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.

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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 Lynda Bostrom

“I’ve been wanting to work more with portraiture; stretch my skills and try new methods with my favorite materials. I’ve also been wanting to work with male portraiture – as luck would have it, my artist is Derek Niver. I’m working on a small body of work for an upcoming show, (all portraits of men) and I’m using Derek’s portrait as the flagship piece.

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Photographer, Paul Somers, captures local filmmaker, Alex Kent. Images used during their shoot would serve as visual references for Lynda’s upcoming series.
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Up close and personal in this reference shot of Derek Niver.

With the help of Paul Somers and Alex Kent, I held a photo shoot day in March to gather some top notch reference images of the models I want to draw. I’ve never taken this much care into the preliminary planning of the work I make, and it’s making a huge difference.

Aside from the image of Derek’s face, I wanted to incorporate a design element that I could use as a common thread in all these new pieces – I’ve always enjoyed combining a person’s likeness with a surrealistic world surrounding them. After many many many many failed attempts and little success with botanical and flat painterly shapes, I decided to return to an old process of collaging I used frequently 5-7 years ago. Returning to this method feels good. I would compare it to seeing an old friend from when we were both 12 and very awkward. And in the reunion, I can still see their authenticity and the foundation of who they are, but it’s combined with more confidence and grace.” -Lynda

Derek_peek by Lynda Bostrom
A detailed sneak peek of Lynda’s portrait of Derek Niver.

We’re thrilled to have veteran Lotto artist, Lynda Bostrom, back for round three. Each year, Lynda has brought us uplifting colors and refined skill that hoists the bar furtherlotto-by-bostrom-lynda and further up. She truly contributes to the level of quality each Art Lotto show brings. Her first year, she took home two awards for her portrait of fellow artist (and Art Lotto Co-Founder) Denise Allen for Best Use of Medium and Kids Choice Award. Even though 1404920464305she does excellent work in portraiture, Art Lotto is just the tip of her iceberg…she’s a busy gal! She recently branded local soon-to-be-everyone’s-new-favorite restaurant in town: foodBARfood, she actively serves on the Board of Directors at Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance and is co-chair of their Promotions Committee. Most recently, her committee successfully executed the Rocktown Rye boxed workspace tampa lynda bostromProject that culminated at the annual Valley Fourth, but they have lots of exciting community projects in store for us in the near future. On top of all that, she chips away at her freelance design gigs, gets mad-love on art sites (go here and vote for her!) and continues creating inspiring, unique works of art for sheer joy, the love of collaboration and for gallery show. She’s participating in a show called “BOXED” that’s happening this September at the Tampa-based gallery, Workspace. Her work will be displayed alongside the likes of Ed Templeton and Chris Pastras. She’s kind of awesome. And we’re glad she calls Harrisonburg home.

Behind the Muse: with Tahany Garrison

Tahany Garrison is getting amped up for her first year as an Art Lotto artist. At our Luck of the Draw event, she drew the name of fellow-first-timer Hannah Sions. The two met downtown Harrisonburg for a full evening of art shows on a recent First Friday:

“In the unintentional spirit of procrastination, I have just now started on a portrait of Hannah. I met with her a few weeks ago and, fittingly, strolled through a First Friday downtown. I snapped some pics, and was on my way to think about what I had done- because I felt like I had gotten myself into trouble by finally participating in Art Lotto. I hadn’t done a portrait in a year or two. I was a little terrified, to be honest. Then I remembered a mantra offered to me in the past, “Keep it simple, stupid!”“What a relief. As usual, I was over-complicating things. I already knew I wanted to use salvaged/recycled materials. I have a nice stash of paperboard I’ve been hoarding and a bunch of stuff that the city doesn’t accept in the recycle bin. That was the ‘me’ in it. Finally, I choose a photo of Hannah, which as it turns out, was one she took of herself. A gritty, webcam shot of her perfectly witty and goofy self- perfect!”

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Tahany3“Now it’s execution time. Alone time to work on this piece is hard to come by before 9pm with little people running around. So, to keep them busy- I asked them to tear up the card board while I laid out the portrait on my substrate. So, kind of out of convenience and improvisation, I choose to do do a mosaic style portrait. Originally, I wanted to use the subtle differences in shades of brown on the unprinted side of the cardboard to do a monochromatic image. But life is more fun with color, and I’m pretty sure Hannah would agree.” ~Tahany

 

This year, Tahany will be portrayed by former Lotto award winner, Rhoda Miller.

Behind the Muse: with Laura Thompson

Laura Thompson is a mother, a wife, an artist and she teaches art at Thomas Harrison Middle School. For those of you familiar with the middle school species, that translates to: Laura has the patience of a saint. I recently visited an art exhibit of student work that Laura organized at the Blue Nile in downtown Harrisonburg. The show consisted of hand-sewn monsters that represented the student’s secrets, inner demons and fears. The artwork was impressive enough on it’s own, but to read the words of a middle schooler explaining that part of themselves was downright powerful. The world needs more teachers like this woman. We’re thrilled that she is dedicating a chunk of her precious time to participate in Art Lotto again this year. Laura will be creating a portrait of Greg Sultan. Laura’s portrait will be created by Sharon Skates.

Laura works on a sketch of her Art Lotto partner, Greg Sultan.
Laura works on a sketch of her Art Lotto partner, Greg Sultan.

