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Category: Local Artists Live

Local Artists Live – Barbara Davis

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind-the-scenes in studios of local artists? On Saturday, July 25, Montgomery artist Barbara Davis will broadcast live on the Museum’s Instagram—opening her studio space to share her artwork, reflect on her inspirations, and offer a live Q&A with her audience! This is a great chance to meet one of our local artists and learn about her creations.

Video

Above is a recording of the July 25 live stream event that was originally broadcast on the Museum’s Instagram account. Click here to follow the Museum on Instagram.

Meet the Artist

Local Artists Live will feature Barbara Davis this Saturday, July 25. Barbara loves this place she calls home, and her passion for Southern living shines through in her artwork. Barbara has lived in Montgomery all of her life and she wouldn’t have it any other way. She has fond memories of attending Floyd Elementary School, where she was creatively engaged–“always with crayon in hand”–and where she even met her husband when they were both in the third grade! In her youth, Barbara was a Girl Scout; her favorite badge was the Dabbler Badge because it required the completion of fun art-related activities, such as soap carving.

A die-hard Auburn fan, Barbara attended the university’s affiliated campus, Auburn University at Montgomery, where she earned a degree in Fine Arts after much consideration and prayer. After college, she found herself in a banking career. Though she regularly continued to paint, there were many years when she thought that earning a living as an artist was an impossible dream. Finally, in 2010, Barbara transitioned to being an artist full-time, and as they say, the rest is history.

Barbara believes that the best way to grow as an artist is to create something every day, and that is what she does! Join Barbara this Saturday morning at 10 AM when she goes Live on the Museum’s Instagram account and demonstrates her painting style which seems to effortlessly capture soft light with such tangible vibrance.

What is your favorite thing about living in the South?

Mary Cassatt (American, 1844–1926), Francoise in Green, Sewing, 1908–1909, oil on canvas, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of the Ida Belle Young Art Acquisition Fund, 2009.6

Gracious living—which to me encompasses the heart of the people, the hospitality, the style, the food! Too hard to pick one thing!

What excites you most about the growth of Montgomery’s art scene?

So many artists are full-time artists and I love that evidence that there is the desire to pursue it and that the community and collectors support that desire.

What is your favorite work of art from the MMFA’s collection, and what specifically about the artwork speaks strongly to you? Who are some artists with works in the MMFA’s collection that inspire you?

There are several…the pieces in the collection by John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt (at right), Edward Hopper are the ones I am absolutely most drawn to – particularly the Sargent. The amazing brushwork is like an art lesson in itself! Not only the brushwork but the color. Amazing!

Also, [John] Kelly Fitzpatrick’s paintings especially inspire me, of course, since they are rooted in our area. I adore the color, the texture, the brushwork, and the light he captured in the scenes of Alabama in that time period.

What piece of art that you have created is your favorite, and why?

Barbara Davis, Touchdown Auburn!, 2019, 18×24, oil

Hard to say, but I think it’s a portrait that I did of Auburn sports announcer Rod Bramblett (at right) the week after he was killed in a car accident. I was recovering from shoulder surgery which I had just after returning from learning at the Portrait Society of America convention. I was eager to use some techniques, ideas, and tools gained from my study there. I had not been able to paint for weeks. So the painting is born of love and grief and exploration—just a lot of emotion—and I think it resonated with a lot of people.

Do you have an all-time favorite work of art, and have you seen it in person? If you have, how did you feel in the moment?

It’s a sculpture, The Pieta by Michelangelo, and I have not been able to see it in person. I can’t even imagine being able to see it in person!

Tell us about your most preferred place to be on earth. What role, if any, has the energy of that place helped shape you as an artist?

My preferred place is right where I am. I love the fields, skies, flowers, people, and experiences of home. It constantly inspires me. I hope my work honors this place, these roots. There’s nothing like painting plein air under a big sky in Pike Road, Alabama.

What drives your creativity?

I think I would say light. The effect of light is what makes my heart beat faster, what makes me know I want to paint something!

What is your preferred medium?

Oil!

Do you listen to any particular music when you create?

Yes, I do listen to music when I paint, but I love so many different genres–depends on the season, the day, the mood and sometimes the painting subject. I love classical, early jazz, French music, bluegrass, Big Band, 60s and 70s, old standards, old classic country. Sort of an old soul, for sure.

What advice would you give to beginning artists?

