past cover artists

issue 5 | winter 2018 | initiation

Birch Trees by Sandy Davis | pastel

Artist Sandy Davis studied at the Art Institute of Boston and Rhode Island School of Design. Her work has been exhibited and sold in Massachusetts and Kentucky. In 1997, she held a solo exhibition “European Landscapes” in Vienna, Austria where 19 paintings sold. Born and raised in Massachusetts, I was fortunate enough to be exposed to the ocean, marshes and cranberry bogs fairly often. Even as a child, the contours and colors seemed to reach out and grab me and I couldn’t look away. What intrigued me most was how an exact location could look so different throughout one single day. And, never mind how the seasons transformed landscapes! This is what inspired me to pick up my first set of soft pastels and I have been creating art since. As if Massachusetts wasn’t inspiring enough, I spent 15 years living in Kentucky surrounded by creeks, deliciously decrepit barns, fields and horse farms. Living in a holler, trees became a new passion for me to interpret as I witnessed the color and light dance around them each day. In the winter, you can see far through the woods, sparking a sense of wonder. But each year as spring turns to summer, leaves open up transforming vast spaces into cozy little havens, almost giving you a hug. Throughout the years, I’ve worked with many mediums. Most recently, I’ve challenged myself with mix media and often combine acrylic and metallic paints, gel mediums, glue and oil pastels. I use brushes and pallet knives, and even found objects to create interesting textures. This said, I seem to always find my way back to my beloved soft pastels. My recent Birch Tree Series captures what can be seen through the trees such as pathways, color and light. My hope is to express how quickly what you see can and will change, while remaining beautiful.

issue 4 | spring 2018 | distance

California Dreaming by Fabrice Poussin | photography

Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and dozens of other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review, and more than 250 other publications. The first thing I may state about the creating process is that it is a need. I need to create, whether it be in visual arts or in writing. Thus, I set myself in motion, I make time, and embark on an adventure; it may be in the office, in the backyard or clear across the world. The next step for me is to find a connection with something. In this case, the harsh scenery of the American West became my center of interest. Landmarks were my goal. I was on a mission to photograph as many landscapes, large or small, as possible. My focus is in the detail. I find it in huge panoramas as I do in close-ups. This photo was taken in Southern Colorado in the Great Sand Dunes National Park, a little bit after sunrise. No one was yet awake and spoiling the beautiful crests of the dunes. I was able to commune with the moment. The light was changing quickly and it was perfect. It gives an impression of a milky surface, a place to dive into, almost to taste. It is the responsibility of the one who has time, the luxury of a special moment with the world to share it with those who do not benefit from the same privilege. It is the duty of the artist to bring those she cal moments, their intensity, to those who would otherwise never have the chance to experience this amazing universe. This is the motivation behind every photograph, every video, every piece of writing I put my mind to.

issue 3 | fall 2017 | tradition
It Glorifies by Jenny Bell | house paint

The old Ale81 motto “It Glorifies” has often amused me. To glorify means to highlight something, even something that could be not so great, and make it seem spectacular. I felt like this was my goal as an artist as well. To take the things around me and to frame them in a way that made them important. The bottles were more than empty glass vessels; they became a stained glass window that lit up my dorm room lime green in the afternoons. They were the sounds of bottles rolling and clinking around in the back seat of my car, riding the back roads with my friends. They were comforting to me like the ginger ale my mom made me drink when I was sick. Most of all they reminded me of home. This painting was the first painting I did in the first “home” I made away from the home I grew up in. The paint is leftover latex house paint from my green living room, my red kitchen and the white trim work. | Jenny Bell is from Cynthiana, Kentucky. She studied studio art at Morehead State University and received her Master of Fine Arts degree from Ohio University. She enjoys drawing, painting, photography, making messes and fixing things. She currently is an Instructor of Art at Morehead State University.

issue 2 | spring 2017 | separation
Fractured Frida by Robert Shinn | mixed media, found objects

In order to get a little glimpse into the creation of “Fractured Frida” one first has to understand a bit about assemblage as I see it. Most artists first get a concept and then set about manipulating their medium to achieve the concept. I don’t do that. Working with found objects requires I have a collection, heck a hoard, of random objects on hand, just all over the studio. Then with nothing in mind, no concept, various things, working on my intuitive mind, begin speaking to me. I am hardly listening at all but I play with them. Sometimes in a few minutes and sometimes in months the visual part begins to form and then what it is, what it is saying, finally emerges. It is at this point some adjusting, finding some specific piece or pieces, becomes necessary. Completion usually comes quickly at this point, only occasionally hampered by a hard to find object. This was how it was with “Fractured Frida”, which is indeed a portrait of Frida Kahlo. I don’t want to leave you with the impression this is a singular endeavor. Most of the time there are at least twelve to fifteen projects going on. Sometimes several merge into one and too, one can become two. I can’t account for how much time is spent on any one piece mostly because it isn’t a straight line experience and furthemore it doesn’t matter.

issue 1 | fall 2016 | narrow
Untitled by Kopana | photography

Solidago’s inaugural cover photo was taken from Kopana Terry’s photo series Sacred Spaces. | Kopana works in many mediums: photography, music, drawing, writing, and on occasion, radio. As a musician she’s best known as the drummer for Arista Records’ Stealin Horses. Her photographs have appeared in The Head & The Hand Press, Heartwood, Ace Weekly, Lexington’s Herald-Leader and in the documentary Kentucky Bourbon Tales: Distilling the Family Business. From 2006-2010, she was co-creator and senior producer for tonic: arts and music magazine at NPR affiliate, WUKY. She’s been awarded grants from the Kentucky Arts Council, LexArts, and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. In 2003, her photo series Down the Backstretch: Women in the Thoroughbred Industry was awarded a citation of merit from Kentucky’s State House of Representatives. Her blog, the outhouse: where art goes, combines art with positive thought. She earned her BA in Art Studio/Photography and Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Kentucky. Kopana is from Eastern Kentucky. She currently resides in Lexington, KY with one cat that thinks she’s a dog, one cat afraid of dogs, and one stinky awesome dog, named Wallace J. Terry. You can find Kopana and her menagerie at