Painting

Vignette: Shawn Marshall

”Dayspring” by Shawn Marshall, Oil on canvas, 24x36in, 2019


”Dayspring” by Shawn Marshall, Oil on canvas, 24x36in, 2019

Shawn Marshall’s most recent Artist’s Statement reads:

”Painting is somewhat of a meditative practice for me; it's an outlet to release intuitive energy and let go of preconceived notions or self-imposed rules about how I interpret and portray the world. My focus on the landscape comes from a fascination with the horizon. As a "third culture kid," I grew up overseas moving often. One of the places my family lived was Beirut, Lebanon in the midst of the civil war in the 70’s. I saw violence and lived in fear. The one thing that appeared to remain peaceful was the landscape, specifically the horizon. The landscape is still an escape for me and the horizon continues to bring hope.”

The words explain Marshall’s continued fascination with the almost empty landscape; it is iconic, and almost sacred for her. This sense of spirituality in landscape as subject is not unusual, but Marshall’s focus on the vanishing point is unique. Specific details of location and season are less important, even when present, than isolating the mirage of a point where land and sky join. Is it the suggestion of wholeness in nature and the universe in general that Marshall find so compelling; that there is always hope somewhere, even if it is not immediately within reach? 

”Vivid Sky” by Shawn Marshall, Oil on canvas, 12x12in, 2019

”Vivid Sky” by Shawn Marshall, Oil on canvas, 12x12in, 2019

Marshall has pushed her landscapes into abstraction for quite awhile, and while these newest paintings are far from naturalistic, there is spontaneity in the brushwork that is a departure. In “Vivid Sky” there is a sense of urgency to the mark making, as if the artist was racing against time to complete the composition.

Marshall’s work is in numerous private collections including PNC Bank, Pittsburgh, PA, Commonwealth Bank, Louisville, KY, and the University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington, KY.

Recent Exhibitions:

February-March 2019 “Fresh Paint” - New Artists - Moremen Gallery, Louisville, KY

2018 Open Studio Weekend Juried Exhibition - Cressman Center for Visual Arts, Louisville, KY

Louisville Visual Art Juried Art Exhibition, 2018 Portland Art & Heritage Fair, Louisville, KY

Photo: Jessica Ebelhar

Photo: Jessica Ebelhar

Marshall is a member of ENID, a collective of women sculptors named in honor of Enid Yandell. In recognition of her 150th birthday the group will have not one but TWO exhibits this fall:

ENID: Generations of Women Sculptors at the Louisville Free Public Library August 17 through October 8, 2019

ENID: Generations of Women Sculptors at Bellarmine University’s McGrath Gallery, September 7 through October 5, 2019. 

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
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
Gallery Representation:
Moremen Contemporary (Louisville) www.moremengallery.com 
New Editions Gallery (Lexington),www.neweditionsgallery.com 

Scroll down for more images 

”Summer Dream” by Shawn Marshall, Oil on canvas, 12x12in, 2019

”Summer Dream” by Shawn Marshall, Oil on canvas, 12x12in, 2019

”Stirring Sky” by Shawn Marshall, Oil on canvas, 24x24in, 2019

”Stirring Sky” by Shawn Marshall, Oil on canvas, 24x24in, 2019

”February Mist” by Shawn Marshall, Oil on canvas, 36x36in, 2019

”February Mist” by Shawn Marshall, Oil on canvas, 36x36in, 2019

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.

calltoartists2.jpg

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

Painting

Vignette: Brennen Cabrera

“Who Can Know?” by Brennen Cabrera, Mixed Media; Mixed Media; Oil, Acrylic, Soft Pastel, Charcoal, and Textile on Canvas, 14x11in, 2018, $175

“Who Can Know?” by Brennen Cabrera, Mixed Media; Mixed Media; Oil, Acrylic, Soft Pastel, Charcoal, and Textile on Canvas, 14x11in, 2018, $175

With a vibrant, graphic-novel sensibility, Brennen Cabrera’s paintings spill out towards the viewer with a confrontational force. Yet the imagery is so raw and confessional that it also feels as if we have been invited into an extremely private and privileged world.

“I am not afraid of what I express visually, explains Cabrera. “Art mostly is my voice for things I find difficult to express verbally and sometimes physically. My work mainly focuses on life, emotions, and dreams I experience as an individual with high functioning autism. My goals for many of my brutish, surreal, and provocative paintings are to spread emotional and mental health awareness, especially in people with autism and developmental disabilities. However I do believe anyone can associate with my work. I also want to inspire other artists to be bold and more personal.”

