The Community Foundation of Louisville, in partnership with Louisville Visual Art, is pleased to announce that Louisville-based multi-media artist KCJ Szwedzinski is the winner of the sixth annual Mary Alice Hadley Prize for Visual Art. The $5,000 award is an opportunity for local artists to enhance their careers through a targeted enrichment experience of their own design.
“My most recent body work has been on Jewish memory, identity and legacy," said Szwedzinski. "As an artist, I am continually mindful of who I intend as my audience. I question why it is important for me to make work about Judaism and how my work connects to contemporary issues.”
Szwedzinski will use the award to visit the Jewish Contemporary Museum and the Holocaust Center in San Francisco, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Archives in Washington, D.C., and the Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana, as well as to take a course at the Rare Book School in Philadelphia.
"I believe that the act of remembering is a powerful tool in fostering empathy and breaking barriers of bias," Szwedzinski said. "It's important, now more than ever, to remind people that when true diversity is present in a community is when we all thrive."
Louisville Visual Art will honor KCJ Szwedzinski on Thursday, June 21, from 5:30-7:00 p.m. in their Portland gallery at 1538 Lytle Street, 40203. The reception is free and open to the public.
The $5,000 M.A. Hadley Prize is awarded from the George and Mary Alice Hadley Fund at the Community Foundation of Louisville. Focused on the arts and humanities, particularly visual arts, crafts, theater and the Louisville Free Public Library, the endowment has supported our community for more than 25 years.
The Hadley Prize winner is selected through a blind process by a diverse panel of arts professionals from Louisville and the surrounding area. The 2018 prize drew 40 applicants from the greater Louisville area, including Southern Indiana, whose work demonstrated mastery in ceramics, graphic design, drawing, crafts, painting, photography, sculpture, video, film and printmaking.
“Art soothes and calms our collective souls. Art causes us to question and to think. Through the years, art has been used to tell the story of those who came before. The work of KCJ Szwedzinski is powerful and will cause those who see her work to pause and reflect on this horrific period in our history,” said Louisville Visual Art's Executive Director, Lindy Casebier. “Louisville Visual Art is pleased to partner with the Community Foundation of Louisville in support of KCJ's growth as an artist and in turn share that personal growth with others in our community.”
Szwedzinski's itinerary has been designed to fuse personal history and artistic inspiration, "to synthesize seemingly disparate bodies of knowledge - archival practices for historical information and my personal inherited legacies."
“This experience will broaden my ability to make work that is rooted in my own Judaic heritage,” said Szwedzinski, “while facilitating engagement of a more universal audience.”
“It’s important for people to seek to find common ground and part of the way we do this is from remembering our collective history," said Susan Barry, President & CEO of the Community Foundation. "We are pleased the Hadley Prize will support an artist like KCJ, who is using art to begin difficult conversations around the Holocaust, one of the most tragic moments in our history."
The Community Foundation of Louisville believes that art is a vital part of a community where people and places thrive. The Hadley Prize is just one of the ways that the Community Foundation of Louisville supports local artists. Hadley Creatives is the Foundation's six-month comprehensive professional development program for working artists that recently celebrated its inaugural class with an exhibition that is running through July 1 at KMAC.
The new Kroger in Jeffersonville has extra beauty thanks to artist Carrie Johns! LVA is so happy to have helped this happen, part of our long series of collaborations with Kroger stores around our region.
The warm spring weather has reinvigorated our mural painting at the California Community Center! Friends and family joined us on Saturday to help paint accents and trim and we're making steady progress! Thanks to our friends at Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation, Fund for the Arts, and all the folks from the neighborhood who have stopped by with encouraging words!
Some of LVA's finest employees and friends - Outreach Programs Manager Ehren Reed, teacher Janet Britt and artist Victor Sweatt - have been working hard all spring on giving the nearby California Community Center a fresh coat of love (in mural form!). Special thanks to our partners at Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation, and to the Fund for the Arts and the Center for Neighborhoods for their generous support on this project.
"Better Starts Now" is what the students from Rangeland Elementary hear over the loudspeaker frequently - words of wisdom from their principal, Dr. Kiggins. So when it came time to brainstorm about their mural project, the 4th and 5th- grade Rangeland Lions decided to play with the words "Stars and Starts" and roared into action.
With direction from their fearless teacher, Taylor Uttley, and LVA educator Annette Cable, the students drew big lions, little lions, caring lions and brave lions lying under a blue sky-filled with stars.
