Behind the Muse: with Kyle Scott Mitchell

“I drew Angus Carter at the Luck of the Draw event, and it’s kind of a funny story. Angus and I have been good friends since High School. We joked about the what ifs of drawing each other’s names, and I couldn’t help but laugh when I actually saw his name roll out from under that cup.”AngusKyleLarkin

“My process starts from a board, or canvas that I’ll cover with a thick coat of black paint. For me, it eliminates all other elements, and possibilities, allowing me to get at only what needs to be there. Usually it’s in the form of old memories that are pulled from somewhere in the backlogs of my brain. It takes a lot of concentration, but something always comes screaming through. Afterward, it’s just a mad rush to bring it out of the black before it’s forgotten, or I have to start all over. It’s actually a really exciting process for me, and usually accompanied by some fun music. I guess it’s kind of a Zen approach to art, but I really don’t label myself as such.

Whenever I do portraits, they tend to deviate from my normal method in some way that bends more toward their character. Angus’ portrait is no different. So far it’s turned into something slightly more complex, and chaotic, which actually suits him pretty well.” ~Kyle

I ran into Kyle and Angus recently at an art opening at Larkin Arts. When I cornered them for a photo, I asked Kyle if they had any older photos together. Much to my surprise, Kyle sent me this gem. Check out Kyle and Angus in high school!

Angus and Kyle Throwback1“We were all going to a pro wrestling show, if I recall, and it was canceled. We all pretended to be really super bummed for the photo. I was a bit of a chunkier kid in High School, making really bad choices in hair-styles, and Angus was a skinny little vegan/straight edge dude (hard to believe, I know). We’re on the bottom right of the photo.” ~Kyle

Look for Kyle’s portrait of Angus at the August Art Lotto opening as well as the portrait of Kyle which is being created by Parvina Mamatova.

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Behind the Muse: with Michael Trocchia

“I’m interested in the gaze, in what it holds and hides, in its metaphysic. With this piece, I wanted to work with the gaze of two, both Laura’s and that of Seneca’s, a stoic philosopher from antiquity. So, there is a bit of theater to the piece, a theater of silence perhaps. Laura, you can say, plays the lead and she’s brought something both fierce and vulnerable to it.” ~Michael

above: artist Michael Trocchia in front of his canvas
above: artist Michael Trocchia in front of his canvas

Michael Trocchia might as well just start a revolution. He has been pumping out creativity with every beat of his heart since I met him. The kind of man you walk away from feeling a wee bit smarter. If you don’t believe me, do yourself a solid and grab a cup of coffee, click this link to The Dirty Napkin and press play. You’ll here his voice ooze through the speakers and you’ll be left wondering which is smoother: him or your coffee. Michael has had a heavy hand in many intellectual happenings. You may have seen his films in the Super Gr8 Film Festival, heard him read at countless poetry readings, stumbled upon his published writing in several journals and blogs (like here, and here, and here, oh and here too aaaand here). You may have attended a play he adapted and directed at Court Square Theater called Stephen Crane’s The Blue Hotel in which he also curated an art show inspired by the plot. You may have been a student in his Philosophy class at JMU or witnessed a romantic glare exchanged between him and his lovely wife. But it wouldn’t have been until this year, that you would have seen the art work of Michael Trocchia outside the walls of his home. In January, he held his very first solo art show at Black Swan in Staunton, Va. His show was a collection of portraits inspired by real life ‘characters’. Prior to this show he mainly painted other types of characters: “imaginary people, fictional people, characters dreamed up…ones that belonged to a story never written,” Michael describes.  When this year’s Lotto sign ups came around, he was definitely on my radar. Looking at his work is reminiscent of reading his poetry in that it paints us a picture, except this time, literally. For Art Lotto, Trocchia randomly selected the name of Laura Thompson and we will see his version of her come August. Fellow artist Elliott Downs will be portraying Michael.

Behind the Muse: with Rebecca Rust

Rebecca Rust, signed up for Art Lotto in person at one of our sign up events held at the Blue Nile. There’s just something about her that draws you in and makes you think twice about what’s going on behind those merlot colored glasses. This year, Matt Hall has been assigned the task of showing us his Rebecca as he will be creating a portrait of her for our August opening. Aside from getting involved in the arts and chatting about life at weekly girls night, Becca is also a derby girl. Mmm hmm. Pretty b.a. huh? Watch her in action at a Rocktown Roller event near you.
This year, Becca will be doing a portrait of Jon Gehman

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Becca viewing Matt’s art work at his Blue Nile show.