Cabrera is fearless in exposing his inner demons, and the discipline in his draughtsmenship struggles against the spontaneity that energizes the compositions. While there is a sense that the artist has given unfiltered expression to his inner self, there is also a wealth of rationality and logic in the visual relationships.

If anything, Cabrera is even more frank in the way he writes about his work. He wears his heart unabashedly on his sleeve: “Disquietude” is the breakthrough piece of my “Psychology Series.” This one sparked the inspiration to continue my emotional journey. During a strong anxiety attack, I tore a sheet of canvas off my roll, stuck it to the wall and violently smeared acrylic paint all over the raw surface. As I stood back to look at the piece I could see the shape of a face so I decided to paint a face. Then next thing I think of adding, a nude man from behind, pants around the ankles and shirt taken off. I at the time of this attack I was unhappy with my body and I was dealing a lot with sexuality and desperation.”

There is also a common use of literary references happening. “Who Can Know?” is inspired by the choral piece written by Ēriks Ešenvalds and based off the poem “Only In Sleep” by Sarah Teasdale, and
”Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” is, of course, conjures the famous poem written by poet and Cabrera’s great cousin Dylan Thomas.

01D41F28-D133-459D-BF5C-CCFBED6CBEE3.jpeg

Currently, Cabrera’s work is exhibited alongside Herb Bradshaw, Lynn Dunbar, Claudia Hammer, Gibbs Rounsavall, and Frank Weisberg in Art in City Hall, a yearlong group exhibition that runs till August 2019.

2017 - StudioWorks, “BAFOL Arts Showcase” Louisville, KY. USA.

2017 - StudioWorks “Connecting Community Through Creativity” Louisville, KY. USA.

  

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: High School Diploma from Waggener Traditional High School (Class of 2015)
Instagram: brennencabreraart

Scroll down for more images

”Disquietitude” by Brennen Cabrera, Mixed Media; Oil, Acrylic, Charcoal, and Textile on Raw Canvas, 56x36in, 2018, $1000


”Disquietitude” by Brennen Cabrera, Mixed Media; Oil, Acrylic, Charcoal, and Textile on Raw Canvas, 56x36in, 2018, $1000

“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” by Brennen Cabrera, Acrylic on Canvas, 20x16in, 2019, $250

“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” by Brennen Cabrera, Acrylic on Canvas, 20x16in, 2019, $250

“As the Ball Drops” by Brennen Cabrera, Mixed Media; Oil, Acrylic, and Soft Pastel on Canvas, 60x75in, 2019, $2000

“As the Ball Drops” by Brennen Cabrera, Mixed Media; Oil, Acrylic, and Soft Pastel on Canvas, 60x75in, 2019, $2000

“Nightlife” by Brennen Cabrera, Mixed Media; Oil, Acrylic, Soft Pastel, Wrapper, and Shirt Scraps on Canvas, 14x11in, 2018, $175

“Nightlife” by Brennen Cabrera, Mixed Media; Oil, Acrylic, Soft Pastel, Wrapper, and Shirt Scraps on Canvas, 14x11in, 2018, $175


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.

calltoartists6.jpg

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

 

Sculpture, Public Art

Legacy: Marvin Finn (1913-2007)

“A Flock of Finns” at the Louisville Waterfront

“A Flock of Finns” at the Louisville Waterfront

When I was a student at the long ago-defunct Louisville School of Art, the school gallery in the Cloisters building hosted an early exhibition of the work of Marvin Finn. I remember the gallery being filled with a menagerie of wooden animals (I purchased a small bull for $11), but also intricately tooled machines: monolithic cranes, personable bulldozers, and magnificent biplanes hung from the ceiling at daredevil angles. The retired African American gentleman making all of this within the confines of his tiny Shelby Street home in the Clarksdale housing “projects” was the talk of the town, and his work was collected by the wealthy and powerful.  

Finn embodies the meaning of the Folk Art aesthetic. His love of carving wood came from watching his sharecropper father whittle as a young boy in Clio, Alabama, and his lack of any formal art education and adherence to simple forms fits the concept perfectly. He spent many years making wooden toys for his children and grandchildren so that there was also a purity in the motivation.

Marvin Finn photographed by Geoff Carr.

Marvin Finn photographed by Geoff Carr.

