Louisville’s First Open Studio Weekend

Patrick Donley and LVAA Executive Director Shannon Westerman.

Patrick Donley and LVAA Executive Director Shannon Westerman.

For anyone unsure about investing in art, interested in starting to collect or simply interested in learning more about art, the Louisville Visual Art Association (LVAA) and the University of Louisville Hite Art Institute are presenting Louisville’s first-ever Open Studio Weekend. It’s the perfect opportunity for both the novice and avid art collector to come together and get a chance to visit more than 70 local artist studios and learn about their works.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Shannon Westerman, the Executive Director of LVAA, to find out more about the Open Studio Weekend.

Lori Kommor: The Louisville Visual Art Association (LVAA) and the University of Louisville Hite Art Institute present Louisville’s first-ever Open Studio Weekend. Can you share with us the details of the weekend?
Shannon Westerman: The goal of “Open Studio Weekend” is to connect the general public, including collectors, with local artists in a direct fashion. This sort of engagement builds relationships and support within the community and provides long-term benefits for everyone involved. A select group of seventy-three of Louisville Metro’s finest artists will open their studios to the public on Saturday, Nov. 9, from 11am-5pm and Sunday, Nov. 10, from 12pm-5pm. There will be a launch party on Friday, Nov. 8, from 6-9pm at The Cressman Center that will include a pop-up exhibition of work from the participating artists and is where people can still buy wristband tickets. “Open Studio Weekend” is made possible in part by our lead sponsors, Bristol Bar & Grille and Maker’s Mark. Proceeds from the weekend will help raise funds for the Hite Art Institute’s Mary Spencer Nay Scholarship and the LVAA’s Children’s Fine Art Classes (CFAC) program.

Kommor: There are more than 70 local artists selected who are opening up their studios for the weekend tour. Can you tell how the artists were selected?  Can you name a few of the artists on the tour?
Westerman: A committee was formed that included staff and board members from both Hite and LVAA, as well as several local artists and volunteers from the community. All of the planning decisions were made by that group. The result offers a diverse mix of artists reflecting myriad media, ages, genders and studio locations. Many of the artist participants are well-known and many have been published on Artebella, LVAA’s free subscription email program that features artwork and information from a different LVAA-member artist, each weekday. In addition, the public will discover artists new to the area, recent graduates and emerging artists working in collaborative urban studios or a beautiful studio converted from a barn in a more rural setting.

Our goal was to provide a diverse group of artists and experiences on both sides of the river, and I believe the final list achieves that objective. There are well-known artists such as Matt Weir, Ed Hamilton, Ann Stewart Anderson, Billy Hertz, Patrick Donley, Douglas Miller, Brooke White, Julius Friedman, Joyce Ogden, Cheryl Chapman and many who may not be quite as familiar, yet are doing great work in their studios in downtown Louisville, Portland, Simpsonville, Germantown and New Albany. There are also younger, emerging and mid-career artists such as Aron Conaway, Julie Leidner, Carrie Burr, Hallie Jones, Joe McGee, Sara Pitt, Jordan Lance Morgan and numerous others. There are several artists in Indiana: Joyce Ogden and Michael Waddell, for example. Obviously, due to the timing of this event, not all artists who wanted to participate were able to commit because of their work, travel or exhibit schedules. Voice-Tribune readers can view the full list online at www.louisvillevisualart.org/open-studio-weekend.

Kommor: Saturday evening November 9, LVAA patrons and Hite Art Institute patrons will host dinner parties around the city. Each party will include a local artist as the guest of honor. Is this event open to the public?
Westerman: We hope the Open Studio Weekend will encourage conversations about art and art collecting throughout the metro area. The dinner parties will be an extension of the art-centric conversations happening throughout the city. Each of the private gatherings requires an invitation from one of the hosts. These patrons are generously opening their homes and hearts to participate in the fundraising efforts, and to help connect and build awareness for local artists with their friends, new neighbors, co-workers and family. Over 200 people will be attending the private dinners on Saturday night, and I only wish I could clone myself and attend each and every one because there will be countless spirited and informative conversations, along with fabulous food, amazing private art collections and thanks to our sponsor Maker’s Mark, plenty of delicious Kentucky bourbon.

Kommor: Would you say Open Studio Weekend is for the avid art collector or someone interested in starting an art collection?
Westerman:  Both, really. The range and breadth of participating artists means there is something for everybody’s taste and budget. But it isn’t just for collectors. Other artists and students should see this as an opportunity to peek into the life of a professional artist or maybe meet a new mentor. Young professionals and newly partnered couples interested in starting a collection will be able to connect with friends for weekend social fun while surveying various media, artists and price points available in Louisville. Wristband tickets are only $20, thus a very affordable way to gain insights in the working environments of an artist’s studio and learn the basics of starting an art collection, and more importantly, discover the joy of living with art! We have received significant interest from high school and university students but also from parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren looking to spend quality time together discovering the joy of handmade art and using Open Studio Weekend to help bridge the digital, cultural and generational divides so prevalent in our society today. While planning one’s personal studio art tour, include a stop for brunch, lunch or dinner at any of the conveniently located Bristol Bar & Grille restaurants featured in the Open Studio Weekend map and guide produced especially for this first-time, 2-day event.

Kommor: Where can tickets be purchased for the weekend and what is the cost?
Westerman: Wristband tickets are available for $20 per person. You must be wearing a wristband to enter any of the studios and they can be purchased online and mailed to your home or picked up at Cressman Center on Friday night, Nov. 8, Saturday, Nov. 9 or on Sunday, Nov. 10 Go to louisvillevisualart.org to buy tickets online.

By phone call 502.864.5166 x100. or in person at LVAA’s office at 609 W. Main St. 2nd Floor.

Or the following locations: Commonwealth Bank & Trust branches in the Highlands, Anchorage, and Middletown, The Cressman Center, Preston Arts Center, The Carnegie Center (New Albany) and Revelry Boutique Gallery. $10 student tickets are available for purchase in person only at The Cressman Center with valid school ID.

2 Responses to “Louisville’s First Open Studio Weekend”

  1. Rick Sneed

    This is a terrific new event for Louisville. It is a chance to get into meet and see the work places of some of Louisville best artists. Learn about art, meet and make friends with artists, be amazed at the some of the work you will see.