Print Making

Print Making, Painting, Drawing, Digital

Spotlight: The Academy at LVA Graduating Seniors, Part One

“Bliss” by Madelynn Hicks, North Oldham High School

“Bliss” by Madelynn Hicks, North Oldham High School

On May 10, Louisville Visual Art will open the 2019 Academy Exhibition for high school students. This is the first of a two-part look at the senior students included in that exhibit.

“LVA has made a major difference in my life” - Alexis Fromm

“Mushroom Bride” by Natalie Stastny, Atherton High School

“Mushroom Bride” by Natalie Stastny, Atherton High School

In the work of these three graduating seniors we see a preoccupation with a deconstruction of the human form. Bodies are modified through dismemberment, the peeling of skin, or a grafting of mushrooms onto the epidermis, not for horrific effect but as metaphorical signposts for the adolescent introspection building a foundation for identity. Each of these artists is still finding themselves, searching for who they are by peeling themselves like an onion.

Whether or not the exact images are self-portraits is beside the point; all art expresses the aesthetic concerns of the individual. In “Moulting” Madelyn Hicks depicts a woman’s torso, bereft of hips, legs, or feet, stripping away skin. The piece may be inspired by a case of post-beach vacation sunburn, but it elicits feelings of discomfort in the viewer in part because the woman so casually changes her physical form without any preciousness or hesitation.

Natalie Stastny’s “Mushroom Bride” wears a garment made of the plants, or is the fungus a part of her skin? The ambiguity is compelling, but the choice of color, gesture, and expression do not suggest distress. Whatever the reality, the bride seems happy enough.

A print from Alexis Fromm is slightly more gruesome. It shows a naked female torso in which the skin has been pulled away to reveal an oversize eyeball surrounded by teardrops. The merging of vivisection and whimsy is pure surrealism. We want to turn away but we cannot.

These are arguably the more overt examples of a fascination with the physical self that might be claimed as a teenage stereotype, but the level of confident, even sardonic self-awareness and forensic examination is impressive. One of Fromm’s favorite subjects seems to be animal skulls, although she extends them into fantastical forms beyond the mundane farm inhabitants whose brains they once held. “Hellboy” imagines the horns and stretched earlobes of the comic book character.

And Hicks’ young person eating Tostitos from the bag while prone on their bed in violation of how many rules of civilized behavior is not quite “Ladylike”, but the image suggests that they could care less about outmoded nomenclature intended to restrict all natural impulses for comfort.     

Meanwhile, Stastny is fond of entangling her figures in organic forms that seem to bind and blind them. We assume it is not because she doesn’t like drawing eyes that she inevitably shields them from view.

All three artists are fearless in exploring the plasticity of the body, lending it malleability that aligns them with Modern and Post-modern movements.

Alexis Fromm has been in LVA classes since 7th grade. She will be attending Spalding University with a $6,000 Merit Scholarship and a projected major of Studio Arts.

“After my first class with Rodolfo Salgado Jr., I fell in love with Printmaking and have taken every printmaking class with him that was available. Before LVA I did not know what printmaking was and I didn’t know the large variety of art that was in the world besides clothing, painting, and drawing. LVA has inspired me to go to college and pursue my love for art.”

Fromm has worked as a volunteer for Steam Exchange Community Arts Center over the past four years. With Steam Exchange she attended the Mayor’s Give A Day to help clean out their building and clean up around the Smoketown neighborhood.

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Madelyn Hicks has taken LVA classes every semester for all four years of high school: Studio Art with Rudy Salgado, Drawing 1 and 2 with Wilma Bethel, Painting 1 with Dennis Whitehouse and Sunny Ra, and Painting 2 with Sunny Ra, Julie Leidner, and Tenille Novinger. She was accepted into several schools and will be attending The University of Cincinnati’s DAAP program in the fall and majoring in Industrial Design 

Hicks was accepted into GATES (Gifted and Talented Educational Services) for art, and the Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA) 2018 program. She also won an LVA competition to have her work featured on the 2018-19 season poster for The Kentucky Opera.

