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

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.

Member Meeting at Pushin Studio | Bowling Green KY Artists

Our next member meeting will be at the Pushin Building Artists’ Studio in downtown Bowling Green. We’ll take a tour of the studio and chat with the current artist members about their work. This week, we’ll share a bit about each of those members, as well as some photos of their works. In the meantime, read about the studio below.

In 2004, Angie Alexieff rented 2000 square feet of space in the Pushin Building where she not only continues her own studio work for Exuberant Easel! Studio, but sublets to other artists.

Pushin Building Artist Studio is located in a small warehouse space at 400 E. Main St. For a handful of artists in the Bowling Green community, family is about coming together in a homey loft type space to make art alongside one another. In total, there are currently eight artists who have a working space at Pushin.

Pushin distinguishes itself from other local art venues in that it is a working studio and not a gallery. As a working studio, as opposed to a gallery, Pushin is only open to the public six times per year, generally for the Bowling Green Gallery Hops and The World’s Greatest Studio Tour. The artists often meet clients and friends at the studio to purchase art. Pushin was started by Angie Alexieff and is now co-managed by Alexieff and Myra Dwyer. The studio has a waiting list of artists looking for space to rent.

February Member Spotlight – Jill Gentry | Kentucky Jewelry Artisan

Were you always creative and what was your earliest creation?
Yes, I have always had something in the works. I don’t know what my earliest creation was, but I still have a cross-stitch of the Pledge of Allegiance that I did at an early age.

At what point did you say, “I’m an artist”?
I don’t know that I ever said it, but I have always felt that I was an artist.

What inspired you to become a jewelry artisan?
I started playing with gemstones and glass beads. I liked making earrings. The next step for me was to take classes with a wire instructor. I could look at wire and see the possibilities.

What is your favorite piece (of your own) and why?
I have a piece of Imperial Topaz that my friend gave me. I prong set it to wear as a pendant. I prefer Sterling Silver. I set it in Gold-filled wire. It has become my go to piece to wear when I can’t decide which piece to wear.

Do you harvest your own subject matter or how do you go about selecting the perfect stones and other subject matter?
No, I find that there are so many great Lapidary artists that I can get good quality pieces from, that I don’t feel the need to learn another skill. Selection of my stones is something that I enjoy. I like to go to Gem and Mineral shows when looking for new pieces. I will place the stone in my hand to see I feel a connection with the stone. If I am still holding it after a few minutes then I purchase it.

What inspires you, in general?
Looking out my studio window, looking at nature, a sunny day. Sometimes the rock or gemstone itself, inspires the design I wish to set it in.

If you could be an artist anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I am right where I want to be, in a place that I love. I’m at home in my studio.

What is your dream for future endeavors?
I am always looking for the next challenge. So, I look forward to someone bringing a special piece to set for them in a special way.

Who is your favorite artist?
My favorite artist is my mother, Musie Louise Edmunds Furlong. She taught me to appreciate the arts, not just paintings, photography and drawings but music and the need to be creative and express myself.

What piece are you currently working on?
I don’t have anything currently that I am working on, but there is no off switch to what I am trying to figure out in my head.

Where can people find your work?
I try to set up at shows in the Bowling Green area, but I have some pieces in Franklin, KY at the Gallery on the Square. I am looking to find another store in Bowling Green.

Do you exhibit?
Yes, I do try to exhibit at several of the Gallery shows that are put on around Bowling Green. US Bank and ArtWorks Members Only show. I have also had work in Hopkinsville Art Guild, Pennyroyal Art Exhibition.

Trade shows?

Not at present.