Art Travels

“I especially love this city and its weirdness because everyone here has a place” -Alex Mercer, Louisville artist

“No one is left behind in Louisville” – city of the arts

“I have lived in Louisville for all 21 years of my life,” says Alex Mercer, an up-and-coming photographer with a passion for his hometown.  Along with his father, Scott Mercer, they have created The Louisvillains, an art double-act that aims to promote and preserve all that they love about their city.  “My dad and I are very close and he learned how to paint and draw extremely well when he was in high school, so I wanted him to come help me create my art.”  A popular saying in the city is “keep Louisville weird” and Alex explains, “it is a unique place.  I tend to keep to the weird and unique features that Louisville embodies in my artwork and in my daily life. ”  They caption their art as:

Our city. Our Perspective.”

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Louisville is renowned for embracing and nurturing artistic talent, “the art scene here is one of the most prominent ones in the entire nation,” says Alex proudly.  “Art festivals, flea markets, and theatrical and music festivals go on all year round.”   The “grand daddy” of the art festivals is the Saint James Art Show:  “I aspire, one day, to have my very own tent with my work hung up all around it to display and sell to all of these wonderful people.  Artists from all over the world come here to exhibit and view the art here, in fact almost 800 artists have tents set up to sell their pieces.” Over 300,000 visitors attended the event last year “and it will keep growing and growing every year from here on out.”

Alex aims to capture the vibe of his city by transferring his photographs onto metalic paper, which gives the finished artwork a shiny texture and hue.  The neon lights that electrify Alex’s cityscapes are from the much-anticipated and “long-awaited” project Light up Louisville that “placed thousands of LED lights that change colors all throughout the night on the Big Four Bridge.”  Alex is enthusiastic about the project, “this brings a new personality to Louisville that emanates our bright and loving character.”  The best place to capture this beautiful display on camera is  “from across the Ohio River in Indiana.  There are a couple of parks on the water across the bridge that give the perfect perspective of the Louisville city skyline in its entirety.”

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“Gateway to the South 2” by Alex Mercer

When I ask for the perfect time to visit this vibrant city, Alex admits, “the best season in Louisville is a very tough question to answer, though I hate the winter so mark that out!”  However, “the summer, fall, and spring are all unbelievably beautiful!  I cannot choose one of these seasons as better than the other, for they all bring a certain uniqueness to the city as a whole. ”   Every season is “full force … this past winter we experienced a foot of snow in one weekend alone and this past summer the highest temperature was around 104 degrees Fahrenheit.  It could rain one day, snow the next, and then be 75 degrees the next day in a three day span. It can be exhausting all of this change of weather but I embrace it because it is what I was brought up in.”

"City Skyline" by Alex Mercer

“City Skyline” by Alex Mercer

“Louisville is a very diverse place. Within the city, there are tons of different sections or neighborhoods that are completely different than the next. For instance, my neighborhood is called the Highlands, which is located on the most iconic strip in Louisville called Bardstown Road.  If you sit on the sidewalk for ten minutes on Bardstown Road you will see people of all shapes, sizes, styles, and colors” and Louisville keeps its individuality intact by priding itself on “the dominance of local small businesses over chain stores.”

"Highlands". Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Highlands“. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.


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“Muhammad Ali” by Alex Mercer

“I especially love this city and its weirdness because everyone here has a place. No one is left behind in Louisville and no one is hiding behind a false face.  This city is one where you can let go of all of your insecurities and just be yourself but, if I could live in any other city, it would definitely be New York City.  I visited there for the first time this past winter and my experience there was unbelievable! Right when I stepped off that plane, I felt the famous New York energy rushing through my body.  I feel like I could do great things in NYC, and I hope to live there for at least a short time in my early professional career.”

Looking to the future, Alex hopes “to have MANY pieces of original art.  I hope to create a style of work that in unique to me and my dad.  I want someone to look at one of our pieces in the future and say “hey – that’s by The Louisvillians!””


Words and photography:  Alex Mercer

Twitter: @LouisvilliansPP


Article by: Beck @artistscribbles

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