June Artist of the month, Jared Weaver | Kentucky fine arts

Were you always creative and what was your earliest creation?

I wouldn’t say I was always creative, but I have always been ‘different’. (That is one way people describe others whose creativity they don’t understand.) Both of my parents were creative. My mom was a painter- though she rarely showed her work, and my dad has worked with wood for as long as I can remember. I never had a moment when I realized that I was influenced by their creativity, but some of it was passed on. I enjoyed art and shop classes throughout my school years.

At what point did you say, “I’m an artist”?

I never saw myself as an artist until I was in college. I majored in horticulture and minored in art at WKU. Prior to that I never realized how much of a role art has played in my life. It was then that I realized how much I enjoy the creative process and was willing to call myself an artist.

What is your specialty?

I have enjoyed working in various mediums from photography to paint to wood to living trees over my creative life. If I have a specialty, it would be anything tree related.

What is your favorite piece (of your own) and why?

One of my favorite works is ‘Mother and Child’. It is a set of two pieces, one a large swooping piece of honeylocust wood that makes me think of a mother protecting her child, the other a pod carved from black walnut with a yellow wood bean, the baby, inside.

Do you harvest your own material for woodworking?

I harvest some of my own material and much of it is given to me. If someone is removing a tree, they are usually more than happy for you to haul off some of their waste. Many of the best pieces of wood for my work are not of any value for lumber or even firewood.

Do you have your own studio space? Home or elsewhere? Is it open to public?

If you can count a dusty, messy barn as a studio then yes! I work in a barn in my back yard. It is not open to the public, but if someone is interested in learning how I work then I would be happy to host a visitor.

Do you exhibit your work? yes

If so, where?

I enter my work in local art shows, such as ArtWorks, and some is for sale at Ellis Walker gallery. Some of my work is also on display at the Baker Arboretum / Downing Museum.

What inspires you, in general?

Trees! I am inspired by the natural world around us and how we can live within it. I am also inspired by good design and craftsmanship, especially in old tools and furniture. I really appreciate things that were made not to be consumed/discarded, but to be used and passed down for generations.

If you could be an artist anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

As long as I have access to nature I think I could be happy to work just about anywhere in the world. I had the privilege to see various parts of the world while in the Army and found them to all be inspiring in their own ways.

What is your dream for the future?

Well, I play the lottery a couple of times per year, so early retirement would be nice! I hope that my son will be influenced/inspired by seeing enough local artists’ works that he is able to appreciate the beauty that surrounds our lives.

Who is your favorite artist?

It depends on the day. Sometimes the unknown wood artists on Pinterest can be really inspiring. I’m a fan of weird and unusual as well as the classics.

What piece are you currently working on?

I have a large hollow stump behind my barn that has been waiting for a few years for me to do something with it. I have some ideas and doodles, but I never know for sure what my wood pieces will be until they are done!

Lynette Haggbloom, May Artist of the Month | Kentucky Fine Art

Q) Were you always creative and what was your earliest creation?

As a grade-schooler, I really loved art classes and remember that my art would get picked for the hallway hangings. My earliest memory was a drawing of two squirrels sitting on a log with a heart between them; my teacher was very complimentary. I lived an idealized childhood in a small western town.

Q) At what point did you say, “I’m an artist?”

When I lived in Arkansas I owned and operated two separate stained glass custom design studios and construction/teaching businesses. Customers regularly asked me for advice because I was “the artist.” I assumed anyone taking up an artistic endeavor would be an artist in their own right, but in reality, those professional relationships were the precipice of understanding my identity – not just as a business owner, but as an artist as well. After moving to Bowling Green in 2001 I completed my visual arts degree at WKU, which cemented the title “Artist.”

Q) What is your specialty?

Professionally, my expertise is designing and creating fused glass objects d’art. I’m lucky to have a spouse who is a fine woodworker and can build the frames I design for each piece. I also continue to create custom stained glass for homeowners, and I enjoy oil painting.

Q) What is your favorite piece (of your own) and why?

Favorite pieces of my art are the ones that make buyers happy and that sell at fair market prices. I especially like to know who buys my art and why. But today, my favorite piece of art is “Compressed” because it won Best of Show and First Place in Ceramics and Glass in the 2019 USbank Celebration of the Arts at the Kentucky Museum.

Q) Do you have your own studio space? Home or elsewhere? Is it open to public?

My studio is an apartment-type setting above my country garage where I have one room set up for glass work, and the other for painting. My studio is open to the public by appointment.

Q) Do you exhibit your work? If so, where?

Currently my work can be seen at the Ellis/Walker Gallery, 1545 Scottsville Road, Bowling Green, KY.Q) What inspires you, in general?My inspiration for my glass work comes from the night skies, our galaxy, astronomy and good design for my glass work. The light and shadow of people’s faces inspire my oil paintings.

Q) If you could be an artist anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

In the West, where my roots began and where my heart longs to be. I adore western art, the landscape, the mountains, the people, the color and beauty. I’m always inspired by the light of the atmosphere when I return home to Wyoming.

Q) What is your dream for the future?

