Artisans around the world make our lives richer, lightening our mood and bringing joy to our hearts. Come and see how they do it in Kentucky.
Artisans Enriching the Kentucky Lifestyle
Poets, painters, musicians and photographers, makers of all kinds, for creative people of Kentucky inspiration is limitless. One such crafty soul, Kathy Conroy from Pleasureville, who lived in Kentucky since she was sixteen, fully embraced her inner artist. After her parenting years and a chaotic career, she retired from being a graphic artist to go for her true love — scratchboard art.
To finish a piece of work in this art medium, around thirty hours of crafting is required, making it hard for the artist to part with their creation. Some more complex projects easily take a few months to complete. A thin layer of clay is placed on a Masonite baking all covered in India ink. Conroy uses an array of fine tools to shape her delicate creation. Scalpels of all sizes, different scratchboard tools, and even tattoo needles for some precise etching. Rich in detail, revealing the clay under the ink, various shapes of animals and people are created by the artist’s hand. Later, color can be added according to inspiration. Exhibitions, art shows, and workshops are just a few places you can see these crafty creations.
Coffee at Tater Knob
Over a hot cup of coffee visitors at Tater Knob Pottery and Farm will not only purchase beautiful works of art but will also watch them as they are being created. At the same time, they will be befriending dogs and cats owned by Sarah Culbreth. Around ten miles Downtown from Barea, Culbreth works with her husband and daughter-in-law as well with other fellow artists. Currently, they are celebrating the 40th anniversary of their business. Sarah was trained in the arts of pottery in an apprenticeship program down at Berea College, and now she transfers that knowledge on their 30-acre art farm.
Beautiful mugs, colorful vases all created by cheerful people on the farm and every person has their style. The kiln-fired pottery is unique, and they often use red clay alongside their original glazes for their creations. Culbreth enjoys transferring the ideas from her mind to the clay, shaped by her fingertips, and never gets tired of it.
Love Can Love a Can
Robert Love, an upcycler with a big heart from Bowling Green, transforms aluminum cans into fantastic art. Graduating from Western Kentucky University, this retired art teacher has a master’s degree in art and a bachelor’s in fine art. Love named his art technique “Recycled Brushstrokes.” His palettes are containers of aluminum cans meticulously sorted by size and color. He creates his metal mosaics by cutting small segments from the cans and nailing them to the wooden surface. Combining the shapes and color, he makes for some exciting creations, one of them was a detailed Johnny Cash portrait. Markets expansion now include canned water and more energy drinks, so Love has even more options in his artistic arsenal. Love’s work can be found statewide in galleries and public art projects.
Mike Maydark, a Covington resident, always wanted to be a writer, but after his attempts at it, he decides to turn to his real skill, drawing and illustrating. Many of his drawings have a deep, colorful root in fantasy. As a child, he enjoyed comics and often came up with his own ideas. Maydark has a bachelor’s degree in fine art for drawing from Northern Kentucky University. He was continually improving his skills, often watching other illustrators and their work. The Chicago comic book convention was one of his big inspirations. Comics and graffiti culture gravely influence Maydarks style. His work can be found in many comics and a mini comic series. Silence is his best time for inspiration, and he uses those moments wisely.