“LVA truly taught me how to make art. My teachers all taught me different techniques and styles of creating that shaped me into the artist I am today. The classes I took with Sunny Ra in drawing and painting established the foundations I needed to discover my perspective as an artist and work not only technically but also conceptually. Sunny definitely went above and beyond for me and was extremely helpful in building a portfolio for both GSA and college auditions. The different perspectives and skills I learned through LVA have provided a strong base for me as a creator.”

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Natalie Stastny has taken Academy at LVA classes for three years: 2 Digital Art classes with Lilly Higgs, one Drawing and Painting class with Sunny Ra, and one Drawing and Painting class with Julie Leidner. She has been accepted at and received scholarships and/or financial aid for the Art Academy of Cincinnati, the Columbus School of Art and Design, and Eastern Illinois University.

Stastny is also involved in National Art Honors Society and the Atherton High School Art Club and earned a varsity letter in Swimming. She has represented Atherton on WLKY and the PBS News Hour talking about the school’s transgender bathroom policy.

“My favorite class with LVA has been the Digital drawing class. I’ve taken it twice mostly because the program itself helped me understand digital media but also because my teacher (Lilly Higgs) was very encouraging and helped me practice digital drawing with tablets, which at the time was a resource I did not have access to at home.”

“I loved all of my classes and think they have helped me a lot in both my personal and school related art projects. Lilly Higgs and Julie Leidner especially seemed to want to talk to me and get to know me better. I won’t forget the kindness that those teachers offered me. It also allowed me more practice time during the day and a space where I can just be creative and also learn the basics of art at the same time.”

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“Frida Kahlo” by Alexis Fromm

“Frida Kahlo” by Alexis Fromm

“Moulting” by Madelynn Hicks, North Oldham High School

“Moulting” by Madelynn Hicks, North Oldham High School

“Siren Queen” by Natalie Stastny, Atherton High School

“Siren Queen” by Natalie Stastny, Atherton High School

“Lady” by Alexis Fromm

“Lady” by Alexis Fromm


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, Print Making

In Memory of Susan Moffett (1950-2018)

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The picture is blurry, probably a "caught image" from a cell phone in the hand of a fellow contra dancer - there are many "better" pictures of her, in focus and more formally composed photographs, but it is Susan Moffett's last choice for the profile picture on her Facebook page, and we include it here because it seems to speak volumes about her energy and enthusiasm for life. Today we remember this artist who meant so much to the community, beginning with words from just a few of her many friends: 

"Susan was a wonderful printmaker, a fine arts educator, a musician, a world traveler and a great friend. She sought and found the experiences that make life vivid and meaningful. The lives she touched are a beautiful ripple expanding into the world. I will miss her for the rest of my life." - Wendi Smith, artist

"Susan was a creative force.  In the visual art community we knew her work mainly as beautiful, spiritual reflections on the natural world which are greatly admired. But the depth of her creative energy was vast and not limited by media. She was a loving and nurturing mother, a devoted teacher, a poet (especially of haiku), a musician and dancer. Susan was surrounded by loyal, loving friends who all knew her in one or more of her creative manifestations. As we are gathering and sharing our grief we are still learning from each other about her many talents." -Kay Grubola, artist and curator

"Susan was one of the building blocks of our program (at IU Southeast). Our fabulous print shop was built from scratch by Susan and Brian Jones – resulting in one of the best equipped shops in the region. Susan was a dedicated printmaker, who created beautiful prints throughout her career at IUS and after her retirement. She was active in regional and national printmaking organizations, a member of FACET, and a former Dean. For more than 30 years at IUS, she taught and inspired countless numbers of our students." - Debra Clem, Painting Professor at IU Southeast

"Moonlight in the Forest" by Susan Moffett,  Relief Monoprint, 19x14in, 2016

"Moonlight in the Forest" by Susan Moffett, Relief Monoprint, 19x14in, 2016

The following is from our last Artebella post on Susan, in November 2016:

Music is so often, if not always, an integral part of the life of a visual artist. Besides being a highly respected printmaker and teacher, Susan Moffett is also a “Caller” for contra and square dances, and now is playing the fiddle. If we might characterize such pursuits as folk music crossed with precision of execution, it would be perhaps be a fair description of the work we see here.

