Mychaelyn Michalec is a painter living and working in Dayton, Ohio. She received a MLIS from the University of Southern Mississippi, a BA in Art History and a BFA with distinction from The Ohio State University. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Divisible, Dutoit Gallery, and SkyLab. Notable group shows include Leith Gallery (Scotland), Fitton Center for the Creative Arts, and the Cox Fine Arts Center. Her work has been featured at Saatchi Gallery’s The Other Art Fair at Mana Contemporary, Chicago and the Brooklyn Expo Center in New York. Michalec is a member of one of the first cooperative galleries in Dayton, Dutoit Gallery. Most recently she completed an artist residency at the Sam and Adele Golden Foundation.
After taking over a decade off from making work, Mychaelyn has made great progress in the last five years immersing herself both within her practice and her field. She acknowledges that this is in part because of the tremendous support she has received from her family—which is also coincidentally her reference point for subject matter. That subject being the simultaneous disconnect and connection found within domestic, shared, or family spaces.
Heather Jones is an artist, designer, and educator whose work questions and pushes traditional conceptions of both quilt making and painting. She is drawn to fabric, to its familiarity, its inherent qualities of saturated color and textural luminosity, and its invitation to be touched. Fabric reflects, captures, and interacts with light in a way that no paint can. Jones’ chooses to create paintings with fabric because it feels honest: clean lines are formed between colors through the process of being sewn together, rather than through the use of an artificial barrier like tape. By manipulating fabric and pulling it taut, seam lines shift and stretch, revealing their final placement only once the painting is finished.
She is also interested in the historical and socio-political relationship between women and textiles. She explores the relationship between gender, place, time, and culture in her work, as a way of connecting with her Euro-Appalachian ancestors who settled into southern Ohio and eastern Kentucky, many of whom made goods with their hands as their livelihood and connection to their ancestral homes.
Andrey Kozakov first studied art with his father, a classically-trained artist in the Ukrainian city of Kiev. He began his own career as a professional artist soon after emigrating to the United States. Whilst living in Miami, Florida, Kozakov learned new skills from master craftsmen that he applied to his sculptures and paintings. He immersed himself in the images and techniques of the Surrealists, and the groundbreaking Constructivism of the early 20th Century Soviet artists such as Malevich, El Lissitsky and Kandinsky. Kozakov’s work draws on the aforementioned styles in order to explore aspects of time, space and memory. His architectural paintings portray real or imagined scenes and he often plays with skies, cloud covers and proportions, to throw the viewer off balance and challenge them to look deeper into their described scenes His cabinets are life-sized, interactive sculptures that explore the idea of discovery and contains opportunities for adults or children to play, explore and imagine. In contrast to the architectural austerity of his paintings, his sculptures have a warmth inspired by their playfulness, and their design origins in the folk myths of Eastern Europe.
John Brooks // Quappi Projects
John Brooks, a Kentucky native, attended college as a golfer and ended up with a degree in Political Science and a minor in English from the College of Charleston in South Carolina. In 2005, he found himself moving to London, England with his parter, where Brooks was afforded the opportunity to revisit being an artist— a passion he’d had prior to college. Shortly after taking some contemporary/continuing education classes at Central St. Martins, Hampstead School of Art, Camden Art Center. Brooks submitted some work to a local group show and then began to forge a new relationship with the group of people that ran the space. For the last decade, Brooks’ work as an artist has explored themes of identity, memory, death and place, and has been centered around questions of contemplation, the expression of emotion, the transformative power and the emotional resonance of particular experiences and what Max Beckmann described as “the deepest feeling about the mystery of being.
For a little over a year, Brooks has ran Quappi Projects out of an industrial space that coincidentally houses his studio, in addition to the studios of other artists from the community. In a short span of time, the space has cultivated a reputation for exhibiting challenging work with the expectation that any and everyone is welcome to participate in its experience.
Jake Ford is a an interdisciplinary artist and instructor. While studying at the University of Louisville for his BFA, he developed an interest in perceptual and behavioral psychology along with other social sciences. Ford uses play to explore human sexuality, intimacy, personal identity, and how these interact and are expressed in different social situations.
Play and intimacy have always been very important to him—there is a push and pull between what is comfortable play and what is learning play. When you break it down, play is the first thing one does to place and develop their identity. Moving onto adulthood; Ford theorizes tend to use play to break down inhibitions and discover a state of uninhibited experience. That’s where he intends his work to start.
