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Archive for June, 2011

 This past week Zoom Group and StudioWorks received a visit from Commissioner Stephan Hall who leads the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  For Commissioner Hall, ( the gentleman on the left), this was his second look at our art program, but the first in our new space!  Leading the way for Zoom Group is the company’s president Annie Rosenberg Sattich, accompanied by Judy Erwin and Keith Ringer.  The Commissioner was impressed by our new space and the fresh direction that Zoom Group is undertaking.  Among the projects Commissioner Hall would have seen are two works in progress that our collaborative in nature.

Dorcas Kempf-Fluhr has been working on her acrylic on mat board paintings for several months now.  Her abstract works are characterized by deep, intense colors applied with an automatic technique.  Now that a fair amount of paintings have built up around Dorcas…we all hatched up the idea that it might be fun to make one giant painting from them!  Dorcas loved the idea.

So far, the paintings have been arranged onto a cardboard backing that has been reinforced with wood strips.  The paintings have been attached with hook fasteners to the cardboard.  We have reinforced the back with duct tape.  There are a few more kinks to work out including where will we hang Dorcas’ magnum opus when it’s complete and ready to go?  Looking around our large space…there are still just a few places where it looks like it could naturally hang.  I will show you where we hung it in our next post.

The second project Commissioner Hall would have seen is a plaster sculpture in progress.  StudioWorks staff member Josh Juett poured wet plaster into a reinforced cardboard box and let the mixture set.  When it was ready to work on anybody that was interested in learning something about subtractive sculpture could lend a hand.  Eric, Craig, David, and Marie got into this project the most.

The plaster was removed using rasps and files and because the plaster was still damp, there was no dust to contend with.  Before long the idea to pierce the sculpture by making a hole through it engaged several shifts of artists.  This work is still unfinished, but here is another image of it with Katie our valued volunteer pulled into the picture.

It’s hard to believe the month of June has flown by so quickly.  There’s still more to show of the great things we did over the last few weeks.  June was also Julie’s birthday month and she celebrated it over several lunches.  On one trip to Lynn’s Paradise Cafe, she was gifted with these star-shaped glasses which she couldn’t wait to wear to the studio  See you next time.

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StudioWorks was honored to receive a visit from teachers from the Jefferson County Public School System.  Zoom Group’s Client Services Coordinator Sallie Read introduced the StudioWorks concept to these educators that were touring different sites within the city.  The tour was to provide information on the additional services available to graduating students once they leave high school.  In the foreground, a large painting by Dorcas Kempf-Fluhr awaits assembly.

The visiting educators all expressed how nice our studio/gallery is and Sallie did a great job of introducing the staff and clients to the group.  Our artists were delighted to have such a big audience to share their art with.  Here Jeremy Smith is holding “court” by his work area.

It’s very possible that some of the students these teachers work with may become our clients in future years.  Presently, we have a great bunch of artists that bring a lot of variety and vitality to what they make.  We have been following a special embroidery project that Carol Thorp has been working on and its now finished except for the framing.  This is how it began along with the working drawing that Carol based this piece on.

Carol had previously finished two needle-work pieces that featured dogs laying on colorful rugs and she adapted the rug idea for her latest art work.   Here is the artist with her giraffe in a different stage of completion.

Carol surprised us by adding a row of flowers around the completed giraffe.  I think the consensus among the staff is that this is one of Carol’s best pieces so far and her most ambitious needle work project yet.  Of course, she has lots of ideas for future work and I believe she has a couple of commissions too!  Here is a look at the whole work  and I’ll end this post with a detail of the giraffe’s head.  Thanks for visiting!

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It’s been a great week or so at StudioWorks.  Lots of wonderful art is being produced, shown, and sold.  There is a palpable feeling of accomplishment in the air of our studio/gallery that extends even beyond the walls of our building.  Recently, three of our artists…Matthew, Terry, and Nancy won medals for swimming at a meet held in Richmond, Kentucky.  Congratulations to all three and here is a nice picture with some of the loot hanging around their necks!

Currently, there is an especially nice showing of paintings by Madison Cawein at the B. Deemer Gallery.  Marie, Julie, and Dorothy really enjoyed the outing and loved the skill on display.  Check out Julie’s new glasses!

The staff at this gallery has been very welcoming and we love the variety in their shows.  We learn so much by looking at the work of fellow artists.  We have also been lucky in attracting another wonderful volunteer and her name is Katie Hall.

Katie recently completed a her BFA degree from the well-regarded Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.  She will be working with us this summer and is interested in pursuing a graduate degree in art therapy.  As it turns out StudioWorks provides a good opportunity for her to get additional experience in working with people with special needs.  Katie dived right in and has been very helpful in the studio.  As she is finding out…we focus primarily on abilities and the expressive potential of each individual.  Welcome aboard!

We also had a guest visitor to StudioWorks recently!  Sally Hardman who once attended our program dropped by to see old friends including Eric!  It was great to see her again and this was her first chance to see our new studio.  Sally was a big part of our 4th Street gallery.