"Seasonal Rhythms" by Susan Moffett,  Relief Monoprint Installation, 42x54in, 2016

"Seasonal Rhythms" by Susan Moffett, Relief Monoprint Installation, 42x54in, 2016

The tradition and protocol of printmaking includes labored technique, process, and the notion of limited editions of prints pulled by the artist to their exacting standards, but we find Moffett abandoning those for what she calls the, “the freedom and spontaneity of woodcut monoprints. Instead of a traditional series of perfected prints with a consistent image, I opt to use the block prints in an intuitive exploration of organic forms, creating rhythm within and relationships between the prints. Small prints are repurposed in relationships of color, density and repetition, to make a larger installation.”

Although Moffett is too educated and sophisticated in her sensibilities to be labeled a folk artist, there is an elemental quality in these latest images. Yet, because they are densely textured and highly detailed, they are also complex. We often find such tension at the heart of art that is compelling, a balance of contrasting themes and aesthetic that seems the honest, organic result of genuine discovery. 

With daughter Audrey at the Women's March in Washington, D.C., January 2017

With daughter Audrey at the Women's March in Washington, D.C., January 2017

Moffett was a founding member of PYRO Gallery in Louisville. She has exhibited throughout the United States as well as abroad in Ireland, Poland and Australia. Her work is in numerous public and private collections including:

Selected Collections
• Evansville Museum of Arts and Science, Evansville, IN
• Hyatt Regency, Louisville, KY
• Brown-Forman Distillers Corp., Louisville, KY
• The Kentucky Foundation for Women, Louisville, KY
• Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, Louisville, KY
• University of Dallas, Irving, TX
• The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
• Owensboro Museum of Art, Owensboro, KY
• The University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
 

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"Cool Flow, Fall" by Susan Moffett,  Relief Monoprint Collage, 14x20in, 2016

"Cool Flow, Fall" by Susan Moffett, Relief Monoprint Collage, 14x20in, 2016

"Approaching Symmetry" by Susan Moffett,  Relief Monoprint, 16x6in, 2016

"Approaching Symmetry" by Susan Moffett, Relief Monoprint, 16x6in, 2016


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Print Making

Student Showcase: Kathryn Combs

"Pope Lick Monster" by Kathryn Combs, Lithograph with screen print, 18x25in, 2017, $425

"Pope Lick Monster" by Kathryn Combs, Lithograph with screen print, 18x25in, 2017, $425

Although Kathryn Combs’ image is a simple, albeit dynamic, point-of-view of a train trestle, the incomplete fields of text that fill in the open areas of sky hint at something else; an urban folk legend placed in southeastern Jefferson County that positions the highly-placed train crossing as the home of a hybrid creature known as “The Pope Lick Monster.” The legend includes that the “sheepman” lured young people out onto the trestle, and the facts are that more than one tragic death is tied to the location, which the artist follows through on with grisly, yet enigmatic, suggestion.

"A Story About 1960" by Kathryn Combs, Lithograph, 18x10in, 2017, $200

"A Story About 1960" by Kathryn Combs, Lithograph, 18x10in, 2017, $200

“My work explores the relationship of individual history and common experience. In my art, I combine technology with traditional print media in the form of digitally rendered images put to a plate with any combination of lithography, screen printing, etching, drawing, collage and hand coloring. For each print I conduct intensive research, tapping into public records such as geographical maps, photo archives, and biographical databases. I am also inspired by firsthand accounts, local legends, and oral history. Using these resources, I compose images that contrast familiar scenes with unusual and uncanny features. I like using elements within my prints that play on the viewer’s visual literacy. Glassware and keys become shorthand for domestic life, historical photos of small towns are synonymous with Americana, and famous artworks are tantamount to our entire experience as viewers of art. I interrupt this visual code with color, drawing, and layering of visually represented data (e.g. maps or charts). These interruptions tip off the viewer that there may be more to the image than expected, and convinces them to take a second look.”

Combs uses archival photography to connote specific places and/or times from the past, attempting to connect history to present experience in a combination of collective memory and contemporary printmaking technique.