Priya Rama is an Abstract Expressionist that creates meditative and highly saturated paintings depicting the optic illusions that she interacts with during intense migraines. It was during a pursuit of a PhD that forced her to travel daily while maintaining a family life that pushed her experience with migraines into an overwhelming part of her life; making her, one day, decide to paint the optical effects associated with her migraines.
She has grown to develop this practice into a meditation, learning to subtly control the migraine to a manageable pain while she documents her optical auras caused by the pressure from the migraine; and working to manage the entrepreneurial details of being a working artist, when she isn’t being effected by pain.
When we talked to Douglas Miller we stood amongst his thesis exhibition, Title, for the University of Louisville at the Universitys Cressman Center. We discussed his practice becoming more practical since moving it home, thus making it more accessible, his interest and familial engagement in teaching, and his influences in literature, habit, and the process of creating and destroying with the same purpose.
Miller's drawings are exhibited regionally and in galleries across the United States. Additionally, Douglas does freelance illustrations as well as private and corporate commissions. His artwork is in the collection of the Evansville Museum of Arts and Science, the University of Louisville, the Speed School of Engineering, and numerous private collections. Douglas lives and works in Louisville, Kentucky.
Katy Delahanty has had a diverse background within her professional career as an artist, teacher, advocate, mediator, and case manager. She bridges many disciplines and knows that her training at Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art transformed her thinking in that she now has an interdisciplinary approach which is reflected in my interests and experiences and career path.
Katy is currently in her newly placed position as the Outreach Program Director for Louisville's Louisville Visual Art, working on Sister's of the Lantern, a collaborative graphic novel (that references the stories of the Sisters in History) alongside fellow artist Julie Leidner discussing the experiences of female activists from the Louisville area, and works with several other organizations and groups such as the Portland Museum and the Portland Art and Heritage Fair whilst working to maintain an active studio practice. Her paintings bridge personal history and fiction.
Lacey Haslam is the founder and executor of Archive of Creative Culture. As a cultural resource, Archive of Creative Culture results in a collection of books sourced from revered visual, performing and literary artists, musicians, curators, and cultural figures. We had the opportunity to sit with her and discuss her process in accumulation, how to maintain and store both the Argosy and all of the books; as well as her hope and goal of making this information as open to the public and to chance discovery, as possible.
Each book in the collection is identified as being THE go-to reference, source of inspiration or represents a pivotal moment in the contributor’s life. Nominations provided by Archive contributors are used in visualizing the creative network.Since 2014, the Archive of Creative Culture Collection has been growing through a series of nationwide pop-up exhibitions. Traveling in a reimagined 1973 Argosy Airstream, the project invites each location to identify key contributors to the local arts scene as survey creative culture in towns and cities across the US. The books collected at each location remain on-site and available to view. The Argosy Airstream employs the framework of a museum offering exhibition space, programming, events and a shop.
Kash is a painter from Ohio and currently based out of Southern Indiana. He utilizes imagery pulled from popular culture, graffiti, Abstract Expressionism, and 90's nostalgia that are heavily recognizable with the intention of connecting with a wide swath of viewers. Self taught, and having been practicing art on his own for his entire life, he is working to create commercial art for everyone.
Kevin Warth is a visual artist working primarily with photography, but also incorporating installation and fiber arts into his practice. Engaging with issues of identity, sexuality, and the body, his art is defined by his experience as a gay man in postmodern society. He often draws upon his academic background and is influenced by disciplines such as queer theory and semiotics.
He works as the Visitor Engagement Coordinator at the KMAC and leads the Visitor Services team in thinking about the artwork: how they talk to people about the artwork, and how to coordinate programming for the museum. He's also a founding member and contributor for Ruckus, a critical art journal focusing on artistic excellence in Louisville.
Scott Holzman // Chase Public
A writer, creative consultant, and at this point, an arts administrator and curator; Scott Holzman, the Creative Director of Chase Public is personally interested in seeing what can happen when people are put into a conversation with one another that they didn’t really expect to have.
Chase Public is a collaborative space for art and assembly. Their hosted events can really be anything, but it's often poetry readings. Everyone that has been involved with Chase Public has been a writer and that's where their gravitational center is. They also host concerts, film screenings, workshops, games. . . anything that makes sense to do in the space, they are interested in.