Never give up! If you have that dream, pursue it and don’t give up, but you have to work hard! Draw every day, paint all you can! Commit to creating for at least 5 minutes a day!

Above: Barbara Davis, Day by Day, 2019, 36”x36”, oil

Local Artists Live – Toni Toney

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind-the-scenes in studios of local artists? On Saturday, July 11, Montgomery artist Toni Toney broadcast live on the Museum’s Instagram—opening her studio space to share her artwork, reflect on her inspirations, and offer a live Q&A with her audience, a great chance to meet one of our local artists and learn about her creations.

Video

Above is a recording of the July 11 live stream event that was originally broadcast on the Museum’s Instagram account.

Click here to follow the Museum on Instagram

Get to Know the Artist

Toni Toney is the featured artist on Local Artists Live this coming weekend, and in preparation for her live stream segment, she has shared some insight about her journey in becoming an artist. Toni, a public school art teacher for 16 years, surprisingly only began identifying as an artist herself just two years ago. Less surprisingly, this born-creative recalls that in her youth she was constantly doing something artistic, from fashioning clothes for Barbies using mismatched socks and making custom bedding out of dryer lint to designing paper dolls with brightly colored clothes.

Toni grew up in Compton, California, before moving to the East side of Long Beach with her family when she was in 8th grade; creating was her escape from the chaos around the neighborhood outside her home. Toni’s love for art flourished through drawing and coloring after her father started taking her on weekend visits to the California African American Museum. After moving to Alabama in 2000, Toni continued her artistic pursuits at Troy University, earning her Bachelor of Science in Art.

As an adult, Toni’s main focus shifted from nurturing her personal creativity to helping her students grow through making their own art. Throughout all of her years of teaching, she has found herself focused on her students’ artistic evolutions. Toni says, “I’m always doing something, if not for myself, for somebody else. I enjoy bringing my own ideas to life and helping others do the same…it’s like my superpower.” This superhero teacher has received continued encouragement from her family (much like that foundational introduction to art visiting the CAAM with her father) and from artists whom she met at an ArtWalk event organized by the local nonprofit arts organization 21 Dreams. Fueled by a community of encouragement, Toni has been able to return to putting energy into her own art practice.

Toni recently collaborated in the creation of the Black Lives Matter mural located around the Court Square Fountain downtown. She states that taking part in painting the words ‘Black Lives Matter’ at the same location where Black people were once bought and sold as slaves was an overwhelming experience she will never forget. Continue reading to find out more about Toni, her artistic inspirations, and her belief of how consistently putting energy into creating is an important part of her own process. Don’t miss Toni’s feature on Local Artists Live this Saturday, July 11, at 10 AM on the Museum’s Instagram account, @MontgomeryMFA.

What is your favorite thing about living in the South?

My favorite thing about the South is the history and culture. My son is able to visit where historic events have happened, events that have shaped our history as we know it.

What excites you most about the growth of Montgomery’s art scene?

I love that so much has changed! You actually see that art is here in the city! That wasn’t the case a few years ago.

What is your favorite work of art from the MMFA’s collection, and what specifically about the artwork speaks strongly to you?

My favorite piece from MMFA’s collection is Negro Baptising. It’s the first piece I [go to] see when I walk into the museum. I love how Fitzpatrick captures everything, from the reflection of light on the faces of the onlookers to the personality he gives each subject. I feel like I’m a part of the painting whenever I see it like I’m witnessing the baptism along with them.

What piece of art that you have created is your favorite, and why?

My favorite work is titled Pink Ponytails (pictured above). She reminds me of the little girls I grew up with, still holding on to her childhood, still wearing her hair in ponytails and playing jump rope outside. She has a questioning look about her face which makes the viewer wonder who she’s looking at. I love the mystery behind that look.

Do you have an all-time favorite work of art, and have you seen it in person?

Hands down, Miss America by Ernie Barnes. I saw it for the first time as a child and I remember thinking, “That’s a strong woman”. I saw it again a few years ago and fell in love with it all over again. When I look at her I’m reminded that no matter what, you have to keep going; even when your load is heavy, keep going… hold your head up high and keep going.

Tell us about your most preferred place to be on earth. What role, if any, does that place play in shaping you as an artist?

