Did you know that the Great America Brass Band Festival is much more than music on the main stage? You probably have experienced some of those events: the Great American Swing Dance Fest, Saturday’s children’s activities, and certainly the Saturday morning parade. Another part of the Festival is the Great American Art Festival – why visual art at a music festival? Simply put, the organizers believe in art, all types of art, and having a juried art festival makes the art festival a fuller, richer experience. So whether you might be interested in purchasing a piece of art or simply need to stretch your legs, make your way to College Street alongside the Norton Center for the Arts to experience the 18 artists who will be exhibiting and selling their artwork. You might have a conversation with local Danville artist Paul Muth, who works in clay and runs a local studio, https://www.facebook.com/SugarGrovePottery/. While you’re there stop and see June Pryer, http://www.facebook.com./jandjartsbyjunepryor, a self-taught painter who is inspired by the beauty she sees around her. If you or your special someone is craving wearable artwork, Kelli Clark, who hails from Clarksville IN, will be there with her one-of-a-kind earrings, bracelets and necklaces, http://www.jewelrybykelli.com/. Troy Glasgow will be visiting from Memphis TN, with his unique photography the focuses your eyes on people, places, music, food, and life, http://www.troyglasgow.com/. Visual Art can leave you asking questions as you experience the world through the artist’s interpretation of beauty, life, form and function. Our artists love to converse, love to hear your perspective, and just plain love art! Take a walk over to their booths; you may find yourself coming back more than once as you experience yet another side of the Great American Brass Band Festival!
With Brass Band right around the corner and the weather (fingers crossed) looking good, let’s take a look at some of the remaining artists and their artwork. Soon, you’ll have more than just my words illustrating their work, their themes and what they hope to express! You’ll have their artwork, which will surely speak more brilliantly than my descriptions.
Clay Thurston, http://www.gabbf.org/speaker/clay-thurston/, has literally traveled the world as a wildlife and nature photographer for the past 30 years. His booth at the Great American Art Festival will let you travel with him from the comfort of Danville KY. We hope you take the time to visit and view his artwork. His current favorite subject matter is birds, but he’ll have a little bit of everything in his booth. Fawn Greer owns Dewdrop Pottery, https://www.facebook.com/pg/Dewdropartmudlovin/about/?ref=page_internal, and joins us from her home and studio in Corbin, KY. She crafts handmade items of beauty and function including apple backers, pitchers, mugs, and lemon juicers! As with many of our artists fill free to talk with her about custom orders. As a theatre artist, I am more than used to collaborating on artistic projects, but when I saw that Sara and Brian Turner would be exhibiting at the Art Show, I was intrigued. The artist duo has owned and operated Cricket Press since 2003 and will be sharing their printmaking with us at the Brass Band Festival, http://www.cricket-press.com/. Brad Bickel is a jewelry artist working in glass creating unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. He creates a special texture in the glass that mimics stone veins. Take a moment to look at his Facebook page to see the process described, https://www.facebook.com/bradbickelglass/. Have you ever considered furniture as artwork? If you haven’t, now might be the time. Darin Caldwell, who grew up right here in Boyle County, will be joining us. Darin sees the beauty in wood and seeks to highlight that beauty in each piece he designs, http://www.darincaldwelldesign.com/.
As an arts educator for almost 25 years, how and why people make art fascinates me. Why this medium, what that subject matter, what are you expressing? I’m also often amazed at how artwork is used to celebrate important life moments – special songs are written for graduation ceremonies, decorations become artwork at weddings and the structure of special ceremonies is choreographed to emphasize certain essential moments. It’s been a pleasure looking through these artist’s work and sharing a bit about their work with you. There are a few more artists to highlight before the Brass Band Festival begins! Looking forward to sharing them with you and to seeing you at the GABBF!
Last month I had the unique experience of visiting the home of a collector of contemporary art. The collection brought beauty and meaning to their home. Through conversations with the owners I began to understanding how the artwork brought beauty, meaning and value to their lives. Visiting the collection put us in the position of viewing artwork in someone’s home and the meaning it can have there, which is much more personal than viewing artwork in a museum. It was part of an arts education conference I was privileged to attend. I found myself engaging with the experience long after the visit, throughout the conference and later as I contemplated the meaning of art in our lives, the lives of our students and in our local and global communities.
Collecting artwork, for both display and function in one’s home has as many meanings as there are collectors. Some of us might have a piece or two and not even really consider ourselves collectors. Some of us have made the conscious choice to follow a particular artist, type of artwork, or historical period of art. Choosing artwork is personal and often emotional. The artwork might connect us with a memory, a person or time in our lives that we want to remember. We might choose a work of art because it brightens our surroundings or makes our home a lovelier place to be. It might be a wearable piece of artwork or something we can sit on, or eat or drink from.
The artists chosen for the Great American Art Festival will be displaying works of art that speak to that need for beauty, diversity and meaning that we want in our surroundings. Today, and in my next post I’ll feature the remaining artists chosen specifically for this year’s Festival, http://www.gabbf.org/festival-visual-artists/. As with anyone making a purchase of a piece of artwork the deciding factor is you, what has meaning and beauty for you. How can artwork express a part of your life, and bring thoughtfulness and understanding to your world.
Susan Black is a local photographer living in Lancaster who sees her world through the lens of a camera. She had always dreamed of becoming a photojournalist and now her photography is both her avocation and vocation. Susan’s photography takes great joy in the natural surroundings of Kentucky and her lens picks out the small details of environments, http://susanblackphotography.zenfolio.com/. Jeremy Ashcroft, from Logansport AL via Indiana, also works in photography and mixed media. His favorite subject matter is “Found Art” and is finds himself drawn to rustic everyday items that often go unnoticed until a photographers lens draws those details to our attention, http://www.jeremyashcraft.artspan.com/home. Painter Brendan Cody, describes his work as Contemporary Realism, working with bright color and bold composition. In his artwork Brendan hopes seeks to reveal a subject’s inner workings through exploration of their outward aspects, http://brendancody.wixsite.com/brendancody. Artist Stacy Chinn creates wearable works of art through her jewelry designs. Stacy is inspired by the “rustic beauty of the Bluegrass” producing jewelry and more in her studio/store in Lexington, MADEKY, http://www.madeky.com/index.html. Kris Grenier, is a fiber artist and adventurer who call Cynthiana, KY home. In her studio, she captures her favorite backpacking and peakbagging in her wool “paintings”, https://wanderstruckstudio.com/. Through her artwork, she seeks to make images from her travels tangible. Danville and Garrard County Artist Brandon Long is a multi-media and multidisciplinary artist whose works spans collage, instrument making, murals, sculpture making and more. One of his most recent exhibits “Recycling” featured recycled assemblage artworks, https://artofbrandonlong.wordpress.com/.
How does art speak to you?