LVA Executive Director Lindy Casebier, LVA Board President Marti Kuehn, Rebecca Norton, her fiance Charley Miller, CFL Program Director Anne McKune, & CFL President & CEO Susan Barry. Photo courtesy Sarah Katherine Davis Photography.


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For the fourth annual awarding of the Hadley Prize for Visual Arts, the Community Foundation of Louisville, in partnership with Louisville Visual Art, chose Louisville-based abstract painter, sculptor and digital fabrication artist Rebecca Norton. The $5,000 award is an opportunity for local artists to enhance their careers through a targeted enrichment experience.

Norton, who returned to Louisville in 2015 after living and working for several years in New York City, will use the prize to pursue a mentorship in digital modeling and fabrication techniques with Erik S. Guzman and Kari Britta Lorensai at the Digital Fabrication Residency in Easton, MD, and to study and sketch gravity hills in Burkittsville, MD, and New Paris, PA. Gravity hills are roadside attractions where objects appear to roll uphill. Norton also will spend time at an artist’s retreat in Bedford, PA, to inspire future work.

Working with artists at the Digital Fabrication Residency will allow Norton to expand her studio practice to include painting immersive and architectural installations, she said. “This experience can also help generate ideas about setting up a similar mentorship program for young artists in my local community. The gravity hill studies and Bedford, PA, retreat will broaden my knowledge of perspectival distortions, landscape and light, enriching the aesthetics and symbolic language of my work.”

Gravity Pulling at my Ear

Rebecca Norton, “Gulf Luminescence”, oil on linen, 2015, 58” x 25”

During the event Susan Barry, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Louisville and Lindy Casebier, Executive Director of LVA presented the award.

The $5,000 M.A. Hadley Prize is awarded from the George and Mary Alice Hadley Fund at the Community Foundation of Louisville. The endowment was established in 1991, and it supports the arts and humanities, particularly visual arts, crafts, theater and the Louisville Free Public Library. The award is a partnership between the Community Foundation of Louisville and Louisville Visual Art, which managed the application process.

The M.A. Hadley Prize Selection Committee comprises a diverse panel of arts professionals from both Louisville and the surrounding area. The more than 40 applicants come from the greater Louisville area, including Southern Indiana, and work in the following media: ceramics, graphic design, drawing, crafts, painting, photography, sculpture, video and/or film, printmaking and installation. Norton was selected for her artistic vision, impressive body of work and the innovation of her project.

Norton said that it is her belief that she learns best when teaching others. For this reason, she intends to set up a mentor-to-mentor program after her Hadley prize immersion experience ends. “Working one-on-one, I will teach basic instruction in digital design and workflow development,” she said. “A student will then get hands-on experience in fabrication methods at FirstBuild, a micro-manufacturing facility and co-creation community that invites its community to participate in the development of design engineering.”

“Louisville artists competing for the Hadley Prize continue to impress us with their originality and passion,” said Barry. “While this award focuses on a single artist and a single project, it has the potential to make a much greater impact. By helping Rebecca develop professionally to realize her full potential, she will be empowered to share her gifts with other artists and the Louisville community.”