Open to Interpretation

Open to Interpretation is an invitational exhibit of abstract artwork by the region’s best abstract artists. The exhibit showcases non-objective abstract art, which means that the artist wasn’t specifically trying to recreate an image.  You might be tempted to look for trees, buildings, or people in these paintings, but for most of the artists in this exhibit – that is not the intent.  The artist may be trying to capture a mood, a feeling, or exploring just what paint can do.

You can visit the exhibit in person through August 14. The Art Center is open Tuesday through Friday, 11am to 7pm and Saturdays 10am to 5pm. Please read our updated COVID-19 policies before visiting.

If you aren’t able to see the exhibit in person, please enjoy the virtual exhibit, below! The artwork in this show is for sale. Size and price details are included in the captions of the image thumbnails below. Click on an image to see a larger version, along with details. To purchase a piece, please call 859.236.4054.

Kayla Bischoff (Louisville, KY)

My practice explores individual and social psychology through a combination of figuration and abstraction. While my paintings are informed by the anxieties of the zeitgeist, I want them to be playful and approachable, to capture the intertwined nature of life’s joys and woes.

I view my subjects as the psyches of frenzied crowds, drawing inspiration from both the ancient and modern worlds, from my interest in African and Asian masks as much as from my interest in Art Brut, Graffiti, cartoons, and Action Painting. I think of the crowds as reflecting both real life groups of people and those inhabiting the internet — I want the cartoonish figures to evoke the mob mentality of the online world in the wake of “fake news” and misinformation.

Patti Edmon (Lexington, KY)

“Abstract expressionism gives me a way to discover, give meaning to, and express the dialog of my deepest inner self. A dedicated studio practice gives me a platform for working through issues, finding courage and communicating hope through color, movement and brushwork.”

“I believe that the language of abstract painting is the nonverbal communication that connects us all to each other.”

Debra Guess (Bagdad, KY)

I use acrylic paint on canvas to explore unplanned harmonies of color and form, much like those in nature that lie just under the surface of our awareness. Pigments and markings and spontaneity dictate, evolving into a combination of the organic and the imaginary; where shapes, strokes, markings and color come together to reveal a sense of time and place both familiar and open to interpretation.

I paint with a deep appreciation for the value of spontaneity in abstract art and in individual paint strokes themselves — of how intuition and accidents alike can embody important and authentic qualities of beauty. And I am continually fascinated with the way that memories and impressions often rise — sometimes without any intention at all — to the surface of the painting process.

Elizabeth Haigh (Danville, KY)
(collaborating on the glass art with Adam Haigh)

I’m privileged to come from a family of artists and educators, so I grew up with access and encouragement to the arts as creative outlets. What began as self-expression became a very personal discipline, which has recently evolved into a public share. Now I question how to make art for myself and for others that might evoke or provoke.

First, I work with what I’ve got and don’t waste anything: a commentary on consumerism. Second, I have far-reaching influences, many of which are based on my privileged upbringing and education: a commentary on inspiration vs. appropriation.

These approaches both guide and set boundaries for me, which lead to making—and breaking—preconceived rules of how, what, and often why to create. To this end, I gravitate toward surface pattern design and the challenges of working on a series, both of which may begin as one thing (a doodle or curiosity about found objects) and then become something else (a game of shapes and colors or a commentary on fashion vs function, craft vs high art).

Steve Heine (Louisville, KY)

The “infinite monkey theorem” states that a monkey striking keys at random on a typewriter for an infinite amount of time will almost certainly type out the complete works of William Shakespeare. With “Sonnet”, I’m interested in the iteration and abstraction of randomly-generated text to create a visual spell of line, light and shadow.

Billy Hertz (Louisville, KY)

My “ABSTRACT” paintings are actually landscape paintings, which have become far removed from any traditional definition of that genre, yet still maintain a slender but sustaining thread to the concept of representational image.

Of late, the determined physicality of the color fields is accentuated by a collage element, so that the “terrain” is rendered with a dash of topical relief that introduces not only a new element to my vocabulary – but to the concept of
“push & pull” to quote an early 50’s master (Hoffman).

