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 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!

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 Ruthie Hogan

Ruthie Hogan signed up for Art Lotto last year and at the Luck of the Draw event, she randomly selected the name of local wood artist Bruce Rosenwasser. She challenged herself to make Bruce into a muppet…and she succeeded. Muppet Bruce was a hit at the Lotto openings. Artists took him off the wall, passed him around, disguised their hands as ball-capped-flannel-wearing-Bruce and entertained each other. Ruthie brought lots of smiles with her muppet creation. This year, Ruthie selected the name of photographer Misti Yoder. Misti has local roots but currently resides in Indiana. The distance could easily be a challenge but Misti and Ruthie made it work last week when they met up for coffee.

Misti and Ruthie at The Artful Dodger
Misti and Ruthie at The Artful Dodger

“I met Misti and her daughter at the Artful Dodger on Monday. This year’s process is pretty different from last year for me because I knew what I was going to do last year (whether or not I was sure I could do it was another story). This year, I wanted to do something different and had a couple of ideas running around my head. Meeting Misti and getting to know a little but about her was really inspiring; it finalized in my mind what I want to do. I went out and bought my materials immediately after our meeting. Hopefully it works.” ~Ruthie

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

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