Displaying Their Talents
Arts Association of Oldham County presents its Fall Art Show in Buckner
Artist John creates, sells a variety of zany artwork
BUCKNER, Ky. (November 2019) – Artist Jana John is all about creating smiles with her zany artwork. Her intent is to bring a smile or laugh to the viewer, yet it is also meant to be a heartfelt tribute to the art traditions that influenced her.
Working out of her home studio in Louisville, Ky., John creates colorful, whimsical “masks and platters, spoon rests, wine stoppers and spreaders, among other things. Many of my pieces have a cat motif, but I also do lots of other animals and people,” she said.
Louisville, Ky., resident Jana John will be among 60 local artists particpating in the Fall Art Show.
“Clay masks are my specialty. They are colorful, cartoon-like faces meant to hang on the wall.” She said her work is “designed to make you smile. Some of it is functional, and some is purely decorative.”
Originally from Oklahoma, she uses red clay for her artwork because she feels a connection to the red dirt she played in as a child. She moved to Louisville from Jackson, Miss., in January 2000.
John was employed in the newspaper business for more than 35 years before retiring four years ago. She now works full time selling her artwork through her business, Showkitty Pottery, and attends many art shows each year.
Admirers of her work can find Showkitty Pottery at several art fairs in the Louisville area and beyond. She has exhibited her work in Kentucky Crafted: The Market in Lexington, Ky.; the St. James Court Art Show in Louisville; Chimneyville Craft Fair in Mississippi; and the Oldham Arts Fall Show in Oldham County, Ky.
The eighth annual Oldham Arts Fall Show will take place Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 9-10 at the John Black Community Center in Buckner, Ky. Show hours are from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday, and from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sunday. Usually held at CityPlace in La Grange, this year’s show has moved to the Community Center at the Wendell Moore Park for the first time. Food will be provided by Four Moores Food Truck, and beer and wine will be available.
The move to the Community Center was made because “we discovered that CityPlace will not rent to the LGBTQ community, and we are proud to be an all inclusive organization,” said show chair Marion Gibson. This show is put on by the Arts Association of Oldham County.
The juried Oldham Arts Fall Show will feature 60 local and regional artists, Gibson said. Half of the booths will be set up inside the Community Center and half will be set up outside in a heated tent.
Above is a sample of Josie Wiseman’s jewelry creations. She plans to take part in the Fall Art Show.
Visitors will be able to see paintings, ceramics, photography, glass, jewelry, sculpture and lots of wooden items, said Gibson. Many of the artists are local, but “we have artists from eight states showing this year.”
• For more information, contact the Arts Association of Oldham County at (502) 222-3822.
She said about 30 percent of artists are returning artists to this show. “The rest are new artists.”
This will be John’s third or fourth time to participate in this show. “It is well-organized and well-run, the quality of the artwork is very good and the show draws good crowds,” she said. “I hope everyone will come check out the new location.”
John said she has always loved pottery and had “filled my home with it over the years. I had it in the back of my mind that I would like to try to make pottery myself someday. The community enrichment program at a local college in Jackson, Miss., where I lived at the time, offered a pottery course, so I took it. It was an overview of all the basic ceramic techniques.”
She said she loved the class so much that “I took it multiple times. I started doing small art fairs and putting my work in galleries. I was working full time at the local newspaper and did my clay work in my spare time.”
Since then she has taught herself how to use those techniques “to achieve the offbeat effects that I want.” She is a juried member of the Louisville Artisans Guild, the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program and the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi. Her work can be found at Gallery 104 in La Grange and at Kore Gallery in Louisville.
When creating a piece of artwork, “my love of animals, especially cats, inspires me. And I’m always trying to come up with new goofy faces that will make people smile and laugh. Wanting to spread happiness inspires me.”
Josie Wiseman is another returning local artist. Wiseman said this show is “always a good size – not so big that it is hard to see all of it and get lost, and not too small as to have too few choices.”
Wiseman returns because “I like the size and the people who run it. Also, we get friendly interested buyers. I’m hoping that the new venue will make it all even better.”
She continued, saying, “As with the Arts on the Green show (held in June in La Grange), I see lots of returning patrons who sometimes buy, sometimes don’t, but may well get in touch with me when they want something at another time. So it is well worth the time and effort to set up, and see folks.”
Prizes are awarded for this show. Ribbons are given out in 10 categories, and $350 is awarded for Best of Show.
When jurying in an artist for this show, judges look for “original, handmade and designed. Not just assembled artwork,” said Gibson.
The quality of the artwork on display and for sale at this show is “really top notch,” Gibson said. “We turned down a number of artists because we want to maintain our reputation for quality, not quantity, and not top prices. A few were turned down because we thought their price point was too high.”
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