by Morgan Yeatts
Currently on display in the back room of the Ann White Academy Gallery is a collection that is perhaps one of the most unique features yet. Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, Lavely Miller-Kershman is an artist who pushes the norms of painting technique in an extraordinary way; she paints with her fingers.
“I began painting with my fingers when I ran out of brushes in college and didn’t have enough money to replace them,” she says. “Luckily for me, I found painting with a finger to be easier than using a brush. Basically anything is possible; a finger really isn’t that much different from a brush when it really comes down to it.”
Lavely has been painting since childhood and can’t remember a time when she wasn’t a painter. Her father’s side of the family is strewn with artists, so it was natural for her to follow the fold. “I guess I have a genetic inclination towards artistic expression and also I grew up in a household where that sort of thing was valued and appreciated.”
Lavely believes that the quality of a piece is not found in the materials used, but in the technique and presence of the artist. “I think sometimes people tend to assess or validate artwork based upon outdated or erroneous beliefs regarding tools used in the process,” she says. “When it comes to making art, I have always believed that the materials are far less important than what one does with them.”
This collection, entitled “The New Work – 2019”, features several large scale portraits and will be on display until October 27th.