Matthew Torstrick is among the fresh new faces at StudioWorks.  Matthew has been hitting a groove of late with his wonderfully colorful crayon drawings.  He finds inspiration for his abstractions from popular culture.    Here is a better view of the drawing he was working on in the above image.  It’s based on the latest version of the movie “Tron”.  What I love in addition to this drawing’s large size is the way Matthew burnished his shapes until they literally shine when the light hits them!

I began this post with a prismacolor drawing by Artis Appling who has also been making inspired art.  The other day, the StudioWorks staff were amazed when Artis completed fifteen new and colorful drawings in a single day!  We think Artis has a gift for color and composition and is evolving his own vocabulary of symbols he likes to work with.  Here are two new drawings including one that repeats his signature in interesting and decorative ways.  Artis frequently draws on both sides of his artworks.

Let’s keep the color flowing and here is Natalie Lanier’s latest.  I’m not sure of the title and so I call it “Lady with a Peacock”.  Natalie’s art has style!

Julie Baldyga’s most recent oil pastel also qualifies for this colorfest!  This is the latest in a series that features a toy model airplane and a glimpse of heaven with its pink arbor of flowers.

Eric Huggins is one of our best draughtsman.  The tip of his pencil can be so clean and precise.  This is a large study of different dog breeds where Eric is experimenting with using non-naturalistic colors.  We have many dog lovers in our group who especially like this work.

Lastly, I want to show a painting by Dorothy Elois Hawkins that recently was purchased.  Congratulations Dorothy!  By now this painting is in the Los Angeles area.  This is only one of many StudioWorks pieces that are now in collections across the United States.  Who doesn’t love dinosaurs!!  Stay cool and see you next week!

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A lunch of your choice and cupcakes are a StudioWorks birthday tradition for our artists.  It was Chimel Ford’s turn recently.  The lunch turned out great, but while the cupcakes were waiting on our kitchen counter…ants discovered them!  It’s a bit off-putting when the sprinkles start to move!  Good thing Chimel is a good sport and fortunately the ants hadn’t had the chance to set up shop.  Most of the cupcakes were unaffected and so it turned out alright in the end.  Chimel has been creating some wonderful works of late and so I will use this opportunity to share three recent paintings.  Happy Birthday Chimel and many more to you!

And a detail showing the painting’s surface…all three works presented in this post are acrylic on 14″ x 11″ canvases.

The staff really likes this painting.  At first I didn’t recognize Chimel’s source as being this old-fashioned candy.  Chimel is particularly good at matching colors and creating a compelling paint surface.  The candy’s name is its title.

I especially like the “Betty Boop” style figure of the little girl.  It’s so delightfully odd.  Chimel said the candy tastes pretty good too.

Chimel’s latest completed painting belongs to his pantheon of celebrities.  In closing, here is his version of Marilyn Monroe based from a well-known photograph of the late actress.

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One of our favorite things to do at StudioWorks is to invite artists in our community to share their art and story in our space.  Keith Kleespies was gracious in accepting our invitation and brought a box full of his art.  Keith is originally from the Cincinnati area and found much early success there before coming to Louisville.  His presentation was informal and our artists were eager to see what would come out of the box next!

Keith’s work is delightful and sophisticated and our artists enjoyed his imagery which is frequently humorous.  At all times Keith’s work is well drawn and designed.  Of late, he has been making gestural drawings and scanning them into the computer which then becomes further manipulated.  Keith shared that he is slowly losing his vision and the computer has become a tool that allows him to continue his art making.  Where his art ends up is usually far from where it began in his process.

Keith is an aficionado of the “Blues” which is evident from the above sculpture.  The Blues is a uniquely American musical form that speaks directly to life’s many experiences.  Keith’s sculpture combines the names of important Blues locations with some of its famous singers and musicians.

Here Jeremy checks out another Kleespies’ original that again acknowledges the Blues and the art of illustration.  Keith is an excellent cartoonist and familiar with that tradition as well.  To be a Blues man is to lead a wandering lifestyle and this is why shoes are such an important image to Keith.

After Keith finished his art presentation with some wonderfully designed graphic pieces in his portfolio…our StudioWorks artists wanted to show him what they have been making!  Here Keith takes in Eric’s latest drawing that is a montage of different dog breeds drawn in various sizes.

Bradley Bohannon couldn’t wait to show Keith his latest entitled “Heros”.  It’s a collage and drawing honoring the brave servicemen that help keep us safe.

We really thank Keith and his wife Suzi for stopping by and sharing a bit of themselves with us.  Suzi is a wonderful artist too and we look forward to her presentation sometime in the near future.  Both of these artists have become good friends and supporters of the StudioWorks mission and that means a lot to us.  To end, here is a small Kleespies’ sculpture made with cardboard, paint, and a pipe cleaner that displays Keith’s wit and humor.  Thanks Keith!!!

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