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Combs’ work will be included in the Senior Thesis Exhibition scheduled to open March 1st at the IU Southeast Barr Gallery in New Albany, Indiana, as well as the Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition, Juried Exhibition, Indiana University Southeast, which runs through February 18, 2018, and was curated by Amethyst Beaver (21c). 

Hometown: Crothersville, Indiana
Education: BFA candidate in Printmaking at Indiana University Southeast - Graduating in May
Website: www.kathryn-combs.com
Instagram:@kathryn.combs.art

 

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"Aaron" by Kathryn Combs, From "Looking Longer" series, Screen print, 15x20in 2017

"Aaron" by Kathryn Combs, From "Looking Longer" series, Screen print, 15x20in 2017

"Christi" by Kathryn Combs, From "Looking Longer" series, Screen print, 15x20in 2017

"Christi" by Kathryn Combs, From "Looking Longer" series, Screen print, 15x20in 2017

"Michelle" by Kathryn Combs, From "Looking Longer" series, Screen print, 15x20in 2017

"Michelle" by Kathryn Combs, From "Looking Longer" series, Screen print, 15x20in 2017


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

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Print Making, Mixed Media

Vignette: Cori Hills

"I've chosen to use my (negative voice) as an artistic tool for healing and self-discovery.” - Cori Hills

"Never Let Go" by Cori Hills, Acrylic paint, spray paint on hand-carved woodcut, 4x2ft, 2014, $2500 (Prints unavailable)

"Never Let Go" by Cori Hills, Acrylic paint, spray paint on hand-carved woodcut, 4x2ft, 2014, $2500 (Prints unavailable)

Visual art in the 21st century is constantly merging, different trends and mediums of expression connecting or even sometimes colliding into one another. In the work of Cori Hills we see a print maker embracing the bold, graphics of graffiti art in hand-carved woodcuts that are then worked into with acrylic and spray paint.

“My work is a psychological exploration of traumatic events faced as a child,” explains Hills. “Through word and image, I personify the co-dependent relationship between my inner demons and inner child. Each plank of wood is a conquest, one of which I have complete control. We all have that negative voice inside us. I've chosen to use mine as an artistic tool for healing and self-discovery.”

The “demons” Hills makes reference to manifest themselves in the images we see here, a satyr-like species that crosses a tiger with a ram, the figures seem more maternal than carnal, trading the satyr’s sexual appetite for an unsettling combination of bestial nurturing and violation. The facial detail is unique, a saddened visage carrying religious symbols that is filled with portent and dread, if not actual evil.   

In 2017 "Don't Bite the Hand that Feeds You" was included in Image & Word: A Text-based Art Exhibition at Kaviar Forge and Gallery. The pieces "Never Let Go," and "Meat," are currently at the Tim Faulkner Gallery as a part of their winter show.

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Hills, a Florida native, moved to Louisville in 2009. Cori graduated from the University of Louisville with a B.A. of Fine Arts in 2017. Her specialties include printmaking, painting and illustration.

Hometown: St. Augustine, Florida
Education: BA, Fine Arts, University of Louisville, 2017
Facebook: Original Artwork by Cori Hills

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"Don't Bite The Hand That Feeds You" by Cori Hills, Print series of 10,  black ink on Asian paper, 4x3ft, 2017, $400

"Don't Bite The Hand That Feeds You" by Cori Hills, Print series of 10,  black ink on Asian paper, 4x3ft, 2017, $400

"Don't Bite The Hand That Feeds You" by Cori Hills, Acrylic paint, spray paint on hand-carved woodcut, 4x3ft, 2017, $3500 (Prints unavailable)

"Don't Bite The Hand That Feeds You" by Cori Hills, Acrylic paint, spray paint on hand-carved woodcut, 4x3ft, 2017, $3500 (Prints unavailable)

"Meat" by Cori Hills, Acrylic paint, spray paint on hand-carved woodcut, 4x3ft, 2015, $3000 (Prints unavailable)

"Meat" by Cori Hills, Acrylic paint, spray paint on hand-carved woodcut, 4x3ft, 2015, $3000 (Prints unavailable)

