Louisville Artisans Guild Invites Community to Explore & Meet Local Artists
Writer / Kelsey Schneider
“Before a child speaks, it sings. Before they write, they paint. As soon as they stand, they dance. Art is the basis of human expression.” – Phylicia Rashad.
“Creativity takes courage.” – Henri Matisse.
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” -Thomas Merton.
“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” -Picasso.
Jacqueline Gedrose presents words of wisdom from artists and creatives. These quotes about art that Jacqueline likes are both inspiring and insightful.
Gedrose, President of the Louisville Artisans Guild invites you to become a member if you’re an artist yourself. The Guild is Kentucky’s oldest guild dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in arts and crafts. LAG (or Louisville Artisans Guild) is an all-volunteer, 501c3 non-profit organization.
The people who are recognized for their time devoted to the Guild are all volunteers of various committees and Board members.
A sand cast, glass Fleur-de-lis (with LAG’s logo) award mounted on a wooden base is given to the Volunteer of the Year, annually, with his or her name engraved on a brass plate along with the names of previous recipients’ names and the award is put on display for one year.
The Guild holds a Volunteer Appreciation Celebration each January.
LAG meets regularly, usually bi-monthly, to host guest artists and business consultants and to discuss recent shows and exhibits. These meetings are a tradition to share insights and observations.
The Guild continues to educate and empower area artists through workshops on jurying into the Guild: applying to art shows, how to approach galleries for representation, how to prepare for shows, photographing their artwork, writing artist statements. And business concerns such as liability, insurance, taxes, EIN numbers and applying for sale and use taxes in various states.
In 1956, the Louisville Artisans Guild began “when five local craftsmen, George Kiewart, Daniel Peterson, Jane Samples, Thelma Hogan and Nelle Peterson, met at a local bar to share their success and frustrations while pursuing careers in the visual art,” Gedrose says.
“The group of five were soon joined by fellow artists to discuss their craft and the business concerns of selling,” Gedrose says. “As the group grew, they decided on a name, The Louisville Craftsmen’s Guild and filed Articles of Incorporation with the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 1957.
As stated in the Articles of Incorporation, the object and purpose shall be:
- To encourage the development of ever-higher standards of performance and accomplishment in arts and crafts to the end that the Kentucky-Indiana area shall be known for the quality and number of its work.
- To provide those persons who are interested in crafts with an opportunity to initiate and participate in, to promote and maintain the general welfare of these crafts in Kentucky, through the use of shows and exhibits, educational facilities and dissemination of information.
Early on meetings were held in members’ homes and exhibits were held at various bank lobbies, the Actors Theatre of Louisville Lobby, the Jewish Community Center Gallery, and downtown office building lobbies. As membership grew, meetings were moved to Community Rooms of local libraries and Board rooms of local banks or to member artists’ studios.
Over the years the Louisville Craftsmen’s Guild grew to include artists, craftsmen, educators, collectors, high school and college students and many others in the Kentuckiana area. In 2002, the Guild updated its name to The Louisville Artisans Guild to reflect the broader membership base and its commitment to both practicing and supporting roles in the visual arts.”
Young artists are encouraged, by LAG, through their high school Emerging Artist section of their Fine Arts and Crafts Showcase and their Louisville Artisans Guild Art Scholarship. Young artists are invited to attend meetings and participate in their all member Exhibit held in a local gallery. To encourage young artists, a couple of local high schools are invited to participate in a “Clothes-line” exhibit at LAG’s Fine Arts and Crafts Showcase every year. Patrons of the Showcase and Showcase artists are encouraged to submit encouraging comments on a form that are returned to the respective art teachers after the showcase closes.
Membership dues are waived for high school and college art students.
According to Gedrose, “In 1991, the Guild decided to offer a scholarship, in memory of the Guild’s first President, Nelle Peterson, to a high school senior pursuing a major in the non-performing visual arts. The first couple years the scholarship was funded from “passing the hat” at Guild meetings and other members donations. The one-time monetary award has grown from $300 to $2,000. The major source of funding for the scholarship now comes from 100% of the proceeds of the Scholarship Raffle at the Fine Arts and Crafts Showcase in November. Members donate artwork to be raffled off for one dollar chances. The winner for each art piece is determined by a blind draw from the box of tickets for the specific item.”
