Artscape Profiles... Katherine Dolgy Ludwig

By Karen Whaley

Katherine Dolgy Ludwig is a visual artist, a tenant of Artscape Gibraltar Point since 2005 and has served as a volunteer on Artscape’s Board of Directors for over two years. She has been a faculty member at OCADU, a fellow at A.I.R. Gallery in New York and her work has been featured on more than one occasion in the New York Times.

From February 21-24, Katherine is showing at The Artist Project, the contemporary juried art exhibition at the Better Living Centre. Mention Artscape when you purchase her work and she will donate 10% of the sale to the Artscape Foundation.

We spoke with Katherine about her life as an artist, her studio at Artscape Gibraltar Point and why she believes art has the ability to transform communities.

Lyon, Summer 2012

You’re a visual artist who creates primarily in watercolour. What inspires your work?

Titian, Vuillard, Pascin, Matisse, Diebenkorn, where to begin?! Closer to home is the Group of Seven. My teacher, the late Graham Coughtry with whom I painted for eight years, introduced me to the work of David Milne and Goodridge Roberts.

In my brushstroke is my life. I am a child of the 80's, and Andy Warhol and Keith Haring inspired my interactive art practice, where paintings are made immersed in the street, beach, temple, gallery, truck, military or police headquarters, grade school…

I will end with the early and pre-Renaissance religious artists, who painted the colour and size of their subjects in proportion to their devotion, right from the heart: that will always inspire me.

What do you like best about working at Artscape Gibraltar Point?

All of the visitors. Many fine people who practice widely in the arts come through the Artscape Gibraltar Point residency program and sometimes we collaborate. Once, I was awarded a fellowship in Brooklyn by a visiting curator, Todd Lester. I also met jazz presenter Ron Gaskin at Gibraltar Point and we created a wonderful event called SPLASH! where local musicians played and I painted.

The journey from the city on the ferry to my studio changes me. Biking fast with my big dog running beside me and my little dog on the handlebars, coming through the clearing to the sandy beach to stand by the water… I come to the studio ready to work with resolve and abandon.

Much of your work includes a social element. In what ways do you feel your art practice impacts the community?

I have become known for social interactive projects. I’ve been invited to paint classrooms of children, religious groups, police officers, Playboy Bunnies, people in the U.S. Military and many others. These are all stereotyped groups that are better understood as collections of individuals. My painting seeks to reveal that individuality.

Why do you believe art and artists have the ability to impact the city?

Place by place, artists and their work open up areas for another kind of engagement, expanding the idea of what a city is. Art in architecture, soundscapes, streets, art that is out of the white cube gallery and into the fabric of our everyday lives—that is what makes a city beloved. Art that showcases who we each are as individuals brings us together as a vibrant community.

What will you be showing at The Artist Project?

The Artist Project jury awarded me a scholarship and asked me to show a series of large graffiti landscapes I made at Artscape Gibraltar Point in 2012. The variously-sized watercolours, painted on-site, explore my immediate response to our Ontario landscape.

I will also have new etchings made in New York—just today, I was outside with my copper plates in the wild cold winds on the Brooklyn Bridge. Afterwards, I burned them, and tomorrow I'll make the fresh prints.

15th Annual Brooklyn Funk Universe, Soho 20 Gallery. Photo: Leon Offengenden, 2010.

So what’s next after The Artist Project?

I’ll be back to printmaking in Manhattan for the rest of the winter, spring watercolours in Paris and London, with the summer at Artscape Gibraltar Point. I will also continue with my many portraits.

Visit Katherine at Booth 419 at The Artist Project from February 21–24, 2013 at the Better Living Centre at Exhibition Place. Mention Artscape when you purchase her work and she will donate 10% of the sale to the Artscape Foundation.

Top Photo: Katherine in Gramercy Park | Sofia Ludwig