My preferred place to be is anywhere near water. I love the beach. Growing up in Southern California, we went all the time. It’s something about the smell of the ocean and the sand at my feet that calms me, almost like a reset button. I feel alive there, a lot of my paintings have a bit of blue in them because of my love for the ocean.

What drives your creativity?

My creativity is innate. I’m a born creative. I’m always doing something, if not for myself, for somebody else. I enjoy bringing my own ideas to life and helping others do the same…it’s like my superpower.

What is your preferred medium?

I love acrylics. I can be impatient a lot of times, so when I have something I need to get out, acrylics are the way to go for me.

Do you listen to any particular music when you create?

I grew up listening to all kinds of music. From jazz and classical to funk and rock. It really depends on what my mood is. Right now, I like listening to Neo-Soul from the early 1990’s.

What advice would you give to beginning artists?

My advice would be to connect with other artists. Find a community of like-minded people who will give you constructive criticism about your work. I’d also say to create something every day. Even if it’s a sketch on a napkin or the back of an envelope, do something every day.

Above: Toni Toney, Pink Ponytails, 2019, acrylic

Local Artists Live – Milton Madison

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind-the-scenes in studios of local artists? On Saturday, June 27, Montgomery artist Milton Madison will broadcast live on the Museum’s Instagram—opening his studio space to share his artwork, reflect on his inspirations, and offer a live Q&A with his audience! This is a great chance to meet one of our local artists and learn about his creations.

Video

Above is a recording of the June 27 live stream event that was originally broadcast on the Museum’s Instagram account. Click here to follow the Museum on Instagram

Get to Know the Artist

For this weekend’s Local Artists Live featured artist Milton Madison, the Black culture he was brought up with and lives daily is not just part of his identity, but was a strong influence in his art. Milton grew up in Birmingham but has been a Montgomery-area local since 1995; he recalls visiting the capital city every Thanksgiving as a child to attend the Turkey Day Classic, a tradition for his and many other Black Southern families. Keeping to his roots and following in the footsteps of his family members, Milton went on to attend Alabama State University, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Arts.

Milton recalls having creative interests as a child but that he was limited in how he was able to express himself–mostly only through drawing, so he drew a lot. He remembers his first exposure or introduction to this foundational artform when his uncle showed him how to draw a Porsche 911 as a “penny racer” by using two pennies for the wheels. This vivid memory of an experience that Milton states, “Blew [his] mind!”, is what first set him on the path to making art. He also attributes his frequent reading of comic books in his youth for teaching him all that he knows, and even thought early-on that he would pursue a career as a cartoonist. His passion for comic books affected his career, resulting in his becoming a graphic designer; such connections can be identified by looking closely at his art.

Continue reading to find out more about Milton’s passions, influences, and how his culture is inherently intertwined with his art, and be sure to tune in on Saturday, June 27 at 10 AM, when Milton takes over the MMFA’s Instagram account for a behind-the-scenes look at his studio space and creations.

What is your favorite thing about living in the South?

I definitely would have to say the culture. Oh, and the summers and mild winters although they didn’t used to be as mild as they are now. Some people don’t remember we really used to have real winter!!! Thanks, climate change. But most of all [my favorite thing is] the culture. The rich culture of our people and what they’ve persevered through: being the torchbearers for the Civil Rights struggles and the many changes they made that shook the world and helped shape change in this nation. I’m honored to stand on their shoulders and be someone who keeps the wheels of change going in the right direction for our people.

What excites you most about the growth of Montgomery’s art scene?

First of all–that we finally have one!!! That wasn’t always the case, or at least not for Black people. I’ve been here since 1995 so I’ve seen the needed change and waited desperately for it. It seemed like there was art here in the city, but it was always kinda like pretty flowers and cotton fields-type art.

What is your favorite work of art from the MMFA’s collection, and what specifically about the artwork speaks strongly to you?

I don’t have one specific artwork, but I really like the glass gallery with the skylight. I make sure to visit it every time I’m in the Museum, looking at how the light in that space spreads through the organic shapes of the glass and thinking about how glass can take on these forms.

Milton Madison, 2 dope Bois, acrylic on canvas, 30″x40″

What piece of art that you have created is your favorite, and why?

