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Kara D. Rusch (b. 1967 Manhattan) has been painting for over 30 years, working with oils, acrylics, and cut paper. To date has Kara produced original artwork for over 300 LP/CD covers. Much of that work is viewable at The covers have received considerable attention and recognitionfrom both within the music industry and from the jazz mediafor their bold and recognizable style. In addition to her art endeavors, she regularly teaches courses on Jazz and Blues appreciation and is also a writer for Cadence, regularly contributing a column about Jazz and life (Slims Spins) and also co-writing a column of jazz critiques with Michael Coyle (Slim and Him). Beyond her writing, she also co-hosts (with Michael Coyle) a weekly Jazz show on WRCU 90.1, audible online at music_player.html.

ARTIST STATEMENT Music, especially Jazz, has been central to my life since I was a child. With the exception of a handful of commissions, the albums I chose for this project are records the listening to which have shaped my life. The materiality of music across the 20th Century strikes me as a crucial aspect of the musican aspect that the digital era has changed once again. From cylinders to 78s to LPs to CDs, music was never before and is unlikely ever again to assume such a material existence. In particular, the era of the LP is over. LPs survive and even find new lovers, but their cultural significance has inevitably changed. My project speaks to these changes and also to the enduring power of the music by revisiting and re-imagining the presentation of a passing age. I chose 12 X 12 canvases because that size approximates the size of an LP cover. In most cases I reproduced the spine of the LP precisely as it appears on the LP cover although I sometimes combined elements from the various issues & reissues that resulted from small companies being consumed by bigger ones, or the reissue of LPs in CD format. I painted the spines freehand in acrylic paint prior to beginning the oil faces of my canvases.

My paintings themselves neither copy nor imitate the original jackets but, rather, respond to the music. First, each of my canvases was completed in the time it took for the album to play beginning to end. Second, I limited my palette to the colors that actually appear on the commercial LP/CD cover. Honoring this criterion has proven a challenge as the self-imposed time parameter often leads to color contamination: because I am working wet I must often deal with the unintended consequence of, say, red meeting white and creating pink. Nevertheless, this process guarantees that my paintings represent what I was feeling at the moment of creation. On a different day I would doubtless have done something very different. But I work in this way as a tribute to the very nature of jazza music that values improvisation and invention above all else, so that a given musician will never play the same song exactly the same way twice. The first installation (12 X 12 X 12) of this ongoing series was displayed in Colgate Universitys Ryan Studio in the Spring of 2012. Each canvas is numbered.

* Piece from the Village Voice, NYC CADENCE JAZZ/CIMP [1980/1995, US, 400] Bob Rusch's empire grew out of Cadence magazine, which doubles as a catalog for his distribution business12,000 obscure jazz titles on 900 labels, plus books, audio equipment, and socks. Along the way he started a label, then another. Both are avant-garde foundries, but CIMP has fussy audiophile engineering by Marc Rusch and classy artwork by Kara Rusch. Tyrone Hill/Marshall Allen, Out of the Box (1997)