Withe all the snow days, our 8-week project turned into a 12-week project, but with brushes and house paints in hand, the artists painted and helped each other finish their mural with tons of PRIDE!
When Google Fiber wanted to help the Neighborhood House create their STEAM Lab, Louisville Visual Art was invited to help local youth design and execute a mural to look over it! Today everything was completed and ready to be enjoyed, so neighbors and media members came to celebrate.
We're so thrilled with how great it all came together and say thanks to Google Fiber for their generous support, and to the Neighborhood House for being such a wonderful community center that is giving our neighbor kids so many ways to get involved, learn and have fun!
LVA was thrilled recently to discover that Amanda James, an Assistant Director of Young Alumni & Student Philanthropy at the University of Louisville and self-described "wall crawler" (mural fan!) ended her 2017 by visiting the trio of murals LVA & Google Fiber helped bring to life for artists Carrie Donovan, Liz Richter and Carlos Gamez de Francisco.
She credits her friend Josephine Lee for introducing her to the murals and said of them, "I absolutely love these additions to Louisville!" We do, too, Amanda! Thank you for these wonderful photos.
Children's Fine Art Classes (CFAC), founded in 1925, has remained the cornerstone of Louisville Visual Art's program. Jackie Pallesen came onboard as CFAC director in 2011, and it wasn't long before she charted a path of innovation that brought that program, and all of LVA's education department, online and into the 21st century.
She did it by building a management team, one that recognized that the long-term future of non-profit arts centered on the expansion of education programming, and brought innovation to the table. Her first step in that process was hiring Sarah Davis to be CFAC director.
"It's easy to understand what an amazing impact Jackie has made on LVA when you see the numbers rapidly growing under her leadership," Sarah observes, "but I think the most significant thing she contributed to LVA is harder to quantify. Jackie made sure programming was meaningful and thoughtfully executed."
"Both LVA, as well as the entire Louisville community, have been fortunate to have her for the past six-and-a-half years, and I can't wait to see how she brings this same energy and passion to her new students," says Sarah.
Once the CFAC selection and registration process was a mountain of paperwork that descended upon the LVA office twice a year. Now it functions in a streamlined manner through an almost entirely online registration.
Recognizing that the CFAC high school curriculum demanded an upgrade, and needing to address the needs of students preparing for college, Jackie led her team in researching what other visual art programs for ages 14-18 were doing around the country. In 2015, they launched The Academy at LVA, an ambitious advance for the Louisville community.
When Kroger prepared to launch a mural initiative for their Louisville market, it was Jackie that took charge of the project, acclimating Kroger executives to a process of issuing the Call to Artists, reviewing portfolios and original proposals, and the final selection of artists for each location over the last 2 1/2 years.
One reason for Jackie's enthusiasm for the Kroger Mural Project was that it provided a first step in realizing a long-developing desire for LVA to initiate a larger mural initiative - one that would encourage community leaders and local businesses to invest in local artists and the expansion of public art.
Lindy Casebier, Executive Director of LVA, expressed appreciation for her leadership and laying a solid foundation for the next successful chapter in the life of the organization.
There have been a long line of innovative leaders in the education department; Peg Smith and Linda Sanders come immediately to mind. Talented people move in and out of non-profits all the time, but if the hope and ambition is that you leave the place better than you found it, then Jackie Pallesen's time at LVA was certainly well-spent. The organization, the programs and the people involved can only be grateful for that legacy.
Artist Casey McKinney, who works in a studio in LVA's building, has been creating a mural for the Kroger store in the Stonybrook neighborhood. Here are some photos of his progress over the past two months as he works towards an early January installation inside the store:
Louisville Visual Art has forged a new and dynamic partnership with Google Fiber. Together, we commissioned artists for three murals celebrating Louisville's diverse neighborhoods and unique culture.
After receiving submissions from more than 70 local and regional artists, LVA and Google Fiber collaborated to select three very talented locals, all working in very distinct styles, to bring more color to different Louisville neighborhoods. Finalists were invited to submit a site-specific proposal for one mural each. The mural designs reflect each artist's vision of Louisville's diversity, independence, and optimism. The three artists are Carrie Donovan, Liz Richter and Carlos Gamez de Francisco.
