Abstraction & Emotion: Experiments in Painting

Experimentation and innovation guided the partnership between the Speed Art Museum and Uspiritus for the latest Wall Together exhibition. Seeking to push the limits of how art is made, nine young artists, ranging in age from seven- to ten- years old, used a variety of tools to investigate how mark-making and color can evoke emotional responses.

In addition to creating the work, the artists curated this exhibition by choosing paintings from their personal portfolios that represent four different emotions—happiness, anger, sadness, and silliness. Each grouping illustrates how responses to abstract art vary greatly based on individual perspectives and experiences. However, the common emotional experiences that we all share united the artists in their understanding of themselves and their peers.

Uspiritus was formed in 2012 as the result of the merger of Bellewood Home for Children and Brooklawn Child & Family Services. Uspiritus provides vital services to Kentucky’s youth and families, including residential treatment, therapeutic foster care and adoption, community based services, and admissions and referrals for out-of-home care.


This project was made possible by the generous donations of Frank and Paula Harshaw, Christe and Randy Coe, and Kosair Children’s Charities.