Louisville Visual Arts Presents Lance G. Newman Bill Fischer Award and Unveils New ‘Catania’ Inspired Mural at Mellwood Art Center


Louisville Visual Arts is busy as always with two events coming up this week. On June 29, Lance G. Newman II will receive the 2022 Bill Fischer Prize for Visual Arts, and on June 30, the LVA will unveil a mural at the Mellwood Art Center inspired by the board game “Catan.”

About Bill Fischer Prize for the Visual Arts

According to LVA,Bill Fischer created the Visual Art Award that bears his name to have a significant impact on the career of a visual artist residing in the Louisville metro area. The award is funded by the artist Bill Fischer Foundation for Working Artists of the Community Foundation of Louisville, which provides a $7,000 scholarship for the execution and exhibition of artwork and other efforts to foster a professional career. Fischer Award recipients must show a commitment to experimentation and the creative use of materials and techniques.

LVA will host an awards reception for Newman at Joe’s Palm Room on Wednesday, June 29 from 5:30-7 p.m.

About Lance G. Newman II

Lance G. Newman II, who grew up in Louisville, is a writer, poet, broadcaster, actor, performer, visual artist and teacher. Under the name SpreadLovEnterprise, he teaches his creative writing and public speaking program in schools, community centers and service organizations.

“While Lance is best known for his performance poetry and creative writing, in recent years he has turned to the visual arts as a way to succinctly express concepts that can be more difficult to put into words. A recurring material in his multimedia works is the waste left behind by black, mild cigars, a byproduct of what Lance calls a vice he has struggled with for years,” according to an LVA statement. “To reduce his carbon footprint, he creatively uses these excess materials to create intricate sepia-toned artwork with a certain vintage appeal. His work explores human experience, societal reflections and personal memories. of these themes, Lance says his use of black, sweet cigar imagery speaks to the blackness and sweetness of African Americans and the African Diaspora.Through his work, he hopes to bring civility and honor to those who were once deemed unworthy.

Artwork by Lance G. Newman II.

Newman hopes to use the award to gain more space for her artistic practice. Currently, he works out of a small office at home, but plans to convert his garage into a new studio space.

“The impact of this award is much more than monetary,” Newman said in a statement. “It comes at a time in my career where expansion is needed and it will allow me to increase my capacity properly. Also, I feel like the city is finally seeing me, and that’s a nice feeling. Lots of love.”

About the Catania Mural Reveal and Community Event

Inspired by the board game, Catan, Louisville visual artist Amie Villiger Harris created a mural at the Mellwood Center for the Arts. LVA partnered with the artist to facilitate the production of the mural.

Seeing that board games and public art have a way of bringing people together, the opening reception will feature free food and drink, mural painting and, you guessed it, board games. The event will take place from 5-8 p.m. at the Mellwood Art Center on June 30 and is free.

Amie Villiger Harris.

About Amie Villiger Harris

Amie Villiger Harris is a Louisville-based artist and muralist. She has been painting murals since attending the 2019 Great Mountain Mural Mega Fest in Harlan, Kentucky.

An avid board gamer, Harris grew up playing “Catan,” and she sees a connection between the game and nature, which is expressed in the mural.

According to a statement, “The mural is a celebration of the nature and resources that drive the game, depicted with a distinctly regional flavor through images of local flora and fauna. Harris seeks to showcase the natural beauty of the surrounding lands and wildlife to inspire a concerted effort to preserve and protect wild spaces and fragile ecosystems in order to achieve sustainable development and long-term survival. As in Catania, our human civilization depends on the bounty of nature and we must respect our relationship with the land, waters and wildlife and seek ecologically sustainable solutions.

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