Giving New Life

Prospect’s Mixed media artist Gibson has eye for the unusual

She makes all sorts of items from wood,
old records and more

(Sept. 20, 2019) – Mixed media artist Julie Freniere-Gibson need only look around her to find items that will inspire her artwork. Common, even discarded items, often find their way into her artwork to prove the point that everything old can become new again.
Using literally “anything I come across” Freniere-Gibson has an eye for creating artwork that is not only “fun and whimsical, but also sometimes thought-provoking and patriotic,” said the Prospect, Ky resident.

Photo provided

Julie Freniere-Gibson makes art from recycled items she finds.

“I work with recycled items, such as old records, game pieces, and hardware, to create my products.” She breathes new life into salvaged wood, recycled and discarded items for her business, Wood and Sliver.
“When I came across my first piece of truly old wood I was instantly inspired,” said Freniere-Gibson. About seven or eight years ago, “I decided no more office work. I determined the office life just wasn’t for me anymore.” From that moment she decided she should “do it now or never do it,” so she launched into what has now become a full time job.
A large portion of her artwork consists of wall hangings. Guitar shaped hangings are made from old bourbon barrel wood, and hand painted 45 records are embellished with knobs and turntables. Much of her artwork “has a music theme.”
Freniere-Gibson said she picks up materials everywhere, “architectural places, estate sales – I’m always on the hunt.” She hand paints words on each creation.
Sometimes she has to think on a piece of artwork before true inspiration comes to her.
“When you buy an original you are truly buying a one-of-a-kind piece of art. No two pieces of wood are ever the same. Even if they have something similar painted on them, the character of the wood means no one will have the same one as you.”
Embellishments include a variety of materials such as old gears, dials, knobs, game pieces, fishing lures, and much more. “By rescuing interesting pieces, old hardwood flooring and other people’s “junk,” I try not to just make art, but also to preserve little pieces of history.”
She was, in fact, an Art History major at the University of Toledo. Originally from Toledo, “I worked in a couple of museums after college. My husband was then transferred to Minnesota for work.”

Julie Freniere-Gibson

Because her husband could work from anywhere, they decided to leave the bitter cold of Minnesota and settle farther south, landing in Kentucky. Freniere-Gibson had also taken some studio classes in college, delving into pottery.
Before working in the medium she currently uses, she had gone into business building and refurnishing furniture. She describes her current artistic endeavor as “folk art and green art,” the latter referring to the fact that it is all created from recycled items.
She places her unique artwork in the price range of $30 to $350, carrying items that are perfect for every wallet. She gets many custom orders from word of mouth advertising.
This will be her third year for participating in the Madison Chautauqua Festival of Fine Art. “It’s nice to have people appreciate what you do. The festival is run by great people.”

Freniere-Gibson’s artwork will fit in nicely with the other categories of painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, weaving, folk art, jewelry, fiber, wood, glass, leather and many more. She can be found at Booth #624.

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