“There were ten boys and two girls in my family, and most of them older than I was, so I didn’t have toys except I made them,” said Finn when recalling his childhood on the farm in Clio. “I thought my old man was everything. When I was little I stood right up under him when he was whittling, and I learned it from him. I always tried to make my own toys when I was coming up as a kid. Anything that looked like a toy I would go into the woods and find me a tree and make it. But I remember a lot of Christmases when I never even seen me a toy.” (1)

After first exhibiting at the Kentuckiana Hobby and Gift Show in 1972, Finn’s profile rose over the next ten years, even though his prices did not. In the 1980’s the show at LSA and attention from the newly formed Kentucky Art and Craft Foundation (now KMAC) cemented Finn’s status as one of the most beloved and respected artists in Louisville.

Eighteen years ago, Louisville Mayor David Armstrong and an advisory committee developed the concept for the use of Marvin Finn’s work as the inspiration for a major public art initiative.

“Public art is more than an amenity in the streetscapes and open spaces in our city,” said Mayor Armstrong. “It evokes pride and awe in our city from passers-by, and it is a gift to every citizen.”

Photo: Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft

Photo: Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft

Thus, the idea for the flock of Finn’s was hatched. Dozens of owners of Finn’s art presented their originals to the Mayor’s advisory committee and 32 pieces were selected as models for the public art project. Colorful steel renditions, some as tall as nine feet, were cut out of half-inch thick steel and painted with graffiti proof paint by a cadre of artists mimicking the unique colors and patterns of Finn’s work. In April of 2001, the “Flock of Finns” landed in Waterfront Park in downtown Louisville.(2)

Finn’s work bridges traditional distinctions between craft and art. Although there is little functionality in the work, they began as toys but were almost never vessels or implements, it always expressed the naivete often associated with folk art, with a balance of rustic imagery and polished finish that enabled him to be embraced as easily by the fine art culture. The bright patterns of color were also seen as evocative of West African art, a connection to ancestry that is another important thread found in most Folk Art.

Today, Finn’s inspiration continues unabated, as many Louisville art teachers’ curriculum includes a ”Marvin Finn” project, most often in which children make their own brightly painted cut out birds.

Louisville Visual Art Summer Camp - 2017

Louisville Visual Art Summer Camp - 2017

Wooden Rooster by Marvin Finn, private collection

Wooden Rooster by Marvin Finn, private collection


(1) (2) marvinfinnweebly.com

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.

calltoartists7.jpg

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

Painting, Photography

Feature: John Brooks

“An Abyss Of Thighs” by John Brooks, 37.5x33.5in, Oil on canvas, 2019, $3800

“An Abyss Of Thighs” by John Brooks, 37.5x33.5in, Oil on canvas, 2019, $3800

Brooks_studio.jpg

John Brooks has work all over Louisville right now. He is a part of the Imagined Monuments exhibit at Metro Hall, he is showing with Letitia Quesenberry at O Gallery, and some of his paintings from a just closed show at Moremen Gallery will remain on view in a space adjacent to the main gallery (he’ll be showing there again this summer). On top of all of that, his Quappi Projects exhibition initiative, in which he shows other artist’s work in his studio in the Portland neighborhood, is going strong in its second year. He is especially articulate about the foundations of his practice and the imagery he creates, so we will let his most recent Artist’s Statements speak for themselves:

“I consider myself foremost an oil painter. This new and developing body of work represents the first time I have integrated two other areas of my creative practice - collage making and poetry - with my painting practice. This solution evolved out of what was primarily a crisis of composition: after nearly a decade of almost exclusively creating expressive faces, my painting practice had reached a standstill. I did not see a way forward until it occurred to me to utilize my collages - during the making of which I do not suffer from compositional frustrations - to help facilitate composition in my painting. Through this change in method and approach, I feel unbounded. The addition of poetic text into my painting has also made my work more expansive and allows for a more comprehensive representation of my artistic conceptions. In the past, I have mostly resisted incorporating text into my visual work out of a fear that it could be too leading, but as a person who writes constantly in my head as I move throughout the day, the appeal of joining my poetry practice and my painting practice was undeniable. The way in which I have incorporated text into these paintings provides a narrow window into an idea or feeling but bewilders more than illuminates.”

