Archive for the ‘StudioWorks’ Category

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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Although the event was last Saturday, I thought I would present a few images from StudioWorks’ participation.  The above image was the poster for the street wide celebration and many businesses and sponsors along Louisville’s famous Bardstown Road that joined in.  Our thanks to the Highland Commerce Guild for organizing such a fun event.

It is an important part of Zoom Group’s and thus StudioWorks’ mission to be involved in the life of the larger community.  Bardstown Bound was a great way for visitors to get to know, check out, and purchase the art made in our studio/gallery.  Since we are currently only open during the business week, this was also an opportunity for folks who wanted to visit us to do so.

The event was a light-hearted gathering and a good excuse to have a sale.  The StudioWorks artists have been so productive that we have art literally everywhere inside the building!  To further entice visitors, we gave an additional 20% off our already modest prices.  Remember at StudioWorks, the artists receive an 80% commission on all sold art works.  Sales were good during Bardstown Bound and nearly every artist sold work.

Although it was a busy Saturday, many of our artists were able to attend and show off their works to friends and visitors.  Here Carol (in the blue pants) talks about her wonderful embroideries framed and hanging on the gallery’s walls.  Our artists are really proud of StudioWorks and have responded by making some of their best works yet.  The space is so nice that we have had many inquiries from other artists with developmental disabilities who would like to have a chance to work with our talented staff and volunteers.

The Zoom Group staff were supportive and came out for our event.  Our gallery used to be around the corner from the main office, but now we are more across town.  The company’s president, Annie Rosenberg-Sattich and her husband Steve enjoyed the many works on view.  Annie remembers when this program was just a few individuals gathered together in the back of a coffee-house.  Look at us now!

It’s always a pleasure to show off a sellection of the works that are made in our space.  We were really pleased by how Marie Vample’s ceramic tile came out.  She did a fine and careful job of glazing its surface.

On another ceramic note, here are Julie Baldyga’s wacky cat family.  This ensemble features a mother cat and her two kittens playing with their electrical fuses!  Julie also made ceramic birds and mice also playing with their respective fuses.  Julie is such a multi-talented and interesting person and artist.  For her, the commitment to art making extends past what she does at StudioWorks.  Natalie Lanier is also a fine artist and here is her latest acrylic on canvas painting.

Natalie entitled this painting “Lady Bug” and I had to photograph it quickly on the gallery’s front carpet because this work found a new home during our Bardstown Bound event!  Congratulations Natalie!!  One final shot and this shows the wonderful tissue pompoms that the staff made as decorations for the event.  They really look good from outside too!  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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Today is the first Saturday in May which means it’s time for the Kentucky Derby to be run in Louisville!  For this post, I thought it would be fun to show a few of the images that were created by the StudioWorks artists to celebrate this big occasion for our community.

This is Eric Huggins’ acrylic painting on mat board at full view.  In Eric’s vision the race comes down to a stretch run by two worthy horses!  His painting includes a partial view of the famous twin spires of Churchill Downs which are the track’s signature image.

In Dorothy Elois Hawkins’ version which is also made with acrylic paint on mat board…she features three horses.  The ever popular gray-colored horse wins this contest by a head while number 4 takes second place.

Natalie Lanier pictures the race as a run away where one great horse and jockey finishes far a head of the pack.  In her acrylic on canvas painting she also includes the twin spires of our race track, but there is a greater degree of abstraction happening.  The heads of the people in attendance are represented by dots and dashes of paint.

The actual Kentucky Derby race only lasts about two minutes.  In Louisville, however, we also have a two-week long Kentucky Derby Festival that features many fun events and culminates with the actual horse race.  Kicking things off is what is typically billed as the largest fireworks displays in North America.  It’s called Thunder Over Louisville and it’s the subject of a wonderful oil pastel on paper by Julie Baldyga.  In her image she shows our 2nd Street Bridge all ablaze in a tremendous waterfall of color.  Julie has added silver glitter to give her work added sparkle and realism.  The whole festival idea has inspired Julie of late.  This series is being done on sheets of rag  paper measuring 22″ x 30″.

