Posts Tagged With: regional arts

A fresh StART to 2015

With 2015 on our doorstep, now is the time to take your greatest wishes and make them into tangible goals. We’ve created a list of resolutions to help you get started on a banner year. Use our list to make your own, catered to your dreams and aspirations.

*Make more time for your art
Prioritize, people! Don’t let your projects get crowded and shuffled out. Use a specific timetable or format so you won’t forget.
It might be a good idea to have a calendar in a place you visit a lot. You could make every Tuesday at noon your sketch time (or whatever usually gets shuffled out of your weekly tasks). That way, you know that when you wake up on Tuesdays…yay! It’s sketch day!
Even if it’s only a couple of hours a week…write it down on the calendar, and in permanent ink! Whatever the task is, make it the same day and time so nearly everything you do will eventually become a habit.
You may need to enroll in a class so others will hold you accountable. This could also help you get back to the basics and help you remember why you fell in love with the craft in the first place. Search our online directories to find other artists like you and contact them.

*Apply for more fellowships & grants
There are lots of opportunities out there, and no reason why you can’t apply to at least one fellowship or grant this year. To find opportunities from us, visit our website. At the top, right corner, you’ll see the “Grants” tab. Take a look around. If you have a question on one of the opportunities, find the program director responsible. Call and/or email them. It’s our job to help you.

*Network more…face to face
This may sound scary…but get out there! In every single session of the Creative Industry Summit, each speaker reiterated over and over how important it is to get conversations going about art in our communities.
Make it a point to attend events, like Kentucky Crafted: The Market, as a vendor or a shopper. Either way, I’m sure those there, or at any event, wouldn’t care to give you tips of the trade. Try not to see them as competition, but comrades. Check our online calendar for upcoming events you might like to attend. You can also go to our home page and hover your cursor over the first tab, “Kentucky Art”, then “Experience the Arts” for some.
I would also make a point to visit art retailers around the state. Click this link for a list of our Kentucky Crafted Retailers. Talk to them! Network! Share war stories!
Also, don’t think you have to attend events catered specifically to your craft. You could attend something different. For example, if you’re a painter, attend Poetry Out Loud. You never know, it could help you find inspiration for your next project.

That brings me to my next suggestion…

*Get out of your comfort zone
Make it a point to do at least one project a week that’s different than what you would usually do. This may mean a different genre, or use a different canvas size, etc.

When you do…

*Post your work online
This includes your personal websites, blogs and social media pages. Post the good, the bad and the ugly and ask for others’ opinions to get a conversation started. Post the entire process and ask for “help” on what to do next. You never know, your fans may even want to buy something because they’re proud they helped you in the process. They may want to invest in your creativity.

Share your resolutions with us in the comments of our blog, or on our social media pages!

Megan Williamson Fields, communications assistant

Categories: Other | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Scarecrows have invaded downtown Scottsville, Ky.

They have taken over the square. Big scarecrows, little scarecrows, hug-ably soft scarecrows and pointy-toothed scary scarecrows are all frozen in their own autumnal tableaux.

This annual assemblage is a great example of a living folk art tradition. Individuals, organizations and businesses join in the fun and express their aesthetics right in the heart of the city.

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Learn more about the Scottsville Scarecrow Invasion here.

How does your community celebrate this time of year? Share comments below.

Thanks, Scottsvillians, for this wondrous display. Also, congratulations to your newly-certified Kentucky Community Scholars who are working to identify and celebrate more folk art forms and heritage in the area.

Mark Brown, folk and traditional arts program diector

Categories: Folk and Traditional Arts | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Rings to Riches

Although June has long passed, we’re  still thinking about weddings at the arts council. This is because we were recently forwarded a great  e-mail  from Kentucky Crafted artist Mark Needham explaining how he turned one couple’s flimsy but significant memento into an heirloom piece of art. The tale covers three years and most of the Commonwealth. It’s the story of the showy and wonderful things we do to celebrate life’s big events, but also the sweet, private things that can often mean so much more.

Greg and Shavonna met in October of 2009 at Western Kentucky University’s Leadership Assessment Center in Bowling Green. During that time, they struck up a friendship. Although they lived in different cities, they kept in touch. After many e-mails, texts and phone calls, they had their first date on Valentine’s Day of 2010. In March, Greg presented Shavonna with a vending machine ring from a Chinese buffet in Louisville. He called it his “practice proposal.” Appreciating the sentiment behind the gesture, Shavonna kept the ring. His official proposal took place in early May of 2010, with a wedding planned for August.

But Greg couldn’t wait. Shavonna visited him  in his hometown of Paducah over Father’s Day. As she was packing to leave, she received a text reading “Why don’t we just go ahead and get married today?!”  She said yes, and although she had to wear the same clothes she wore the Sunday before, she was able to carry real magnolias from her sister-in-law’s yard to the Justice of the Peace. Anyone who has ever tried to buy fresh magnolias knows that’s a fancy bouquet! Greg was concerned that he wouldn’t have a ring for her, but Shavonna saved the day by pulling out the presumed-forgotten vending machine ring. After a brief honeymoon in Mayfield, they had to return to their separate cities.