Chase Public's mission is to cultivate empathy through creative practice. They use the perspective and talent of artists and creative people, and the methodologies that they use to put their creativity out, and create a center for them to gather and share ideas and communicate.
After graduating from high school in Louisville Kentucky, Cletus Wilcox lived out of various vehicles and states while traveling the country, rock climbing, and picking up odd jobs along the way. About six years ago WIlcox began pursuing a career in painting. He was living in a trailer in Vegas, where he completed a whole series of work to be shown in Vermont. Wilcox lived in Colorado for a moment after Vegas and then purchased a house in New Albany, Indiana whilst living there.
He has since moved back to his hometown to focus on his career. He's working to create an identity within the community, rather than traveling around without making the connection. His work is predominately abstract. However, he does utilize collaged imagery, pulling a lot of figurative or patterned work that sort of stimulates a separate narrative on its own.
Bridget Ann Clark // Creative Director // Mellwood Arts Center
Bridget Ann Clark moved to Louisville, Kentucky two years ago after living in New York for eleven. She attended school, and then began carving out her life. She got a job working for fashion designer, Maria Cornejo and showed her ceramics in Cornejo's shop. Getting them written up in magazines such as Vogue and others. When Clark got overwhelmed by what success looked like in reality, she decided she needed a fresh start.
After being urged by family in the area to look into this position, Clark, with little to no management experience but a lot of guts, energy, and enthusiasm, decided to move here and take the position. Technically, her goal as Director is to cultivate more unity within Mellwood Art Center but to add, Clark wants to build it into, creatively, what it could be. From here we have a refreshingly honest look into the process of managing a facility that "has been renovated into a 360,000 square foot home to over 200 artist studios, 4 event rooms, specialty stores, galleries, teaching studios, office spaces, rehearsal spaces, dance studios, gyms, and more".
Lindsay Nehls is a "maker of arts, designs, and weird things". Which is a brief way of saying that she likes that blurred line between craft, fine art, objet d’art, intaglio printing and other ‘weird things’. She enjoys utilizing creative problem solving skills to work within the spectrum of art and design. That’s where she has the most fun.
Nehls is endlessly excited about making nerdiness fun and exciting. Previously the owner and operator of Rock Paper Scissors and a University of Cincinnati DAAP graduate, she plays around with historical and mythological subjects that hold charm and quirk in a way that's difficult to achieve but refreshing to find. She recently abandoned her day job for full-time freelancing. Lindsay privileged us with an honest conversation about the joys and struggles of working for yourself.
Julie Klear // Co-Founder of Zid Zid
Julie Klear is an art educator with a dedicated career working with children through the arts, in museums, schools, and prestigious galleries. She is also an award-winning product designer, children’s book illustrator, and painter. She was born in Germany and raised in Toledo, Ohio. Julie and her partner, Moulay Essakalli’s, passion and desire to create Zid Zid, is the natural evolution of personal and professional experiences. They are a husband and wife design team, working together as entrepreneurs in different parts of the world for the past 15 years while raising two trilingual children.
While maintaining Zid Zid, Julie is active as an artist, in that she creates all the paper-collage illustrations for Zid Zid and has continuing national exhibitions, including a current exhibit in collaboration with artist, Yto Barrada. She's worked internationally in Morocco, Bahrain, Belgium, the UAE and the USA.
John Faughender // OPEN Community Arts Center
At the age of twenty-two John finds himself managing, land lording, and curating OPEN Community Arts Center within the South End of Louisville. This small space, sitting literally across the street from University of Louisville's football stadium, is an active live-in gallery and is home to eight different artists and musicians and exhibits on a monthly rotation-- one exhibition a month, sometimes more, with concerts, open mic nights, and drawing sessions nearly every day of the week.
I found John after a stent at the Art Academy of Cincinnati where he collaboratively opened Exposure/13, the student-run gallery associated with the AAC with Danni Tellez and Blake Evans, then happened to come down to Louisville to visit over Spring Break and Mark James (one of the founders of OPEN) was actively working on the gallery. John fell into helping, and then (long story short) after moving home after his period of time living in Cincinnati, moved into the role of Curator at OPEN. For John, OPEN means access. Through working to simultaneously keep everything free admission, or donation based, OPEN has worked to maintain transparency about it's need for cash flow, and hopes to encourage and garner respect within a wide variety of patrons, especially patrons not typical to the white-cube gallery. They work to eliminate the power structure here, and eliminate the bureaucratic junk. Open, in all senses of the word.