Another Derby Festival event eagerly anticipated is the Great Steamboat Race.  Our Belle of Louisville is the oldest authentic steamboat still plying our country’s major rivers.  Because the Ohio River has been at flood stage during the festival…this year’s race has been postponed until June.  Julie can’t wait that long and so she made up her own boat race.

This amiable couple rendered with oil pastel is Julie’s version of the Balloon Glow derby festival event.  Again, weather permitting, an actual hot air balloon race is conducted.  Because this event has been scratched so many times over the years because of less than ideal conditions, a new event was added to the roster.  The Balloon Glow is a family event that takes place at night.  The balloons don’t actually lift off but their bags are inflated and the night is filled with color and the public can see the great variety in hot air balloons that come to our city.  Julie is also hard at work on another oil pastel of the Bed Race and perhaps the other festival events will follow? In closing, here’s a detail of Julie’s steamboat race art work.  This detail is of the musician who plays the Belle of Louisville’s steam calliope.  May all your horses finish in the money!

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Louisville is fortunate to have the galleries, museums, and visual art scene that we do and we love being an active participant in it all.  StudioWorks artist, Julie Baldyga does an amazing job with oil pastels and so when a fine exhibit in that medium by another artist is up…we have to go see it!  Here Julie admires a great piece by Louisville artist Martin Rollins at B. Deemer Gallery.  Brenda Deemer has maintained a wonderful gallery for many years and is also a frame shop of some note too!  Julie is a dedicated artist pursuing her vision and so when we work with her, it is more a matter of providing materials and letting her run with them because she knows what to do!  Here are two more interesting pieces by Julie which feature figurative portraits and machinery.

I’ll throw in a better detail of the still life within this oil pastel on paper.

Many of Julie’s pieces are set in Heaven which is an interesting aspect of some of her art.  Whatever shortcomings or difficulties a person may have faced in life…in Heaven, everything will be made right.  This piece features a figure, electrical transformer, toy locomotive and heavenly flower garden.  This is a fairly large work on paper.

Another StudioWorks artist who loves working with pastels is David Mahoney.  David has this piece up in a local show and it is one of his more amusing works!  David is quite the humorist!!  In case you can’t tell…it’s a monkey mom and baby!  He frequently works with animal subjects.

David grew up around a farm and you can see the influences in some of his chosen subject matter.  Here are two more oil pastels, the turkey was drawn on a wood panel while the three cows are on paper.

On a very different note is the art of Terry Bishop.  Terry is a very able draftsman with an intuitive sense for composition and design.  He works both with images and with geometric shapes.  Terry has several drawings in color pencil and or color markers that feature all over compositions of repeated shapes and are among his most compulsive works.  Here are two that utilize various triangular shapes.

Terry also likes to draw animals and I like the way these mysterious creatures in this drawing spread out across the page.  Sometimes I feel the multiple legs are meant to suggest motion?

Another new artist at StudioWorks that bears watching is Artis Appling.  He’s a hard worker and shares some qualities that Terry has.  Both alternate between symbolic and representational imagery.  Here’s an amazingly colorful oil pastel that Artis made recently.

To close this post, I’ll end with another of Artis’ drawings.  He frequently uses hearts in his work which always brings a smile to our faces.  Have a great week everybody!

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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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The first Friday nights in Louisville are reserved for gallery hopping along the Main and Market Street corridors.  Among the best exhibits opening this evening included five StudioWorks artists that showcased their talents along side professional artists from our community.  The exhibition is entitled “Brothers and Sisters” and was curated by Carol Mueller and produced by the Council on Developmental Disabilities’ Weber Gallery.  The exhibit benefited from the support and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The opening was a success and a large art loving crowd came to see the fruits of twenty pairs of artists coming together to share themes, collaborate, and engage in the creative process.  The five StudioWorks artists invited to participate were Eric Huggins, Carol Thorp, Terry Bishop, Nancy Anderson, and Julie Baldyga.  This post documents their various collaborations.

