Louisville Magazine

SEP 2018

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

Issue link: https://loumag.epubxp.com/i/1019738

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Page 103 of 124

LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 9.18 101 Shands began collecting in the early 1980s when he purchased a sculpture by Kentucky ceramist Wayne Ferguson. In subsequent decades, he and his wife began buying art from all over the world. Shands has continued attending notable exhibits, including the Venice Biennale and Documenta in Kassel, Germany. Shands often discovers works and new artists at such fairs, as well as through exhibitions in major cities. Since Shands' wife died in 2009, he has continued to collect. e 89-year-old plans to give the collection to the Speed Art Museum when he dies. (He declined to disclose its value.) Shands says he is grateful for his opportunities to travel, and that with his foundation he wanted regional artists to have the same chances. "Al was thinking about setting up a foundation," says Great Meadows director Julien Robson. "He said, 'Why don't I have more regional artists in my collection?'" Robson was the Speed Art Museum's first full-time contemporary-art curator, from 2000 to 2008, and he has helped Shands manage his collection for the past six years. Robson says Great Meadows is ultimately interested in "improving the quality of art being made throughout the state." He stresses that the foundation doesn't fund the making of art in any way; instead, it helps artists see great art up close. Robson dedicates considerable time to artists who apply, helps them with their applications. "We want this to be a hands-on, friendly foundation," he says. (Shands and Robson do get outside advisors to review applications and choose grant recipients.) Mary Carothers, a photography professor at U of L who also does installations, traveled to the Norwegian archipelago Svalbard in the Arctic Circle for a four- week artist residency. While there, she thought often about coal and carbon-based fuel as she saw impressions from an abandoned mining community, watched glaciers melting and saw other signs of global warming. She began thinking about what indicators might lie in wait in Kentucky. While she has no concrete plans for artwork related to this trip yet, she says, "It's given me new perspectives on Kentucky. It's allowed me to consider myself more of an international artist more than ever before." For portrait painter Gaela Erwin, a trip to the Venice Biennale led to an encounter with a gondolier named Giovanni, who offered her a ride for a fee that exceeded her budget. He proposed that she draw him in exchange for a ride. e Italian men flirting with her as she worked gave her an idea. "It made me think about the objectification of women," she says. "I thought, Why don't I turn this on its head — quite literally." She has been working on a series of several small portraits: Giovanni, her mechanic, a glass artist. In February and March, Robson brought internationally known curator Dan Cameron to Kentucky to provide feedback to artists. "I had as advanced and as wonky conversations in Lexington and Louisville as I would have had in Vienna or L.A.," says Cameron, who is drafting a proposal for a show based on work he saw in Kentucky. Shands, for his part, is on his way to reach what he calls his "ultimate goal" — to "make Louisville a regional center of visual art" at a time when New York and other major cities are so expensive. Robson says that the smaller cities are becoming more important in the art world than they once were — as long as the artists are making art of quality. "ere is a greater interest in what actually is being produced in regions outside of the so- called centers," Robson says. "Al and I joke about all the new flowerpots, but no one is watering the flowers" — a reference to Great Meadows providing metaphorical nourishment for the region's artists. e artists see it coming. "is is a benchmark in Louisville's art history," Caudill says. "It's going to change everything." — Elizabeth Kramer FORECASTLE IS IN JULY, BUT IS SEPTEMBER FESTIVAL MONTH? In addition to Bourbon & Beyond, Louder an Life gets, well, loud the following weekend at Champions Park, with performances by Nine Inch Nails, Alice in Chains, Godsmack, Deftones, Limp Bizkit, Bush, Billy Idol, GWAR — sorry, the editor of this magazine actually likes those bands and got carried away. STEAM EXCHANGE IS A PROGRAM IN SMOKETOWN THAT INTRODUCES KIDS TO PAINTING, BOOKBINDING, SCREEN- PRINTING, SCULPTURE AND HOW TO BEAUTIFY THE NEIGHBORHOOD WITH MURALS. From left: Dave Caudill at an art park in Brazil; Tiffany Carbonneau in Soweto, South Africa; Gaela Erwin in Venice.

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