Category: Workshop

Out of Frame–Student Exhibition at StudioWorks by ZoomGroup

Out of Frame: October 13th – November 18th: Studio Works by Zoom Group

1503 Bardstown Road, Louisville, 40204 

This past summer I had the pleasure of teaching a 12-week photography class with StudioWorks artists at Zoom Group.  There was nothing more thrilling than showing up to an attentive and excited crowd ready for another photographic adventure. The class was rooted in the fundamentals of strong photo composition and reinforced with each new lesson, allowing the artists to hone their photographic eyes.


Thanks to Reggie for capturing this fun shot of me during our light painting session.


Louisville Photo Biennial provided the cameras and photos printers for processing the work created in class. And just like the darkroom, there is a sense of magic when you see an image coming to life. Because StudioWorks produces art for sale to the general public, we spent a lot of time reviewing images and selecting the worthiest of being printed.



StudioWorks artists explore a variety of artistic mediums and it was fun for me as an instructor to introduce several photo-based mixed-media projects to this group.  We addressed photography’s early history but in a modern fashion when printing digital negatives and exposing them on fabrics via light sensitive dyes in the bright sunlight. We also referenced 19th century tin types through digital image transfers that we ‘printed’ onto aged aluminum with interesting results!


At the Kentucky State Fair…one of several off site field trips with Studio Works!


Highlights of the course were creating light paintings, an in-camera photography effect achieved through slow shutter speeds in low lighting; as well as several off-site field trips to the Kentucky State Fair, the Big Four Walking Bridge and exploring the vast photographic collection at Paul Paletti Gallery in NULU Arts District. The length of this program enabled me to establish a relationship with each artist while having the time to fully dive into the creative options of the digital camera as well as explorations beyond the electronic image.


StudioWorks employee Andrew Hardin did a great job installing the exhibition!


Out of Frame is a featured exhibition in the 2017 Louisville Photo Biennial, a regional festival occurring in over 60 venues throughout the Louisville, Lexington and Southern Indiana area from September 22-November 11. Through exhibits, receptions, workshops and educational opportunities, the Biennial celebrates the medium of photography in all of its richness and variety, and its ability to touch and enrich our lives.

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.



Creative Capital Professional Development Program at 21c

The life of an artist isn’t easy.  It may look glamorous from a distance or it may seem like we are always traveling or living the life of leisure.  But that could not be farther from the truth.  Being an artist in the modern world is a lot of hard work.  Not only are we responsible for the conception and production of our work, we must promote ourselves, get our work into galleries, elevate our status on social media platforms and constantly update our websites, oftentimes while we have a day job that pays our bills, our studio rents and our art supplies.  The life of an artist is not for the feeble either.  My work has been rejected for numerous juried exhibitions, fellowships and residencies…more than I can count actually.  But I’ve received my fair share of acceptances into shows, awarding of fellowships and selling of my work too…and thats why I continue to keep putting it out there (besides the fact that I simply like the process of making the work itself)!

So it was with sheer pleasure to learn that I had been selected to participate in the nationally renowned Professional Development Program of the Creative Capital Foundation of New York, which took place one Sunday this past October at 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville.  This was BIG!

Developed by artists for artists, the Professional Development Program provides career, community and confidence building tools to help all artists become successful artists.  The day long workshop was led by professional consultant Colleen Keegan and artist/educator/Creative Capital awardee Beverly McIver.


Spending a lot of time post-workshop with this workbook!

The Professional Development Program teaches artists about self-management, strategic planning and goal setting to attain increased satisfaction in your life and career.  Ummmm…yes please, I could use that!  Other topics included communication, with tips on improving verbal communications in negotiations and the importance of developing of a strong “elevator pitch” as well as descriptive written materials for promotion and fundraising.  After lunch we spilt into groups and addressed the specific topics of Time and Art Business Management and Financial Planning.  One hell of a full day!

Can you say inspiring…overwhelming…mind-blowing???!  I’m still processing it…and I think that’s the point!!

While I got so much from each part of the day, the one about financial planning hit home the most.  More than any other profession, artists go out of their way to accommodate their clients, reducing their fees to please and overextending their time without proper compensation.  This session in particular gave me the tools I needed to access a value to my time and work.  I now feel more confident knowing what my work is worth, taking into consideration the time and skill behind all of it.  I was also inspired by how far ahead the program motivated me to think about my life and career…what do I want to accomplish in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years?  What do I want my obituary to say??  This is something great for us all to think about!


The other KY artists I was fortunate to spend my day with. (From Left to Right) Back row: Gaela Erwin, Vian Sora, Carrie Neumayer, Rosalie Rosenthal, Cynthia Norton, Scott Massey, Carlos Gamez de Francisco, Matthew & Mitchell Bradley, Emily Sheehan, Jacob Heustis, Ewa Perz, Jennifer Palmer, Claire Pope.  Front Row: Ying Kit Chan, Letitia Quesenberry, Valerie Sullivan Fuchs, JZ (me), Aron Conaway, Thaniel Ion Lee, Julie Liedner


If you’re and artist and have the opportunity,  take a Creative Capital Professional Development course…you won’t be disappointed!  They also have webinars on their website that can be purchased and viewed on your own time.

Thankful for the opportunity to participate in this most productive experience!



Founded in 1999, Creative Capital is a groundbreaking organization that gives substantial grants and guidance to artists pursuing adventurous projects in a range of media and practices. The professional development program, which has been presented in cities all over the United States, is designed to help artists learn how to manage their artistic careers, fund and market their work, communicate effectively, and develop sustainable practices.