I plan to create solid pieces of art, travel home and abroad, and continue to educate myself on style and design through visual opportunities in all realms of artistic creativeness.

Q) Who is your favorite artist?

All of the famous and not-so-famous artists of the past have a wealth of work to study, steal, and learn from, while contemporary artists are exhibiting such amazing talent in creatively genius ways, that I couldn’t pick just one.

Q) What piece are you currently working on?

I am readying a piece for the ArtWorks show this summer. The piece is an oil painting I’ve just about finished and has the influence of Alfred Henry Maurer (1868-1932) a realism painter who turned to cubism and fauvism, who strived toward pure colors, and painted women with long necks.

Q) You won the Best of Show award at the 2019 USbank Celebration of the Arts. Can you talk us through that piece of art and what inspired you to make it?

For several years I have been creating art pieces working with fusible glass, silver and other metals, designing with the atmosphere of life in the skies. Round heavenly bodies of mass and gas with fractures of pieces nearby inspired me to design a well thought-out, visually intriguing, and conversationally stimulating art piece for the discerning art collector. And, trial and error.

For more information, bio, and artist
statement, visit www.artnett.com.

Sheila Reeves, Photographer | Kentucky Artist

Our Member Spotlight of the Month is on Photographer, Sheila Reeves. Let’s get to know her!

Were you always creative and what was your earliest creation, in any medium?
I never really thought of myself as creative. I identified more with being academic and logical. However, I did enjoy creating music. I played flute in High School band. And I enjoyed sewing my own clothes, so I guess my creativity was there – waiting to be recognized and embraced.

At what point did you say, “I’m an artist”?
That has only happened recently. When I realized that my photographs could be more than a documentation of what I saw, that they could express what I experienced and felt, I began to think of myself as an artist. Also, realizing that what the camera captures can serve as a starting point has allowed me to say “I’m an artist”!

What inspired you to become a photographer?
Self defense! Let me explain. My husband, Alan, got into photography before I did. When we would go someplace, I found myself standing around waiting for him to “find the best shot” and I soon realized that I couldn’t beat him so I might as well join him.

What is your favorite piece (of your own) and why?
I don’t really have a favorite. Maybe the next one …

What is your favorite genre of photography and why?
I guess my favorite genre would be Landscapes. I enjoy capturing the beauty of creation and processing the images to express what I felt when I pressed the shutter. However, I also enjoy close-up photography because I tend to be tuned into the small details in nature.

What is your take on black & white vs. color photographs?
They both have their place, however, I usually prefer color.

What inspires you, in general?
I am inspired by the beauty around me. Travelling to new places gives me inspiration.

If you could be an artist anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Just one place? I don’t want to be restricted.

What is your dream for future endeavors?
I want to keep travelling and photographing the places I go for as long as my health allows. I haven’t spent much time out west, so that is on my bucket list. And I would love to go to the Galapagos!

Who is your favorite artist?
I don’t have a favorite one. I enjoy and appreciate many artists – photographers and painters!

Do you have a photographic series you are currently working on?
No, but maybe I should.

Where can people find your work? Do you exhibit? Local markets? Galleries? Website? Social media?
I have participated in ArtWorks exhibits and Sunny 16 Exhibits. I also participate in Celebration of the Arts and Women in the Arts. I have taken part in a couple of Holiday Markets and hope to continue doing that. I post regularly to Sheila Backfisch Reeves on Facebook, and I recently created a website reevesimages.com.

What awards or recognitions have you received recently?
I had some images selected for inclusion in the City of Bowling Green 2019 Calendar. I also had an image chosen in the top 250 in the “Altered Reality” category with the North American Nature Photography Association that was published in their “Expressions” Magazine. Most recently, I was awarded first place in professional photography at the Celebration of the Arts.

Laura McGee (Pushin Studio Artist) | Bowling Green KY Artist

Laura McGee has known she was an artist ever since first grade, when she drew a snail that her teacher said was terrific. She pursued her passion by studying botanical drawing, ceramics, knitting, painting, papermaking, printmaking, photography, quilting and weaving, to finally arrive at silk painting as her favorite medium. She learned surface design techniques from Roberta Glidden in Utah, Bonnie Bowen in New Mexico, and Susan Louise Moyer in California. Her designs are inspired by her travels in Germany, Greece, Italy and the Southwestern United States. She makes her home in Bowling Green, KY.

Terry Wilson (Pushin Studio Artist) | Bowling Green KY Artist

After 47 years as an environmental educator, Terry Wilson has retired and is devoting much of his time and energy to watercolor painting. He only discovered this interest a few years ago, after attending an informal workshop conducted by a good friend. With this new interest and his lifelong love of nature as a source of inspiration, he now is part of the Pushin Building Artists’ Studios in Bowling Green, Kentucky. In 2016, Terry won first place in the amateur watercolor division of the U.S. Celebration of the Arts, which is held each year at The Kentucky Museum. His winning painting, Mystic Waters, also qualified for the Jack Lunt Memorial Juried Art Exhibition. Since then he has won third place with other entries at the U.S. Bank show in 2017 and 2018. Having spent his professional life teaching about nature, he is now fascinated how watercolors, like water in nature, can behave in variable and random ways, and that makes it an amazing and exciting medium.

