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Archive for February, 2011

Winter is continuing to be a productive time for the StudioWorks artists.  Many new and wonderful images are being produced like the above city scene by Terry B.  I love the active mark making which suggests how the urban environment is always in motion.  We have been blending in new artists into our community.  For the most part, this has been going well.  There have been some growing pains, but it is more a matter of some of our artists needing to become comfortable in a new and different environment.  Our structure tends to be relaxed and for some of our artists it is also a new experience to be in charge of their own creativity.  As most practicing artists learn…it takes time to learn what to make.  Our staff can help guide that search through suggestions and the introduction of new media.  One sign that our approach is bearing fruit are all the individualized approaches the StudioWorks artists bring to their work.  Everybody has different style that you can discern over time.

Some of our veteran artists, like Julie B., are enjoying the new studio.  This oil pastel of the “Red Baron’s Airplane” will be the featured image on the announcement of our next show which is happening soon.  We will be displaying work under the title of “The StudioWorks Art Community” which will be held in Louisville at the Jefferson Community and Technical College’s Krantz Art Gallery.  The exhibit dates are March 7 -31, 2011.  Many of the works appearing in this post will be in that art show.  Here’s another Julie B. oil pastel and this piece is large.  It features Julie sitting on a love seat and her boyfriend Allan.  This piece is composed of several sheets of paper that have been taped together which is a technique that Julie loves to do.  Her works on paper grow out organically.

We have had several commissions come out of our studio lately.  Chimel F. just finished an acrylic on canvas for a client that includes their favorite snacks…ice cream with chocolate syrup!  The paint surface alone is good enough to eat!

Carol T. also finished up a recent commission.  Pet portraits are always popular and Carol did a good job with “Grainger” who is a black lab.  I love the mischievous look in his eyes and the colorful rug helps the dog stand out even more and creates additional interest in this painting.

Carol also finished another acrylic on canvas animal painting and this one features two pinto horses she loves.  This is of a mare and her colt.

Another animal lover is Natalie L.  She is also fond of horses and is an experienced rider.  Natalie prefers to abstract her subjects and this painting is bold with a rich textured acrylic paint surface.

Our good friend Dorcas has been working hard on painting in a nonobjective style.  Her paintings are getting better with their rich colors and surfaces.  This painting is entitled “Ocean Waves” and really does live up to its title.

Among our newcomers, Marie V. has painted her first canvas with us and this is it.  It combines great color painted with a fan brush and the uniquely personal element of her own hand prints.

To close, I would like to showcase two nice color pencil drawings.  The first is by Nancy A. and features her abstract geometric imagery.  She is getting very sophisticated with these diamond-patterned compositions.

Brad B. has a distinctive drawing style and he likes to work figuratively.  Here’s one of his latest images that demonstrates this to the max.  This work features many members of his extended family and is part of an ongoing series that includes family and friends.  StudioWorks is getting to a point where it is difficult to showcase all the fine art works that are being produced under our roof!  We love having this dilemma and can’t wait to show you what happens next!

Smiles to everybody!!

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We had a wonderful Valentine’s Day at the gallery and observed it in several ways.  Our space was decorated with felt and cardboard hearts that were made with assistance by our artists. 

The artists worked diligently, but when it was time for lunch and our Valentine’s Party most everybody (but Natalie) was ready to stop.  Natalie was on a roll and was having success with her paintings.  It’s amazing what a year makes and Natalie seems to be gaining in confidence in so many ways.  For lunch, we ordered pizzas and the staff provided treats and it was fun to take a break and relax.  Our program is growing and Josh Juett has joined us as a fulltime staff member and we are glad to have him! In the past two weeks we have had five new artists come aboard and their names are Marie, Bianca, Artis, Linda, and Elois.  We hope they enjoy the program with its art and fellowship!

