Choose your dates:

  1. Thursday, June 20, 2024

  2. Friday, June 21, 2024

Artist Check-in: Susanna Crum and Rodolfo Salgado

Louisville-based artists, Susanna Crum and Rodolfo Salgado, the founders and creative energy behind Calliope Arts Printmaking Studio and Gallery and River City Tintype,  answered our questions and shared more about their current (and on-going) projects—at home, in the garden, and on the road—and shared important ways the community can support the arts and advice for fellow artists in Louisville and beyond.

On Thursday, October 28, in celebration of the Louisville Photo Biennial, 21c Museum Hotel Louisville, KMAC, and Moremen Gallery will all host concurrent receptions that are open to the public. Rodolfo Salgado of River City Tintype will be at 21c Louisville from 5-9, making tintype photographs. This is a 19th-century process (also known as wet plate collodion photography), that involves coating a metal plate with light-sensitive chemistry to create an image. Join us at 21c Louisville to view the process from start to finish, and book your portrait session here.

What are you looking forward to in your art practice(s)?

Rudy and Susanna work on a collaborative lithograph at Flat Tail Press, Minot State University (photo by Micah Bloom)

We’re working on a collaborative project called “On the Map” which documents 19th and early 20th-century post office sites with the process of tintype photography. Traveling tintype artists would bring mobile darkrooms to small towns and rural areas, making tintype an affordable and stable means for Americans to mail images of themselves, their homes, and landmarks to distant family and friends. This fall, we’re driving a pickup truck and mobile darkroom around the state of Kentucky, meeting the owners of historical post office sites, and learning about the present and futures of these anchors of place. We hope to exhibit the work and make a book with images, maps, and stories. We’ve already had a lot of fun writing letters to property owners, corresponding with them, and then meeting in person. It’s an adventure, and we’re grateful to everyone who has shared their time and stories with us so far.

From “On the Map,” “Cannel City,” Tintype, 8×10

How can people continue to support artist in their communities?

No matter where we are in our careers (and lifestyles) as artists, meeting, and working with other artists is a real boost to our work. So, we’re committed in many activities—through our studio Calliope, our work in arts organizations nationally and locally, and socially—to making places artists can trust and feel comfortable taking risks. Artists need space and time, and both resources are hard to get and balance with paying bills and working sometimes several jobs. We’d love to see more people and organizations buy original artwork, support artist-run exhibition and studio spaces, and provide venues for artists to show and sell their work.

Calliope resident artist Zach Stensen with Rudy at Calliope.
Calliope resident artist, Zach Stensen’s work in the backyard garden at Calliope press.

Do you have any #protips or things you have learned in the past year that you would like to share with fellow artists?

Find out what grants are available to you in your region, and write recipients to learn more about their experience. Chances are, they’ll be happy to tell you about their proposal and what they did with the funding they received. Be ready to apply for opportunities more than once, keeping careful records of what you’ve written so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time you apply for something. Great Meadows Foundation has an Artist Professional Development Travel grant, which is an excellent example of providing funding (and therefore space and time) for artists to travel, view artwork, attend events, and connect with others. We’ve received this award twice, and it has been a real catalyst for our work.

Susanna Crum, Watershed Globe, 2019

What is your go-to food of choice these days? Any new recipes that you have tried that you are excited to make again? 

We have a huge garden this year and pet chickens, so we’re making lots of vegetable- and egg-based recipes. We love making hot sauces and giving them to friends and family.

Rodolfo Salgado, Medical Alchemy, 2017, Stone Lithograph

Artist Statements and bios: 

Rodolfo Salgado’s multimedia artworks explore the ways we try to understand and control the inner workings of our bodies. Installations include extensive, ordered collections of found and invented artifacts and printed matter. They surround viewers with colorful, interactive displays recalling quack medicine, ‘snake oil salesmen’, and roadside attractions, with lithographs and etchings that linger between the scientific engraving and the circus poster. Industrial and organic forms function together in these displays, exercised with a hoarder’s compulsions and an archivist’s care. By placing found and handmade objects in conversation with one another in invented systems, Rodolfo transforms spaces into alternate worlds.

Rodolfo Salgado, Bubble Guts Enterprizes: The Medicine Cabinet, 2018, installation

Rodolfo’s artwork incorporates printmaking, hand-blown glass, ceramics, mixed media sculpture, and performance, and explores the relationship of the body to industrial forms and social norms. Originally from southern California, Rodolfo received an MFA in Printmaking with a minor in Ceramics at the University of Iowa in 2012, and a BFA in Printmaking from California State University, Chico in 2007. International and national exhibitions have featured Rodolfo’s artwork, at venues such as the Liu Haisu Art Museum, Shanghai, China; the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI; the Janet Turner Print Museum, Chico, CA; Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA; the Quad City Art Center, Rock Island, IL; the Sioux City Conservatory of Music, Sioux City, IA; the Green Building Gallery, Louisville, KY; and the City Gallery, Lexington, KY.

Rodolfo is Co-founder and Executive Director of Calliope Arts, a collaborative printmaking workspace in Louisville, KY. In 2017 and 2018, he was a Visual Arts faculty member at Kentucky’s Governor’s School for the Arts, a summer arts intensive for high school students. Recent artist residencies include Kunstnarhuset Messen, Alvik, Norway; Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, CA; and Edinburgh Printmakers, Edinburgh, Scotland. In summer 2019, Rodolfo will lead a collaborative, interdisciplinary session at Mildred’s Lane, a 94-acre installation and research space in Beach Lake, PA created by J Morgan Puett and Mark Dion.

To learn more about Rodolfo’s work, check out his website HERE or follow Calliope and River City Tintype on Instagram @calliopearts and @rivercitytintype

Susanna Crum conducts research-led projects that investigate maps and printed ephemera as social artifacts at the intersection of past, present, and future. With cyanotype, lithography, video, and sculpture, Susanna merges digital and analog technologies and emphasizes print media’s roles in maintaining relationships – and erasures – between people and place. Her multilayered images combine community-based research with archival materials like letters, maps, newspapers, and oral histories, and propose an interpretation of place in which past and present are concurrent and vital.

Crum, Assurance of Permanent Peace, 2020

Susanna received her MFA and MA in Printmaking with minors in Sculpture and Intermedia from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, and her BFA from the College of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Her work has been featured in international and national exhibitions at venues such as Museu do Douro in Portugal; Nicole Longnecker Gallery in Houston, TX; 1078 Gallery in Chico, CA; Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center in Cincinnati, OH; the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft in Louisville, KY; and the Liu Haisu Art Museum in Shanghai, China. Recent artist residencies include Kunstnarhuset Messen, Ålvik, Norway; Mildred’s Lane, Beach Lake, PA; Edinburgh Printmakers, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2016, and Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, CA, 2017.

Susanna returned to her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky to start the city’s first shared printmaking workspace, Calliope Arts Printmaking Studio & Gallery, with fellow artist and partner Rodolfo Salgado Jr. Since 2015, she has taught printmaking as an Assistant Professor at Indiana University Southeast, New Albany, IN, and as the Associate Director of Calliope Arts. From 2018-2020, she served as President of the Mid America Print Council.

To learn more about Susanna’s work, check out her website HERE or follow her on Instagram @susannacrum