Carrie Donovan worked in Portland at The Table restaurant in the Church of the Promise building (1800 Portland Avenue, owned by Kathie & Larry Stoess). “'Portland flows with promise'” is a phrase that represents all that happens in the Promise building," Donovan said. "The shapes connect the different aspects of their work, and the banner and the type express the idea of 'flow' — like the river, and like the way their work flows into the community."
Carlos Gamez de Francisco brightened up a wall on the side of the Nitty Gritty vintage clothing store (996 Barret Ave., owned by Terri Burt) in the Highlands. He sought "to give visibility to one of the most important features of the people of Louisville: acceptance, respect, and tolerance to others," he said. Burt is thrilled by his work and said, "Everyone loves it. I actually have people coming into my business to tell me how cool the mural is on the building. My business neighbors love having it represent the 'hood." Gamez de Francisco 's folkloric style is synergistic with the colorful and eclectic feel of this neighborhood, and his images reference different immigrant cultures represented in Louisville. Burt added, "The building is much more noticeable. It has become a conversation in the Louisville art scene."
Liz Richter added to the growing mural movement in NuLu on the side of Red Tree Furniture (701 E. Market St., owned by Garwood Linton). "I believe my design will help elevate the local culture as it relates to the mural scene by providing an example of a different kind of street art then what is seen around town, and from a distinctly feminine perspective. I want to make this mural bold, exuberant and engaging," Richter said. Her Kentucky Wildflower is "signifying the growth of local businesses and freethinking individuals. Overlapping, interdependent blades and flowers illustrate a community of connectivity."
Support from corporate partners, like Google Fiber, for public art projects celebrating distinct local perspectives has a significant impact on both neighborhoods and the business community.
Louisville Visual Art Executive Director Lindy Casebier said, “Public art makes a big difference in every community. We are thrilled that Louisville is one of five cities chosen across the U.S.”
We were honored to witness the unveiling of the Veterans for Peace mural at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, IN, honoring those who have served or are currently serving in our military. Printmaker and IUS Assistant Professor of Fine Arts Susanna Crum and Mariana Grohowski, Assistant Professor of English, led student and local veterans in creating the mural, and LVA was proud to do what we could to help make it happen.
Our newest Kroger mural by artist Liz Richter was installed in the New Albany Kroger on State Street this week! It's filled with gorgeous color, interesting characters (including the band Houndmouth - see if you can find them!) and fascinating history.
We rise by lifting others. Sunday was a great day as we celebrated the first Studio 2000 mural with Louisville Metro Parks. Parishioners, family, friends and Metro Council member Barbara Sexton Smith came together to see what our high school student artists and instructor Casey McKinney made happen this summer, bringing brightness back to a beautiful community.
An ongoing partnership between Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation and Louisville Visual Art (LVA) now in its third year, Studio 2000 pairs high school students who aspire to be visual artists with professional artists to work in clay, fiber, mixed media and beginning this year, the first-ever mural art track.
Students have been hard at work, under the guidance of artist Casey McKinney, creating a vibrant new mural that is sure to become a beacon in the South Broadway / Smoketown neighborhood.
"Louisville Visual Art is thrilled to collaborate with Metro Parks again this summer to provide an opportunity for these students to work with a teaching artist," said Lindy Casebier, LVA Executive Director. "In doing so, they experience firsthand the power of art to transform lives and neighborhoods."
The program culminates with a celebration of the completion of the Studio 2000 mural at Christ Way Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday, August 6.
Proceeds from the sale are earmarked to support future programming through Studio 2000. The exhibition and sale is your chance to see artwork from 19 up-and-coming local high school artists while supporting an amazing program.
"We are very happy with our partnership with LVA," said Ben Johnson, Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation Assistant Director. "This annual event showcases the talent these young adults possess. We hope people will make it out to see some of their incredible work."
We hope you will be able to join us in celebration!
Here it is on July 17, when we were joined by a crew from WDRB News:
Students use art to bring inspiration to Louisville neighborhood "WDRB's Kate Springer talks with a group of Louisville students who are transforming a section of the city with their artwork creating inspiration for a neighborhood that needs it."
Studio 2000 had a very full week! Mural students made great progress despite the heat; fiber students went wild with Japanese shibori dyeing; ceramic students dove into wheel-throwing; mixed media students began creating custom skateboard decks; and Tuesday found us all trekking around visiting artists' studios at Hope Mills, Hound Dog Press and Art Sanctuary. Whew! We are exhausted and inspired!