ludwig is an artist who works comfortably in several mediums. In the work highlighted here, she draws houses in exquisitely rendered detail. They are executed in graphite, using a pencil. The richness of the mark making and modeled textures connect us to the sublime satisfaction of the most fundamental artist’s action: the simple act of drawing - observation through the eye and to the hand.

But Ludwig’s technique is far from simple, and the attention to detail is not just academic. She invests each structure with real feeling for the space they occupy, the life that has been lived with these walls. She forces such introspection by isolating the building and the yard from the environment. Stripped of that larger social context, it is surprising how much is still communicated through the immediate relationship of space and architectural form.

Ludwig also works with textiles, with a particular emphasis on flags that are variations on the United States of America “stars and stripes.”

“717 E. Ormsby” by Samantha Ludwig, Graphite on Paper, 9x14in, 201 $150

“717 E. Ormsby” by Samantha Ludwig, Graphite on Paper, 9x14in, 201 $150

Writing on her blog, Ludwig explains: “Most people are confused and are unsure of what I mean when I say, ‘I'm making flags,’ which is understandable. It's a long process that initials a lot of math and attention. From making color samples so that you can replicate colors, to making the dye into a paste, and then taping, masking, and embroidering the material that is to be the final piece, and even all that doesn't cover it.”

More recently, Ludwig has returned to wood block prints, making prints of a size that allows a very hands-on approach to process – her press is her feet: “…me alone in the studio dancing, sliding and shuffling on them on top of the plywood.”

“It’s been wonderful to revisit it (wood cutting), because there’s something incredibly enticing about carving. I remember when I was in elementary school I dreamed of becoming a master wood whittler.

Samanth Ludwig will be participating in the 2018 Open Studio Weekend, sponsored by Louisville Visual Art and University of Louisville’s Hite Art Institute. Her studio, located in the Germantown neighborhood, will be open the weekend of November 3 and 4. Tickets for OpenStudio Weekend will go on sale October 16. Click here for more information.

Recent Exhibitions:
Quills, Introducing: Samantha Ludwig, Louisville, Kentucky.
Great Flood, 4735 Peachtree, Louisville, Kentucky.
St. James Juried Art Festival, The Work of Samantha Ludwig, Louisville, Kentucky. 

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BFA, Painting and Fiber, Kansas City Art Institute, BHA, Concentration Western Art History
Website: samanthludwig.com

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“In Vogue We Trust” by Samantha Ludwig, Dyed cotton, 3x6ft, 2011, Private collection  

“Voyuer” by Samanth Ludwig, Ink on Paper, 23x25in, $475

“Voyuer” by Samanth Ludwig, Ink on Paper, 23x25in, $475

“Great Garrison Flag” by Samantha Ludwig, Hand Dyed Embroidered Cotton, 6x13in, 2017, Part of the Permeant Collection of Omni Hotel, Louisville, Ky

“Great Garrison Flag” by Samantha Ludwig, Hand Dyed Embroidered Cotton, 6x13in, 2017, Part of the Permeant Collection of Omni Hotel, Louisville, Ky


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.

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