Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 Artist in Residence Program, a central aspect of its Arts in Nature program. There were a record 160 applications from 28 States, 31 Countries and 6 Continents! Selections were narrowed through a multi-tiered jurying process with Bernheim staff and an esteemed jury of local curators and art professionals. Awarded on an annual basis, selected artists use Bernheim as their inspiration, creating works that connect people with nature through the lens of art. Although each artist is varied in their approach to their art making practice, all utilize aspects of nature as a primary reference in their work.
It is with great pleasure to announce that we have invited not one but TWO Regional Artists in Residence! We were thrilled to receive 22 applications from artists living in Kentucky and Southern Indiana and were impressed by the quality of work being created in the region! The first Regional Artist in Residence is Kathleen Lolley, a painter, mixed-media and collage artist from Louisville, Kentucky. Lolley’s work explores the connection between nature and the cosmos. Nature takes on a spiritual context, with both folklore and plant lore playing prominent roles in her work, often incorporating organic material into her finished pieces. Inspired by ancient folk traditions, as well as her environment, Kathleen creates her own visual folk tales for modern times. Lolley’s proposal is to create a series of visual vignettes incorporating found objects from Bernheim, highlighting the interconnection of nature and the human realm. Diverse mediums used to achieve this goal range from painting, animation or in the form of shadow boxes. Lolley will begin her residency in May.
The second Regional Artist in Residence is Justin Roberts, a Kentucky Crafted Artist, specializing in the rare folk art of bent-wood willow furniture from Murray, Kentucky. Roberts proposes to create a conceptual, environmental sound, social, eco-land-art, installation, that connects its audience with our natural world through an interactive, multi-sensory experience. “Sounds of a Whippoorwill – Bernheim” would work in conjunction with another accepted proposal, “Sounds of a Whippoorwill – Josephine” set to open in September of 2019 at the Josephine Sculpture Park in Frankfort, Kentucky. Connecting these installments encourages the public to seek out the individual parts, creating a communal interest in both organizations. Each installment will be site-specific and unique but clearly connected. Roberts intends to reveal this installation at our 2019 CONNECT, slated for Saturday August 24th.
And last, but certainly not least, is architect, artist and photographer, Janice Lee Kelly, from Rhode Island. Kelly uses balloons as a building block for large scale, floating sculptures. Photographing these lively and ephemeral creatures bringing her creative process full circle. She uses 100% latex balloons harvested from rubber trees. These latex balloons are an organic material that biodegrade at the rate of a leaf. Kellys’ top priority is maintaining the sculpture’s integrity so that no balloons are released or left behind in the environment. Aging balloons are either recycled into new sculptures or composted and popped balloons are saved for other art projects, including jewelry and weird but beautiful weaving experiments. Kelly wants to focus her residency on the architecture of plants and seed pods, exploring the plant structures that shelter, incubate and then ingeniously disperse seeds. These sculptures will not be botanically correct replicas, rather inspired by the various engineering and design solutions of different plants. Kelly will visit in May to research Bernheim grounds and plant life before come back this November for a full immersion experience.
Stay tuned to learn more about each artist and their personal experiences as Bernheim Artists in Residence! Updates during their stay will include unique ways for the public to interact with the artists and their creative process. Thank you to the artists who submitted applications. We appreciate the opportunity to learn more about your vision and view your work!