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Archive for December, 2010

Before we went home to celebrate Christmas with family and friends, the StudioWorks artists gathered for our annual holiday luncheon.  This year we chose a restaurant in our new Highlands home that was close enough to the studio to walk to it.  After careful deliberation, we decided to try the Cafe Mimosa with its Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine.  It was a very cold day and the thought of hot tea and a warm bowl of soup sounded great to me.

The StudioWorks artists, staff, and surprise guests took up five tables in the restaurant.  Fortunately, we had already looked at the lunch menu before arriving and so everybody had a pretty good idea of what to order.  For some of our guys, Chinese food is a new experience that we were happy to introduce them to and most thought it was very good!

It was wonderful to be able to share a little fancier meal together and our artists really looked forward to the experience.  As you can see many of them are in the holiday spirit.  Both Natalie and Terry wore their Santa hats.

After the meal, Brad, Joel, and Chimel pose for a picture.  From here, we walked back to the studio for our gift exchange.  There’s nothing like having a good meal to put one in a festive mood!

Back at the gallery, there was a present or two waiting under the tree for all our artists.  The StudioWorks program gave art supplies, but leave it to Jeremy to come up with some very personal and unique gift items.  For example, Jeremy gave Julie a toy motorcycle that made engine noises when you pressed a button.

Our friend Vickey Reed came down to the gallery to celebrate with us and had gifts for the artists as well.  Because we know Vickey has a sweet tooth, we can count on receiving some candy!  We were also glad to hear that Vickey had some success with her own ceramic art too!

This has been an eventful year for our program and moving the gallery from South Fourth Street to Eastern Parkway has been years in the making.  All our artists have worked very hard to get where we are and Zoom Group is proud of their many successes.  Here Carol is finishing up another commissioned turtle painting and David is working on his painting in the background.

Nancy has a big smile on her face because she likes the painting she’s working on.  She calls it the Rainbow People and features two small figures and a mouse standing on their own personal rugs!  The balloon is left over from a previous birthday party.

This is our last post of a most eventful year!  The future looks bright for the StudioWorks artists.  If you are in Louisville and an art lover, please stop by and check out the latest works from our artists in our brand new studio/gallery.  We are a good place to visit if you are in need of art, a smile, and inspiration too.  From Zoom Group and the StudioWorks staff and artists we wish everyone a happy and productive 2011.

 

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As busy as we were with getting our space ready for the public…we still found some time to participate in another local project.  Our friends at the Louisville Visual Art Association’s Open Doors program invited us to contribute two painted birchwood panels for their Heritage Holiday Tree.  The multicultural theme reflects how different communities observe this time of year. Other not for profit organizations were also asked to contribute art work and the results of everybody’s efforts were unveiled on December 9.

The painted and collaged panels were fitted together inside the Grand Hall of the Water Tower. The sculptural installation was about 24 feet tall!  Simultaneously, an intimate boutique of Kentucky arts and crafts was also presented for people looking for unique gift items.

Here are our two panels back at our StudioWorks location before they were picked up to go to the Water Tower.  Our clients came up with the ideas, designs, and did most of the painting.

The StudioWorks artists each made drawings that reflected some aspect of the holiday season that appealed to them.  Here drawings are laid out on the board prior to painting.

The larger of the two panels became a stylized Christmas tree based on a drawing by David Mahoney.  The honor of creating a star to go on top of our tree fell to Jeremy.  Here he is captured by the camera before acrylic  paint hits the surface.

Eric did a fine job of painting a representation of the Holy Family at the base of our tree.

Carol is a big admirer of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer and here she is painting her version onto the panel.

Nancy and Dorcas add their imagery to the tree.  All the StudioWorks artists made some contribution to this worthy project.

Staff member Rebecca Crutcher assists Terry with transferring his designs onto the panel.

At the end of the first and larger panel…we began to hit our stride.  The second and smaller panel came together very quickly and was based on an idea that Dorcas had.  She suggested that a toy train set would make a nice element to frame an image of a peaceful dove that Julie painted.   Here is the panel at its beginning stages.  And to close, here is the same painting a little further down the line with the addition of painted Christmas lights surrounding the toy train track.  We hope the Louisville Visual Art Association’s event was a success and we thank them for thinking of us to include in this fun project!

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Brad got a little enthusiastic with the over-sized scissors and before we knew it, StudioWorks’ ribbon cutting ceremony was history.  It had taken two years to find the right location to move our studio/gallery and a blink of the eye to unveil it.  Based on the early reviews…it was all worth our patience!  While I “assisted” Brad, Interim President Judy Erwin and Chairman of the Board  Shawn Herbig shared the photo opportunity.  Our event began at 3:00pm on a snowy, cold December 4.  Since it also coincided with Bardstown Road Aglow and was a Saturday to boot…we estimate that between 300 and 400 hardy souls braved the elements to share this important moment with us.  It was a great way to kick off the holiday shopping season as well and our place looked great!

Zoom Group staff and friends were on hand for our big moment.  The Mayor created a proclamation in our honor and Congressman John Yarmuth sent a representative.  The Congressman has been a wonderful supporter of our program and two StudioWorks’ paintings hang in his office in Washington D.C.  After the official business was taken care of, refreshments were served and we so looked forward to showing off our new space.

Visitors unfamiliar with our artists enjoyed the qualities found in their work.  The comments and sales were very favorable and we thank everyone for supporting us.  People also liked the idea that 80% of the sale price goes back to the artist.  Zoom Group holds back 20% to help with art material costs.  Our artists who were on hand were so encouraged by the response from the general public.

Here’s a view of one of our galleries before opening.  The StudioWorks staff did a great job of decorating our spaces.  The place looked especially magical at night.