“Fizz Of Hornets (Betty)” by John Brooks, 42x56in, Oil on canvas, 2018, $3800

“Fizz Of Hornets (Betty)” by John Brooks, 42x56in, Oil on canvas, 2018, $3800

“For the last decade, my work has explored themes of identity, memory, death, and place, and has been centered around questions of contemplation, the expression of emotion, the transformative power and the emotional resonance of particular experiences and what Max Beckmann described as “the deepest feeling about the mystery of being.” These paintings are a continuation of those notions. Something seems amiss in the zeitgeist; a mood of uncertainty and disquiet has seemingly overtaken the world. We find these moments before in history: in 1929’s Buchmandel, Stefan Zweig wrote: “Something had gone irrecoverably wrong; he was broken; the blood-red comet of the war had burst into the remote, calm atmosphere of his bookish world.” Are we living on the cusp of such an era or has it already begun? Collage is the perfect metaphorical representation of the disjointedness of contemporary life, of this exact moment in the twenty-first century. We are at once both so interconnected and so siloed; we are so fortunate and so starved; we are so inundated with knowledge and information that we ignore it in order to remain ignorant; our societies are unimaginably diverse and complex yet we fear the stranger, the other. “

“In most of these works, I have chosen to leave expanses of canvas unpainted. This is both an aesthetic choice but also a reference to the paintings’ relationship to poetry. Good poetry says the most it can with as few words as necessary; the impact of one correct word far outweighs the impact of several incorrect words. What a poet leaves out is as important as what he or she includes. Rich and luscious, oil paint has inherently excessive qualities; many colors are made from amalgams of precious minerals and metals, and others are made from earth pigments and charred animal bones. Throughout the process of making this series, I became entranced with the challenge of working with materials that dared me to be excessive while trying to employ the restraint of a poet’s eye. In that sense, these paintings are an exercise in spareness.“

“While these works contain some personal references, experiences and particular depictions of extant LBGTQIA+ life, their objective is ultimately not concerned with the specific; rather they are meant to evoke tantalizingly unreachable atmospheres and to engage with nebulous answers to queries about the search for and ambiguity of meaning and the powerful desire for connection and sense of belonging; they approach an attempt to make sense of the constant disparate noises, voices, and directives which contemporary life seems to exist amidst.”

“Stinson” by John Brooks, 8x10in, Digital photograph, 2018, $250 (edition of 5)

“Stinson” by John Brooks, 8x10in, Digital photograph, 2018, $250 (edition of 5)

Brooks offers separate thoughts on his photographs:

“I consider myself foremost an oil painter, and it is in my painting where these fundamental themes are most  rigorously probed, but my creative practice encompasses work in a variety of other media including collage, sculpture, poetry, and photography. While painting mostly happens only in long, designated sessions, I live with and work with poetry and photography on a daily basis. I consider them to be essential to my work as an artist.”

”These works were taken with my iPhone 8 Plus and represent the first time I have exhibited photography. Locations include Louisville, Miami, the San Francisco Bay area, New York City, the Hamptons, Athens and other parts of Greece. Even as a writer, I think visually. I see in images; I look in frames. Before the proliferation of mobile phones and the vast improvements made in their camera lenses, I often carried around a Nikon 35mm camera, and later a Leica X1. In the last several years I have become inseparable from my iPhone - less so for internet access than for wanting to have the camera with me at all times. In case a bird comes; in case the light moves. It isn’t documentation of occurrences that I am compelled to capture, but rather what I feel, or see, or what I think I almost see. Permeated with an atmosphere of loss and longing, or what the Germans describe as Sehnsucht, these meditative and emotionally resonant images do not posture a sense of knowing, but rather disclose themselves as unknowing, even unknowable. Joy is present, too, and praise for the ephemeral delicateness of existence. In thinking about this joint exhibition with Letitia Quesenberry, she and I came to understand that what binds these two bodies of work together is the subtle tension between the promise of an attainable understanding and the elusiveness of the answer. There is never any arrival; understanding is just out of reach, tantalizingly beyond what is within grasp. These non-arrivals are, of course, what compels us to revisit works of art time and time again.”

“Statement of Other History” by John Brooks, 72x96in, Oil on canvas, $2200.00

“Statement of Other History” by John Brooks, 72x96in, Oil on canvas, $2200.00

Jim Zimmer / Often the Content is Impenetrable is at Quappi projects through March 3.

Non-Arrivals, with Letitia Quesenberry at O Art, 1000 Swan Street, runs through March 9.

“Statement of Other History” is a part of Imagined Monuments, an LVA exhibit for Metro Hall, 527 West Jefferson Street, runs through July 12.