Erica Nickol is a sculptor who finds her inspiration in precariousness, fragility, and tension. She is interested in the capacity that visual representations of these forces have to physically resonate with us. Nickol creates sculptures that combine porcelain with found objects and steel, wire, rope, and wood. She uses the contradiction of the precious, often translucent porcelain with the detritus found in America’s rust belt to tell her narrative. After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, in 2005, Nickol completed a Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 2011. From 2005 through 2013, Nickol practiced architecture, instructed art classes, was a visiting artist at the University of Central Arkansas and completed an artist residency at the Union Project in Pittsburgh. Her work has been included in solo and group exhibitions around the country and Nickol lives and works just across the river from Cincinnati in Bellevue, Kentucky and enjoys spending time with her husband and young sons.
Porcelain is her primary medium. In its range of density—from solid and burdensome to airy and light—she finds something particularly human. It can suggest the weight of corporeality as effectively as it captures the translucence of spiritual experience. Through the firing process, Nickol is able to preserve, and even amplify the human gesture that her sculpture takes on during its creation. The result is a distilled act, or sensory moment that her audience can participate in.
Jonpaul Smith is a Cincinnati, Ohio transplant, having grown up in Logansport, Indiana, a real small town about forty-five minutes north of Purdue University. Just good farm country—a “one-Walmart-town”, as Jonpaul lovingly refers to it. Having been raised in a farming community and under the influence of his father's liquor store and mother's crafting practices, Smith utilizes corporate refuse and branding to creating patterns and stories about how we identify with the things we consume.
His materials can be his original traditional and non-traditional prints, paper ephemera, and the packaging of everyday household items. No matter what material he chooses, the process begins with cutting the materials into strips of various sizes, then painstakingly overlapping or weaving them into meticulous, intricate compositions. His complex, tapestry-like constructs, make use of (and, in a sense, refine) pop culture
imagery. Smith received his M.F.A. and Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Cincinnati, D.A.P.P. His B.A. is from Hanover College in Indiana and he also studied fine arts at the University of Wollongong in Australia.
Elizabeth Foley taught the visual arts at the middle and high school level for twenty years whilst sustaining her studio practice and multiple printmaking co-ops throughout the years. Elizabeth received her undergraduate degree from Washington University and her MA and MFA from Ohio University. Upon graduating, she taught middle school and became a member of Tigerlily Press. Upon moving to Lexington, Kentucky she taught and made art as the Director and founding member of the Bluegrass Printmakers' Cooperative.
Elizabeth's work is process driven. Using relief, monoprint, and collagraph techniques together she makes images from the same plates without becoming redundant. Varying plate order, orientation, and color transparency creates altered states of an idea. Rather than print editions, each print is unique. Working in this manner reflects her thought process: a stream of consciousness and an embrace of chance. This links her disparate ideas in a logical way. Reworking the plates and thinking of the each print as an individual thought allows her to experiment with achieving a balance between intuitive and intentional decisions. Principally, the evolution of her ideas rely on process. Being in the studio and making decisions through the act of printing is critical to the resolution of the image. In this manner, making the work becomes a journey of balance in and of itself.
Catherine Elizabeth Richards is an artist who studied architecture. Her work expands the understanding of architecture at different scales; from discrete objects, sculpture and installations to city-wide interventions. Richards works between mediums, exploring architecture and perception with materials, experimental photography and video.
We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to talk to Catherine about several works residing within her space. At the end of our formal interview, you will find a link to the extended studio visit.
Christie Goodfellow is a Cincinnati-area potter. Originally from Pittsburgh, and having lived in Chicago, Tucsan, and now Cincinnati; you get a sense of earthy wholeness that only comes from living in a multitude of environments. She has been exploring functional ceramics over the past fourteen years. She has been creating and selling work as CGCERAMICS since 2009 with the belief that handmade objects enrich our everyday lives and connect us to one another. The juxtaposition of clean, simple lines with the vulnerability of form and tactile surfaces reflects her admiration of Mid-Century Modern, Scandinavian, and Japanese design.
Christie works with mid-range and high-fire stoneware clay bodies and slips that have a warm, earthy palette. Her minimal finishes and straight-forward use of glazes enhance the form and function of each piece while referencing the processes and materials used. Each piece is intended for daily use and is fired to temperatures that make it durable and watertight.
