Archive for the ‘outings’ Category

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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Glad you asked!  There is always a lot going on and we are happy to share it with you!  If you are on Louisville’s Bardstown Road this Saturday, May 21st between the hours of noon and 8:00pm, please stop by and check out our latest art works.  The other merchants on this cool and busy street will be offering sidewalk sales and StudioWorks will be conducting a 20% off everything sale too.  Since we are not usually open on Saturdays, this is an excellent way to check out our program and new space if you haven’t had the chance to do so already.  We are pleased to be a part of the Bardstown Bound event which is being sponsored by the Highland Commerce Guild and area merchants.  Remember 80% of the sale price goes directly to the artist with the balance returning to the program for materials.  Here’s a recent view with artworks on the floor to be sorted and framed for the sale.

Among the new works being offered for sale are fine examples of embroidery and cross stitch by Carol Thorp and Nancy Anderson.  Both artists are doing their own original designs using needle and thread.  Here are examples of Carol’s work with a few in process shots thrown in for fun.

This is the beginning of “Sleepy-head” being transferred to cloth after starting out as a color pencil drawing.  The rainbow radiating under the sleeping dog is Carol’s version of a rug pattern.

This piece looks great in its frame and will be a part of our sale.  Carol finished a second dog-themed embroidery and this one features a Dalmatian on a colorful rug.  It will also be framed and exhibited.

Fellow studio mate, Nancy Anderson is fond of doing cross stitch which is a craft form her mother taught her many years a go.  By doing cross stitch, Nancy can remember her mom.  When Nancy originally came to us she did commercial patterns exclusively, but now she is doing her own original designs.  Here are two examples that will be on view this Saturday.  Nancy loves abstraction, color and geometric forms!

This is the square-themed cross stitch piece and now the one based on multi-colored circular shapes.  There is a lot of metallic threads in this one.  Nancy is getting faster with each new work she undertakes.

With all the color playing around these circles it reminds me of the iridescent colors you see on soap bubbles!  Nancy has also completed a triangular-themed cross stitch as well.  Within the past month we have been graced by two great helpers.  First, Erin O’Bannon is interning with us for ten weeks.  She attends Jefferson Community and Technical College’s humanities department and has a strong interest in art and healing.  Erin will be with us for about ten weeks and once she completes her internship she has expressed an interest in volunteering.  Thanks Erin!

Our second helper comes to us as a volunteer.  Her name is Mary Margaret Sparks and she is an artist and curator with a special interest in social causes.  Formerly, she worked at the Louisville Visual Art Association and we are lucky she chose to volunteer with us one day a week.  Currently, she is organizing an art exhibition on mountain top coal removal which is an issue of concern in Kentucky.  Here’s a nice image of Mary Margaret in front of the StudioWorks’ front entrance.

Both Erin and Mary Margaret are talented and compassionate and appreciate what we are doing at StudioWorks.  In return, our artists really look forward to working with them.  It’s a reciprocal relationship where everyone learns from each other.  The other “new” news is that the frozen yogurt shop we share our building with has opened!

Sweet CeCe’s Frozen Yogurt and Treats is a Nashville based business and Bill and Betty who operate this franchise also are from the Music City.  It’s great having neighbors who are supportive of our efforts and I’m sure we will support them as well!  Here’s some proof of that.

David and Eric are clearly enjoying their samples.  Here are a few more of the StudioWorks crew giving the many flavors a try and joining in the fun!

I’m sure Sweet CeCe’s will figure into a few blog posts in the future!  To close, here is a hand drawn sign that Bradley Bohannon made to welcome our new neighbors to the Bardstown Road and Eastern Parkway corridor.  Bill and Betsy were nice enough to place his sign behind the counter!  Good luck to Sweet CeCe’s and welcome to Louisville!

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The StudioWorks artists continue to be amazingly productive and have made some really knock-out artworks.  This post and the next will show just a sampling of what has come out of our studio in the past month or so.  Because there are so many compelling images, I thought it best to break it up a bit.  Currently, we have artists in two group exhibitions in Louisville.  One is a competitive juried show (“Flora and Fauna”, 930 Gallery) and the other is an invitational show (“Sisters and Brothers”, Weber Gallery) and we highlighted that one in our last story.  Life at StudioWorks isn’t all just about making art in our space.  An important component of the program is taking our artists on outings that will stimulate and encourage creativity.  It’s a good way to be involved with our community.  The first image is of Chimel Ford on our visit to Galerie Hertz.  I wanted him to see Tom Pfannerstil’s art and here Chimel poses with a self-portrait that Tom made.  Chimel had been productive and sold a couple of paintings recently.  Here are three good ones.

