Category Archives: Art Event

Unit 5 Short Essay Assignment

By: Rhonda Hilligoss

            I selected an 1860 oil painting, done by an American artist named George Peter Alexander Healy;  ” The Portrait of Sallie.”  Although the painting was done in the 1800s many of the technique that the artist used came from the High Renaissance era. It is located at the Speed art Museum  in Louisville, Ky. This “Still Life” composition is done with oil paint on canvas; the medium, linseed oil, is mixed into the paint as a binder and this technique became popular around the early  1500’s. Sallie is the subject matter and is sitting in a chair next to a beautifully decorated table.  I am assuming that’s her name is Sallie by the title, so for the purpose of this paper we will call her Sallie.

Sallie’s realistic form is created by the artist’s use of contour lines to shape a three dimensional illusion of the her occupying space next to the table. The most noticeable curved lines are in the upper features of her body. The elegant outer curves form her neck, shoulders, and her hands and the inner curves from her jaw, chin, and her nose. The artist was very detailed, to capture Sallie’s expression, there are small curves under her cheeks to create the illusion of her cheeks being lifted from the smile on her face. Each strain of hair is perfectly outline as if each hair on her head individually placed. He used lines to represent each joint in her fingers, and outlined a  gold wedding ring on her left ring finger. Sallie is looking away from the viewer, with her head tilted slight down.

To render the effect of light the artist uses the technique of chiaroscuro to represent the light falling across her face. Shadows shows depth around her eyes and nose. The dark shadows on the back walls  and  the contrast of light towards her face, illuminates her white porcelain colored skin.  The modeled in her features and in the folds of her formal dress implies a spatial realism and existences of dimension.  The value of colors shift from light to dark, from warm to cool. He uses the simultaneous contrast effect with orange to contrast against the silver in her dress and green walls contrast to her light skin to keep Sallie as the viewers focal point.

This portrait represents three-dimensional space, by overlapping objects in a one point linear perspective and somewhat  foreshortening. The woman and table being positive space and the walls being the negative space. It has a frontal and slight diagonal vantage point and represents real space, it looks as real as if it was a photograph of Sallie sitting there.

There is an illusion of texture, by using patterns on Sallies dress and the table cloth.  The dress has a shiny glare on it suggesting it might be made out of silk material. On the sleeves and down the front of her dress looks to be a decorative lace. The table cloth looks like it has design pattern on to give the illusion it is cloth. The layering of color on the walls give the illusion of wall paper. The painting  is asymmetrical balanced, with the use of light and texture.



To me this portrait represents someone the artist might of know personally. She was a lady belonging to the upper society. By her facial express, I assume she  is kind, light spoken, reminds me of school teacher or a writer. The dress that she is wearing implies the 18th century. The ring on her finger suggest she is married, maybe high morals or religious. Her pose suggest her she is shy, but a lady, but not in any way provocative.  I am drawn to oil paint, I am always amazed how life like the really are, and the painter can create a person appearance as physically flawless. If only the human eye could see the world always so flawless.

If was going to research about this painting, I would start with the artist to see if I could find information about the history of  Sallie, if she was a real person he knew personally. After studying her painting so intensely, I wonder if my assumption were correct.

This picture was downloaded and can be seen at


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Unit 5 Short Paper

By Breeana Brandt

I visited the Speed Art Museum on 4/26 and found a million paintings that caught my eye in some fashion or another. The one I chose to write about is “October Evening at Apelvik” by Nils Kreuger. This piece was done in 1894 and is beautiful oil on canvas work.

This painting is of a landscape. It’s a very calm scene yet the way it’s painted makes it busy. The colors aren’t very bright as far as the color spectrum goes but there are a few colors that pop against each other. All of the colors he used in this piece work amazingly well together. The scene he painted is very simple; sky, grass/field, a tree and some hills in the background. It’s very graceful and flows very well. The colors in the sky are bright compared to the darkness of the tree, the hills and the darker parts of the grassy areas.

The way he painted this is what makes me love this painting. Between that and the color scheme he used it makes this incredible to me. The large brush strokes he used throughout most all of it is just an eye catcher. He made the grass/field go one direction with large, swooping brush strokes and the sky go almost the opposite direction with pretty much the same brush strokes. This technique almost makes it to where your eye follows the sky and grass around in circles. You just wind up going over the same parts not being able to break the flowing lines. The brush strokes make it look, considering you can’t touch in a museum, like there is an extraordinary amount of texture. The large strokes make deep lines with, what looks to be, rough ridges almost as if you could feel the movement of the grass and clouds. The road, the tree, and the hills all curve to one corner of the painting. The tree and the details in the road were done with what looks like smaller brush strokes incorporating different methods making it all the better to study it.

I would say that my strong passion for landscape scenes and the outdoors was my influence for choosing this work. I enjoy the fact that you can take the smallest, plainest landscape and turn it into the most incredible thing anyone has ever seen. Yes, that could be done with any subject but nature scenes have the innate ability to take your breath away. If I changed anything about this piece it would be to add some sort of water, lake, pond, or stream, to the large, dark field on the right side. I think an area of water would help balance the piece a little on both sides and add something else for your eyes to focus on rather than a dark spot in a field.