Team B Architecture & Design (made up of David Corns, Anna Kerr, Quinn Kummer, and John Stoughton) is a full-service studio located in Over-the-Rhine exploring the way in which form, space, and material can communicate with culture—designing delight at any scale. They are drawn to the displacement of rejected or discarded cultural objects, and to bizarre moments that arise from the ordinary—when glitches, mistakes, and exaggerations produce an uncanny quality in otherwise normal situations. Their work is motivated by these ways of seeing, working towards an “absurd functionalism,” or the idea of doing very ordinary things in an *extra*ordinary manner.
Erin Mahorney’s work is marked by abstracted forms, expressing in the moment emotions via the use of thick, acrylic brushstrokes on canvas. Erin was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and studied Marketing and Studio Art at Indiana University. In 2016, after pursuing a career in Sales and Brand Management at Procter & Gamble, she decidedly quit and pursued a life as a painter.
As a young child, Mahorney developed a methodical nature and deep curiosity regarding other cultures and ways of life. She sought to fulfill that curiosity by traveling and attempting to live in all corners of the world. Her travels, paired with her acute attention to detail and observations of everyday life, provide numerous accounts and emotions which serve as artistic inspiration. Her work exists as free and intuitive compositions made up of large blocks of neutral color and texture contrasted by unexpected pops of saturated color. Inspired by moments spent in nature and the exploration of interpersonal boundaries - desperately holding onto some, while releasing others. Through her work she examines the contrast between the gain and release of control that comes with the choice to live with vulnerable, raw intention.
Richard Sullivan is an artist and former professional baseball player with the Atlanta Braves. Born and raised in Louisville, KY, he studied at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) where he received a BFA in Illustration. He had the opportunity to play baseball at SCAD and to continue his interest in art and illustration. In 2008, Richard was drafted by the Braves in the 11th round as a junior and played 6 years of minor league baseball. He returned to SCAD in 2014 to finish his degree and focus exclusively on his artwork.
His work has been accepted into the permanent collection of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Yogi Berra Museum and exhibited by the Louisville Slugger Museum and the Kentucky Derby Museum. Over a dozen Major League Baseball players, including Tom Glavine have started collecting his work. Coca Cola recently commissioned him to create a special 75th Anniversary painting for USO.
As a pitcher, that sense of demand and expectation was something that made him feel alive. Doing these sports paintings is a way for him to bridge a gap between his career in illustration and that feeling that pitching provided.
Originally from Nigeria; Yetunde and her family moved to the United States when she was thirteen, landing in Morgantown, West Virginia. As a child of immigrant parents the only career options [in their minds] were doctor, engineer, or lawyer. Yetunde knew that wasn't going to be the life for her. She bounced around for a few years. She ended up attending Hampton University in Virginia, a Historically Black College. She was still unsure as to what she wanted to do, but she ended up studying Design.
Yetunde has a deep rooted love of home and an eye for naturalistic, homey, handmade design elements. Outside of some freelance work, she never ended up getting a job in graphic design. Thank goodness because her handmade elements are too lovely for digitalization.
Gibbs Rounsavall compares his studio practice to that of a scientific exploration embracing the thrill of discovery. The focus of his study has primarily been on relationships between shape and color. One of his bedrock principles as an artist is that color has such strong associative powers that it can transport us through time: eliciting memories while simultaneously suspending the perception of reality. Although his paintings may appear computer generated, all work is hand painted and drawn, with a closer look revealing faltering lines and imperfections. This is a reflection of his own capacity for self-awareness in the moment where an impulse to make a specific kind of mark reveals itself.
Emily Hanako Momohara
Emily Hanako Momohara is a lens-based artist, activist, and teacher who makes sculptural photography about multicultural identities. She is Associate Professor of Art at the Art Academy of Cincinnati where she chairs the photography major. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, most notably at the Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA) in a two-person show titled Sugar Islands (2015), and the 2015 Chongqing Photography and Video Biennial (Chongqing, China). She received an Ohio Arts Council Excellence Award in 2011 and has been a visiting artist at several residency programs including the Center for Photography at Woodstock (Woodstock, NY), Headlands Center for the Arts (Sausalito, CA), Fine Arts Work Center (Provincetown, MA), and Red Gate Gallery (Beijing, China).