Among the subjects Chimel likes to paint are familiar snacks and candy packaging.  This acrylic painting reminds me of my childhood!

This acrylic on paper painting by Chimel just sold this past week.  Here’s Chimel’s interpretation and the model that inspired it.  Chimel really builds up his paint surfaces in a way you don’t associate with acrylic paint.  One final image from Chimel before moving on.  The title is right on this painting which is also acrylic on paper.

Another artist we are excited about is Dorothy Elois Hawkins.  She is relatively new to painting, but she’s doing a great job and has fun ideas.  Here’s a scene in the woods with a family of deer that is a composite image based on several internet searches for deer imagery.

We were all really blown away when Dorothy came through with this small canvas featuring a portrait of the late and great Johnny Cash!

Linda Stark is another new artist in our program and she’s discovering that she likes to make art!  That is one of the best things about our program…for some individuals, this may be the first time they have been given a real opportunity to make something of their own.  Yes, folks have been doing craft projects for years in their different day programs and workshops, but few programs encourage expression as we do.  Following are two recent landscapes that Linda made.  She is learning which media she likes and these two small paintings incorporate acrylic paint and ink.

Marie Vample has been with us for a few months now and the process of self-discovery is still unfolding.  Of late, we have been seeing that Marie has some aptitude for collage and here is one of her better pieces all made from cut magazine images pasted down on mat board.

To close Part 1, Jeremy Smith has been returning to drawing after a prolonged stint making jewelry.  This mother and child image in color ink was inspired by cameos.

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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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Last Thursday we had our final session at Glassworks before our show at the Weber Gallery.  The staff and artists from our place all did self-portraits.  Because the StudioWorks artists made colored construction paper self-portraits ahead of time, we were able to make the most from our two-hour sessions.  Many of the problems were solved and it was a matter of finding and cutting the glass to match as closely as possible our original images.  Of course, that is a little easier said than done!

Towards the end of our workshop, the staff was becoming  more adept at cutting and manipulating the glass pieces.  When it was crucial to have a piece fit just right, then we learned how to use the glass grinder.  Yes, we broke a few pieces, but overall, everybody seemed patient with this new for us material and had fun in the process too! Here Kevin gives it a go.

We divided our artists into two groups.  The first group met on Mondays and the second on Thursdays.  If you see people wearing different clothing in this post, it’s because these images were taken on two separate days!  By not trying to get everybody into the shop at once, the staff were able to offer more individual attention and we were more productive that way.

Here are a few of the self-portraits that came out of the workshop.  Mind you, none of these have been fused in the kiln yet.  It should be interesting to see what happens after the heat.  Some of the glass we were using is designed to change color once it reaches high temperatures.  Above is Nancy’s self-portrait complete with glasses and earrings.

This is David Mahoney’s self-portrait before fusing.  His work is a bit more austere, but very effective.

Brad Bohannon worked with Jonathan to produce his self-portrait.  The colors are a bit different since Brad changed things as he went along.  The teeth are created by using glass stringers and add a nice level of detail.

Natalie is all smiles as she works with Susie.  Carol Thorp’s self-portrait is in the foreground.

Sally decided to change the color of her “glass face” once she reached the workshop.  The little cups contain a pink-colored adhesive that helps hold the glass in place and will disappear after firing.

Terry made a simple face against a black background and when he was finished…he took a picture of it.  Terry likes to take his camera where ever he goes and he has a small printer for when he wants hard copies.

Here is the Thursday group again wrapping things up.  I won’t show you all the self-portraits, but it will be an amazing series!  We had a little time afterwards to look around and Jonathan was nice enough to give us a bit of a tour.  From a safe distance, we watched glass being blown and we were all intrigued by that. 

We want to formally thank Jonathan for all his help and good cheer!  I know our artists looked forward to working with him over the last few weeks and I think we will produce a nice show to cap it all off.  Here is Jonathan with one of his signature blown glass wine decanters with the swan-shaped neck.  Swan…Swanz…now we get it!  Thanks again Jonathan!

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Jonathan has been turning us on to some simple and fun fused glass techniques!  We have been able to keep to a two-a-week schedule of workshops for the month and it shows.  We have made some awesome pieces during this time.  By dividing our artists into two groups Kevin, Vickey, Susie, Jonathan, and I have been available to help cut the tricky glass pieces.  It has helped to develop ideas with cut paper collages before going to the glass studio.  This has aided us in visualizing how something could come together using the shapes of glass we are able to cut.  Carol Thorp came up with a really nice yellow cat plaque!