Hometown: Frankfort, Kentucky
Education: BA in Political Science, Minor in English literature from College of Charleston, SC 2000; continuing education at Central St Martins, Hampstead School of Art, Camden Art Centre, London, England 2006-2009
Website: johnedwardbrooks.com
Instagram: narcissusandgoldmund

Scroll down for more images

“Wind Is Wild Now”by John Brooks, 42x56in, Oil on canvas, 2018, $3800

“Wind Is Wild Now”by John Brooks, 42x56in, Oil on canvas, 2018, $3800

“Mother(Darrell)” by John Brooks, 8x10in, Digital photograph, 2018, $250 (edition of 5)

“Mother(Darrell)” by John Brooks, 8x10in, Digital photograph, 2018, $250 (edition of 5)


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.

calltoartists2.jpg

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

Painting

Vignette: Sandra Charles

“Living Monument, Angela Hollingsworth” by Sandra Charles, Oil on canvas, 48x60in, 2019, $4750

“Living Monument, Angela Hollingsworth” by Sandra Charles, Oil on canvas, 48x60in, 2019, $4750

What makes a person royalty? Perhaps it is when they are seen in a regal aspect. Angela Hollingsworth would likely reject such a lofty position, yet Sandra Charles’ portrait of her for the Imagined Monuments exhibit places her in the same attitude that the artist has previously assigned to her series of African Queens. Hollingsworth’s humility is not absent, but it is clothed in rich fabrics and colors that connote a woman in a position of power and respect honestly earned achieved through accomplishment. Imagined Monuments, a Louisville Visual Art exhibit for Louisville’s Metro Hall, runs through July 12, 2019

“My work celebrates the self-esteem of African American women through interpretative portraiture,” Charles explains in her artist’s statement. “Each painting focuses on the expressions that represent our history and the expectations of the future. I look behind the facade of social perceptions that weighs down each of us. My work attempts to capture the removal of this hegemonic veil that covers the struggle between self and the perceived social order. It acknowledges this internal struggle as it fades away from the stereotypical norm towards a truer self. Moving away from traditional portraits, my body of work mixes this history and self together with color and stances that project an attitude of defiance. The facial expression of each woman contains the history of her progress and is a personal statement that captures the confidence of self.” 

“Cynthia as Queen of Ethopia” by Sandra Charles, Oil on canvas, 48x60in 2016, NFS

“Cynthia as Queen of Ethopia” by Sandra Charles, Oil on canvas, 48x60in 2016, NFS

Charles will be featured with two other notable African American women artists in The Art of Elmer Lucille Allen, Sandra Charles and Barbara Tyson Mosley, which will be on display at The Carnegie Art Center For Art and History in New Albany Indiana February 22 through April 20, 2019. It will showcase Charles’ vision of contemporary women who are African Queens walking amongst us, women changing the world through the hard work of social activism and public service. Their leadership is built brick-by-brick, step-by-step, against the fusillade of slings and arrows that are the daily experience in a country divided against itself.

Charles came to her painting career later in life, but since earning her BFA in 2015, she has rapidly gained a high profile in the Louisville art community, selected to be a member of the first cohort of Hadley Creatives (Community Foundation of Louisville) in 2017, granted a solo exhibit at Wayside Expressions Gallery n 2017, at Art Sanctuary for the Kentucky Foundation Of Women’s Summer Residency Exhibit in 2018, and having two paintings chosen for permanent installation in the newly renovated Kentucky International Convention Center. 

studio pic.jpg

Other recognition:

2017 Mellon-Oberst Family Award, 23rd Annual African American Exhibition, Louisville, KY
2016 Kentucky Foundation of Women Summer Residency Grant, Louisville, KY

Hometown: Hazard, Kentucky
Education: BFA, Painting, University of Louisville
Website:  www.scharlesart.com
Instagram: sandraspaintings

Scroll down for more images

”Refections of Us” by Sandra Charles, Oil on canvas, 48x60in, 2018, $4750


”Refections of Us” by Sandra Charles, Oil on canvas, 48x60in, 2018, $4750

“Pam” by Sandra Charles, Oil on canvas, 30x30in, 2018, $2750

“Pam” by Sandra Charles, Oil on canvas, 30x30in, 2018, $2750

“Restrained Dreads” by Sandra Charles, Oil on Canvas, 48x60in, 2015, $2750

“Restrained Dreads” by Sandra Charles, Oil on Canvas, 48x60in, 2015, $2750

“Fourth of July” Sandra Charles, Oil on canvas, 36x48in, 2016, $3750

“Fourth of July” Sandra Charles, Oil on canvas, 36x48in, 2016, $3750

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.

calltoartists.jpg

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