Our Carol was paired with photographer and curator, Michael Winters and they decided to combine their strengths to make one art work.  First, Michael photographed Carol…and then returned with his image of her for her to embellish in a personal way. Carol decided to add color with acrylic paint.

After Michael returned with Carol’s image transferred to a clear plexiglas sheet…Carol then painted a stretched canvas the exact size to place behind the photograph.  It was serendipitous that the floral design that Carol was wearing on her blouse the day her photo was taken became an important element of the finished artwork.  Carol chose bright rainbow-like colors and butterfly images to compliment the design on the photograph.  Her family really likes how this picture turned out.

Carol had some help registering the two images, but conceived the color scheme and did the painting.  Here’s the finished piece sandwiched  together and framed in the show.  Carol stood near her portrait and talked with many visitors who admired the work!

Another great project was the work of Jeff East and Eric Huggins.  Both artists are fond of using clay and are great music lovers.  Jeff initiated things by teaching Eric how to make clay reliefs.  They each then chose related, but personal subjects to interpret.  Eric decided on portraits of Motown and Blues greats, while Jeff made images of his favorite dream guitars!  First, the images were created in moist low fire clay.

Here’s a few of their designs before firing in the bisque kiln.

After the bisque firing which went well, a ceramic stain was applied to the hardened clay plaques.  Sponges and brushes were used to apply and remove the stain and then the reliefs were fired in the kiln again.

This is Eric’s finished work on display at the Weber Gallery.  Both Eric and Jeff received many compliments over their collaboration.

With their strong talents for design and color, StudioWorks artist, Nancy Anderson and fused glass artist Mary Swanson found common ground very quickly.

For the “Sisters and Brothers” show, each artist chose to submit an original work that showed a shared concern.  In this case, both artists have a formal sense for beauty which is demonstrated by the geometric diamond patterning and for the use of intense, brilliant color.  Mary was nice enough to share her techniques for cutting and fusing glass with Nancy.  After this collaborative piece was finished, Mary gifted the glass art work to Nancy who proudly displays it in her home on a nice stand.  Here are Mary and Nancy’s hands working together.

This is Nancy smiling proudly next to her acrylic painting and Mary’s fused glass artwork at the opening of “Sisters and Brothers”.

Of the artistic pairings, the one featuring photographer Sarah Lyons and StudioWorks artist Julie Baldyga seemed the most natural.  That is because they have been friends and admirers of one another’s work for a couple of years now.  Sarah is known for a series of photographs of women motorcycle mechanics at work and Julie frequently portrays women repairing large machines.  Both are interested in showing women being self-reliant and empowered as subjects in their art.  Sarah’s large color photograph is of a mechanic repairing an antique boat engine and Julie’s pastel features a figure and a large turbine engine. For Julie, it is a reoccurring image.  Here are a few photos of the artists discussing their works both at StudioWorks and at the Weber Gallery.

Julie and Sarah enjoyed the moment and many people were generous with their comments about their art.  Terry Bishop and I are the last StudioWorks pair.  I’ve known and worked with Terry now for nearly two years and I have always admired his drawings.  He has a lovely drawing style and his piece is of himself and his friends being together.

This is Terry’s drawing and I love the simplicity and purity of its sentiment.  My sculpture interpreting the theme of friendship is displayed next to Terry’s drawing and can be seen in the first image of this post.  I like working with found materials that I salvage from the Ohio River.  I enjoy how the elements have weathered the materials I use and I feel that nature truly plays a part in shaping what I do in a very literal sense.  Terry and I occasionally draw together, but for this show our own individual works were our stronger efforts.  I enjoy the idea that although we are different artists in many ways, we still have more things in common than not.

The Louisville visual art scene is in the process of shifting and much discussion is being generated speculating which way things will flow.  With hope, an exhibition like “Brothers and Sisters” will signal greater inclusiveness for all who enjoy making and viewing art.  The art on display at the Weber Gallery is compelling and satisfying and worth the visit.  If you are on South Fourth Street, drop by for a look see…the show continues till the end of June! 

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