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Artists in Our Midst,’ not Thomas Kinkade

Exhibitions such as “Artists in Our Midst” are here to remind us that many talented artists are living right here, right now. The 26 artists in the juried show, meaning the art must meet certain standards, were selected from Jefferson County or the contiguous counties of Bullitt, Shelby, Oldham, Spencer, Hardin, Clark, Harrison and Floyd.

What catches my eye constantly varies. One day, it must be abstract paintings; another day, I’m all about glass. For this show, the recurring theme of fascination was a group — women artists. Ask a non-art person to name a female artist, and you might get a blank stare. I didn’t arrive at the gallery to focus on works by only females, but they are the ones that grabbed my attention.

Per the National Museum of Women in the Arts, 51 percent of visual artists are female and have earned half of the Master of Fine Arts, or MFA, degrees in America. While that looks like gender equality in art, pay and representation are another story. But we are focusing on the good news here.

(by thomas kinkade prints)


Thomas Kinkade, the prolific painter

He appeared to have died of natural causes, according to a statement that his family issued to The San Jose Mercury News.

Though often disdained by the fine art establishment, Mr. Kinkade built a decorative art empire by creating sentimental paintings that were, for the most part, relatively inexpensive and resonated with the desires of homeowners who did not ordinarily buy art. He sold his work directly, through his own franchise galleries or on cable television home shopping networks, and eventually online.

Much of his work reflected Christian themes or visions of a traditional, rustic America residing in comforting solitude. The paintings — of homey cottages and rural churches and rivers flowing gently through brilliant foliage — rarely included people, which allowed the owners to project themselves into the scenes.

(by Kinkade Forest Chapel)



Neiman also made a cameo appearance in Rocky Balboa

there is no mistaking that he was a talented artist. Sylvester Stallone sure thought so, which is why he had him produce exclusive art for the Rocky franchise starting in 1981. He did the painting above, of Rocky and Apollo Creed, which was featured in the end credits for Rocky III, as well as this Stallone portrait, perhaps his best-known work. But for a generation hooked on cheesy sports films of the '80s, Neiman was a fixture not just with his brush but also his acting, as Stallone cast him as a ring announcer in Rocky III, IV, and V.

(by leroy neiman rocky)