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Area art shows, exhibits abound

March 17, 2019
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Christopher Lusher, who works in paintings, sculpture and multimedia, culls some of his best recent photos for a new pop-up art exhibit, "ephemera, etcetera," that will be a fittingly a onenight art party at Paint And Sip, 948 4th Ave., Huntington, starting at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 16. There will be live music, an art fair and a late-night dance party with DJ Charlie Brown Superstar.
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Christopher Lusher, who works in paintings, sculpture and multimedia, culls some of his best recent photos for a new pop-up art exhibit, "ephemera, etcetera," that will be a fittingly a onenight art party at Paint And Sip, 948 4th Ave., Huntington, starting at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 16. There will be live music, an art fair and a late-night dance party with DJ Charlie Brown Superstar.

HUNTINGTON — A crop of eclectic art exhibits is springing up at galleries around Huntington, and the clock is ticking to get out and see some of this new wave of contemporary art works now hanging in the city.

Here’s a look at just a few of those temporary exhibits now up.

Lusher lighting up downtown

Contemporary artist and art photographer Chris Lusher has been living off and on in downtown Huntington since age 17 capturing the Jewel City in all angles and light.

Lusher, who works in paintings, sculpture, and multimedia, culls some of his best recent photos for a new pop-up art exhibit, “ephemera, etcetera,” that will be a fittingly a one-night art party at Paint And Sip, 948 Fourth Ave., Huntington starting at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 16.

The exhibit will feature not only a solo show by Lusher, but also a local artisan fair and live music by Jordan Andrew Jefferson, MarcFromMars, Niki Miro, Craig Smoot, Sin Revel, Ricky and Maggie Fox.

A dance party with will start approximately 10:30 p.m. with Mick Wiseman and DJ Charlie Brown Superstar.

This is the first solo exhibit in a couple of years for Lusher, whose last show was also a photo exhibit, “8x10” at River Tower, where he held some of his many onenight art parties called Blank Gallery.

“I was initially going to do a show with a friend of mine who is a painter but that didn’t happen due to some scheduling problems,” Lusher said. “That show will still happen but the fire had gotten stoked so to speak so I decided to do a smaller solo gig. To get my feet wet again as its been awhile since my last show. This show is thematic in that its basically a series of abstract diptychs and triptychs of photographs.”

Lusher, who spent a few years in Louisiana and Charleston, South Carolina, has been living off and on in downtown Huntington for 28 years, was one of the first artists in modern Huntington times to create the pop-up art gallery on a regular basis.

One of the co-art directors for the Huntington Music and Arts Festival, which is now in its 10th year, Lusher organized more than 30 exhibits under the moniker Blank Gallery, a series of one-night contemporary art exhibits that featured a myriad of artists from here, as well as internationally known artists such as Max Snow. Those shows pinballed back and forth between spaces at River Tower and Daniel’s Den (Mark Smith’s salon and barber shop on 8th Street), as well as putting art shows in transitioning buildings.

His 2015 multimedia show “Man Down,” filled with paintings, sculptures and multimedia works, was one of the first and art exhibits here to address the chaos of living downtown during the opioid crisis. It brought a packed crowd to the old T.K. Dodril’s Jewelers building on 9th Street that became the new home of Summit Beer Station.

Lusher, who also was the director of the now-defunct Appalachian Film Festival, received international exposure in multiple fashion and lifestyle magazines for his photography from a cross-country trip with famed NYC artist and fashion designer Max Snow. In 2012 he and Snow did a two-man exhibit here about a week following Snow getting a full page spread story in the New York Times. Lusher had also built up a following of more than 50,000 followers on his HillbillyMagazine on Tumblr.

Although always making art and taking pics, Lusher said he took some time off from organizing so many shows just to be a regular person for a while.

“I wanted to take some time to just drop out and be a ‘regular’ person — Go to work, come home, eat, pet the cat etc. Rinse. Repeat,” Lusher said. “The burnout ETA on ‘regular’ comes a lot faster. I just feel like I’m in a place now where my focus is a lot sharper on what I want to do and put out for public consumption.”

