Behind the Muse: with Selene Bradshaw

Selene Bradshaw2Art Lotto first-timer, Selene Bradshaw, is portraying artist Avery Fary for Art Lotto #4. In addition to an epic home/massive cabin remodel that Selene is in the throes of, she is also a talented rising photographer. She can be found unwinding on the patios of Pale Fire or Clementine’s Ruby’s Lounge with friends, tasty beverages and locally sourced foods. Selene gives us a glimpse into Art Lotto through her fresh eyes:

“{I met my Art Lotto partner at} The Golden Pony originally (for the Luck of the Draw) and then again for one on one. It’s one of my partners favorite downtown spots. I remember when I first said hello at the lotto drawing and learned his name, I awkwardly lead with “Avery? My dogs name was Avery originally when we adopted her!” Haha. he didn’t quite know how to react to my extreme over-sharer, extroverted self.

Avery at Golden Pony

Avery outside of The Golden Pony. Photo by Selene.

Avery seemed to be a genuinely nice person. Easy to talk with and never made me feel like a beginner being my first year doing Art Lotto. We started to go down the similar “small town” run down of all the people we both knew growing up and going to the same school, but never knowing each other. It’s a ritual that happens almost every time I meet some one in Harrisonburg and truthfully I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Selene Bradshaw Avery Fary2

Process shot of Selene’s portrait of Avery.

Some of Avery’s favorite art mediums have inspired me. His music interest, photography, and clay. My goal is to incorporate each of those into the portraits finished project. Incorporating a little of me as well with wood.

{I signed up for Lotto} to push myself out of my comfort zone, I’ve always grown up around different mediums of art but never have pushed myself to work with any of them in recent years. I love to create stuff and having a project to work on keeps me creating, even when the day to day busy-ness of life tries to prevent it. … I wanted to make something different than what I’m used too, that represents my partner but shows me through that. Pushing myself out of the comfort zone is what it’s all about.” ~Selene

Selene Bradshaw

Selene’s creative clutter in her at-home studio.

A little more about Selene: Currently outside of my daily grind, I don’t feel like I have a role right now. I was a college student for 7 years and although I did a lot outside of it, it was always my main role, to finish school. Now that it’s done I feel like I need more. That’s where my passion comes in. I voice my feelings about self acceptance and self love a lot, but know I want to do more then just speak about it. I want to create things and do things that physically help people. I also want to help complete our home remodel. It truly is the biggest project I’ve taken on in my life and it currently wouldn’t be where it is today without my boyfriend. The thought of seeing him be able to sit back and relax there is my main passion right now.

See Selene’s portrait of Avery and 49 other completed portraits at our Opening Reception at Spitzer Art Center on First Friday, August 5, 2016, 5-8pm. The exhibit will be viewable at Spitzer each Saturday in August from 10a-2p.

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Behind the Muse: with Kassy Newman

Kassy Newman

Kassy with her boyfriend, Ryan.

Tell me about yourself: I graduated from Bridgewater College with a degree in Art in 2011 and have lived and been falling in love with downtown Harrisonburg ever since. I am inspired by nature and one of my favorite things to do is go hiking with my little nugget dog and best friend, Optimus Prime. I practice Bikram yoga at Hot Yoga Harrisonburg. Introducing yoga into my daily routine has offered a new sense of clarity and center that I’ve only been able to get when I throw pottery. Going to music festivals, especially Lock’n in Arrington, helps me recharge as well. I just recently quit my job so that I could focus on creating and living a healthier lifestyle. Some of my favorite artists include Franz Kline, Keith Haring, Jean Michel Basquiat, and Roy Lichtenstein (I have one of his pieces tattooed on me). My main medium is wheel thrown ceramics, but I like to think that I’m ok working with oil paints as well.

Jennifer Rucinski

Reference photo of Jennifer by Kassy.

Tell me about your partner, Jennifer: I am absolutely in love with Jenni’s soul. I was able to head to her house and meet her and her son Al for a while. We also got to talk to each other at the [Midway] Mixer. Just from the few minutes that we spent together (she had just got home from work and Al was practicing his soccer skills), I can tell she is an amazing mother and human being. She exudes positivity and strength while still keeping an infectious sense of humor. I think all of those traits are pretty amazing when you have two kids, let alone a pre-teen girl at home. Here is the photo that I will be using as a reference for the painting… I’m so happy that I was paired with her and I think that I have found another friend in the Harrisonburg art community.

