Joshua Jenkins is a young up-and-coming artist who moved to Louisville three years ago. Since then, he has embraced the cityâ€™s thriving arts scene with numerous gallery showings and a growing list of fans of his work. The Marist College (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) graduate majored in Digital Media with a minor in Studio Art and lived in Philadelphia briefly before moving here for a job with a local marketing firm. Today as a full-time artist, he continues to explore what inspires him and his work, finds Louisvilleâ€™s arts scene fascinating and is constantly evolving and changing â€“ and thatâ€™s exactly how he likes it.
LORI KOMMOR: What type of artist would you describe yourself as?
JOSHUA JENKINS: I am not a huge fan of labeling myself, but when I have to, I suppose I would consider myself a neo-expressionist. Itâ€™s best described as painting expressively with emotion. I tend to paint what I feel rather that what I see. The form originally emerged in the 1970s and was popularized by artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat.
KOMMOR: What mediums do you work with? Are there others you would like to explore?
JENKINS: I spend most of my time working with acrylic and charcoal and photography, as well as some digital. I would like to eventually explore sculpture to see what opportunities are there as well.
KOMMOR: As an artist, from where do you draw your inspiration?
JENKINS: I pretty much pull from my life experience for inspiration. My process is probably best described as using art as a journal where I document events, happenings and even emotions through my art. When I look at my work, I see my life. For example, I may use the emotions from a breakup to create a piece. Itâ€™s very cathartic and an important way of expressing emotions. Likewise, I may use a joyful event or occasion as inspiration.
KOMMOR: What do you find exciting about Louisvilleâ€™s art scene?
JENKINS: The art scene here is amazing. I love it. This is my third summer here and in that short period of time I have witnessed an amazing change in growth and evolution for artists. From new galleries to new artists appearing on the scene to new opportunities to share my work, Louisville is really thriving. Based on other places Iâ€™ve lived and talking with friends, Louisville is really on its way to becoming a major regional and, eventually, national arts center. The thing about Louisville is that itâ€™s the perfect place for artists to survive and thrive. It has built a community of existing artists, galleries and, most importantly, the cost of living is reasonable for artists. Itâ€™s truly a place thatâ€™s accessible for artists in so many unique ways.
KOMMOR: Many young artists have effectively used social media as a way of sharing and promoting their work. How have you used social media to your advantage as an artist?
JENKINS: I have to say that without social media, I would not be in the position I am in. Social media is not only a great networking tool for artists, but it serves as a great vehicle for exposure, and especially for artists, itâ€™s an incredibly cost-effective way to market yourself. Iâ€™m lucky that my marketing background and interest in social media have both helped me establish myself and get my name out there. Beyond Facebook, there are online galleries I can be featured on. And of course, like many other artists, I have my own web site, www.joshjenkins.com, where I can post my work, announce gallery showings and use as an inexpensive marketing tool.
KOMMOR: What do you have coming up that might give people an opportunity to see your work?
JENKINS: Well, I recently had a showing in May at the Tim Faulkner Gallery (1512 Portland Ave.), where there are still a couple of my works on display. In addition, I also have works up at Craft(s) Gallery (572 S. Fourth St.) and Revelry Boutique Gallery (742 E. Market St.) in Nulu. Iâ€™m planning a show at Regalo (562 S. Fourth St.) in November and am hoping to participate in the Lousiville Visual Art Associationâ€™s Open Studio tours in September.