How did you first get involved with LVA?
After getting my Masters degree in London I moved back to Louisville as a sort of home port. I wasn't entirely sure how long I'd stay but I knew that teaching art and keep an active hand in the arts was my ultimate goal of any city I lived in, so I immediately started sniffing around the art community trying to get re-introduced. Some friends recommended the LVA as a good friend to have in Louisville and so I've been helping out as much as I can with hanging gallery shows for CFAC, watching Public (their gallery on Main), and now I'm teaching the Senior Art Seminar course for the LVA Academy.
When did you first know that art was going to be a big part of your life?
When I was 5 or 6 I came up to my mom and said, "I want to be an artist." Which made her laugh and smile. She told me it sounded good to her, but wanted to know why I'd decided it? I answered "I don't think I want to go to school and learn to read any more." Funny enough I really did decide to be an artist - and now, wanting to be a teacher, I'll never escape school. Also I wanted to be an astronaut, dinosaur, cook/baker, doctor, physicist, anthropologist, writer, musician, actor, director, race car driver, and directive. Point is, I never really decided to be an artist, I decided that being an artist meant I never had to choose.
What does LVA add to your life?
LVA adds that bit of community that I really enjoy seeing interact - it's given me the opportunity to teach, to have a studio space in a massive new building, and to listen in on the gallery whispers that circulate in Louisville. I enjoy seeing them watching and learning from their community and continuously seeking new ideas to better themselves and the city's visual arts playground.
How else are you involved in the community?
At the moment my mind is very narrowed on regenerating my work and teaching where I can. Hopefully I'll quickly start finding my footing here. I've volunteered for different organizations here in the past but the city is all new to me again.
Describe your perfect Sunday afternoon.
Sunday is me day- although it rarely actually is. My family like to do our weekly Kashmir visit for lunch and I tend to try relax for the day. But if we're going to do my perfect Sunday, I'll have to embellish a bit. Let's say I wake up to a full English breakfast. Then I go swimming in the newly imagined creek that runs down the mountains I live under. My dog is there and he enjoys the swim with me without scratching me or barking madly at his reflection. Then I think I'll go rock climbing, nothing too difficult, just a good wall to play on. Then...Kashmir, yeah, still going to eat there for sure. Then I might build something, like a raft to float down the creek on. I'd play guitar for what I believed was ten minutes but what my wife would assure me was actually two hours. Then I might nap outside- it's about 67 out. Lastly I think I would have a gigantic Sunday roast and walk the canal in London - I can teleport I suppose. Then my wife and I would watch our favorite show and go to bed knowing that we could do it all again tomorrow. That sounds about right.
Who is your favorite local artist?
This question is cruel, but I'll narrow it to one. Sara Pitt. She's been a close friend and peer for a long time now and I've watched her work swell and change into the complex beautiful nonsense that it is today. When I say nonsense I don't mean that in the drab confusing way, I mean that she's playing with absurdity with such ease and grace that it makes me jealous- which is by far the most important emotion to make your art friends feel when they see your work. You know you are looking at an amazing piece when your first thought is a curse and a slight tenge of craftsman's envy.
Where would you like to see Louisville 10 years from now?
More! I want more! The galleries and museums are here... now keep going. Every part of the city should have art helping, building, and bettering. And let me be very clear— not taking, but bettering. Art spaces should be for everyone, not the same group of elite and Louisville obsessed artists. Also I'm not calling out anyone, I'm just stating a fact that every city comes to a precipice where art can be a formalist obsessed nightmare of aristocracy or an open call to the entirety of the community. Art is both a market and a community. I want Louisville to feed both.
What neighborhood do you live in? What are some of your favorite things about it?
I live in Schnitzelburg, which has one of the best names out of any neighborhood. It's obviously near German town if you don't know. I love the people, a wide range of characters and nosey elderly people watching you from their porch but smiling big when you smile at them. Dairy Kastle is a huge bonus, plus all the 'junk' shops and garden centers covered in plants. It's a plant lovers haven.
What three items would you bring to a desert island?
Two solar panels and One yacht.
What advice would you give your past self if you could?
Apply for every scholarship ever, all of them. Also have fun, be crazy, never stick to a single medium, and make as much work as you can imagine. Do the things you mean to do when you need to do them, stop procrastinating. Also— go to London.