Carrie Neumayer in front of her Middletown Kroger mural
Carrie Neumayer in front of her Middletown Kroger mural

We mentioned artist Carrie Neumayer just yesterday in a piece about Kroger reaching out to local artists to design murals in four of its locations. Neumayer was one of three artists chosen for the project, and she designed a Derby-inspired painting for the Middletown Kroger.

Neumayer recently sang with Endpoint. | Photo by Chris Higdon
Neumayer recently sang with Endpoint. | Photo by Chris Higdon

But there is so much more to the Louisville illustrator and arts educator, so we thought we’d take a closer look. Neumayer has been a part of the Louisville music scene for more than 18 years — playing in bands from Second Story Man and Julie of the Wolves to Early Age and Minnow. She’s also the co-founder of the Louisville Outskirts Festival, a music event dedicated to female musicians that includes the Rockshops for Girls outreach program. This year’s Outskirts Fest is scheduled for Oct. 9-11.

Neumayer also is a regular art contributor for Louisville Magazine. In early August, she’s leaving Louisville to participate in an international contemporary art festival in Almaty, Kazakhstan, called the ARTBAT Fest. She tells Insider she received an Arts Envoy grant through the U.S. Department of State to work with youth and lead workshops and lectures about art, art education and youth training. “I’m pretty excited about that,” she says.

But before Neumayer hops on a plane and is whisked away for a month, we asked her some very important questions …

What’s the most surprising thing on your Bucket List?

I really hope to join the Louisville Miniature Club one day. I would really love to learn how to build a bunch of elaborate dioramas and enter them in the state fair!

exposeWhat poster was on your wall in junior high?

Vanilla Ice adorned my walls in sixth grade! I also had a creepy art advocacy poster on my wall that had a flasher in a trench coat presenting himself to a sculpture. The text said, “Expose yourself to art.” My mom was a high school art teacher, so she received a lot of weird promo posters from art schools and art organizations in the mail that I would end up with. By the time I was in eighth grade, I started decorating my walls with flyers from local hardcore bands’ shows and posters I’d pick up from ear X-tacy.

If you were mayor, to whom would you give the key to the city?

Maybe I could take the key to the hardware store and make a bunch of copies and give them out to the people in our city who give of themselves tirelessly with little or no public recognition: teachers, coaches, youth mentors, nurses, librarians, social workers, rape crisis counselors, mental health counselors, public defenders, participants in the movement for racial justice through Black Lives Matter, advocates for LGBT rights, advocates for environmental issues, people working to rescue animals from abuse and neglect, and many more. There are tons of people doing enormously important work in our community who we rarely see in the spotlight — they should each get a key.

What are your preferred pizza toppings?

Pineapple and black olives!

If you could be any age for a week, what would it be?

I’m pretty happy where I’m at right now! I turned 35 in June, and I think this is the best year I’ve had so far. I’m doing my best to not dwell in the past or worry too much about the future.

Claire Danes throwback
Claire Danes throwback

What famous person do people say you resemble the most?

I used to hear Claire Danes once in a while, but just yesterday someone asked me if (local artist, musician and fellow Outskirts Fest organizer) Amber Estes Thieneman and I were sisters. I took that as a high compliment.

Who would you most like to be stuck with in an elevator?

Maybe Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren? That would be an exciting conversation to overhear. We can add Jon Stewart to the elevator, too, because he’d certainly ask better questions than me, and also make everyone laugh.

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."