As the chief operating officer of Manifest, Jason is involved in every aspect of the organization and oversees all programs. On the ground he coordinates the project submission process, jury process, and programming for exhibits and books as well as serving as the organization's primary grant writer. He is the first point of contact for most communications regarding projects and Manifest's programming and philosophy.
Alongside his team members Jason has been able to turn a student ran gallery into a internationally recognized, well, neighborhood gallery for the world.
The designer working under the pseudonym, loner, applies Arte Povera practices to couture fashion. He utilizes tee shirts both bought in bulk, as well as more specific items found at huge box stores such as Wal-Mart as well as gas stations and truck stops. He evokes irony and nihilistic humor on Americana tees in order to discuss politics, and show support for protest groups such as Black Lives Matter and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
loner always had a quirky fashion aesthetic—and when he got into some trouble doing graffiti in the last city that him and his family were living; he decided that he didn’t want to be tried as an adult and so he needed to figure out a way to get his work out, so he figured making clothing was a good way to execute that.
Tim Faulkner + Margaret Archambault
Tim Faulkner Gallery
In May of 2006 Tim Faulkner was forced to relocate from New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina, for a minute he had intention of moving back after everything settled down. In December of 2007 he opened the first location of Tim Faulkner Gallery out of a 140 square foot room on the third floor of a building on the 800 block of the East Market District in Louisville, Kentucky. After some time, he moved the space a couple of blocks away, met Margaret whom then joined the gallery.
In December of this year, Tim Faulkner Gallery will be celebrating 10 years. In those ten years, Tim and Margaret have welcomed hundreds of artists, poets, musicians, and non profits into their truly communal and experimental space. We got the opportunity to chat about the difficulties and praises of owning a gallery, designing exhibitions, being artists, and the importance of knowing when to shut the f' up and just follow the rules.
Matthew McDole is a skateboarder, illustrator, painter and screen printer, originally from Bedford, Kentucky, now living and working in Louisville. He is currently a part of an exhibition at the Kentucky Museum of Arts and Crafts, Sing, Don't Cry, and has exhibited at the Green Building gallery and in 2016 he was the winning participant of ARTLIK NuLu, a 10-artist collaboration with local businesses in the NuLu neighborhood. Commissioned works include record covers, t-shirts, business logos, and site-specific public and private installations. Matt makes personal, observational paintings compositionally influenced by tattoo shop flash sheets, skateboard culture, and a preoccupation of death that developed during his youth as a child of Southern Baptist parents.
Colleen Clines + Maggie Clines
Colleen Clines (CEO / Co-Founder) and Maggie Clines (Creative Director), sisters whom spearhead Anchal Project, utilize their backgrounds in design to be a force in social entrepreneurship and global (as well as local) social change. Anchal Project is a non profit social enterprise based out of Louisville, Kentucky. Anchal works with women in India whom have been caught up in the sex trade industry, providing a holistic program that provides jobs in textiles as an alternative livelihood option. In 2010 they officially received their 501 (c)3 status. At this point they are working with one hundred and thirty artisans and growing at an ambitious rate.
Nora Christensen + Shawn Hennessey
Squallis Puppeteers is a collective of local artists and performers dedicated to the handmade and the homespun. They have been making puppets, performing, and teaching children (and adults) in Louisville, Kentucky since 1997. When Nora had her daughter, Stella, she decided that she (and her two other founders at the time) needed to start making money off of this thing. So in 2003 they became a non profit and received their 501 (c) status, got a board, and got all businessy. They began doing educational programming and working with kids— it was a lot of learning in the moment and answering the phone and saying ‘yes’ without really knowing what they were doing-- but they loved every second. Squallis is made mostly of volunteers who have a real passion for their mission, but is spear headed in business and design by Nora Christensen and Shawn Hennessey. It is their hybridization of the academic, folksy, philosophical, punk, and low-fi aesthetics (and in weird ways, visual characterization of Louisville, Kentucky) that have made them a beloved contribution to this city's charm. We got to sit with Nora and Shawn, as well as their Administrative Assistant, Julia Davis, and talk about their history and love for what they do.
Maxime Van Melkebeke
curator / Offspace.xyz
Maxime is an independent curator who lives and works in New York. He received his MA in Contemporary Art History, Criticism and Conservation from Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York and his thesis The Transformation of Human Identity through Perception received distinction for its original contribution to the scholarship on its subject. In 2016, Van Melkebeke started an online project space, Offspace.xyz. Recent exhibitions include A Stay in the Paphos Loop and solo projects by artists such as Tomaso De Luca, JAŠA, Anouk Kruithof, Olga Fedorova, and many more. He just finished a solo live streaming project on Offspace.xyz with sound and video artist Lotte Rose Kjær Skau in Copenhagen, Denmark.
