Author Archives: Kentucky Arts Council

Meet new artists at the Market: Devin French

You can expect the same standard of excellence every year at Kentucky Crafted: The Market but never the same exact show. The Kentucky Arts Council juries new participants into the Kentucky Crafted Program annually, so there is always new artwork to discover. Meet some of the artists new to the Market in 2016.

 

Devin French Glass Art, LouisvilleBooth 137

 

How did you get started? What is your training?
I started my career in glass design by working as a fabricator and artist at Architectural Glass Art of Glassworks in Louisville. I studied general fine arts at the Maryland Institute College of Art and ceramics at the University of Louisville. The current glass techniques I use were self-taught through years of experimentation.

How long have you been in the Kentucky Crafted program?
I was juried into Kentucky Crafted in 2015. This is my first year.

What do you want buyers to know about your work? What makes it different?
I design and create commissions for homes, offices and public spaces. This includes glass murals, decorative windows, utilitarian tableware, commemorative plaques and more. My glass artwork is unique because it is created by sifting layers of custom blended powdered glass. This allows me to make detailed, vibrant production work in a wide variety of color palettes.

Name some of your career accomplishments.
My greatest career accomplishment is continuing to make artwork that sustains my soul and allows me to make a living. I am also grateful to have worked on many ecclesiastical projects, including a recent commission for a set of synagogue Ark doors in California.

What are you looking forward to about showing at Kentucky Crafted: The Market?
I am looking forward to connecting with new patrons, designers and fellow artists. I am excited about finding new audiences and establishing relationships with new buyers.

The Market will be open to the public 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 5 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 6. Tickets are $10 for one day and $15 for both days, and can be purchased online or at the door. Children 15 years of age and under are admitted free with a paying adult.

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Meet new artists at the Market: Robbie Mueller

You can expect the same standard of excellence every year at Kentucky Crafted: The Market but never the same exact show. The Kentucky Arts Council juries new participants into the Kentucky Crafted Program annually, so there is always new artwork to discover. Meet some of the artists new to the Market in 2016.

Meet Robbie Mueller: Folk Art Kentucky, LaGrange – Booth 302

 

How did you get started? What is your training?
I am a self-taught artist. While building furniture (after my retirement from teaching), I started carving “accents” to accompany my furniture at shows. To my surprise the people wanted to buy the carvings. I discovered I was making 3-D sculptural art.

Robbie Mueller

How long have you been in the Kentucky Crafted program?
I was adjudicated into the Kentucky Crafted program in 2014, but this will be my first time to exhibit at Kentucky Crafted: The Market.

What do you want buyers to know about your work? What makes it different?
My work is mostly dimensional. I use wood, papier-mâché, salvaged, or found objects to make my pieces. I make sculptural forms, bas-relief, linocuts and do some 2-D painting. My subjects vary from traditional folk themes (animals, farms and people) to modern. My work is different in the way that I incorporate a variety of media and materials used. The uniqueness and variety in my work has made it recognizable to many.

Name some of your career accomplishments.
I have been accepted into the Kentucky Guild of Artists & Craftsmen and have exhibited at the Kentucky Folk Art Center in Morehead and the Kentucky Museum of Arts & Crafts in Louisville. I’ve been juried into a variety of regional arts shows, like the Woodland Art Festival in Lexington, as well as festivals in Georgia, Alabama and Indiana, and was named Best of Show at Gallery 104’s Recycled Art Show in LaGrange.

What are you looking forward to about showing at Kentucky Crafted: The Market?
I am looking forward to networking with other Kentucky Crafted artists who have gained valuable business experiences in marketing their work and to introducing my work to a new audience. I want to gain experience with developing the potential for a secondary wholesale market. I look forward to the interactions involved in meeting new art enthusiasts, art collectors and potential wholesale clients.

The Market will be open to the public 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 5 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 6. Tickets are $10 for one day and $15 for both days, and can be purchased online or at the door. Children 15 years of age and under are admitted free with a paying adult.