My OutKast piece, 2 dope Bois (pictured at right) because of the memories that come to me when I think about the first time I heard [the Hip Hop duo] OutKast, me and my cousin in my granddad’s sky blue Cavalier being introduced to a new Hip Hop. I shared a lot of my special moments in Hip Hop with my cousin, and so when I see or hear OutKast I think about us. Their music helped shape the minds and cultures of young black men, especially in the South. It was all about our experiences and the things we were seeing. True pioneers in Hip Hop. So to admire them as much as I do and to be able to capture a pretty decent likeness of them, and to have executed a Hip Hop type feel with the graffiti and different styles of art that are represented in that piece…I’m really proud of it.

Do you have an all-time favorite work of art, and have you seen it in person?

No, but I would love to see the Sistine Chapel.

Tell us about your most preferred place to be on earth. What role, if any, does that place play in shaping you as an artist?

That’s a really good question. I don’t have a definite answer to that but I really enjoy Chicago. It has a very rich and diverse art scene that I admire. I’ll have to get back there one day so that I can take it all in. I really enjoy the beach as well; the sounds of the ocean are very relaxing and therapeutic. One of these days I’d like to visit New York for two or three weeks so I can just take in their art scene.

What drives your creativity?

My energy; energy drives my creativity. A lot of times I have to sit back and process what I’m feeling before I can create. My energy has to be right for me to create.

What is your preferred medium?

I guess I would have to say acrylics because that’s what I use most, but I also enjoy watercolors and drawing of course.

Do you listen to any particular music when you create?

Jazz and Hip Hop

What advice would you give to beginning artists?

Just try to surround yourself with as much art as you possibly can. Go to galleries, take in things that visually stimulate you, get online if you don’t have any galleries nearby. Go to Instagram and follow some artists, explore the world through your phone if you have to. Personal experiences are great to draw from. Just keep creating, and the opportunities to be seen and exposed as an artist are sure to come.

Local Artists Live – Tara Cady Sartorius

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind-the-scenes in studios of local artists? On Saturday, May 2, Montgomery artist Tara Cady Sartorius will broadcast live on the Museum’s Instagram—opening her studio space to share her artwork, demonstrate a creation that reflects the whimsy of Flimp, and offer a live Q&A with her audience! This is a great chance to meet one of our local artists and learn about her creations.

Left: Tara Cady Sartorius, Running at the Riverfront, 2015, Oil on Board; Right: Photograph of Tara Cady Sartorius

Video

Above is a recording of the May 2 live stream event that was originally broadcast on the Museum’s Instagram account. Click here to follow the Museum on Instagram

Get to Know the Artist

Saturday, May 2, 2020, would have been the Musuem’s 30th annual Flimp Festival, canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic along with all public programming based on guidelines from the Governor, Mayor, and health officials. In honor of this temporarily unrealized momentous occasion, Local Artists Live will feature the founder of the festival, artist and educator Tara Cady Sartorius. 

Tara’s path to becoming an artist was a natural one, abundantly nourished by a creative, eclectic lifestyle growing up. During her childhood, Tara’s family moved so often that she attended 10 different schools before graduating high school, living on the east and west coasts of the United States and even spending a summer in France. Along with frequently moving, she learned from an early age about the dance of life by observing her seven older siblings and the death of her father when she was just five years old. Her mother, an artist and musician, was an independent thinker and surrounded her children with books, music, and art. Tara’s childhood overflowed with creative activities, and she remembers an obsession with scissors and cutting things, whether they should be cut or not, and specifically recalling that she did not get in trouble for this. 

After earning her undergraduate degree in ceramics from the University of Santa Barbara, a certificate in art teaching while still in California, and eventually her MFA in sculpture and art criticism from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, Tara’s journey brought her to Alabama. Her mid-summer move to Montgomery in early adulthood stands out as quite a shock. “Everything was so green it almost hurt my eyes…it was so hot.” Tara came to Montgomery in 1986 to serve as the Curator of Education at the MMFA, a position she held for 21 years. Brought here to oversee the development of the Museum’s new interactive gallery (what we now know as ArtWorks), Tara’s artistic vision and educational philosophy kept the MMFA’s engagement with the community fresh, fun, and ever-evolving. She believes now, as she did then, that “the pursuit of knowledge should be motivated by curiosity.” This philosophy radiates through the merging of whimsical art and FUNdamental learning, all embodied in the Flimp Festival, held annually during the first weekend of May at the start of spring. We asked Tara a few questions about Flimp, living in the south and Montgomery, and reflections on art and art-making.

What sparked the founding of the Flimp Festival?

