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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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 Denise Allen

Denise Allen is a local artist, art advocate, event planner, city school employee, spreader of joy and an all ’round good person. If you know Denise, you love her. And incase you didn’t know, Denise is not only a participating lotto artist but she just-so-happens to be the cofounder of Art Lotto, too! I couldn’t have dreamed up a better partner in event planning. Together we have planned three years of Art Lotto, soon-to-be two years of Wonderkitten, a Photographer Expo and some other things in the works that you’ll just have to wait for! Denise recently met with Chesapeake based artist Cameron Twiford, the artist she will be portraying in this year’s Art Lotto. At the same time, Cameron also met with the artist he will be portraying: Sharon Skates of Broadway, Virginia. This trio enjoyed lunch, conversation and photo taking at the Blue Nile in Downtown, Harrisonburg.Sharon Skates Denise Allen Cameron Twiford

Sharon, Denise & Cameron’s joint Art Lotto meeting at the Blue Nile in Harrisonburg, VA.

 “It’s been fun getting involved in the arts in Harrisonburg! I’ve been living here for almost 10 years and I’ve had over 50 art shows. I’ve gotten to collaborate with several artists and continue to do so with Artery and Art Lotto. In Art Lotto 2012, I partnered with Teal Davies, Teal Davies partnered with Lynda Bostrom, and Lynda Bostrom had me!  (Side Note: This year, Derek Niver gets to portray me, and Lynda Bostrom is going to portray Derek! How cool is that!?!?) 

This year, we had another art-tri-fecta on Thursday, May 8! I sped out the door at lunch time to meet my Art Lotto pARTner, Cameron Twiford, and HIS pARTner, Sharon Skates, at Blue Nile downtown. As I ate my lunch in front of Sharon and Cameron, we swapped stories and got to know each other a little bit. I learned that Cameron is a firefighter and traveling to Las Vegas for a training with ‘five other knuckleheads’ this week. He grew up in Chesapeake with Paul Somers and visits Harrisonburg often to hang out and go skateboarding and see events like Skatan Worshippers. For his art making, he usually does pen drawings, his favorite color is green, and he’s stepping outside of his comfort zone to make Sharon’s portrait! And OF COURSE Sharon ‘uses both sides of her brain on a daily basis’, she changes her hair color often, and she’s a cancer survivor. She shared with us that Harrisonburg Relay for Life is #19 in the nation and #1 in Virginia! Her weekend would be spent making 7,200 cupcakes for a fundraiser for a 5th grader with Leukemia! WOW! Sharon says she’s going to try and paint her pARTner, Laura Thompson, on a cake, and then make a 2nd fondant cake—and I’m secretly hoping she lets us eat one!” ~Denise

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Cameron Twiford & Sharon Skates showing off their creative guns.

 

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

Private P-art-y!

Thank you Rachel Herr (see pg 30 on link!) for capturing these candid moments last evening at Art Lotto’s artists/judges/sponsors Private Party. What a fun evening of looking and admiring and chatting and fun. It was a great sight to see all eyes glued to the walls of the Artful Dodger in admiration of the diverse talent that surrounds us. Portraits will be up through the month of August.IMG_2077web IMG_2084web IMG_2037webIMG_2035web IMG_2028bwweb IMG_2030bwwebIMG_2044bwweb IMG_2031web IMG_2049web IMG_2042webIMG_2050web IMG_2056web IMG_2052web IMG_2054web IMG_2060webIMG_2051web IMG_2055web IMG_2058bwweb IMG_2061bwwebIMG_2065web IMG_2067webIMG_2066webIMG_2074bwweb IMG_2062bwweb IMG_2073bwwebIMG_2082web IMG_2085web IMG_2088web IMG_2086web IMG_2081webIMG_2092web IMG_2098web IMG_2090web IMG_2093web IMG_2089bwwebIMG_2099web IMG_2100web IMG_2107web IMG_2103web IMG_2108bwweb IMG_2110web

2013 Promo Video

Check out our promo video for this year’s Art Lotto! Big THANK YOU to Andy Vanhook of Appeal Production for making this happen with a quickness and to the artists that showed up to help out. YEAH ART!

Behind the Muse(s): Promo Shoot

On Sunday morning a few Lotto artists met in the parking lot beside Larkin Arts for a short and sweet promo shoot with Andy Vanhook of Appeal Productions. It was a showdown of sorts with weapons of mass…creation. It was a western-themed venture on the streets of downtown ‘Burg. We laughed, a lot. And we can’t wait to share the finished product. Stay tuned!
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Struttin’
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Creative weapons…ARTLOTTOIMG_6805 ARTLOTTOIMG_6807 ARTLOTTOIMG_6818ARTLOTTOIMG_6813 ARTLOTTOIMG_6820 ARTLOTTOIMG_6826ARTLOTTOIMG_6849 ARTLOTTOIMG_6829BW ARTLOTTOIMG_6834BW ARTLOTTOIMG_6839

Michael Trocchia, tape master.ARTLOTTOIMG_6844 ARTLOTTOIMG_6847