In the fall of each year information about the LAG Art Scholarship is sent to all Louisville public and private high schools and all high schools in the counties of Kentucky and Indiana that are contiguous to Jefferson County. The online scholarship application will be available through the Community Foundation of Louisville website.
The Scholarship is for students who are pursuing a degree in the non-performing visual arts.
Students will fill out the application online and attach images and descriptions of their five best pieces of art. All applicants will be juried on their online application to determine the 5-8 semifinalists. The semi-finalists will bring in their five pieces which were presented in the application for a live, blind jury in mid-March to determine the scholarship winner.
As a LAG member, you’ll have the opportunity to meet and interact with other artists and craftsmen, participate in Guild-sponsored workshops and discussion groups, receive email invitations and announcements of Guild activities, join the LAG private Facebook Group, have the opportunity to exhibit and sell a piece of your artwork at a local gallery for a month during LAG’s Annual Exhibit, receive a subscription to LAG’s bi-monthly newsletter.
The opportunity to exhibit and sell your work at the annual Fine Arts and Crafts Showcase the first weekend of November is an added benefit to becoming a juried member. Another is an inclusion of pictures of your work, artist statement and contact information in the Gallery section of the Guild’s website.
July 2019 marked the 47th Annual Exhibit that took place at KORE Gallery. This was a major event The Louisville Artisan’s Guild holds for all-members to exhibit their art. Artists were able to submit one piece in any medium they chose.
“Some years a theme has been announced and artists have been asked to interpret it,” Gedrose says. “This year, mediums represented included paintings, ceramics, 2D and 3D mixed media, fiber, scratchboard art, jewelry, glass, sculpture, wood photography and polymer clay.
“The Annual Exhibit is a great opportunity for all members to have a piece of their artistry on exhibit and for sale in a local gallery for one month.”
The second major annual event is LAG’s juried Fine Arts and Craft Showcase.
“Throughout its 60-plus years, LAG has held an annual juried show at various times either in the spring or in the fall and many times at the mercy of Mother Nature,” Gedrose says. “For more than 10 years, the show has been held indoors, and on the first weekend in November. Saturday, November 2, 2019, and Sunday, November 3, 2019 mark the 5th year our Showcase has been held in the Triple Crown Pavilion’s Ballroom located at 1776 Plantside Drive just off I-64 and Hurstbourne Lane. Triple Crown Pavilion allows LAG to showcase more of our juried members and offer a great mixture of art mediums for the public. There will be 70 booths filled with talented artists offering unique gifts including photography, ceramics, printmaking, drawing, fiber, wood, metal sculpture, scratchboard art, jewelry, pastels and 2D and 3D mixed media. Several artists will also be demonstrating needle-felting, watercolors and painting.”
In a clothes line display LAG will have an Emerging Artist section in their Showcase with high school art students exhibiting. A booth showcasing LAG’s 2019 Scholarship winner will also be included with the Emerging Artist.
“In addition to our 70 booths of juried artists, and Emerging Artist section, the Scholarship Raffle completes our Showcase of Fine Arts and Crafts,” Gedrose says. “The Scholarship Raffle is the major fundraiser for the Louisville Artisans Guild Art Scholarship, and 100% of the money raised in the raffle fund our annual scholarship. LAG members graciously donate their artwork to be raffled off with $1 tickets. Winners for each piece of art are determined by a blind draw of all the tickets for that piece. All winners will be notified by phone Sunday afternoon.”
Parking and admission to LAG’s Fine Arts and Crafts Showcase is free. Showcase hours are November 2 from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday, November 3 from 11 am to 4 pm.
All LAG meetings are free and open to the public. Information can be found on LAG’s Facebook page and by visiting louisvilleartisans.org.
How can you join the Louisville Artisans Guild and what are the benefits of membership? Visit louisvilleartisans.org and click on “Join” in the drop-down menu. Fill out the application and mail it in.
Applications to become a juried member are available mid-September through a link on LAG’s website or by requesting one by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications for the 2020 jury session close on December 31, 2019. A pre-jury workshop will be held Saturday, January 25, 2020, from 1 – 4 pm.
The workshop will explain the jury process, artist statements, writing descriptions of each piece submitted, the jury and scoring rubric and what is meant by a cohesive body of work. The live, blind jury session will be held Saturday, February 15, 2020. Applicants will be notified with their scores and determination of jury status by February 25, 2020.