For Art Lotto #4, Kassy Newman will be portraying Jennifer Rucinski. You can find her finished portrait alongside 49 others at the opening on Friday, August 5, 5-8pm at Spitzer Art Center.

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Behind the Muse: with Jewel Hertzler

Jewel Hertzler

Jewel Hertzler

Jewel is new to Art Lotto this year but she is no art rookie. She has been an active and involved member of the art scene for many years. Jewel is a member of Oasis Art Gallery, the President of Spitzer Art Center, she taught art in public schools for 30 years with ten of those years being at Broadway High School here in the county, and she actively creates her own artwork to show and sell around Harrisonburg and Virginia. For Art Lotto, Jewel will be portraying Sarah Hade in her medium of choice: encaustic.

“Sarah and I met back in April at Bella Luna. We met at the bar, and were waited on by the efficient and expert bartender, Emily Reese. We ordered appetizers and beer, and had the best oysters I’ve ever had! Now that’s saying a lot because during our conversation, Sarah and I found out that we are both from the Tidewater area, and Oysters are one of our favorite foods! In planning the Art Lotto portrait of Sarah, I went through several ideas, finally settling on a double reverse photo transfer image representing memories of her past and visions of her future. The background images under the photo transfers are photos I’ve taken of the beach, one of our favorite things, and the mountains, another of our favorite things, as well. The photo was taken by Katie Schmid, and used with her permission. This week I will be positioning the images into an encaustic painting blending the ocean and mountains into a portrait about past and future. It was so much fun to meet Sarah and find out all the things we have in common! Art, oysters, beach, mountains….” -Jewel

Sarah Hade

A process shot of Jewel’s portrait of Sarah Hade. Come see the finished work at the Art Lotto opening in August at Spitzer Art Center.

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Behind the Muse: with Tess Sherman

12974315_10154625518140400_4816823666313624636_nTess Sherman is a local artist and business co-owner of Bluestone Bodyworks. For Art Lotto #4 Tess will be portraying Dinah Mitchell. And Soula Pefkaros will be portraying Tess. After meeting with both of her Art Lotto partners, she reflects a bit on each of her female partners.

Where did you meet your partner for the first time?
I met Soula, whom is doing my portrait, at Shenandoah coffee for the first time. Then I met Dinah Mitchell, who I’m doing a portrait of, at Black sheep coffee.

Black Sheep Shenadoah Joe

A mutual love of coffee is shared by Tess and her two Art Lotto partners, Soula and Dinah.

Tell me about your first impression of your partner.
Soula has this light that radiates from her. I could tell just by first impression she had only good vibes, and a heart of gold. Honestly one of the most down to earth people to have ever met.

Dinah was super shy at first. But I must say I was too. Once we got to talking we both got through that awkward first date tension, ha. Super sweet and laid back though. And I’m lucky enough to capture such a beautiful lady for my portrait.

Where have you found inspiration for your portrait? 
Dinah works with beads and glass blowing, which is totally the furthest material I have ever wanted to work with, but I wanted to test myself and try to incorporate beading into my portrait. Using what I love, oil paint, with a love of hers, beading, I believe my portrait portrays both of us.

Why did you sign up for Art Lotto?
Because Brandy forced me to….just kidding. Haha but really, Brandy {Somers} mentioned art lotto to me and I’m not usually one to do these kinds of things but I’ve been wanting to broaden my art in the community hoping I can find new opportunities through the lotto. Not to mention to meet and learn from amazing artist in Harrisonburg.

Artwork by Tess Sherman

“I would probably be taking in the scenery, sipping on a chai, trying to figure out what mechanical tool I could turn into a human form.” -Tess Sherman

Is there a local business you can commonly be found? And what might you be found doing there?
It seems both of my {lotto} partners, as well as I, enjoy coffee so most likely you could find us at any of the coffee shops. I could see Soula working on editing photos, and Dinah looking at new material for her work. I would probably be taking in the scenery, sipping on a chai, trying to figure out what mechanical tool I could turn into a human form. But i guarantee you that at least one of us would be scarfing down a pastry.

What are some of your other interests, loves, passions, roles in life?
I crave the outdoors. There is so much art in nature that not many see. I believe/see trees to be like human bodies. I like to think they come alive when no ones looking. I’m passionate about that, seriously. I love cats…I’m THAT crazy cat lady, no lie. I have a dream of having a cat farm. Some think I’m crazy but I like to think it’s love.
Also, my role as a massage therapist has honestly opened my eyes to how much I love helping others by making them feel great, or more comfortable with themselves. That’s a big accomplishment. 

