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Kentucky Crafted artists will be spotlighted at Derby celebration 

Two local artists included in the 16 chosen out of 350 across the state

FRANKFORT — Out of 16 state-wide artists chosen to exhibit and sell their work during the Governor’s Derby Celebration on May 5, and two of them are local. 

John Andrew Dixon, of Dixon Design, will be on hand with his 2-D mixed media pieces. Also, Kathleen O’Brien, of Kathleen O’Brien Studio in Harrodsburg, will be exhibiting her graphics/2-D mixed media. 

“I’m pleased that the Arts Council has chosen to highlight my collage artwork as a new participant in the Kentucky Crafted program,” says Dixon. 

A selection of Dixon’s originals and note-card sets will be on display, as well as available for purchase during the celebration. 

“I balance my approach to collage by treating it as a painting as well as a recycled artifact. My designs come as much from creative impulse as from conscious decisions, almost like improvisational music. It’s rewarding when others also enjoy this sense of discovery.”

According to the Kentucky Arts Council, the chosen artists represent a diverse sampling of more than 350 artists in the council’s Kentucky Crafted program, an adjudicated program that provides assistance to Kentucky visual and craft artists through marketing and promotional opportunities and arts business training.

“I thought, well, this may be a different type of exposure, so why not? And it should be really fun,” O’Brien says. She will be bringing her entire “Bouquet” line of art, all watercolor and some multi-media watercolor. She’ll have about 30 pieces on hand, all mounted, as well as some greeting cards as prints. 

“I decided on that line because floral pieces are always good for Mother’s Day, so hopefully people can take advantage and find some really unique gifts for Mom this year.” 

“Bouquet 06,” a watercolor by Kathleen O’Brien

O’Brien says she was thrilled to be chosen to participate. 

“I think it’s just another really wonderful program sponsored by our wonderful Kentucky Arts Council. I wanted to be a part of it because they’re always so supportive of the artists, and giving us opportunities. They didn’t charge us a booth fee and they’re not taking any commission. It’s strictly an opportunity to show art in a different situation. I appreciate that.” 

Other artists who are exhibiting, listed by name, business name, artistic discipline and county of residence:

• Richard Adams, Wooden Tricks, wood, London

• Roger Ballard, Paul Roger Ballard Photography, photography, Versailles

• Marti Brown, Made on Magnolia, fiber art, Shelbyville

• Jennifer Dunham, It’s in the Cards, graphics/2-D mixed media, Versailles

• Amy Henson, Rock Bottom Soap Co., natural/organic, London

• Tracy Leasor, Candlewicking & Embroidery Creations, fiber art, Louisville

  John Leeds, Leeds Jewelry, jewelry, Richmond

• Alisha Martin, The Bad Button Bespoke Corsets, fiber art, Frankfort

• Lacey Roberts, The Painted Lace, fiber art, Frankfort

• Jeannette Rowlett, Jeannette’s Jewelry/H&J Associates, jewelry, Berea

• Shawnna Southerland, Shawnna Carney Southerland, fiber art, Berea

• Suzanne Spencer, SMS Originals, fiber art, Louisville

• Jason Sturgill, Xenosketch: The Art of Jason Sturgill, graphics/2-D mixed media, Lexington

• Jim Waugh, Seven Oaks Wood Gallery, wood, Cecilia

In addition to the Kentucky Crafted tent, visitors will see Derby blankets submitted by Kentucky students. Picnic tables on the Old State Capitol grounds will be fitted with horse heads and tails, and the canvases, or “Derby blankets,” will be placed over the tabletops like a blanket over a horse. Blankets were sent in from schools across the state to be on display for visitors to the Derby Celebration to see and enjoy.

For information about the Kentucky Crafted program, call Dave Blevins, arts marketing director, at (502) 892-3120 or email david.blevins@ky.gov.

Some information for this story was taken from a Kentucky Arts Council press release.