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H2O The Frozen Over Tour

By Brad Mattingly

On Feb 19 2011 my fiance and I went to the Brad Paisley: H20 Frozen Over concert at the Yum Center. The evening started off with Jerrod Nieman singing his different songs about drinking, loves found and loves lost. The show then moved on to Darius Rucker singing his songs about life and heartbreak. Then it was on to the main event when country music star Brad Paisley hit the stage opening up with his song Water about summer fun and having a good time the arena was set up with a pretend pool and some special effects to make the room look like there were reflections coming off of water everywhere.

The concert itself was high energy and very entertaining. All three performers put on an amazing show for the crowd and Jerrod Nieman being a new singer I’m sure gained a few fans. Brad Paisley has several songs many people know and he has been all over country music stations and has won many awards for his talents. One of my personal favorites songs that he performed at the concert was “This is Country Music” in which they played a video montage of the country greats Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline, George Strait, Brooks and Dunn, Hank Jr and many many more. The song itself depicts the differences in genres and what they are and arent willing to sing about.

I personally thought the concert in whole was amazing Brad Paisley is one of my favorite singers and a true artist at songwriting and singing. There really wasn’t a thing about the concert I would have changed except for maybe having to see a bunch of drunk girls stumbling up to the stage and getting thrown off by security guards.  I like this type of music because it is a reflection of me and the things I enjoy, spending time with my family, riding in my truck with the girl I love, laughing about stupid arguments and fights we get into, faith, fun times out the guys. As far as what I don’t like about the music there isn’t anything its great stuff that’s honest and true unlike a lot of other music genres today.


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Writing About an Art Event: Mademoiselle Pogany I

By Tracey Thompson

Mademoiselle of Pogany I is a sculpture exhibited at the Speed Museum on the University of Louisville campus.  I viewed this piece of art on my visit to the Speed Museum on April 23, 2011.  This sculpture was made by Constantin Brancusi of an art student who sat for him.  The artist originally carved the sculpture from memory out of marble.  Later castings of the sculpture were made out of bronze.  Only one of the four castings is exhibited at the Speed Museum.

The sculpture is of the head and neck of the student who sat for Constantin Brancusi.  The sculpture shows the face of the woman, with some type of shawl wrapped around her neck and the bottom of her face.  The only facial features visible are the nose, upper cheek bones, eyes, ears, and the forehead and her actual head.  The eyes are sculpted as very large, and almost seem like something from an alien movie.  The sculpture overall is very sleek with very little detail.  Because the cast of the original sculpture is made of bronze, the only color is of the bronze and some darkened areas.  The darkening on the head seems to represent the woman’s hairline.  There is also some darkening on the shawl wrapped around her neck and face, this seems to add a little detail of shadowing.

I really enjoyed this piece because of the sleekness is shows as well as the mystery displayed.  I think I really enjoy pieces that are sleek and minimal in design because I am a person of the 21st century.  Most of the decorations in my home and things I enjoy looking at show a very minimal sophisticated design.  I also believe that I enjoy the mystery about this piece because it makes the viewer really think about what the piece represents, and it allows the viewer to form their own opinions based on life experiences.  I can see how some people may view this piece and sexual and sensual.  Like a woman teasing by only showing her eyes.  I, however, think this woman is either shy or had some type of dark mystery she is hiding.  The large eyes make me feel like this woman is very knowledgeable and has seen many things.  I feel like she is hiding behind a shawl because she doesn’t want to reveal what she may know.  My interpretation of the emotion of this woman probably comes from enjoying psychological thrillers.  Because this is something that I enjoy, I tend to view art with a darker side of psychology than may be intended.

The only thing I may change about this piece of art is how it is displayed.  It is traditional to display artwork on a pedestal, usually very neutral so it doesn’t take away from the artwork itself.  However, I think this sculpture would be more captivating if it was hung in the air by some type of string or other unobtrusive means.  If it was hung in the air, when it was viewed it could be taken in by the viewer as only the sculpture, with nothing else around it.  Overall, this was an amazing piece of work.

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The Scarlet Letter

By Taylor Reddin

The Scarlet Letter was performed by the students that are enrolled in the theatre and drama class at Apollo High School. The students performed their best efforts of this play in the auditorium at Apollo High School, on April 8th 2011.

The Scarlet Letter is a drama, somewhat of a romantic drama, of a woman who walks around with a red A on her breast and the people of the town say she’s being punished for committing adultery. Hester’s missing husband is in the crowd of onlookers and goes back to Boston to continue to be a doctor. Hester and her daughter are shunned from the community and the community threatens to take away her daughter Pearl. A man by the name of Dimmesdale tries to help Hester, but he has health problems, Hester’s missing husband gets suspicious of this man, and soon finds out Dimmesdale has a scarlet A on his chest too, and he begins to think that there is something going on between Hester and Dimmesdale. So secretly Hester’s husband slowly kills Dimmesdale.