Jack LeSieur (Pushin Building Artist) | Bowling Green KY Artist

Jack LeSieur was raised in a haunted house in Brownsville, KY. He attended WKU for nine years studying everything from interior design archaeology and folk studies. He is currently employed as the director of the Downing Museum at the Baker Arboretum and also teaches a few interior design courses at WKU. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, horticulture, kayaking, taking photos, picking flowers, playing music, making art, and roughhousing with his puppy. A self-proclaimed “doer of all, master of nothing,” Jack enjoys working with a variety of materials, lending to a mixed media approach in creating. He typically adopts painting, drawing, stitching, and collage into his creations, or some mixture thereof. Jack creates everything from barn quilts to screen prints. He enjoys exploring topics in his work such as mental health, culture, heritage, sexuality, gender, and religion. Jack lives in Bowling Green with his fiancé, Brent, along with their parrot (Rubin), miniature schnauzer (Edie), beta fish (Beto), and a hoard of plants and books.

Cynthia Houston (Pushin Building Artist) | South Central Kentucky Artist

California native, Cindy Houston works in the mixed media fiber and art quilt traditions. She is a member of the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen and has exhibited in Fantastic Fibers 2017, Paducah, KY; St. Louis, Mo., Cary, N.C., Evansville, Ind., Berea, Richmond, Bowling Green, Lexington, and Louisville, Kentucky. Individual pieces have been purchased for private collections and the Kentucky Artisan Center. Items can be seen in Craft(s) Gallery and Mercantile, Louisville; Gallery on the Square, Franklin; The Yeiser Art Center, Paducah; and High Country Art Gallery in Blue Ridge, Georgia.

Cindy derives inspiration from the natural world around her. With reverence to the southern craft tradition, and sustainability as her guiding practice, she creates unique pieces of art from raw materials and bits and pieces of life. Through art, she is developing her practice in mindfulness. With this intention, every piece is a meditation, an expression of her mind’s eye. Cindy’s work in fiber contemplates aspects of our nature to see an image in a random pattern or to impose order on a natural process. Using only dyes found in nature, Cindy creates random surface designs with no particular image in mind. When the process is complete, the image emerges and becomes what the viewer–fulfilling the need to impose order–chooses to see.

Emily Hendricksen (Pushin Building Studio Artist) | Bowling Green KY Artist

Emily Hendricksen classifies her work as a mixture of cognitive surrealism, dreamscapes, and cultural iconography. Drawing from a wide range of subject matter; her inspiration comes from dreams, fairytales, and the human psychological condition. Her source material is comprised of selections from books and magazines, which she carefully cuts and assembles onto watercolor paper. Emily is from Brownsville, KY, and has been a member of the Pushin Building Artists’ Studios since 2014

Myra Dwyer (Pushin Building Studio) | Bowling Green KY Artist

Myra Dwyer is prolific and enjoys the challenge of many of her commissions from simple abstracts to the Roaring 1920s scene. She paints with acrylics, oils and watercolors. Her preferred medium is acrylic paints in abstract form. Many of her paintings will have 30 or more layers of paint and glaze varnish. She continues her studies and learns new skills and techniques with numerous artists in Nashville, TN. She has won many awards and has exhibited in several galleries. Her work is in collections across the USA and in Germany. Myra currently has paintings at 440 Main Restaurant. Her daughter gifted her first month of space at the Pushin Building Artists’ Studio in 2006. Myra is Co-Manager of the Studio (in downtown Bowling Green) with Angie Alexieff. She is the Executive Communications Specialist at Service One Credit Union and her office is at the Campus Branch.

Meet the Artists of Pushin Building Artists Studio | Art Bowling Green, KY

This is the first in our series of Meet the Artists of the Pushin Building Artists Studio.

Angie Alexieff – co-manager of Pushin Artists Studio

Angie Alexieff grew up in Chicago and Austin. She spent a lot of time watching her mother take painting knives to large canvases, creating beautiful abstract, but it took her 34 years to pick up a paintbrush. When she did she was hooked.

Alexieff prefers painting in oil, on her own hand-stretched canvas, with painting knives. She loves to paint big. Sometimes she paints in acrylic and she also paints tiny watercolor floral still lifes by the dozens. “Painting tinys is my yoga,” she says. “Painting in my studio is a completely different experience. I’m focused and present, which I love. However, I never know when I’ll be finished with a piece. When I’m working on a commission that can get stressful, but when I’m traveling, painting my tiny watercolors is just so relaxing.”

Her style is loose and usually colorful. Her mother’s influence is clear, and she’s inspired by her other favorite painters – Wolf Kahn, Hans Hofmann, and Henri Matisse.

Alexieff started Pushin Bldg Artists’ Studio in 2004, and she and Myra Dwyer now sublease to other artists. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in Journalism. Alexieff is executive director of the local beautification nonprofit Operation PRIDE. She and husband Mike have two children and two cats. They have lived in Bowling Green since 2001.