“225: Artists Celebrate Kentucky’s History” Reception
We thoroughly enjoyed the “225: Artists Celebrate Kentucky’s History” reception thanks to warm hosting from Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, curator Gwen Heffner and Executive Director, Todd Finley. Thank you all artists who made this a stellar exhibition, which fortunately goes until September 23.
Gwen introduced each of the artists during her talk, how nice! She explained that the display was organized chronologically, with the earliest historical representation starting on the right side under the signage. Each of the 60 works of art has written information about the subject. The art shows a variety of media, there is something for everyone. I am proud to know some of the artists in the show.
Mark Selter and Angela Selter were the first artists we met in Kentucky when we were in a show together in Danville. Mark’s oil painting, “Cane” was chosen for the poster shown above. Mark embodies history, as displayed with his handmade jacket with eighteenth century King George III buttons.He is a master painter, as well as expert craftsman of historic artifacts.
In his statement he said: “When I set out to explore the settling of Kentucky with ideas of painting scenes from that era, I initially went as a tourist/artist with a camera and soon found myself immersed and engaged in the culture and joined in as a working part of the reenactment events; camping, cooking, hiking, eating, and sharing history with the participants. I learned about the clothing and accouterments of that period and spent many hours researching and making clothing by hand.
These are some of the paintings which resulted from those experiences.”
“There is much writing about the early settlers moving into Kentucky. These paintings represent individuals which you may or may not have read about in books. It was a difficult time and the people streaming into this new land were of diverse origins as these three paintings illustrate.”
He was clowning around for a group of us to photograph him, as the proud woodsman near “Cane”,
then broke up laughing to reveal an intricate painting of an indigenous warrior (I didn’t get the title).
As a former oil painter, I was interested to find out how he achieved the matte finish over oils which are often shiny in spots, one thing the used to bother me. Now I know! The two small paintings he is pointing to reference slavery.
One reason I love receptions is having the opportunity to address questions. Here I was explaining how I did graphite portrait drawings on a translucent non-paper so that the underlying colored pencil drawings would show through on “Abraham Lincoln’s Kentucky”.
John Andrew Dixon‘s art always intrigues me with his intricacy of detail. There is so much to take in, one can return and see something missed time and again. His technique is impeccable. He let me touch it, because it was hard to tell that there were layers of imagery glued. He brought his considerable design skills to this one with his hand painted lettering
Linda Fifield‘s bead work is always noteworthy. She says, it’s her life, and I can imagine the countless hours that goes into her perfect artifacts. She was wearing a beaded cuff that matched so well. What a Kentucky treasure she is. It was a pleasure to compare notes on our respective aesthetic lifestyles.