Shavonna and Greg did have a “real”ceremony in August, and were finally able to be together in the same city! The vending machine ring broke (it wasn’t built for long-term use),  and she wore her grandmother’s plain gold band instead. Greg surprised her on their first anniversary with a solitaire, although she had actually asked for a digital camera (luckily she got that, too).

Shavonna and Greg have been happily married for two years, and they have an exceptional little family. This past May they visited Paducah’s annual Lowertown Arts and Music Festival. As they browsed the artists’ booths, they found Mark Needham from Louisville.  Given the nature of his beautiful jewelry, Shavonna immediately told him about the broken vending machine ring she had kept all this time.  She commissioned a “renewed” ring to wear on her right hand.

Although this story belongs to Shavonna and Greg, we think it illustrates a great point about buying handmade items from Kentucky artists. Artists do more than create art; they are also creative thinkers with the ability to turn “old nothings” into “new somethings.” Is there a trinket or a piece of ephemera in your life that could use the artists’ touch?

Sarah Schmitt, arts access director

Categories: Visual Arts | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Give a gift from Kentucky: any club that would have me as a member

Each year I get at least one gift that “keeps on giving.” This usually translates to a gift that I have to keep on dusting, a gift that requires regular maintenance or a gift that I have to keep jamming deeper into the back of a closet. I am not an ingrate; I just recognize that this phrase has become an empty cliché. I have a better suggestion about how to make your thoughts (and your money!) count for people you care about, while supporting the arts in a Kentucky community.

Giving memberships means giving experiences, not things. Experiences don’t fall on your head from the top shelf when you are pulling out your summer clothes. They fit right in your head and regular maintenance just means pleasurable reminiscence. Experiences keep on giving without collecting one speck of dust.

Here a few museums in Kentucky offering membership opportunities:

International Bluegrass Music Museum

A gift of $80 provides a couple with a $20 discount on two ROMP all-event passes, free museum admission for two adults, two museum passes for guests, a “Museum Member” bumper sticker, 10 percent discount on all museum purchases, and newsletters and special mailings. People who love bluegrass are usually not lukewarm about their interest. A trip to the museum dedicated to its past, present and future is a perfect gift for a fan.

Living Arts and Science Center

A $50 membership to LASC will give an entire family a discount on all classes and workshops and mailings of all class schedules, newsletters and invitations. This is a great value, as LASC offers classes for children, teens and adults throughout the year. The recipients will also receive a 10 percent discount in the Living Arts and Science Center art galleries and gift shop. Let them pick their own tangible gift.

 Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft

An individual membership to the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft at $40 gets the recipient free admission to the museum for one year; priority announcements of upcoming exhibits, events, workshops and lectures; an invitation to members’ only receptions and special events; two complimentary guests passes to the museum; a 10 percent discount on purchases in the gallery; a discount on workshops for adults and children; a subscription to their monthly e-newsletter; an acknowledgement listing on the website; and an invitation to the annual Bourbon Ball and Oaks Brunch events. Just $35 more will buy all the benefits above for two adults and all children under age 18 living in the same household!

National Quilt Museum

Like the International Bluegrass Music Museum, the National Quilt Museum would be enjoyable to anyone, but a membership is definitely a perfect gift for the textile enthusiast. A $60 dual/family membership comes with two free admissions for one year and two additional guest passes, a 20 percent discount in the museum gift shop and online store, a collectible pin, a member’s only quarterly newsletter, invitations to special events, updates on upcoming exhibits and discounts on workshops.

Janice Mason Art Museum

A membership to the Janice Mason Art Museum (JMAM) is perfect for a traveler. If you become a “partner,” you receive post card notification of events and exhibits, the ARTicles newsletter, a 10 percent discount in the Museum Store, discounts on all classes and workshops, discounts on art supplies, members-only receptions for exhibit openings and participation in museum sponsored art trips. And that’s only at JMAM! Partners also gain admission to over 325 museums nationwide through the North American Reciprocal Museum Program (NARM).

The Speed Art Museum

The Speed Art Museum is an excellent membership option to please a general art lover. For $50 an individual member receives a typical package of invitations to member’s reviews of exhibitions, free or discounted admission to special exhibitions, free or discounted admission to museum-sponsored lectures, a subscription to the Member Magazine and admission to the Art Sparks Family Interactive Gallery. But that’s not all; members also receive free or discounted admission to The Speed Concert Series, so they can enjoy great music, too. They also get a 10 percent discount in the museum shop and discounted parking in their garage. A Speed membership comes with the added bonus of free admission to all Southeastern Reciprocal Membership (SERM) and benefits at NARM member museums.

Look for membership opportunities in the recipient’s geographic area or within the recipient’s area of interest. Museum memberships are not the only way to give experiences. Tickets to shows and events are good options, too.

Sarah Schmitt, arts access director

Categories: Performing Arts, Visual Arts | Tags: , ,

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