June 2024 Roundup: An Insider’s Guide to NOLA, Plein-Air Painting in America’s Wild Places, and an Interview With Mixed-Media Artist Kenn Kotara

In this month’s roundup, we absorb the sights and sounds of NOLA, chat with Preserving Picturesque America, and visit Kenn Kotara’s massive Asheville studio.

June 2024 Roundup: An Insider’s Guide to NOLA, Plein-Air Painting in America’s Wild Places, and an Interview With Mixed-Media Artist Kenn Kotara

Psst! We’ve got a secret to share in this month’s roundup: We’re shaking things up at ArtsvilleUSA soon. Readers may notice changes in our publishing schedule over the next few months, but there’s no reason to worry. We’re working on a new editorial program to inspire our readers and enrich their lives with the art we love.

As always, ArtsvilleUSA supports the art and artists of Asheville and the surrounding communities. Please stay tuned for more updates about our editorial schedule and evolving mission; for now, happy reading!

Tour Mixed-Media Artist Kenn Kotara’s Ample Asheville Studio

In June, we chatted with Kenn Kotara, who gave us a sneak peek into his ample Asheville studio—“the size of a double-wide garage.” The mixed-media artist creates landscapes without sand, sky, water, or grass, charting territory you won’t find on a map or with help from a compass. Instead, Kenn’s kaleidoscopic abstractions map out human systems of understanding, like language, geometry, and science. With a background in architecture and graphic communications, Kenn creates “blueprints” of human knowledge, tipping his hat to the poetry of unseen structures and organizational systems.

Read the full interview with Kenn here, or book a tour of his studio with Art Connections.

(c) Kenn Kotara

Visit New Orleans With Help From Our Insider’s Guide

In this month’s travelogue, ArtsvilleUSA founder Louise Glickman soaks up the sights, sounds, and tastes of her native New Orleans. Join Louise for Creole cuisine, absorb the city’s history through its fascinating cemeteries, or stop by the Ogden Museum to indulge in an afternoon of Southern art.

Read the NOLA travelogue here.

(c) Louise Glickman

Go Plein-Air Painting in America’s Wild Places With Artist-Explorers

What’s more exciting than an epic treasure hunt, searching for America’s wild places? This month’s podcast guest, Scott “Doc” Varn, is the founder and executive director of Preserving a Picturesque America (PAPA). Based in Asheville, NC, this unique organization upholds the conservation work begun by Victorian artist-explorers, who documented America’s unspoiled natural beauty with prose and illustrations. Their expeditions paved the way for PAPA and its contemporary conservation efforts, which are equal parts adventure and art.

Watch the PBS episode on PAPA, The Land We Live In, to learn more about Doc and his expeditions through scenic America. The episode delves into Doc’s quest to find locations along the French Broad River, which flows through Tennessee and North Carolina, his home state.

Listen to our conversation with Doc here.

(c) Preserving Picturesque America