ART + MUSIC Explores Opportunities for Collaboration Among the Arts

During ART + MUSIC (January 25 and 26) at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, we were not only reminded of the distinctive arts opportunities Louisville affords its residents, but we were directly shown, once again, just how fortunate our Kentucky College of Art + Design is to be located in a city with so many creatively inspired artists and ensembles.

In a collaboration with the Louisville Orchestra, ART + MUSIC afforded KyCAD the chance to shine a spotlight on eight regionally, nationally, and internationally recognized artists who created representative and interpretive works to accompany musical selections performed by the Louisville Orchestra. Under the guidance of Lori Larusso, Assistant Professor of Studio Art at KyCAD, Mariam Eqbal, Josh Azzarella, Jace Stovall, Ron Schildknecht, Ricardo Mondragon, Charles Rivera, Taria Camerino, and Anthony Schrag curated works invited audience members to visually, auditorily, and gustatorily experience the artists’ work and the music.

Louisville Orchestra conductor, Teddy Abrams, explained that these performances were unique in that they were a collaboration between artists from differing genres. Rather than limit communication to one art form, for instance solely listening to an orchestral performance, ART + MUSIC challenged viewers to engage with a piece of music from numerous artistic perspectives. Some KyCAD artists chose to create cinematic representations, both realistic and abstract, of the musical selection, while others overlaid the orchestra’s performance with sound and light. In doing so, Abrams suggested, the artists allowed the audience to gain new vantage points from which to understand music and art.

KyCAD President, Moira Scott Payne, too shared similar sentiments, noting that ART + MUSIC’s  importance stemmed from its emphasis on how two bodies of knowledge or means of artistic depiction could collaborate to create new ways to experience art. She additionally observed that this collaboration was reliant, in part, on the audience, who had to grapple with two or more artistic depictions in one space. In doing so, the audience gained a more comprehensive view of the multifaceted nature of artistic expression.

Payne’s point does not solely apply to this performance, though. Rather, it could be a commentary on KyCAD’s role in Louisville as well. Just as ART + MUSIC artists merged various art forms, such as music and film, KyCAD allows its students to join their artistic abilities together with the Louisville community. This process mingles diverse groups of people, thus generating new ideas about how art can fit into our creative city. KyCAD’s students do not confine their work to galleries, but rather, by engaging with Louisville’s artistic opportunities, members of the KyCAD community are able to convey art’s various definitions and communicatory elements to Louisville as a whole.