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Posts Tagged ‘developmental disabilities’

The StudioWorks artists have been amazingly productive over the last month and I would like to share a few images of their 2-d artwork with you.  Our artistic community has grown as the program has become better known in Louisville and Zoom Group has great plans for the future.  Currently, a new website for the company is being designed and posts from this blog will migrate over to it.  In the meantime, the spirit of our studio remains high.  We have added new artists and our former newbies are beginning to discover what materials they like and what ideas are worth exploring.  This post begins with a nice color marker drawing by Marie Vample who is getting more sophisticated with her designs.  Among our newer artists is Alexander Burden and here is a taste of the work he likes to make.

Alexander has an interesting style that merges text and images.  In fact, he likes to script stories that blend reality with fantasy.  He is also a fan of trains and likes creating pictures of railroad crossings.  Future posts are sure to contain those images as well.  The StudioWorks staff is looking forward to seeing what Alexander will come up with next.  Matthew Torstrick has been with us for a few months now and he fits in very well.  Matthew likes making his art with waxy crayons which he polishes to a high sheen.  This is one of his works.

An artist we feel that is worth watching is Chimel Ford.  Recently, Chimel had five of his paintings published in a local magazine and several of those works then sold.  He likes to borrow images from familiar snack and drink products which he then turns into wonderful thickly rendered acrylic paintings.  The next image is a good example of one of his creations.

Another artist who has settled in well into our environment is Dorothy Hawkins.  She is a sweet person who really loves to make art.  Every once in a while, she decides that she wants to do a portrait of a famous personality.  We loved the Johnny Cash painting she did and she later followed that work up with this one.  I think nearly everyone would recognize an image of the young Elvis.

Jeremy Smith likes to draw and make jewelry.  Recently he came up with this nice drawing of cardinal birds.  For him it is a bit of a departure from the fantasy and mythological subjects he likes to work with.  There is a soft side of him that really loves animals.

Speaking of animals, I would like to close with a trio of dog images.  Dogs are among the favorite animal subjects chosen by our Studio Works artists.  Carol Thorp completed two commissions for pet portraits.  One of the case managers that works with us asked Carol if she could make a couple of embroideries of her beloved dogs.  This was right up Carol’s alley and here are the results that now await framing.  Carol made real strides with this particular project.  Her needle work is becoming more “painterly” as she overlays different thread colors.

One last dog image before we call it a post and it belongs to Natalie Lanier.  Natalie is a prolific artist and a fairly good poet too.  This work recently came off her brush and it made all of us in the studio smile.  We hope it does the same thing for you!

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StudioWorks has been fortunate in attracting several visiting artists recently. This time we were graced by Ashley Brossart who is a young painter on the Louisville scene.  She brought several of her intriguing projects for our artists to engage.  Here is an example of her work.

I apologize for not recording the title of this piece, but we enjoyed how she worked this painting.  For the most part, Ashley’s work is abstract, but of late she seems to be working conceptually with art in public places.  The piece shown above involves working stencils reminiscent of bridges and structures seen in an urban environment.  Ashley’s latest project is an ambitious road trip to place small map-like drawings she has made in the American cities that inspired them.  Where the works will be displayed will depend on what she finds once she reaches each place.  On the back of her artworks will be a QR code that can be read with a good cell phone that will give additional information about each piece.  Sounds promising and good luck on your adventure.

Ashley gave an informal but informative presentation of her art and fielded a few questions.  Afterwards, she seemed just as interested in us. With pleasure, we treated her to the fifty cent tour of our facility. Our guys also love having the opportunity to show people what art they are making.  There is always something good being made in the studio.

Ashley and Carol Thorp hit it off well and Carol’s wonderful embroideries speak for themselves!  Carol is nearly finished with a double commission for two dog portraits.  She has developed a distinct preference for this medium over the past half year…that and drawing with color pencils.

Eric Huggins is proud of the work he makes and here he is showing our latest visiting artist the ceramic rhinoceros he fabricated.  Ashley seemed impressed with the variety and quality of the art work she was seeing.  All the StudioWorks artists were working on their own ideas!

We like to thank Ashley Brossart for coming and sharing a little bit of herself with us.  Soon the StudioWorks artists were back to finishing their own projects.  Here Marie Vample puts the finishing touches on an electrically hued water-color painting.  Marie has come a long way since joining us and her patience level is increasing.

Alicia Rexroat has a nice smile on her face because she’s enjoying the company of friends and making a nice necklace in the bargain.  Alicia has an open mind to trying different art forms, but creating jewelry is at the top of her list of favorite things to do in the studio.