Lusher said he is stoked to be back and to get to do this surrounded by friends such as multi-instrumentalist Jordan Andrew Jefferson, who will be unveiling a new single from his new album. Jefferson was getting airplay around the country for such songs as “White Light,” off of his 2015 album “The Only Way Out is In,” when a health issue took him off the road and sidelined his musical career.

“There’s gonna be a first-listen party for my buddy Jordan Andrew Jefferson’s next record as well. DJ Charlie Brown Superstar running the wheels for an after party. Should be quite the gig. Jordan’s a really good, talented dude. Plus, it always so much more fun doing things like this with friends. Mix it like a chemist and see what might blow up.”

We are ... hanging out at Birke

Stop by the Birke Art Gallery at Smith Hall where you can see some of the best of Marshall’s School of Art and Design students’ works as part of Marshall University’s 33rd annual Juried Student Exhibition, which is up through Friday, April 5.

That exhibition features 54 works of art by 34 students artists. Eight prizes were awarded as part of the exhibition that was juried by Jennier Reis, gallery director, Morehead State University.

Sophomore Lily Jurskis won the Juror’s Choice award, her second win in two years. She entered two pieces, Windhover and Miranda, which were inspired by her English classes. The two pieces tied as the Juror’s Choice.

Interestingly, her piece “Isaiah,” which won Juror’s Choice last year, is currently installed in Drinko Library as part of “Don’t Call Me Crazy: Resiliency Through Art.” It will be displayed until the end of the spring semester.

Other winners for the Juried Exhibition are: first place, Eleanor Paybins for “Toji Street”; second place, Kadin Tooley for “Art.exe”; third place, Sarah Kennedy for “Town Musicians of Bremen.”

School of Art and Design Awards are: first place, Tatiana Castro for “We do not Love for You: the Apostolic Women”; second place (four-way tie), Jules Batten for “ID Please,” Sarah Fox for “Untitled” (large painting), Karen Frye for “She is Fierce” and Corey Bond for “Natural Numbers”; third place (three-way tie), Jessica Cox for “Willow Loss,” Brooke Shull for “Winona” and Chelsea Adkins for “Drinking Songs for the Weary: Pour Man by Lee Hazlewood.”

The Gallery Director’s Award goes to Cassidy Sullivan for “75 High View LN, 2941 2nd ST, and 1505 Center ST.”

Go online at www.marshall. edu/art for more info.

Alias mixes it up

Head over to the new experimental community art and music space, Alias14W, at 720 14th St. W., Huntington, where the Marshall University’s School of Art & Design presents “Mixed Up” a special mixed-media exhibition from the students of Hanna Kozlowski’s Art 360/Mixed Media course. The exhibit will run March 13 through April 2.

If you would like to see the exhibit with a splash of string music, head over on Sunday, March 17, as Alias14W gets all funky and folky with it on St. Patrick’s Day with an all-ages show from 6 to 11:30 p.m. with three acts, Little Lawnmowers (Point Pleasant) and two Huntington bands Moonshine Crossing and $5Red.

Alias14W is open 3 to 7 p.m. Sundays, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.

‘Quilter’s Day Out’

In 1990, Phyllis D. Miller of Kentucky started “Quilter’s Day Out” on the third Saturday in March. This day of celebration was declared National Quilting Day and is now celebrated around the world as International Quilting Day.

Kentucky Heritage Quilt Society District 10 will celebrate with Greenup County Quilt Guild hosting the KHQS District 10 (FIVCO) area “Quilter’s Day Out” at the UK Extension Office on U.S. 23, at the intersection with the Industrial Parkway, Wurtland, Kentucky, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 16. Admission is free and open to the public.

There will be a sewing machine ready for those wanting to learn how to make a quilt block. One of the quilters will demonstrate how to make a quilt block. This is a free mini lesson, and each quilt block made can be taken home.

Along with making a quilt block there will be demos on quilting techniques, vendors, a mini mall by members with items for sale and door prizes. Attendees can learn how to quilt on a home sewing machine.

Light refreshments will be served to all by the Greenup County Quilters. They welcome visitors to bring quilts to share. The public is encouraged to share in quilt history.

For more information, call Kentucky Heritage Quilt Society District 10 Leader Nancy K. Osborne at 606-923-4784 or email nkquilt@gmail.com.

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