The performers did a good job (considering they were high schoolers). A few of the performers really got into their role, especially the role of Hester, the girl who played her did a great job with her acting, and tone of voice of getting the feeling of pain, and embarrassment that her character was feeling across to the audience. Through the actors and actresses I could also see the impact of sin, and evil that the characters were facing and dealing with. The role of Hester’s missing husband, Chillingworth, was portrayed as a sneaky but highly intelligent man. Which he was. Personally I thought the production of the play was allot easier to understand rather than the book. I know the production of the play leaves out many things that happen in the book, but it still made it allot easier to understand, and to comprehend.

I liked how the actors and actresses put their efforts into their acting, and how the students made their own back grounds. I didn’t really like the somewhat long waits in-between scenes. I also thought the play could have been a little bit better if the students had different lighting other than two spot lights. But then again it was a high school play with kids aging from fourteen to eighteen and they did depend on what the high school would give them as far as funds to make their production better, but for what they had, they did great. I very much enjoyed the production of The Scarlet Letter, by the students.


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Musical Concert

By Tabitha Rash

I attended the Phil Wickham Concert at the Aumni Chapel in the Southern Baptist Seminary on Thursday April 28,2011. Phil Wickham is a famous Christian artist who sings electronic pop and some acoustic. Phil Wickham was the only performer who performed at the concert. The concert was loud, there were bright strobe lights, and smoke. There were also screens on each side of stage with the words to the songs written on them.

My personal response to the concert is as follows. I was impressed by the size of the venue and the building had good acoustics. I was moved and inspired by the lyrics of the songs performed.  When I’m experiencing hard ships and trails in my life, I relate to lyrics and music.

It’s like my escape from the world. It was truly a blessing to me! To see all the people singing and just in tune with the music and  worshiping the Lord was moving. Do to the heart of the music this was probably one of the best concerts I’ve been to. My favorite song Phil played was, “True Love.” Some of the lyrics that really spoke to me in this song are, “Come close listen to the story about a love more faithful than the morning…Search your hearts/ you know you can’t deny it/ Lose your life just so you can find it…” This song allowed me to examine my heart and really look at how I live my life daily. I don’t want to gain the world and lose my soul; therefore, like the lyrics, say we must lose our life so we can truly find it.

I really liked how he switched between styles, which made it very captivating. I grew up in a Christian home with Christian traditions that did not believe in instrumental music as an expression of worship. Phil’s music has been a conduit not only of all the ways we can lift up God through music but also of freedom in expression to raise hands and dance and allow praise to flow through our bodies. The thing I disliked most was that the music was loud. It left me with a headache and a ringing noise in my ears.

In conclusion I truly enjoyed this concert. Phil Wickham is a great Christian artist who touches the lives of many through his music.  If Phil Wickham came back in town I would attend his concert and would recommend others to do the same.

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“Tough Call” By Norman Rockwell

By Stephens Henderson

In 1948 Norman Rockwell went to a baseball game at Ebbets Field to see the Brooklyn Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates. He brought along with him a photographer to capture the images of the ballpark, baseball players, and umpires for his April 23, 1949 Saturday Evening Post cover illustration. The painting features three umpires looking at the weather during the Dodgers and Pirates game wondering if they should call the game or not. The scoreboard in the background shows the score 1-0 Pirates leading in the bottom of the sixth inning, so if the game is called the Pirates will officially win. Norman Rockwell worked on this painting in 1948 in Los Angeles, California where he and his family spent the winter. He used oil paint on canvas for the final product.

Norman Rockwell was born in 1894 in New York City, and he always knew he wanted to be an artist. He enrolled in art classes at the New York School of Art at the age of 14 and then after high school, he went to the National Academy of Design to study art. As a teenager he was hired as art director of Boys Life, which is the official magazine of the Boys Scouts. In 1916, Rockwell painted his first cover for the Saturday Evening Post and for the next 47 years, 321 Rockwell covers would appear on the cover of the Post.

Norman Rockwell was married to three different women. In 1916 he married his first wife Irene O’ Connor and they divorced in 1930. Following his divorce in 1930, he then married his second wife Mary Barstow, a schoolteacher and they had three sons. In 1959, Mary Barstow Rockwell  died unexpectedly. In 1961, Mr. Rockwell married Molly Punderson, a retired schoolteacher. In 1963, he ended his 47-years association with The Saturday Evening Post. Norman Rockwell received the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal in 1977. Rockwell died November 8, 1978 of emphysema at age 84 in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

On April 7, 2011 I went to the Louisville Slugger Museum to see the Norman Rockwell: Sports Collection on display from now until August 14, 2011. This is a travelling exhibition featuring the original sports themed artwork by Norman Rockwell. They had his bike that he rode when he was a little boy and even a school note from his mom to his teacher saying “Please excuse Norman today from class because he went fishing”. The original print on display is made with pencil and charcoal on poster board. What I like about the painting is it shows the two managers from both teams in the middle of the field with the umpires talking about calling the game and in the background of them there are two players talking together. But it’s funny how the one umpire is holding his hand out with the rain falling onto it. There is really nothing to change about this painting because it’s so funny. For me this reminds me of when I was in the Marines and my first duty station was in Japan and we spent thirty days in the jungle doing military exercises and it was during Japan’s monsoon season and my unit was wondering if we should continue the exercise or not.

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