The idea for the Flimp Festival came right around the opening of the new Museum in 1988. At that time a group of us from the Museum used to go down to the beach to spend long weekends in Seaside way before it was very developed. One evening we all decided the museum needed a “signature” event and our brainstorming led us to [Geneva Mercer’s] Flimp Fountain and the Flimp Festival. We had lots of laughs but then got somewhat serious about it (in a fun way) as we gave it a mission (imagination, humor, and creativity) and chose components according to those three values. 

Do you have an all-time favorite Flimp memory?

One of my favorite memories was the performance piece that Robin VanLear created the evening before Flimp. It was a spectacular group effort with costumes, lanterns, a boat, and a house-like construction (built by Robin) on the “island” across the lake. At dusk, performers holding bamboo sticks with round paper lanterns on the ends slowly streamed out of the museum and surrounded the lake, evenly spaced around the water. One by one the performers lit their lanterns in the direction of the house. At the same time, another performer was in a canoe with a “guide” being paddled across the lake. As they reached the shore below the house, the “guide” got out of the canoe and walked toward the house as one of our interns, Andrea Potochick, walked all the way across the slippery weir. Both figures then simultaneously appeared to “light” an electric light in the house, which was covered in a translucent white paper. After the performance that night, there was a huge storm and the house was struck by lightning. Flimp is just magical that way! 

What is your favorite thing about living in the South?

I like that if I so much as scratch the surface of humanity around here, there can be a great outpouring of love. Southerners seem desperate to connect. I like that. The people I have met here are incredible, and I love the language and the double entendres, and I especially appreciate the lack of ability to assume anything about anyone. I have grown to be defensive and protective of the South in terms of culture and interpersonal human caring. The humanity here is way more complicated than it gets credit for. The tension between the races and socio-economic strata are palpable, and I wonder if reconciliation will ever be possible. My approach is entirely one-on-one. 

What excites you most about the growth of Montgomery’s art scene?

I have seen several times when Montgomery’s art scene seems to be growing, and then it pulls back, and then it grows again. I have great respect and confidence in the artists I know and the arts institutions with which I have become involved or familiar. It does seem that there is a lot of duplication, but there may be a need for that if one institution, organization, or group cannot fit all needs. I am liking the current growing appreciation for diversity. It’s about time! 

What is your favorite work of art from the MMFA’s collection, and what specifically about the artwork speaks strongly to you?

That is an impossible question to answer. The answer may change from day-to-day depending on my mood. Because I have written and researched so many of the works in the collection, I feel them very close to my heart. In playing this “judgment game” I recognize that there could be a difference between “my favorite” and a piece I would love to have in my home to look at every day–but here are some favorites, in no particular order:

Do you have an all-time favorite work of art, and have you seen it in person? If you have, how did you feel at the moment?

It doesn’t matter what the artwork is, because the influence is what it is more about. Sometimes art appeals to me because of its intellect, sometimes I find things funny, and other times pieces are technically and visually arresting. If it’s worth doing, it is worth doing to a high degree of excellence. When I see excellence, I might cry. That’s when I know I have a “favorite.”

Tell us about your most preferred place to be on earth. What role, if any, has the energy of that place helped shape you as an artist?

The ocean: Beside the ocean or in the ocean, but not ON the ocean. I don’t enjoy being on a boat. I like being on the shore with waves that I can hear in a rhythmic pattern. When I die, cremate me, and then please scatter my ashes at More Mesa Beach in Santa Barbara. Cast them gently into the water while you are wading up to your knees.

What drives your creativity?

Curiosity, the need for quiet, the joy of tinkering, the desire to share beauty with others. That does not mean that everything must be literally beautiful, but the feeling must be strong and must access the same deep wellspring from whence beauty emerges. 

What is your preferred medium?

Whichever one I happen to be using, but clay always transports me. It is a complicated material and I also appreciate making things that are useful and beautiful at the same time. 

Do you listen to any particular music when you create?

I don’t listen to any particular music. In fact, sometimes I just want silence. I like pretty much every type of music except super-hard-non-harmonic punk rock. I do like to hear and contemplate poetic words in lyrics, but I love instrumental music that allows my mind to drift. I also enjoy good podcasts. 

What piece of art that you have created is your favorite, and why?

This is another trick question, like asking a parent who’s your favorite child. Not fair at all. I’m still making – maybe my favorite is the next piece I create!