“I love that the Art Lotto process can be so organic. Like last year, I came to the meeting with no plan, no expectations, and an open mind. When I met Greg Sultan at the Baja Bean in Staunton, I didn’t really know what to expect. I had talked to him briefly at the Luck of the Draw, and had looked at his website, but had no idea what form his portrait would ultimately take. I am an art teacher, so I know a wide range of media. At first I thought maybe glass, then maybe wood block printing, then maybe watercolor. I still haven’t landed on one for sure. 
But I know what it will be called: He told me that he is heading far away from here — uprooting, transplanting, reestablishing — and with that comes much change and adjustment. With change comes potential — to do, to be, to create, to build. These things are choices we can make, and even though we might sometimes feel like our chance has passed, “There’s Still Time.” ~Laura

Art Lotto, First Friday

Art Lotto held it’s public art opening on First Friday at the Artful Dodger in downtown Harrisonburg, VA. With Thursday being a private celebration for artists, sponsors and judges, Friday was geared towards a fun-filled evening for families and children. In front of the Dodger we had a circus of activities including face painting, sidewalk chalk, a mini-manicure station and a coloring table with each of our top-level sponsors drawn up in coloring-book-form! Art Lotto portraits will be up on the Dodger walls through the month of August. Head on down and check it out!

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We still have tshirts available at the low low price of $7!
We still have tshirts available at the low low price of $7!

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Mirra Zirkle, winner of the KIDS' CHOICE AWARD, is sporting one of her prizes: earrings from MINT.
Mirra Zirkle, winner of the KIDS’ CHOICE AWARD, is sporting one of her prizes: earrings from MINT.

IMG_2144webIMG_2193webIMG_2156web IMG_2166web IMG_2171web IMG_2172web IMG_2176web IMG_2181webIMG_2213web IMG_2189webIMG_2218webIMG_2217webSo many thanks to our volunteers that made this fun evening possible!
Face painters: April Sedeen, Sarah Murphy & Esther King
Mini-manicure-ers: Danielle Campbell & Brook Burner
Coloring Experts: Emily Casey, Carl Yoder & Jenny Jones

Behind the Muse: with John Bell

John Bell has a pin in my timeline. He was my first (ever) art teacher. After skimming through high school without taking a single art class, I showed up to his Blue Ridge Community College Intro to Drawing course with a 6B in my shaky hand. That class paired with his Art History course was a potent mixture that would seep into my soul for years to come. I really can’t accurately measure the impact he’s had on my skill, style, and love for art. He is the kind of teacher that had me seeing this world around me. I started looking up at building structure, noticing placement in paintings like The Swing and proportion in pieces like the Pietá, placing importance on seemingly mundane details in artwork like eyesight, value changes, and directional lines. He had me wondering things like “Why is she giving him a carnation?” and “What’s so controversial about Caravaggio anyway?”  I began to question and therefore understand history through art. He did this for me and it’s truly an honor to have him participating in this art show that Denise and I have created. This year John is portraying Nashville artist Renee Somers and Jess Herr will be portraying John.

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“After exchanging e-mails for several months, my Art Lotto “pardner” Renee Somers and I got together today for a rewarding session of conversation, coffee, drawing, painting, and a few photos. (I did a charcoal study – Renee, who lives in Nashville, decided to start a portrait of me in oils). When I chose her name, I knew it had a familiar ring to it. I soon found out it was Paul’s mother. I’ve known Paul since he was a student of mine about 12 years ago. The other connection Renee and I have is that we are both art educators. After seeing the Art Lotto 2012 show, I knew that I just had to be a part of it this year. It was easily one of the best group shows I’ve ever seen in The Burg. Since I haven’t done many portraits in recent years, this will be a challenge for me – but, that’s one of the reasons I wanted to do it … for me, art is very much about The Challenge. It also seemed like a unique opportunity to get to know fellow artists (Jess Herr is doing my portrait … another art teacher!). Thanks to Brandy and all the others that are working to make Art Lotto happen!” ~John

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Photos courtesy of Paul Somers

 

Behind the Muse: with Renee Somers

I’ve known Renee Somers for nearly 15 years. She is an artist in every sense of the word. She lives it, preaches it, breathes it, studies it, does it, loves it and just can’t get away from it. It bleeds from her. It is her. She currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee but is no stranger to the Valley. Renee’s son, Paul, is a go-to for artful adventures in Harrisonburg, carrying on her passions and giving her ample reasons to visit: film festivals, poetry readings, art shows and…oh yeah, her amazingly sweet grandchildren. This is Renee’s second Art Lotto go-round. Last year she took home the prize for Best Hair with her painting of Matt Sedeen. This year, she’ll be all tangled up in the locks of Matt Hall. Fellow art educator/artist John Bell will be portraying Renee. After meeting with Matt for the first time, Renee sent me the following quick-sketch and thoughts:

Renee Somers Sketch of Matt Hall
Renee’s sketch of Matt Hall after meeting him for the first time.

“I wondered who was the artist I would paint for Art Lotto. I came, I looked, I wondered. I was plopped down on a stool at the Artful Dodger thinking each person I saw might be him. I asked first one and then another. I looked for someone looking for someone. Then about the time I settled in and just decided to relax, I ordered a coffee and told the bartender I was “just waiting for Matt Hall” and he said, “Why he’s right there,” and called him over. He resembled the images I had seen painted through the centuries of the Christ. I was thrilled at the fun hair I would get to paint and my immediate response was to do a Christ look-alike. But who knows where the spirit will take me as I handle this young artists face with my paintbrush and follow the contours of a well-chiseled firm face and curly feathery hair. 

You know, when it comes to Art Lotto, it is about surprise, anticipation, and visual resurrections of our perceptions coupled with the images of the artists we have selected to portray. I took some pictures of Matt and my son, Paul, took some pictures for me. If you want to find out the outcome of this fabulous opportunity, meet me at the Art Lotto opening at the Artful Dodger. Last year and to-date, it was the best art show I had seen in years. The diversity, the talent, and the ambiance of the whole concept, of artists painting artists, was just inspiring. Top that off with the Super Gr8 Film Festival and you have music, passion and art all wrapped up in a artful heartful community.” ~Renee