Category: Art Education

A look back at my recent photo workshop with the Louisville Photo Biennial

This past fall I had the opportunity to teach an 8 week digital photography course, geared to 10-15 years olds at Baxter Community Center in downtown Louisville with the Louisville Photo Biennial.  This photo course was taken from, and expanded upon, the original 1-day, 5-hour workshop, I led for the Louisville Photo Biennial at 5 different community centers last fall.

Oh look…my favorite thing ever…having students take my picture…NOT!  Photo by Amira Karaoud

One of those 5 workshops was at Baxter Community Center, and I was really excited to have three prior students from that class return to work with me again this fall!  I also loved the idea of breaking down the initial one day workshop into a consecutive 8 week program, where I could really get to know the students and potentially have far greater impact on their interest in photography.

Most classes began with looking at photo books. This was a source of inspiration to me in my arts education and was a great intro to the topic we covered that day. Photo by Amira Karaoud.

With a new lesson introduced each week I also addressed the fundamentals of strong photo composition.  Having this longer session enabled us to really dive into the numerous creative options of the Nikon Coolpix S7000 camera.



And like last fall, we brought in photo printers for making images of the work created.  This is always a huge hit.  We all take photographs, but very few are ever printed anymore.  And just like the darkroom, there is a sense of magic when you see your image coming to life…and in this case, out of the printer.  This process also allowed them to review the images they have created and select the most worthy of being printed.


Probably the most memorable class was our Louisville Belvedere field trip.  It was a mid October day when the air is still warm and the light is just right late in the day!  No one wanted to leave and you can’t beat that!



The 8 week course ended with a pizza party and exhibition of work created. Students selected their best images for exhibition and arranged them themselves.  The exhibition reception was well attended by members of the community and the students were very proud of their work!




Many thanks to my awesome photography assistant Amira Karaoud!  She was great at helping keep the students on track and it was wonderful to have another person offer some one on one assistance to them!  Check out her website…she’s an amazing photographer!!

Photo assistant Amira Karaoud looking super cool…ummm, because she is!  Photo by Tre Walker.


As I look back on this experience, my biggest take away is the pure joy these students expressed each week.  Incredibly grateful for the Louisville Photo Biennial and their mission to bring photographic education to those in underserved communities.



#tbt to Digital Image Transfer & Mix Media workshop @TSKW

I can hardly believe it’s almost June.  Life has been crazy busy (as always) and time is moving FAST!  But I would be remiss if I did not write about the Digital Image Transfer & Mix Media workshop I taught at the The Studios of Key West this past February.  (I know…I’m throwing it way back and it’s not even Thursday!)

First of all, I gotta say what an honor and privilege it was to come back to Key West as an artist and an educator.  After 16 years of island living, I left Key West to reduce my expenses and focus on creative passions back in my hometown of Louisville Kentucky…and I can truly say I have done just that!  But Key West is a place I miss dearly and it felt so good to be there again.  In addition, TSKW has become even more amazing in my absence (if that was even possible!!) and recently moved into the newly renovated space at 533 Eaton St.  The facilities are top notch with artist studios, dedicated classrooms, three exhibition spaces, a theatre for the performing arts, and is attached to (and affiliated with) the independent book store (originally from Miami) Books and Books.


Housing supplied by TSKW during my workshop (which I quickly converted into a studio).


And even more recently, Nancy Klingener, the Southernmost Reporter/Producer for WLRN News is broadcasting from the 3rd floor at TSKW!  Add in an amazing staff, a ton of dedicated volunteers and awesome artist housing (including a bicycle) while either teaching a workshop or experiencing a residency.  I mean….HELLO(!!!)…everything you want in you local arts organization…and then some!!


Digital Image Transfer workshop at TSKW.  Photo by Jeane LaRance.


I’ve been incorporating encaustic wax with my photographs for some time and recently added digital image transfers to the working equation using alternative print materials by DASS™.  Combining the two into a two-day workshop was both a challenge and a blast to teach!  Day one was all about image transfers, which were applied to a variety of surfaces, including wood, metal foils, and fine art papers.  Day two took those initial results further with the incorporation of mixed media including watercolors, oil paints and encaustic wax.


I love this image created by Camille Blatz who layered an image transfer onto wood with the same image transferred onto kozo rice paper…final piece encased in encaustic wax.



(Click on images in the below photo slider to visit personal websites of featured artists)


I had artists of all mediums sign up for the workshop…photographers, painters, mix media artists and sculptors all represented.  The title of the workshop naturally attracts photographers (like myself) who enjoy exploring the possiblities of the medium.  But I love how this process transcends photography and speaks to artists of all mediums who are seeking more creative options for their imagery.  Ultimately, we all brought something slightly different to the table and learned a lot from one another.


I have been a fan  (and friend) of LIsa Esposito from the first moment we met and it was an honor to have her in my workshop.  Here, Lisa dips an image transferred onto Stone Paper into encaustic wax just to see what would happen.  (I even love her process notes in relation to the image above!)



(Click on images in the below photo slider to visit personal websites of featured artists)




Not only did Mark Hedden have two pieces made during this workshop accepted to the Small Works exhibition at Lemonade Stand Gallery in Key West he even sold one of those pieces. Thats what I’m talking about!


(Proof of the above)  Photo by Jeane LaRance.




I also taught a really fun gel medium transfer class with kids.  Working with a non-toxic acrylic gel medium, students learned the mixed media method of transferring an image to a wood panel.   Their ready to hang creations were finished with watercolors, colored pencils and acrylic paint.


As always…thanks for making it this far!



My time as a Visiting Artist at UAH

Art, Art History and Design Building at UAH.

By now, most of you know I recently exhibited my latest body of work Luminiferous:  Adventures in Metal at the Wilson Hall Gallery on the University of Alabama in Huntsville campus this past March.


(Photo by Jose Betancourt)

As a visiting artist I also taught a digital image transfer workshop with the students in Jose Bentancourts‘ Experimental Photography Class.  I introduced the class to alcohol gel transfers and DASS supersauce transfers to wood, metal foils and glass.


I like to encourage students to bring in substrates of their choice for transfers images onto as shown in the above photograph.


Raeley Stevenson distressed the edges on the emulsion side of film before transferring onto watercolor paper.

You know you’re doing something right when you can generate excitement in sharing your process!  And it was such a pleasure to get students excited about image transfer.  A lot of great results came from the workshop as you can see below.



In addition to exhibiting and teaching, I was also lecturing…three lectures to be exact.


One lecture was to Jose Betancourts‘ Documentary Photography class.  This talk was very detailed specific and entirely about my involvement with the Haitian Art Company and the multiple trips (one of which was 2 months!!) I made to Haiti during my 7 years of service to the gallery in Key West.  As one would expect, this experience had an enormous influence on my life as artist and creative professional.



The business gave me unique access to Haitian artists and allowed me to experience the culture in a way that is unavailable to the average person.  The photographs I have taken in Haiti reflect a bond I have with my subjects and contain emotional power attained only through the crossing of cultural boundaries.  Obviously I highlighted my images of Haiti, developed in the style of 19th century photographs and talked extensively about my travels with artist Franz Zephirin who was determined to show me ‘the real Haiti’.  We traveled to Cap Haitien and specifically to his grandmother’s voodoo compound where I was graciously given permission to record the events of a seasonal voodoo ritual.   Ceremony of the Serviteur was shown in it’s entirety during this talk.

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