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Painter David Iacovazzi-Pau Comments on Cultural Preservation in Latest Portraits



The Carnegie Center for Art and History in New Albany is currently running a new exhibit, “Held from Beneath: An Exploration of Cultural Sustainability,” on display through April 4.  "Held from Beneath" includes an exhibition and events featuring visual art, poetry, music and performance that explore the concept of cultural sustainability.  The exhibit features: Andy Perez, Camera Lucida, Cynthia Norton, David Iacovazzi-Pau, Erin Keane, Joyce Ogden, Rowland Ricketts, Russel Hulsey, Sara Soltau, Shelley Vaughn Hulsey, Shohei Katayama and Susanna Crum.

For this exhibit, painter David Iacovazzi-Pau has created portraits of local residents who embody cultural or environmental sustainability.WFPL’s Ashlie Stevens spoke to him about how he used his work to comment on cultural preservation.

Tell me about your contribution to the exhibition?    

I have four works on display. Two paintings and two works on paper.  'Gill' (Gill Holland, co-developer of the Green Building), 'Ninnie' (Cynthia Norton, Performance Artist), 'Kevin' (Kevin Ratterman, Musician & Sound Mixer) and 'Russel & Shelley' (Russel and Shelley Hulsey, Poet and Visual Artists).

What was your inspiration? How did the idea of place-making or cultural preservation inspire your work?

It involves people who have in one way or another changed how we understand and perceive our surroundings and embody cultural or environmental sustainability. I'm merely putting an emphasis on them to suggest that people are the root of sustainability as they have the ability to alter our rapidly unsustainable world.

You do amazing portraits-- tell me about the subjects? Why did they resonate with you as particularly good subjects for this collection?

Gill Holland is the Honorary Chair of the YES! Festival, A Year of Environment and Sustainability, and the Carnegie Center is a member [of the initiative] who organized the exhibit 'Held from Beneath: An Exploration of Cultural Sustainability.' Gill is actively revitalizing neighborhoods while using ecologically friendly and progressive methods. Working with Gill had been on my mind for a while and this was the perfect occasion to do so.

With Cynthia Norton, I focused on the persona of 'Ninnie.' I wanted to show her idiosyncratic style and poise. Cynthia is part of the exhibition with her piece, 'Cultural Sustainability = Binaurally Autistic Lust.'

Kevin Ratterman, in addition to being a musician, is a sound mixer providing opportunities for other local musicians and I wanted a visual recording of this cool guy.

Russel and Shelley Hulsey are both involved in the exhibition as well. This one was a bit of a challenge since I prefer working with one subject at a time, but I played with subtle narratives to maintain their connection while portraying their individuality.

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