Darrell Ishmael (Lexington, KY)

Darrell Ishmael’s art is well known for its textural and multi-layered depth.  A native Kentuckian, Darrell creates peaceful and healing emotions in his art by utilizing Kentucky coal, sand, mineral pigments and the pleasing colors of our natural world.  His work is in corporate and private collections internationally and throughout the United States.

Jana Kappeler (Carlisle, KY)

For me, painting is first and foremost an exploration of color. Never really knowing for sure how the paint will flow or stick to the canvas creates a sense of adventure and excitement. The exploration of shapes and gestures through dramatic use of color, dry brushing, scraping, drawing lines with Chinese calligraphy brushes, and the use of textural mediums as sculptural substrates is like a metaphorical pilgrimage. I keep moving forward, knowing where I intend to go, with some sense of the experiences that I will have along the way, but many times, finding unanticipated consequences from each step of the journey.

I hope to evoke a soft and inviting mood in and with my abstract paintings. As such, I tend to eschew hard edges, preferring a gentle flow from one color to the next. Light, lines and ribbons of color are intended to draw the viewer closer—into a place where one can see what is hidden in the layers beneath.

Robert Lackney (Danville, KY)

For GOODMORNING and TWIGS:

My current work is exploring the 15 principles of reality within: Non-local consciousness.

Omnipresence, Incardinational, Intra-Demnional, Non-Duality, Space|Time, Past-Future: Present, There not here.

For RHAPSODY IN BLUE:

These are image of my theory of color.  Using a color field (red, blue, green hues) I place on adjacent spaces, a new hue changes only: A/ one quality of the HUE.  B/ INTENSITY (or value).  All colors are in harmony.

Marco Logsdon (Lexington, KY)

I have always worked with the idea of sequence.  At the beginning of my career, I read somewhere that most artists create one work and spend their life recreating it over and over again with slight variations.  I believe this is true; we spend our lives chipping away at an idea where a conclusion remains elusive because the human mind finds a way to build on previous versions of itself.   

I have spent the last 30 years chipping away at an idea where a painting’s meaning does not involve words or known symbols from the real world but rather a place where shapes and patterns create their own visual language.   Nothing new in the history of art but still an open field.  My goal is to have a painting become a universal spiritual thing that goes beyond a specific interpretation or story. 

My use of reclaimed materials, tar, and encaustic wax adds nuance to each piece, and by varying color and form, I believe each painting takes on a life of its own.  Once on display, this puts the interpretation of meaning into the hands of the viewer as all art is about communication. 

Barry Morrison (Elizabethtown, KY)

Barry Morrison is an American Abstract Expressionist Artist. The focus of his work is color, form and the emotion it evokes.

Morrison returned to his work as an artist in 2006 following a personal tragedy, and a series of life-changing events.  While he considers the greatest artists of the abstract expressionist movement to be Pollock, de Kooning, Kline, and Rothko, he enjoys them only as the great masters they were and for the gifts they left us. He has ultimately set his own artistic course by choice and necessity.

About pay what you decide pricing:

The value of art is subjective to each of us.  Each person must determine how valuable a work of art is to them.  It has been my experience that, those who purchase artworks are fair in their valuation of that art. For this reason, I began in 2018, to sell my art on a pay what you decide basis.  The response has been amazing.  If this painting appeals to you, you already own it!  The only decision you have to make is what is this painting worth to me? 

Karen Tubb (Danville, KY)

I work in digital photography with an emphasis on macro photography (up-close images.)  I take pictures of ordinary things in my house or things I encounter in my day to day life.  I like getting so close to an item that it loses its identifying features and becomes something else entirely.  I want to be able to look at a photograph I’ve taken, see beauty in it, and wonder what it is.

Sarah Wiltsee (Danville, KY)

Mystical Thinking – The soft color palette is not usually my norm. The scene indicates that the viewer is either on land or perhaps in a small boat (canoe) coming upon this peaceful space and pausing before entering, not wanting to disturb the untouched beauty.  

Moulin Rouge – I started this painting with dabs and flows of color spread across the canvas until suddenly in the middle of the paint stood the small black figure of Toulouse Lautrec surrounded by white crinoline and black stockings in the whirling dancing.

Conversation – The viewers first impression is layers and layers of paint, but on closer examination silhouettes appear to be standing in conversation and social connection. Maybe a message of the much needed community we humans need.