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Kathryn Usher Shreveport Louisiana Highland Neo-Outsider February 2011 Self-Portrait

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posted by Kathryn Usher alias Kathryn Usher on Sunday 13th of March 2011 09:45:19 PM

in the backyard on Dalzell Street next to the pink car after a long work day that probably started at 11 PM or 1 AM and didn't end until 12 hours later. Looking for a suitable self-portrait. Figure I'll have to shoot some more. On your artist website you need a section labeled something like "media kit." One of the items you need in there is a head shot of you. It can be a self portrait or not. You can also have a photo of you standing next to or holding one of your works of art. But those are not as important as your head shot. This is how I learned that lesson. When Robin Rothrock passed away I had just started working at a local TV station in Shreveport. The station wanted to run a story on her but they needed to find a photo of her. I volunteered to find one on line. It made me think about how we (artists) see ourselves versus how others (family, friends mainstream media) see us. Robin was very okay with her photo with no hair. If I remember correctly, it was a process for her to arrive at being okay with having that photo on her Facebook page. I think what we (that day in the newsroom) failed to remember was that Robin had placed that picture on her Facebook page. The powers that be at my station didn't want to use that photo so I searched for another one. Found one on her website. Unfortunately, it was a very small file and looked fuzzy when we blew it up. It was that one the station decided to use. Why worry about this? Why not just say "I'll be dead and gone..." Because many times after death the value of an artist's work rises tremendously. And you'll want whoever will be inheriting the ownership of your work to be able to continue to market the work. And maybe there's a little vanity involved. I think most artists like to have control over the image that is selected to represent us and/or our work to the world. Think of all the images of Clyde Connell we have to choose from, like this one or this one where she stands next to her work. I also think it's a feminist issue for women. You've spent all this lovely time and energy creating work and sharing your thoughts and ideas, it's very important you as the storyteller get proper recognition. You'll want one full color facing front photo (make sure it's a large enough image so they can screen capture it for their use). Boring but probably the type the mainstream media will feel most comfortable in using. We're talking mainstream media. The one that seems to be the happiest covering traffic accidents, house fires and freaky happenings caught on tape as opposed to art openings. We wouldn't want to offer up anything too creative that might freak them out... like sticky balls or Elvis or creative colorings. NEW - Artist Statement in 33 Words July 2011 I'm a big Fat Tuesday Louisiana artist who steeps my Viking bones in magic by stabbing together rust bits and fabric pieces so I can stitch charms that succuss strong luck and protection. OLD - Artist Statement May 24, 2010 I dread the question, "So what kind of art do you do?" This is my answer "I am a documenter of Shreveport life, past and present. Utilizing whatever media is appropriate, including, but not limited to, photography, tiny digital films, words, paint and recycled and upcycled materials from the streets of Highland." I am a self taught artist who is in a passionate relationship with a city in Louisiana named Shreveport. Some days she loves me and some days she hates me and every day she makes me cry. But she is a wickedly fancy lady and deserves to have her beauty and decay and mysteries explored and mythologized. When Elvis talked to Kathryn it was not even a Louisiana Hayride Dream right there in Shreveport at the Municipal Memorial Auditorium The work I do today is directly influenced by my 1997 collaboration with California artist Willie Middlebrook. Co-working with five other artists from Shreveport, we created mobile murals for the Shreveport Regional Arts Council. Currently, I am also experimenting with social media as a venue for my art. Usher May 24, 2010 Bio In 2010 Kathryn Usher was recognized by UK art scholar Dr. Melissa Westbrook as one of the artists in the Neo-Outsider art movement. Westbrook wrote about Usher, "Actively seeking interaction through social media, Kathryn Usher is an artist and video-maker working and residing in Shreveport, Louisiana (USA). Influenced by popular culture, voodoo and politics, Kathryn creates pieces from traditional materials such as acrylics, objects (including bottles, toilet paper rolls and tea bags) and less tactile mediums such as digital art. The purpose of her art is to question not why, but rather why not." Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Usher found early inspiration in the writings of S.E. Hinton and Gertrude Chandler Warner and dance lessons. As a young girl, Kathryn describes those rare summer nights she traveled with her father as he worked as a professional wrestler and referee. Spooky stories on the AM car radio entertained them as they went gliding through the night on the rural roads of Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas. Her mother also mesmerized Kathryn with wild tales of her panther hunting grandfather. For more bio click here. Resume Selected Group Exhibitions 2011 Presents, Artspace, Shreveport, LA Dia de Los Muertos, Minicine? Swampland, Shreveport, LA Texas Avenue Midnight Special, Minicine? Swampland, Shreveport, LA Look But Don't Touch; East Bank Gallery, Bossier City LA Impromptu, Artspace, Shreveport, LA 2010 Xmas Under da Ground, Minicine? Swampland, Shreveport LA Green Gifts, Noel Community Arts Program, Shreveport LA Gumbo Gala, Little Shanty Folk Art Gallery, Shreveport, LA 2009 Christmas Tree Show, Barnwell Center, Shreveport, LA Graffiti, Artspace, Giftspace, Shreveport, LA 2008 The Money Show, Artspace, Shreveport, LA Perspectives, Heritage Manor, Shreveport, LA, 2007 Highland Houses, Highland Jazz & Blues Festival Dia de Los Muertos, Jackrabbit Lounge, Shreveport, LA 2006 Deck the Halls, Artspace, Shreveport LA 1997 Open Studio Tour, Casa D' Arte, Shreveport, LA Portraits of OUR People: Collaboration with Willie Middlebrook, Deposit Guaranty National Bank atrium, Shreveport, LA The Letter I Never Wrote, Downtown Neon Saturday Night, Shreveport, LA Artport Nine: A Song in My Art, Shreveport International Airport, Shreveport, LA 1996 Clay Works by the Pound, Downtown Neon Saturday Night, Shreveport, LA Doors and Windows, Downtown Neon Saturday Night, Shreveport, LA Stringing Me Along, Downtown Neon Saturday Night, Shreveport, LA 1995 Artport Eight: Word Works, Shreveport International Airport, Shreveport, LA Performance 1996 Family Planning: Your Choice video, Louisiana State Medical Center, Shreveport, LA 1994 God as Female, Radio program with Reverend Jayne Trammell-Kelly Southern Feminist: An Interview with Dr. Betty Brooks, Radio Program with Dr. Brooks 1993 The Writer in the Community, Radio program with Nadine Charity And Kathleen Smith Awards, Honors 1997 Willie Middlebrook Project, National Endowment of the Arts, Shreveport Regional Arts Council Louisiana Decentralized Arts Funding (DAF) Grant, VOA/Lighthouse/Amewa Artists, Shreveport, LA 1996 Louisiana Decentralized Arts Funding (DAF) Grant, VOA/Lighthouse/Amewa Artists, Shreveport, LA 1995 Residency, Louisiana Division of the Arts, Shreveport Regional Arts Council 1994 Residency, Louisiana Division of the Arts, Shreveport Regional Arts Council 1993 Residency, Louisiana Division of the Arts, Shreveport Regional Arts Council 1992 Residency, Louisiana Division of the Arts, Shreveport Regional Arts Council 1992 Louisiana Roster Artist, Louisiana Division of the Arts Select Collections and Commissions 2011 Sandi Kallenberg, LA Melissa Albritton, LA Judy Williams, LA 2010 Pam and Bob Atchison, LA The Honorable Cedric Glover, Mayor of the City of Shreveport, LA Cover artist for the Louisiana Swamp Stomp CD, a project of the Northern Louisiana Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Foundation, LA 2007 Meadows Museum of Art, LA 2006 Penne Mobley, LA Jodie Glorioso, LA 1997 Shreveport Regional Arts Council, LA 1995 Caddo Parish Registrar of Voters, LA Oak Terrace School, LA Mary Dark, LA Publications Texas Avenue Midnight Special, Kathryn Usher, Nadine Charity and Debbie Buchanan Engle, July 2011 - Present Kathryn Usher Art, June 2008 – Present Red River Blog Jam, November 2006 – November 2009 Crazy in Shreveport, June 2006 – November 2009 Bibliography Robert Trudeau, “Art purchases for the holidays...,” Shreveport Blog, November, 22, 2011 Staff Reports, “New exhibit to open at artspace,” The Shreveport Times, November 9, 2011 Michele Marcotte, “Farmers Market draws large crowd,” The Shreveport Times, June 4, 2011 Jeremy Jones, “Green Art” NBC-affiliated KTAL, November 3, 2010 Ed Walsh, “Villagio Art Walk,” ABC-affiliated KTBS, October 26, 2010 Henrietta Wildsmith, “Photos of the Week,” The Shreveport Times, September 26, 2010 Sherry P. Shepard, “Year of Art,” The Shreveport Times, August 24, 2010 Dr. Melissa Westbrook, “Actively seeking interaction...,”, October 11, 2010 Sherry Talley, “Interview with Kathryn Usher” ABC-affiliated KTBS, May 12, 2010 Robert Trudeau, “Collect works by live artists...,” Shreveport Blog, March 7, 2010 Alexandyr Kent, “'Fun' video contest attracts voter 'abuse',” The Shreveport Times, July 9, 2009 Prashant Gopal, “Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods:...,”, September 23, 2008 Robert Trudeau, “Shreveport's Highland by Kathryn Usher,” Shreveport Blog, November 7, 2007 Maggie Martin, “Out and About,” The Shreveport Times, November 26, 2006 Lane Crockett, “Photographer captures fabric of our community,” October 23, 1997 Lane Crockett, “Artist comes to town...,” The Shreveport Times, October 1, 1997 Lane Crockett, “Down Under showcases local art...,” The Shreveport Times, May 5, 1996 Lane Crockett, “Hands-on projects get bigger and better,” The Shreveport Times, May 5, 1996 IMG_3187

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