Music & Art: ‘In the Moment’ exhibit opens Friday at Art Sanctuary

Rita M. Cameron on stage painting. | Courtesy of Rita M. Cameron

Art inspires art. That’s the premise behind a new exhibition opening Friday at Art Sanctuary titled “In the Moment: An Artists’ Collaboration.”

Rita M. Cameron’s 19 abstract art paintings were all created while she was listening to music. Seven of the pieces were painted live, while a band was playing on stage during collaborative artist sessions called “In the Moment,” hosted by the local nonprofit Strive.

Cameron in her studio at Art Sanctuary | Courtesy of Rita M. Cameron

The other 12 were influenced by the music Cameron was listening to while she painted in her studio.

At Friday’s opening reception party, Cameron will again paint live while musicians like Scott Carney, Cheyenne Mize, Corey Smith, Joe Manning and others take the stage.

Cameron tells Insider she created the pieces throughout the last year-and-a-half during the Strive events. Strive, run by artists and musicians Mize and Nina Rodahaffer, is an organization that provides creative wellness opportunities to the community.

The events were open to all artists — from songwriters and musicians to painters and poets — and the purpose was to simply inspire and create.

The artist says she’s always painted to music because it helps set the brush in motion to emotion.

Art by Rita M. Cameron

“The lyrics can really soak in at times, and depending on the style of music chosen and volume levels, the music  can take a painting from zero to 60, if you know what I mean,” she explains.

Cameron says she listens to all types of music — from classical to bluegrass — and that her preferences change frequently.

“I can select multiple styles of music and hit shuffle and go on an adventure,” she says.

“On any given day, I could go for some Eels, REM, PJ Harvey, Beck or David Bowie — to name a few. If I am in a mellow frame of mind, I would pick Tom Waits or Portishead along with minimalistic musical pieces by Gyorgy Ligeti — things like that. If I’m feeling old-school, I’ll crank up the Replacements, Iggy Pop or maybe some Zappa.”

She recently also added a turntable to her studio, which has given her even more opportunities to revisit her past through her record collection she’s maintained since childhood.

Cameron is excited to showcase her art because she hopes it’ll inspire others to collaborate. She also wants to advocate for Strive and Art Sanctuary and create another original piece to new performances.

“I think that may be my favorite part of the process,” she says about the opportunity to get on stage with the musicians and paint along with them. “I wouldn’t have had this opportunity if it weren’t for the support from the awesome local community of artists that exists in Louisville. The diversity is amazing, and the culture is one that welcomes and responds passionately to collaboration.”

Art by Rita M. Cameron

“In the Moment: An Artists’ Collaboration” opens Friday, March 2, from 6 p.m.-midnight at Art Sanctuary, 1433 S. Shelby St. The exhibit continues through April 1.