"Natural Perversions" by Cori Hills, Print series of 10,  black ink on Asian paper, 4x2ft, 2017, $350

"Natural Perversions" by Cori Hills, Print series of 10,  black ink on Asian paper, 4x2ft, 2017, $350


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

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Print Making

Vignette: Elizabeth Foley

"Making the work becomes a journey of balance in and of itself." - Elizabeth Foley

"Enso-Clarity" by Elizabeth Foley, woodcut and collagraph, 26x38in, 2015, NFS

"Enso-Clarity" by Elizabeth Foley, woodcut and collagraph, 26x38in, 2015, NFS

“My work focuses on the interplay of lives and the concept of life-balance, explains Elizabeth Foley. “I explore the circle as a resolved but potentially irregular shape, representing both the balance and variety we all strive for in our lives. How is wholeness achieved and what tips the circle off center? What distracts from the main circle? Does wholeness come at the price of predictability?” 

Printmaking need not avoid explorations of depth in form and space, yet it would appear to be a common trend in contemporary art that prints be concerned with surface, texture, pattern, and field. Of course, this technical and compositional observation doesn’t restrict depth in subject or theme. Much to the contrary, the embrace or even celebration of 2-dimensional surface art by working print makers calls attention to the profundity of abstract and limited representational imagery. Foley shows how much the opportunity for suggestion and meaning in her work depends on the invitation to the viewer inherent in abstraction.

"Revolving" by Elizabeth Foley, woodcut collagraph, 21x21in, 2017, $600 (unframed)

"Revolving" by Elizabeth Foley, woodcut collagraph, 21x21in, 2017, $600 (unframed)

“The vibrant dialogue between shape, color, and pattern invites viewers into the work. I create spaces in which the viewer feels involved in the work: being both delighted and challenged. The colors activate the imagination; they influence and play off each other in order to shift and tilt planes of information. Overlapping transparencies create the illusion of distance and scale, as well as deepening relationships between shapes.”

Foley uses relief, monoprint, and collagraph techniques together to make unique images from the same plates – “a potential template for life balance”. She is currently exhibiting in "Venn Diagram" Work by Blake Snyder Eames & Elizabeth Foley, running through December 18, 2017 at The Grand Theater, Frankfort, KY, and will be participating in the Sixth Annual Black Friday Art Sale at Loudoun House in Lexington, December 1 from 6-9pm and December 2 from 2-7pm

Foley was also selected to be a part of the inaugural Hadley Creatives Program, a 6-month learning and engagement experience for local artists who are at a pivotal point in their careers administered by The Community Foundation of Louisville and Capital Creative.

Permanent Collections
Bluegrass Printmakers Cooperative Saint Joseph Hospital
Chase Bank, Cincinnati, OH and Louisville, KY Saint Joseph Jessamine County Emergency Treatment Center
Good Samaritan Hospital Southern Graphics Council
Kentucky One Health Alliance Tiger Lily Press
Keystone Financial Group University of Arizona
LexArts University of Kentucky Hospital
Littler Mendelson, P.C. University of Miami
May Department Store Washington University School of Art
Ohio University School of Art West Virginia University
Ohio University Alden Library

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Hometown: Wellesley, Massachusetts
Education: BFA, Graphic Design, Washington University, 1990; MFA, Printmaking, Ohio University, 1997; M.Ed, Secondary Education, Ohio University, 1997
Website: foleyprints.com
Instagram: @foleyprints

 

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"Candy Colored Sky" by ElizabethFoley, woodcut, 38x26in, 2016, $900 (unframed)

"Candy Colored Sky" by ElizabethFoley, woodcut, 38x26in, 2016, $900 (unframed)

"Coming Home" by ElizabethFoley, woodcut, 21x21in, 2015, $400 (unframed)

"Coming Home" by ElizabethFoley, woodcut, 21x21in, 2015, $400 (unframed)

"Floating Candy" by Elizabeth Foley, woodcut collagraph, 38x26in, 2016, $900 (unframed)

"Floating Candy" by Elizabeth Foley, woodcut collagraph, 38x26in, 2016, $900 (unframed)


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

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