What advice would you give to beginning artists? 

Dear Young Artist, 

Please pursue whatever art form makes you feel that you don’t want to ever leave or stop. Do the things that your feet keep walking you to do when you aren’t thinking about what you “should” do. Consider exploring the option of teaching (even every once in a while), because teaching is more about learning than you might realize. If someone has ever inspired you, then you will be able to inspire others as well. I hope your work (in material, in spirit and in intellect) will reform and re-invent our educational system, and that you contribute toward helping others find what sparks their curiosity and joy while creating. 

Love, Tara

Above: Spiral Texture Wall, 2006, Designed by Tara Cady Sartorius

Local Artists Live – Madison Faile

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind-the-scenes in studios of local artists? On Saturday, April 18, Montgomery artist Madison Faile will broadcast live on the Museum’s Instagram—opening his studio space to share his artwork, reflect on his inspirations, and offer a live Q&A with his audience! This is a great chance to meet one of our local artists and learn about his creations.

Above (left to right): Original artwork by Madison Faile; Portrait of Madison Faile by Anna Gibbs

Video

Above is a recording of the April 18 live stream event that was originally broadcast on the Museum’s Instagram account. Click here to follow the Museum on Instagram.

Get to Know the Artist

“You can do anything you will yourself to do.” These wise words, spoken to artist Madison Faile by his grandmother, Deanie, indicate the origins of his dedicated, unbending nature. Pure creation itself drives his artistic work,  and no matter the medium or subject, one thing is abundantly clear: this artist lives to create.

Originally from Selma, Madison grew up in an artistic family where his love for art was cultivated from an early age. His mother was a ballet teacher and his district attorney father was an avid photographer with a darkroom in the home garage.  His grandmother, for whom he is named, was a very accomplished portrait painter and draftsman, and it was she who taught Madison how to draw. Encouragement and support from his mother especially helped his path in becoming an artist.

There are several artists in the Museum’s collection who inspire Madison, including Walt Kuhn, John Singer Sargent, Ida Kohlmeyer, George Inness, Clara Weaver Parrish, and Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald.

Madison is the first artist featured on the Museum’s program Local Artists Live, which will stream from the studios of various local artists, showcasing the talent and diversity of Montgomery’s art community. We asked Madison the following questions to learn more about his life, art and process, and to get a taste of what we might enjoy during his Local Artists Live segment set to stream on Saturday, April 18.

Madison, what is your favorite thing about being from and living in the south?

Being from the south is something that many try to escape, but I’ve always embraced it. Southern culture is so steeped in [both] pain and beauty, and I love the contrast. Forgotten elegance, ruined finery…I could go on for hours.

What excites you most about the growth of Montgomery’s art scene?

It’s been exciting to see Montgomery grow and develop over the last few years. We’ve come so far in such a short period of time. I only hope that with this growth comes an emphasis on public art, because we are still greatly lacking [in that regard].

You said Walt Kuhn’s Clown with Long Nose (pictured above) is your favorite artwork in the MMFA’s collection. What is it about this painting exactly?

Walt Kuhn’s life and work have always been a favorite of mine. There is a real metaphysical side to his characters. I don’t consider them portraits; I consider them paintings of characters. The one in the museum’s collection, like many of his, has real menace.

You are known to paint plenty of clowns yourself; is this directly related to the Kuhn painting or do you have another inspiration?

No. [My inspiration is] the circus.

What piece of art that you have created is your favorite, and why?

Changes all the time. Impossible to answer.

Do you have an all-time favorite work of art, and have you seen it in person? If you have, how did you feel at that moment?

Changes all the time. Also impossible to answer!

Tell us about your love for New Orleans. Has the energy of the city helped shape you as an artist?

New Orleans will always be my spiritual city. I always find endless inspiration when I’m there.

What is your preferred medium?

I usually work in acrylic and oil, [sometimes] charcoal and pastel, and I adore colored pencil.

Do you listen to any particular music when you paint?

Everything. Ragtime to Big Band. 70’s to 90’s grunge. Nina Simone to Green Day.

What advice would you give to beginning artists?

Keep going. Do whatever you have to do to make the best work you can. Don’t settle.

Above: Walt Kuhn (American, 1880–1949), Clown with Long Nose, 1936, oil on canvas, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, The Blount Collection 1989.2.25, © Estate of Walter Kuhn

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