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Behind the Muse: Denise Kanter Allen

Denise Allen painting Hannah Sions

Denise working on her painting of Hannah.

For Art Lotto #4, Denise Kanter Allen will be portraying Hannah Sions. Read what Denise has to say about her experience thus far:  

“My Art Lotto pARTner is Hannah Sions. When I first sat down with Hannah, it was after work at Friendly City Food Co-op. She had just finished after a long day at school and I had just finished my shift at FCFC.

It’s always awkward at first when you’re trying to make a good impression and getting to know someone in less than 15 minutes. Ha. I tried asking simple questions like ‘what’s your favorite color’ —all the colors—and where did you grow up—California and Korea and back to California—‘and now you live in Virginia?’ Woah. However, I know we met before this because I got to be involved with Hannah in another portrait project called Wonderkitten. I remember enjoying Hannah’s piece because it was ‘interactive’. Her portrait was attached to the end of a wooden toggle that you could move up and down in a path sliced through the board. After the climb up the grooves, you had to immediately run back down the path, and away from an active volcano! Oh no! BUT SO MUCH FUN you had to do it over and over again!

Her other work is quite amazing too. She creates commercial, portrait and fine art photography, She prints out spotless, high concentrated, beautiful copies of her work and work by other local artists. She meticulously applies details by hand to her photographs and gives each piece a story and a meaning and a clever title. She doesn’t believe in procrastination but definitely believes in giving her time to others—when she is not too busy being awesome–and she also believes in ‘Fate, Luck and Love’. Finally, she is also an art teacher for Rockingham County Public Schools. I asked more boring questions during our meeting, but my favorite reply was about her final thesis: ‘How to Inspire Creativity’. Creativity just radiates from her—in her words, in her pictures, and in her activities. It’s very hard for me not to be overly enthusiastic when she comes to shop at the Friendly City Food Co-op while I’m working. I know her students must love her.

During our meeting I took some photographs and immediately went home to select my favorite one to print out and use as my photo reference. I have decided to paint Hannah using acrylics, in my own style, in my own little studio at Spitzer Art Center. I really hope that I can include ‘all the colors’ in her portrait and maybe with a little fate, luck, and love, and close attention and care for details she will see herself in the portrait I create. And maybe she will know the beauty she exudes and perhaps she will see all the things that I admire about her as an artist, teacher and ‘inspirer of creativity’.” -Denise

Sean Allen Denise Kanter AllenDenise Kanter Allen graduated from JMU with a BFA in Studio Art and a concentration in painting and drawing. While at JMU she served as Vice President of her art fraternity, Kappa Pi, and devoted countless hours to volunteering locally. Denise is the co-founder of Art Lotto, creates and exhibits art regularly and works at our favorite neighborhood grocery store, the Friendly City Food Co-op. You can view her work online here and by following her on Instagram @artbydenisekanter.

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Call to Artists 2016!

Art Lotto Call to Artists 2016

Click here for the 2016 Entry Form. Deadline: Monday, Feb 29.

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Behind the Muse: with Ben Fraits

Ben Fraits has participated in Art Lotto all three years. The first year he won the Out of the Box Award for his scrabble tile portrait of Annie Hogan Cline. The second year, he took home the Artists’ Choice trophy for his concrete, chiseled, crowd-wower, portrait of photographer Pat Jarrett. Coincidentally, he also handmade the trophies for the award ceremony out of found/discarded material and then received his own trophy back. Lucky for him, they looked awesome! Each year, Ben has managed to provide the audience with a pleasant surprise. A well executed original idea that shows his dedication to creativity, process and thinking big. This year, Ben is taking a less shocking approach to his portrait of Kyle Herr. Black, white, wood and metal…that pretty much sums up the portrait and the subject.

Ben Fraits Kyle Herr Art Lotto 2

Ben making his first marks on his portrait of Kyle Herr.

“I wanted to do something a bit different this year, something more traditional, but still put my own spin on things. For my canvas, I used the top of an old table that was collecting the weather outside. The metal and wood complimented Kyle’s background in carpentry. I decided to paint his portrait in black & white acrylic from a b&w photo I took when we met up at Cuban Burger. I’ve never painted anyone in black and white and thought it would be a good challenge. I partially wanted to paint a piece so I could put the easel  I won last year to good use.” -Ben

Ben Fraits Kyle Herr Art Lotto 4

A sneak preview of the finished portrait!

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