“I had seen Matt’s show at the Nile when it opened, and saw one image in particular that I had to have! His work reminds me of Miyazaki films, in the way that houses turning into beings, multiple faces appear from different perspectives.
Nothing is as it seems.

I was prompted a week or so later, by Brandy, to go visit again for some photos. This time I had a fellow roller derby lady with me (who happens to be our go-to for Merchandise… and a fellow Art Lotto contributor), Ruthie Hogan, and she liked Matt’s work as much as I did, so she bought his Queen of Hearts image right on the spot! Her and Matt and I all figured out a plan to sell some shirts with Matt’s image on it! Locals helping locals helping non-profits. What more could you ask for?!” ~Becca

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Matt and Becca having a weirder moment.

Behind the Muse: with Ben Fraits

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Art Lotto veteran, Ben Fraits, works on his portrait of Pat Jarrett.

Second year Lotto participant, Ben Fraits, ain’t skeerd to try something new. This year, Ben is working on a portrait of photographer, Pat Jarrett. Both Ben and Pat took home an Art Lotto award in 2012. Ben won the Out-of-the-Box award last year with his photo/scrabble piece concoction of Anne Hogan and Pat won the Oh Snap! Photography Award with his portrait of Elliot Downs.

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“I’m not exactly sure what inspired the idea for my art lotto piece this year, I wanted to think a little more ‘out of the box’ I guess. However, I was quite excited when I drew Pat Jarrett’s name from the cup.  Knowing him from around town and learning more about the artist himself, I needed something to solidly represent him, something chiseled into time, something strong, that has a little weight behind it. I needed to create a work that would define Pat in a way that it might be cemented into resembling the solid artist, photographer that he has been over many years.  I think I’ve found this in this portrait..
Defining the legend.. (wait for it)” ~Ben 

Behind the Muse: with Misti Yoder

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Misti on the job in Millersburg, Indiana.

Misti Yoder is an Indiana based photographer but she is no stranger to Rockingham County. She was born and raised here in the Valley and plans to return in the near future. This is Misti’s first year playing the Art Lotto game and she has become a pro at using Lotto as an excuse to come home for a visit!

At the Luck of the Draw event, Misti drew the name of painter, Morgan Fink. The two girls met at sunset for photos on a horse farm outside city limits. Misti needed complete darkness for the shoot. Here’s Misti’s take on her experience that evening.

“(Her) horses name is Ryan. He is a good boy and stood so nicely when we met him…up until shooting time. I’m pretty sure heaven is right there in Port Republic. Rolling hills, a view of Massanutten Mountain from one side and full mountain ranges on the other, a quaint little pond on site and majestic horses in every direction. Breathtaking. We didn’t finish shooting until well after 10pm as we learned that sunset and complete darkness do not always coincide.” ~Misti 

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Morgan and Ryan at sunset.
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View from the horse farm. (Misti Yoder Photography)

Behind The Muse: with Lynda Bostrom

Lynda not only participated in the first Art Lotto but she won both the Kid’s Choice and the Best Use of Medium awards last year. She has a creative energy that flows through this town and inspires the heck out of me. And she’s an all ’round good human being to boot. In the midst of relocating and sorting through her boxed up life, Lynda continues to make time for creative ventures. Below, she is caught working in her office/studio on her lotto portrait of Katie Struble. This year, Lynda’s portrait will be created by Sharon Skates of Broadway, Va.

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Lotto artist Lynda Bostrom works in her office. Photo by fellow Lotto artist, Katie Schmid with http://www.pinwheelcollective.com

Denise Fills Our Cup With Happy

Incase you forgot how awesome the cup drawings were at The Luck of the Draw…here’s a friendly reminder. Denise designed 58 original drawings on styrofoam cups! Artists in attendance selected a cup to keep – under the cup was a lotto ball with the name of another artist, revealing who they would be portraying in this years Art Lotto!

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denise allen art lotto cups