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Rolley Hole in the New Year

One of humankind’s oldest forms of recreation is playing with marbles, and the tradition is still going strong in Monroe County. For generations, a game called Rolley Hole has been a favorite among families in Tompkinsville and the surrounding area. They play almost every day, and many hone their skills to become world-class marble shooters with amazing speed and accuracy. The Marble King Dumas Walker, memorialized in the Kentucky Headhunters’ anthem, was part of this recreational community. Watch this KET video to see marble players in action at the Rolley Hole Super Dome.

They love to play and teach others the game. The marbles they use are works of art. Glass marbles are too fragile for this game, so the community has perfected different ways to make them out of flint.

mark-marksmarble

The marble in the photo on the left was given to me by folklorist Bob Gates, who interviewed and presented Rolley Hole players for years. It is a compact, sturdy symbol of an enduring Kentucky tradition. This touchstone brings back fun memories of grooming a course and “rolling the hole.” I like to pass it around to people and let them try to shoot it.

If you want to get one from Timmy in person, meet me at the Gallery on the Square in Franklin, Kentucky on Sat., Jan. 16, 2016 at 11 a.m. Central, where we will have an event for the arts council’s exhibit, The Makings of a Master: Kentucky Folk Art Apprenticeships. Timmy will be there talking about Rolley Hole and his marble making process. We will also present Hong Shao, a Kentucky master musician who plays the Chinese pipa.

Remember, take time to have fun in the new year!

Mark Brown
Folk and Traditional Arts Director

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Good food deserves better: mean mugs

‘Tis the season for me to sound off about serving your delicious holiday food on something better than garbage (i.e. disposable plates, utensils and bakeware). For the 2015-16 holiday season, I am turning my attention to a very specific kitchen item used by a very specific group of aficionados.

Coffee drinkers are serious. There are a few of them at the arts council, and each is almost as passionate about coffee as he or she is about art. As matter of a fact, I have joked that the only acceptable excuse for being late to an arts council meeting is needing to go make another cup of coffee.

If you or someone you know is a coffee enthusiast or just a plain addict, don’t let them go another day pouring their Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee in a Styrofoam cup or hand-me-down mug. Good coffee deserves to be encapsulated and embraced by beauty.

Here are just few examples from the arts council’s “personal” collection (click on the photo for more information about the item):

Obviously these meticulously handcrafted items will cost more than a dollar store mug, but it’s easy to justify the expense for something used daily – sometimes four or five times a day. Besides, it’s a kindness to our environment – a gift for friend and a gift for the earth.

Sarah Schmitt
Arts access director

 

 

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Kentucky-made wearables will fight the chill this holiday season

This year, I’m all about handmade wearables. I recently purchased a unique hand-woven poncho from Maiken Ischiel Young and I can’t wait to wear it to a festive holiday function this month. Maiken also has simple, thick and soft woven scarves, to keep the winter chill away.

I purchased wearables as gifts, too: beautiful silk scarves by Laverne Zabielski and Judy Kushner for my mom and stepmom (who I hope don’t read this!). Laverne’s scarves are dyed in rich, vibrant hues that really pop when worn. She sometimes uses a felt loom and combines felt with silk, for a more substantial scarf. Judy’s colors are lovely and subtle. I chose a scarf in a burn-out pattern that gives it added texture and dimension. A simple scarf doesn’t have to cost a lot of money and it adds special flair to an outfit.

Another unique item, and a popular gift in my family, is Mary Lamb Nehring’s brightly dyed bamboo knit socks. I have given several pairs of these socks as gifts and the recipients always tell me they are their favorite socks. They are thick and wonderfully soft and dyed in fun colors.

Whether you’re looking for something small and simple, something warm and cozy, or something unique and stylish, Kentucky fiber artists have lots to offer!

Kate Sprengnether
Public art and design director

 

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