Artist Lance G, Newman II. Courtesy the artist.
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Writer, poet, host, actor, performing, visual and teaching artist Lance G. Newman II is the recipient of 2022 Bill Fischer Award for Visual Artists. The recognition, presented by The Community Foundation of Louisville, with partner Louisville Visual Art, will be formally granted at a public award reception on June 29th from 5:30 – 7:00 PM at Joe’s Palm Room, 1821 W Jefferson St.
Just one year before he died, Bill Fischer established the Visual Art Award to make a meaningful impact on the career of a visual artist residing in the Louisville Metro Area. The award is funded by the Artist Bill Fischer Foundation for Working Artists at the Community Foundation of Louisville providing a $7,000 fellowship award for the execution and exhibition of artwork and other efforts to foster a professional career. Recipients of the Fischer Award must show a commitment to experimentation and the creative use of materials and techniques. Lance G. Newman II not only exemplifies the kind of artist Bill Fischer intended to support; Lance hopes to inspire viewers of his artworks to evaluate and change their communities for the better.
Lance G. Newman II was raised in Louisville, Kentucky. His experience is the culmination of a 16-year career performing around the country. Under the name, SpreadLovEnterprise, he teaches his creative writing and public speaking curriculum in schools, community centers and service-providing organizations.
While Newman is more commonly known for his performance poetry and creative writing, in recent years he has taken to visual arts as a way to succinctly express concepts that may be more difficult to put into words. A recurring material in his mixed media works is the waste left behind Black and Mild cigars, a by-product of what Lance refers to as a vice he’s struggled with for years. To lessen his carbon footprint, he creatively uses these excess materials to create intricate sepia-toned artworks with a certain vintage appeal. His work explores the human experience, societal reflections and personal memories. In addition to these themes, Lance says his use of Black and Mild cigar imagery speaks to the blackness and mildness of African Americans and the African diaspora. Through his work, he hopes to bring civility and honor to those once deemed unworthy.
When asked to describe his vision as an artist, Lance says, “My artistic practice is constantly motivated by the desire to provide examples of artistic expression where there previously were none. To blaze a trail so to speak. By utilizing my multidisciplinary skills when creating art, I am able to communicate with various groups of information processors. In my vision, my art is simply a vehicle used to translate various concepts and ideas that I believe would evolve humanity.”
With this $7,000 fellowship award, Newman intends to allocate more space for his art practice. Currently working out of a small office in his home, he plans to convert his garage into a proper studio through repairs, insulation and purchasing equipment that will also allow him to build his own frames.
“The impact of this award is far more than monetary.” says Newman,” It comes at a time in my career where expansion is necessary and it will allow me to properly increase my capacity. Also, it feels like the city is finally seeing me, and that is a lovely feeling. Much Love.”