Designers Jude Loew and Barry Wooley helped create StudioWorks’ unique look and Zoom Group staffers, Sallie Reid and Judy Erwin helped guide this project to its successful opening.  Barry Wooley Designs also helped us with our front window display and a big thanks is also due to Lisa Angell for all her hard work.

Here’s a look at our lounge area and you can see that the color orange plays an important part in our paint scheme.  Our clients love having another area that they can relax in when not making art.  Paintings by our artists hang on the walls and are displayed on easels.

While Josh Juett talks with Jeremy, Julie works on another pastel.  She has been on a positively creative roll of late and has produced several pastels images that are among the best she has ever made!  It’s a great privilege to see an artist blossoming and with Julie we attribute her success to her liking the new space.  Zoom Group’s mission to help adults with developmental disabilities experience a sense of belonging to the community is written large and high on the back wall.  Judging from the communities enthusiastic reception, our clients will love being in the Highlands.

Staff and artists worked very hard to produce new works for our unveiling.  In a month’s time, we fired the kiln three times.  Some recent ceramic pieces fill a work table in the studio.

Julie did very well with her work and the public enjoyed seeing her red-glazed ceramic bi-planes.  Once all the art was properly lit and displayed, the potential of our gallery became evident.

The day before StudioWorks’ big event, Zoom Group’s Board of Directors met for the first time in the new space.

After the board’s business was over, many members were able to tour our facility and take in a slide show in StudioWorks’  media center…

…and after that, were able to spend time talking with our artists and gauging their reaction to the company’s decision to expand our program.  We are all looking forward to being able to serve more clients that self-identify themselves as artists  and finding our stride in this new community.

Among the evening’s highlights is seeing our company’s President Annie Rosenberg-Sattich talking with Interim President Judy Erwin.  Annie has been out since last April, but will be returning to us on a more regular basis the beginning of the new year.  Judy Erwin has done a wonderful job of guiding the company and helped us all to stay focused and moving forwards.  If you are in the Highlands community of Louisville, please feel free to stop on by and say hello.  We are open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:00am till 4:00pm.  Parking is available on Eastern Parkway or in the back lot of our building accessible off of Eastern Parkway.  Our official street address is 2008 Eastern Parkway, Louisville, KY  40204.  Thanks to Ron Cooper for supplying many of the images in this post.  And special thanks to all who helped us with our move and expansion.

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Just a few days away from our ribbon cutting ceremony and our grand unveiling of the new and greatly expanded StudioWorks.  All our artists have been happy with our big space and have been busy making new art in anticipation of Saturday, December 4. If you are in the Louisville ‘area of 2008 Eastern Parkway, you are invited to stop in and celebrate with us.  This will coincide with the 25th Anniversary edition of Bardstown Road Aglow which we are pleased to be included.  We will be opening to the public from 3:00pm till 9:00pm with the ribbon cutting festivities happening at 4:00pm.

Nearly everything we brought with us from 4th Street has now been taken out of its moving box.  In a month, we have fired our kiln three times.  Today was the last firing before we open our holiday sale on Saturday.  Here Carol is glazing a wonderful Panda ceramic sculpture she made.  The pink liquid she is applying will turn clear and glassy from the heat of the firing.  Julie is especially good at hand building with clay.  She just goes right to it being careful about this material’s working properties.  On her table are various fuses, birds, fire hydrants, and airplanes that she has made.

We have more than just clay going on.  The StudioWorks artists are also putting the finishing touches on a few wonderful canvases.  Chimel Ford is one of our newer artists and doing a great job on his painting.  He likes to use snack food bags as subject matter and also does  portraits of people in the music industry that he admires.  Chimel just finished a painting of the late Michael Jackson that looks just like the pop star.  Here he is working on his most current acrylic on canvas creation.

Nancy Anderson has also been working on a painting.  I call it her “Cosmic Bubble” Series, but to Nancy, this has more to do with repeated circles.  She can concentrate very heavily on whatever project has her engaged at the moment.  She is really good with cross stitch and we hope to introduce her to doing more original work in this medium.

Of course, after the Thanksgiving holiday people start decorating for the next big occasion.  We are no different now…except we just quadrupled our space.  Last year we only needed one tree and now we have seven or eight!  Those trees, however, are not all life-size.  Susie, Rebecca, Sallie, and gallery friend Jeff Ellis have been working on the display areas facing Eastern Parkway.  I made a few Styrofoam snowmen as props and the whole winter scene is illuminated with white lights.  Here’s the girls hanging decorations in our gallery.

Naturally, so many trees require many different ornaments.  This year the artists made decorations from clay, glass (both fused and painted), and thin metal.  Susie is good at giving demonstrations of new materials and techniques.  Here she works with thin metal to produce decorations commonly seen in Mexican folk arts.  StudioWorks’ newest staff member is in this group shot.   The clean-cut guy on the left is Josh Juett who is a sculptor by training.  We welcome him aboard during this very chaotic, fun, and auspicious moment for us!!

We have been busy…but we took on one more project for the holidays.  Our friends at the Louisville Visual Art Association have asked us to participate in the making of a special holiday display to be shown inside the old Water Tower building.  StudioWorks made two paintings, but I will wait to show you the finished result later.  For now, I will show you Jeremy and Eric working on the panel during its early stages.

We have one more decorated storefront window to show you and its special because this is our window.  It faces Bardstown Road and gives us a presence on this active corridor.  This year we have asked Barry Wooley Designs to take on this challenge for us.  Barry and his associate Lisa Angell did much to help us choose color schemes, materials, and furnishings for our new space.  It’s always great to make new friends.  If you are in the Highlands on Saturday, Dec. 4…please stop by and help us celebrate launching the new and improved StudioWorks and take in Bardstown Road Aglow too!!

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