Here’s an image of Julie, David, Carol, and Terry relaxing.  We even played games and offered small prizes.  Later that evening, Zoom Group sponsored a dinner and dance event at the Olmstead.  Many of our artists showed up and had a good time dining and shaking a leg on the dance floor.  Yours truly even tried it, but must confess that I never learned the Electric Slide or other line dances featured during the evening!  Here’s a trio of images from this memorable and much-anticipated event.

Most of the evening the dance floor was full and during really popular songs the action spread out even more!  Many people were finely dressed and a professional photographer was on hand to record the moment.

This wonderful opaque watercolor painting is by Eric H. and the subject is Rosa Parks whose refusal to sit in the back of the bus helped spark the Civil Rights Movement.  Both Eric and Chimel have entered a national, online, Black history art contest and we wish them well.  In closing, this is the acrylic painting that Chimel did of President Obama which we think turned out great.  StudioWorks is proud of both these artists for their commitment and hard work.  In our eyes, you guys are already winners.

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There’s never a dull moment at the new StudioWorks!  The activity level increases the more people become aware of this program, its artists, and this space.  Before too much time goes by I would like to remember a few more recent events.  Such as the above photo which documents the first SCL Provider Coalition that Zoom Group has hosted.  It was great to have our colleagues in the disability community gather to discuss issues of mutual interest.  Plus, we got to show off our new gallery too!

The StudioWorks artist community loved having the visitors and it was a good time to show off their art.  During January our guys were also fortunate enough to work with two visiting artists.  Unfortunately, the flu caught me the week the workshops occurred and I missed taking pictures of the processes used.  The first was with Jeff East who demonstrated and assisted our artists in making ceramic, lidded, keepsake boxes.  I will post finished images of those boxes since the work is in the kiln.  The other workshop was with Mark Bourlakas in preparation for a show at the Weber Gallery in which many of the StudioWorks artists also participated.

Mark is a nice guy and man of many talents.  Here he is talking about his sculptures at the Weber Gallery.  His exhibit is entitled “Reflections From the Margins” and is an investigation of the world of found objects and images that surround all of us which we sometime fail to notice or even acknowledge.  Mark raises awareness of this through his sculptures, photographs, and words.  For the workshop he conducted, the artists created small assemblages of found objects and embedded them in quick-setting concrete.

Lonnie made a nice sculpture with Mark’s assistance.  In this piece entitled “Door Knocker”, found objects which include these brass door elements and a small gourd are unified in a plane of cement.  We are proud that Lonnie tried this and he seems more willing to try something new since he first started with us.  Here’s a delicate sculpture by Natalie L. that incorporates a small wire dancer she fashioned along with ceramic tiles we had on hand.  The dancer in particular was very fragile.

We thank Mark for including us in his exhibition and showing us something about the materials he likes to use.  And we also want to express our appreciation to the Weber Gallery for their continued support.  The Weber Gallery is run by The Council on Developmental Disabilities and has been a big supporter of the visual arts in Louisville. 

In the meantime, we are all riding out winter by making art and enjoying one another’s company.  Once warmer weather arrives we are all looking forward to exploring more of our new neighborhood by foot.  For now, it’s a good time to finish up on projects and Nancy has been working on her first original cross stitch designs.

Nancy’s goal is to create a small wall hanging from the six designs she has finished.  She has thoroughly enjoyed working on her own art as opposed to the store-bought kits she’s used to.  Nancy loves to work with needle and thread and now we have a new tool just donated to StudioWorks!

This was the best surprise and we have to thank Sallie Read’s mother and father in-law for the donation.  We were graced with a visit by them and in casual conversation it was mentioned that this was a tool we were working towards.  Sallie surprised us with this wonderful gift that her mother-in-law purchased for us!  Now Nancy can make that wall hanging with ease and the other artists who like working with fabric have another option.

February is turning into an active month.  We have exhibits to prepare for and contests to enter and who can forget Valentine’s Day!  We have new artists who are joining us and we are looking forward to making new friends and seeing what kind of art they will make.  To close, looking through the storefront window on the Bardstown Road side, I can see two familiar friends (Julie and Nancy) through the glass and Susie reflected upon it.  See you soon.

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