An Aesthetic Homecoming

Louisville Visual Art is reuniting art students from all decades

By Annalee Hubbs
Photos courtesy
Louisville Visual Art

For the past 94 years, Louisville Visual Art (LVA) has been a fervent supporter of the arts throughout Louisville. Having spent those years encouraging and prioritizing art education and community outreach for Louisville’s youth, LVA has been especially committed to empowering young artists through inclusion and accessibility. On Oct. 20, the organization will host its first-ever LVA Homecoming at the Creative Hub in an effort to connect these artists to one another – whether they have been proud alumni for many years or are just starting to embrace their alumni status. All alumni are welcome to come and support the programs and people who helped them grow as artists all these years. To learn more, we spoke with LVA Communications and Marketing Director Grant Johnson.

What can guests expect from LVA Homecoming?

A friendly gathering where they can connect or reconnect with others who’ve benefited from LVA’s many art education programs; a car-trunk art show – exactly what it sounds like – in the LVA parking lot; music by Louisville favorite Ben Sollee; food trucks; and the opportunity to add their LVA education story to an ever-expanding collage depicting the program’s enormous positive impact.

Which former students and instructors will be sharing their stories?

Three former LVA students – legendary sculptor Ed Hamilton, former Home of the Innocents CEO Gordon Brown and energetic local artist LaNia Roberts – will each deliver a message that speaks to the enduring value of art education at LVA for them and the community. There will also be a station where anyone who has an LVA story to share may be photographed holding a sign bearing their personal message. Those images will be added to a digital collage projected inside LVA’s warehouse space throughout the afternoon. This ever-expanding collage mirrors the positive contributions of LVA’s education offerings throughout Metro Louisville.

Since this is the first year for this event, what do you hope will come out of the celebration?

We’re hoping that LVA alumni, former teachers, family and friends from each decade will turn out to celebrate art education in Louisville. We also know that many people in town have taken our classes over the past 94 years without connecting them to LVA. We’re especially eager to welcome back some of those LVA alumni who are making valuable contributions in the city but may not realize LVA provided the art class that was so meaningful to them in their youth. We also look forward to gathering those LVA stories that are essential to understanding and sharing how our programs benefit participants.

LVA Fine Art Classes through the years, from the 1970s through 2014.

How do I find out if an art class I took was through LVA?

If any readers took an art class outside of school time in Louisville in the past 94 years, there’s a good chance that it was provided by LVA. We want to help all LVA alumni reconnect, especially those who aren’t sure of their alumni status. If any readers think they, a loved one or a friend may have participated in an LVA art education program, they can reach out to grant@louisvillevisualart.org, or visit this page: louisvillevisualart.org/visual-art-education to learn more. We hope to see many new faces at our first-ever homecoming on Oct. 20.

What does LVA have planned for upcoming Fine Art Classes and other educational programs?

Registration for Fall 2019 Children’s Fine Art Classes (CFAC) and the Academy of LVA is now open on our website: louisvillevisualart.org/visual-art-education. Students in fourth through eighth grade need the recommendation of an education professional outside of LVA to register. This is easily done via an online form, and most art teachers in area public schools already know the process. Also, LVA will again coordinate Open Doors educational offerings in public schools across the Metro and throughout the 2019-2020 school year. These offerings supplement existing art curricula and make meaningful connections with other academic subjects such as science and history.

We also plan to continue our Water Tower: Form and Function partnership with the Louisville Water Company Foundation. It combines art, engineering and history by teaching students about the historic Louisville Water Tower and then asking them to design their own water tower with cardboard and colored paper. And, of course, we’re already looking forward to our 2020 CFAC and Academy Exhibitions, showcasing the best work made by our students in the fall and spring terms. V

LVA Homecoming will take place at Creative Hub, 1538 Lytle Street. For more information, visit louisvillevisualart.org or call 502.584.8166.