Through Artists' Eyes

Videos in the Visual Arts Toolkit collection explore the elements of art and the principles of design as well as the design process from the planning stages to final creation. Through demonstrations and artist interviews, the collection represents a wide variety of cultures and artwork in a range of media.

  • Painting: Dionisio Ceballos

    Painter and filmmaker Dionisio Ceballos was born in Mexico City and now lives in the United States. He discusses his work, the subject matter, palette he is drawn to, and the connections between his life’s spiritual and artistic journeys. He also talks about the challenges that came with an invitation to paint several reproductions of works of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo for the film Frida.

    Grades: 4-13+
  • Oil Pastels: Martin Rollins

    Much of artist Martin Rollins’ work depicts urban and suburban streets and park scenes from around Louisville, Ky., where he lives and works. The many works featured in this profile illustrate his interest in buildings and architecture as subject matter, his use of light and shadow, and his focus on the transient nature of life. Rollins talks about the challenges and advantages of his chosen medium—oil pastels—and gives viewers a peak into his sketchbook.

    Grades: 4-13+
  • Fine Books: Carolyn Whitesel

    For artist Carolyn Whitesel, books are more than words on paper; they are works of art that showcase the book itself. In this video segment, she shows accordion-fold books (books made with pleated pages) she has created and talks about the advantages of accordion binding. Her creations include shaped books containing photographs, marbled paper, and collaged word poems; a book in a box; and pop-up books featuring cut-paper topiaries and humorous hands.

    Grades: 4-13+
  • Printmaking: Stephanie Potter

    Artist Stephanie Potter demonstrates how she creates relief prints, starting with an idea, then cutting an image into the wood or linoleum she has prepared, and, finally, printing the surface. Her subject matter comes from everyday life, she says, as she shows numerous examples of her prints.

    Grades: 4-13+
  • Quilts: Juanita Yeager

    Juanita Yeager shows how she creates patterns and selects fabric for her original quilts. She approaches her work very much like a painter would approach a canvas, she says. Quilts are a way of expressing herself.

    Grades: 4-13+
  • Weaving/Photography: Dobree Adams

    In this profile taped at her farm along the Kentucky River, artist Dobree Adams describes the age-old process she follows in creating her contemporary tapestries and rugs. At her farm, she raises a rare breed of sheep, shears their wool, and spins, dyes, and weaves their wool. Adams talks about her transition from careers in physics and computer programming to her life working on a farm, weaving and making photographs of the world in which she lives.

    Grades: 4-13+
  • Metal Sculpture: Ed Hamilton

    Louisville, Ky.-based sculptor Ed Hamilton reflects on the evolution of his work, from his Junkology series done in the late 1970s to the large monuments for which he has become known. He describes both his thought process and the process of creating cast-bronze as he works on a piece of public art, a memorial to Louisville native and National Football League star Lenny Lyles.

    Grades: 4-13+
  • Wood Sculpture: LaVon Williams

    LaVon Williams’ stained reliefs and figures carved out of wood capture church-going men and women, jazz players, and couples, all inspired by African-American history and culture. This fifth generation wood carver talks about he influences on his work, which include his family, the tradition of wood carving in the African American community, and jazz. He calls the resulting wood sculptures “urban folk art.”

    Grades: 4-13+
  • Ceramics: Wayne Ferguson

    This profile of ceramic artist Wayne Ferguson is as much about an approach to life as it is about an approach to art. In this video segment, he explains how a teacher’s interest—and the clay that teacher gave him—helped him through his troubled teenage years and how his work helped him deal with a car accident that robbed him of sight in one eye.

    Note: Ferguson is also featured in the Visual Arts Toolkit Responding to Art segment “The Artist’s Point of View, Part 2.”

    Grades: 4-13+