(The Diggingest Girl)
Emily Louise Howard is the hands, head and heart behind The Diggingest Girl. Emily was born in Burlington, Vermont in 1984. She was raised in Erlanger, Kentucky and educated at the University of Kentucky, where she received a B.F.A. in painting. Emily went on to get her M.F.A. in painting and her M.A.A.E. with K-12 licensure at the University of Cincinnati. Emily has been a lifeguard, espresso shot-puller, aircraft baggage handler and fueler, university instructor and waitress, middle and high school art teacher, among other things. She now carves and pulls prints full time, fulfilling a lifelong dream of being a working artist. Emily lives in a little house in Erlanger, Kentucky at the edge of the woods-- a fitting place to create her cozy and empowering imagery. She runs her business out of her basement studio.
Colin Klimesh + Taylor Carter
Cincinnati-based design studio CK_TC creates small batch ceramics that embody an original, contemporary take on objects for the home, including cups, mugs, bowls, and vases. Their approach to making harmonizes the useful and decorative, by merging traditional methods and digital tools to fabricate precise and singular objects using more efficient and sustainable methods. Starting with raw materials, they formulate and produce each step of the process, including molds, clay, and glazes. Founded by Colin Klimesh and Taylor Carter, CK_TC aspires to build a collection that represents their passion for craftsmanship and design to enrich the experience of the new domestic space.
Britney + Suzy
Brittney Braemer and Suzy King opened Handzy Shop + Studio in July of 2016. Their space functions as a retail shop and design studio—all in one tiny space on Pike Street in Covington, KY. In the shop, you'll find a thoughtful collection of greeting cards, paper goods, stationery, local art, ceramics, jewelry, gifts, and gift wrap—all created by local or independent designers, makers, and artists. In their studio, tucked in the back of the shop, they do branding, graphic design, and custom wedding stationery.
Cate Becker // BLDG
After receiving her masters from University of Cincinnati's DAAP Program in Art History, specializing in Renaissance and Baroque Art, Cate ran the Phyllis Weston Gallery for eight years and co owned a contemporary gallery called PAC Gallery in East Walnut Hills. In 2013 I got the job as the Public Art Director for the City of Covington; I ran Covington Arts and the Municipal Gallery for the city for two years and then came to work as the curator for BLDG in 2014. As anyone who knows her will tell you: Cate is a firecracker, fiercely passionate, motivating, and incredibly encouraging. She's been one of the pieces in a business that is bringing awareness to turning eyes to Covington, Kentucky.
Jessie Rienerth is the ceramicist behind RheinoCeramics, a line of utilitarian ware about human interaction. Many of her designs and surface treatments center around the theme of layers. She likes the idea that everyone has their own stories and experiences that make up who they are. . Everyone's lives and experiences make up a different landscape. She uses the trope of landscape to discuss individual story telling and narrative. She utilizes manipulation and force to create delicate vessels for everyday use. A Cleveland native; she attended University of Cincinnati’s DAAP program, where she received her BFA: focusing mostly on ceramics. She then held a residency at Core Clay, and worked out of their space for several years. She has worked for Medicine Bluff Studios and is currently a mold maker for Rookwood Pottery.
Kaitlin Noverr is the artist behind elysian market. Similar to many individuals stocked in the millennial arsenal; she graduated from college, got a great job in marketing, and then realized she wasn't happy. After planning and thinking about how she could support herself as an artist, she launched elysian market in August of 2016. Since then she has has participated art shows, pop-ups, design collaborations and currently in the process of launching her website. Kaitlin has an altruistic approach to art making, in our interview her desire for her audience to be at peace with her work in their home became very apparent. But with this altruism is a firm understanding of branding and business-- she utilizes her good will and her desire to support herself to design and implement a 'line' of paintings that is approachable to a vast audience and aesthetically appealing.
Paige Williams has exhibited in Germany, the Ukraine, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York and has been selected as an Artist in Residence at the Millay Colony for the Arts in New York, The University of Alaska, and The Neu Rathaus Gallery in Munich, Germany. She is a Studio Program Chair at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and has an active studio practice out of her home in the Northside neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio. Paige's work varies in subject matter and reference material; but always seems to hold a quirky, smart, colorful and challenging sensibility that is both approachable and distancing.