Jonathan is explaining to Brad how to make a simple fluted vase.  Using sheets of glass we have already fused before, Jonathan shows that under high heat, the sheet will drape itself over the form.  Here’s a picture of a vase made after slumping and a sneak peek of a nice red vase that Terry Bishop made last week.

We really looked forward to checking out our glass projects from the previous week.  So far, we haven’t had any losses.  The simple 8″ inch tray was fun to make and we have more than a few good ones!  Carol Mueller from the Council on Developmental Disabilities, Inc. came by to check out the adventure we are having.  Our invitation to participate in the GAS conference came through a partnership with the Council.  We all have been taking lots of photographs!

Dorcas has been working on some very colorful glass projects.  Here Jonathan has been assisting Dorcas with the use of glass stringers, which are thin, glass rods.  Once melted, these rods make nice linear effects.  It helps to lightly glue these rods down to hold them in place.

We are all loving this new medium because the colors are just terrific!  I think Eric Huggins made this dish?  I don’t know how well it shows in my photo, but the base sheet of glass is prismatic.  It’s different colors depending on how the light strikes it…here it looks more yellow.

Susie Sherrard has been a great help to us.  She has been more than an extra pair of hands which has helped make this experience for our artists both fun and productive.  Susie is a pretty good artist herself and is familiar with many different visual arts media.  She’s a patient and kind person which really helps in our setting.

Okay, now it’s my turn to do something different with this glass!  To get a sense of how intense some of the transparent colors are…I used a couple different sheets for filters and photographed through them.  Here’s the same scene with Susie and Julie shot through red glass…

…and now for something in a cool blue!  Our next post will have the StudioWorks artists working on a series of self-portraits you won’t want to miss!  The first workshop went off very well!  Until next time.

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Our first full week of glass workshops with Jonathan Swanz has ended and we have more sessions ahead of us as we prepare for the GAS conference exhibition the first week of June.  To allow maximum individual attention to our StudioWorks artists we have split our gang into two groups.  We are keeping to a schedule of meeting Jonathan at Glass Works on Mondays and Thursdays.  Everybody is in good spirits and our first attempts at fusing glass have gone really well!  Now it’s time to take the next step and begin more ambitious glass projects, but before doing so…here is a quick look at the suncatchers.

This week Jonathan is asking us to create images and designs on 8″ inch squares that will eventually be slumped into a small dish form.  Some of our artists are still trying to be too finicky with detailed imagery, but are learning that there are some limitations to how finely glass can be cut.  To me, there is almost a “sugary” granular feel to this glass.  Because this material is also handmade, we have made a few miscues where we run into slight variations in the glass itself and frankly this is a new material and we also expect to make a few mistakes  along the way.  We are, however, having fun in the process!

Here’s an image of Natalie holding up the glass sheet she has chosen to make something with.  This particular piece has fine black veins running through it.  You can also get a sense for the wavy surface on this glass.

Vickey is helping Sally to think through how her ice cream cone design can be adapted to this new material.  It does take a little forethought and planning, but drawing things out definitely helps.

Nancy has drawn an abstracted landscape with a sun and flower images.  She has selected some of the colors she wants to work with.  The smaller glass pieces were chosen from scrap glass bins so we don’t have to cut up our larger sheets.  We can save those for our bigger projects.

Our sessions are running about two hours in length and that seems enough time to work on an 8″ inch square.  After Nancy has assembled the pieces they are then lightly glued down to the bottom glass sheet.  The glue dries about forty-five minutes later and holds the cut pieces in position.  The work is now ready to fuse under high heat.  The glue leaves no residue.

It’s been interesting to see how some of the colors change after firing.  We are loving how the rougher cut pieces fuse onto the bottom glass layer creating a unified surface.  Here’s Nancy’s piece again after it has been fused and slumped into the dish’s form.

We had a different group of artists on Thursday.  It does take some logistical planning getting everybody where they need to be in addition to covering our home base at our StudioWorks location.  Today Kevin worked with Jeremy.  Susie assisted Dorcas and I worked with Brad.  To be truthful, everybody helped each other!

Jonathan enjoyed assisting Julie.  She has a direct and decisive way of working with materials.  Her example inspired other StudioWorks artists to create more than one glass piece on this day.  I can’t wait to see how her pieces come out!

Eric has determined where all his glass pieces are going to go.  The next step is to set them in place with the special glass adhesive.

A final image shows some of the beauty possible through the medium of glass.  In addition to having a fusing workshop, Glass Works also has a glass blowing studio, an exhibition space, and a gift shop.  These blown ornaments are available in their retail gallery and were not made by our artists.  For now, we will concentrate on producing artworks using the fused glass technique.

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