I spent the last two nights in a cabin in the woods at the Sisters of Loretto Community near Bardstown, KY. It was a really special experience and I can’t recommend it enough. Yesterday, I painted trees for about 10 hours straight and spent that time looking at line, shadow, negative space, positive space and at the same time thinking about all the people in my life I’m grateful for. It was interesting how in this experience of solitude I felt far from alone.
Today I leave for a month-long trip to Kazakhstan to participate in the 2015 ArtBat Festival in Almaty, thanks to support from the U.S. Mission to Kazakhstan and ArtBat Festival. This program was also made possible through the U.S. Department of State’s Arts Envoy program.
In its sixth year, the ArtBat Festival unites Kazakhstani and international artists to create public installations and develop art education in Kazakhstan.
I am thrilled to be working with young arts students from the Kasteyev Arts School to create murals that depict Kazakhstani fairy tales. These murals will be on display at the ArtPoint public arts space in downtown Almaty. I will also teach art and music workshops and deliver presentations about art education to both students and educators.
In addition, I will deliver presentations on “how to brand a creative city,” showcasing the programs, events, festivals, businesses, nonprofit organizations and other initiatives happening in my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, a city well known for its thriving arts community. Following my visit to Almaty, I will travel to Astana (Kazakhstan’s capital city) to meet officials from the Ministry of Education to discuss art education, as well as guide students through additional projects.
I’ve also been asked to take over the U.S. Consulate General Almaty’s Instagram account during my stay. You can follow me at @uscgalmaty. I’ll also be keeping a journal of my experience here: http://aprettypickle.wordpress.com
I’m SO grateful to my friend Charles Martin for facilitating this experience, and for all the organizers at ARTBAT and the US Consulate in Almaty and in Astana. I can’t wait to meet everyone!
I just finished this commissioned project for the café at the Middletown Kroger store in Louisville! This is the store which creates the garland of roses for the Kentucky Derby as well as the garland of lilies for the Kentucky Oaks each year. I’m extremely grateful to both Kroger and Louisville Visual Art, who made this collaboration possible!
I contributed a ten page story to the May 2015 issue of Louisville Magazine about traveling to New York City on the cheap and looking for people, places, and things that relate to Louisville. I had the privilege of interviewing several folks originally from Louisville about their experiences living and working in New York. I’m very grateful to Suki Anderson for the art direction and Josh Moss for the editorial direction and for giving me the opportunity to contribute this piece. Here’s a link to the full story: http://loumag.epubxp.com/i/504804-may-2015/51