Pam Kravetz is a visual artist and arts educator, a mom, teacher, maker, do-er, and connector. She is a problem solver, supporter and lover of Cincinnati. She's ultimately a story teller. Her work changes media in order to tell stories that she needs to tell. She was a ceramicist, and eventually left it because it wasn't telling the story that she wanted to tell. Pam is most noted for her hand stitched larger than life puppets, and her ability to make mobile many different media. Her involvement in the Cincinnati arts community as well as a plethora of donated pieces has won her great honor among art patrons.
Maggie Cleary is an artist and musician working out of Cincinnati, OH. Her studio is based out of Wave Pool in Camp Washington. She is currently a singer and guitarist in the local band MARR. Maggie strives to be uncomfortably vulnerable. Through art and music she tries to hold herself emotionally accountable. Through sound and music performance, video projection, fiber sculpture, and installation, she evokes work that is self-reflexive and referential to the unique experience of perception. Using a broad range of mediums affords her freedom in her exploration in authenticity, vulnerability, and the ongoing quest to understanding “why?”
Jaclyn Stephens is a printmaking-based multidisciplinary artist. Both her studio and home temporarily inhabit on a farm in Middletown, Ohio. Since her BFA studies in Over-The-Rhine, and MFA studies in Oxford, Ohio, her rural childhood makes a timely reconnection, physically and creatively, to her present. Not to be distinguished exclusive from the rest of her life, Jaclyn's work generates associative play between environments, materials, meanings, work, sensory perceptions, and communicative processes. Cultivating multiple relationships with the landscape is neither only a way of living nor only a way of making, but rather the connection between everything she is constantly doing.
(Amanda Bialk Makes Art)
Stumbling upon ceramics in her last year at DAAP (Design, Architecture, Art and Planning) at University of Cincinnati, Amanda Bialk found herself in love with the medium, especially wheel thrown objects . Combining her love for organic and modern forms into her handmade pieces , she creates simple vessels that are functional and beautiful. Amanda's philosophy is that our homes 'truly define us'. Just a year after graduating, she has become a coveted ceramicist holding stock at six different locations around Cincinnati and northern Kentucky, as well as locations around the country and Canada.
(Lucca Laser Workshop)
Lindsey Estes is a machinist, designer, and business owner based out of downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Located on Main Street, within the heart of the Over-the-Rhine revival, is Lindsey's small (but huge with heart) shop Lucca Laser Workshop. Growing up in her fathers machine shop, Lindsey had the opportunity to experience all of the sensory wonders of working with machines and wood. Lindsey grew to want a career combining the day to day labor of wood working and machining with her desire to make love-filled objects. From there, she grew a graphic botanical business aesthetic that is as true to its material and function.
Cedric Michael Cox is best known for his paintings and drawings, which fall between surrealism and representational abstraction. His work expresses themes ranging from mythical literature to the relationships between the physical body, musical allegories, and natural and man-made landscapes. He is considered a well established pillar within the arts community in the city of Cincinnati, as well as through out the region. This March, he will have a solo exhibition at the Taft Museum of Art.
Sea Sprang is a non-binary trans artist, writer, and DIY enthusiast with a strong desire to keep their hand visible in their work. They moved from a country town in northeastern Ohio to Cincinnati in 2008 to acquire their BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati. They decided to stay after they earned their degree in 2012. Sea's work is focused primarily on topics around autonomy, bodies, gender, and societally conceived notions of what is 'non-normative,' as well as tapping into themes of emotional vulnerability.
Amy Scarpello was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently resides in Brighton, a part of the city's West End neighborhood. She attended the Art Academy of Cincinnati (AAC), earning a BFA in Sculpture, in 2010. During her time at AAC she participated in an exchange semester attending the Maryland Institute College of Art. In 2010, she was awarded the Steven H. Wilder Traveling Scholarship, which allowed her to travel throughout Europe to continue her studies.
Ellina Chetverikova is an artist from a little town, Severodonetsk, Ukraine. She is currently based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Ellina moved to the United States in 2007 at the age of 17. She earned her BFA at the Art Academy of Cincinnati in 2012 and her MFA at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY. Ellina’s work is autobiographical in nature, summing up and expressing important moments in her and close friends and family’s lives.