This is Matthew Torstrick concentrating on his latest drawing.  His designs have a monumental quality to them even on a smaller scale.  We love his sense of color and how he manipulates  familiar materials like crayons and color pencils.  Matthew is a great guy and a wonderful addition to our studio.

Because of all the color, I couldn’t resist throwing in this shot of Chimel Ford’s painting table.  Sometimes it’s hard to know where the painting begins and ends.  This shot shows Chimel’s Minute Maid painting and a Cracker Jacks acrylic on paper piece he is working on.  If you like color…you might like what happened to Dorcas Kempf-Fluhr’s “magnum opus”?

A couple of posts a go, I showed Dorcas’ painting on the floor as she and the staff decided how best to use all the smaller paintings she created.  The idea was to combine many of them into one large colorful abstract work. The smaller paintings were done on scrap mat board.  We used large sheets of cardboard for a backing and attached Dorcas’ works with heavy-duty Velcro.  To close this post, here is the artist posing in front of her painting which probably qualifies as the largest single artwork made by a StudioWorks artist.  Congratulations Dorcas…you painted it!

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Before heading to the Fourth of July holiday with its extended weekend, we were thrilled to have another visiting artist!  Suzi Zimmerer, a professional artist in the Louisville community,  graciously shared her work among our circle of artists.

Suzi creates amazing images by cutting paper.  Best of all, her imagination is open and witty which came through the many examples of her art she brought to us.  Here she holds whimsical designs that seem to be part animal/machine hybrids.  Suzi is an accomplished draughtsman and much of her art is rooted in the language of drawing.  Her artwork has been exhibited all over the United States.

This is a simpler example of one of Suzi’s papercuts which seems related to the imagery found in Mexican folk art.  Suzi and her partner, Keith Kleespies once lived in Sante Fe before moving to Louisville.  One of the StudioWorks artists, Natalie Lanier,  especially responded to Suzi’s elegant images of stylish women.  After the presentation, Natalie was inspired to  create a cut paper artwork of her own!  Another StudioWorks artist, Marie Vample, really connected with one of Suzi’s collage sketchbooks.

Bradley Bohannon fell in love with the masks that Suzi made and brought along and he entertained us with his Godzilla impression!  I like that you can see his big smile despite having most of his face hidden.  A couple of weeks a go, Bradley made a very nice ceramic mask of his own.

After her informal presentation, Suzi made the rounds to see what the StudioWorks artists were currently making.  Carol showed both Suzi and Keith her newest commissions in progress.  Carol is doing two portraits of beloved pet dogs in embroidery.  Her needle work keeps getting better and better!

Julie Baldyga has been working on a series of oil pastels featuring electrical workers from around the world repairing transformers.  Here Julie shows Suzi something about her own amazing art making techniques.

This is an example of Julie’s series which highlights electrical workers switching out ceramic insulators while standing on substations?  Talking with Julie…we all learn more about electrical equipment which she likes to research on the internet.  In the following image, you can tell the workers are from India because the one on the right has a red dot on his forehead.

Other new pieces in the gallery include a nice acrylic painting on paper that Chimel Ford painted.  The subject speaks for itself!  Of late, Chimel has been on a productive and positive roll.

StudioWorks keeps growing with the addition of new artists.  Among are newest is Alexander B. who painted this scene of two people standing near a house.  Alexander likes to script the dialog and action in some of his pictures.  In this painting all his words have been covered over with paint.  We will try to get this young artist to leave a bit of the words visible to give viewers a better sense for what is happening.  Alexander also loves trains and so we expect to see some of that imagery popping up every now and then.  The staff loves the way he presents the human figure.

Bradley created a very entertaining color pencil and crayon piece inspired by the newest Green Lantern movie.  In his drawing, the staff and artists of StudioWorks have all been transformed into super heroes ready to do battle with all that threaten our fair planet.  Nobody better mess with us!

StudioWorks would like to thank Suzi Zimmerer for sharing her art work and time with us.  It is through these visiting artist encounters that our artists receive so much positive reinforcement and underscores how universal creativity can be.  We are lucky to live in such a vibrant and giving art community that exists in Louisville and look forward to other visiting artist presentations.  Before ending, the StudioWorks artists have had a series of collaborative in-house projects going on and one of them features lots of cut up fabric being braided and knotted together.  So far, Terry and Rebecca have gotten into this the most, but other artists have contributed as well.  What this fabric will become is still being decided and that is the exciting and creative part.  We will keep you posted on its progress!  Thanks for stopping by!!

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 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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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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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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