Arts on the Green

Last year’s Best of Show artist Phillips plans to return

Arts Association event continues to grow in popularity

LA GRANGE, Ky. (June 2017) – Artist Stephen Phillips is not afraid of getting his hands dirty. His innovative ideas produce metal sculptures and artwork that is functional and entertaining.
Phillips, originally from Terre Haute, Ind., was interested enough in art while in high school to major in art at Indiana State University. “That’s where I became specifically interested in sculpture,” said the 69-year-old artist. He took additional welding classes at Ivy Tech Community College and spent two summers enrolled in art classes at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Arts on the Green

• June 3-4 around the Oldham County, Ky., Courthouse Square. Presented by the Arts Association of Oldham County
• 10-5 each day
• Noon Saturday: Red Steel of Owensboro, Ky., performs
• 1 p.m. Saturday: Oldham Co. Community Band performs
• 4 p.m. Saturday: Singer-songwriter Michael Jacobs performs

• Information:
(502) 222-3822 or visit www.artsonthegreen.com

His dedication to the medium has paid off. He has participated for the last 12 years in 13 to 16 art shows annually, displaying and selling his creations. Currently his artwork involves hand cutting metal with a plasma torch.
Phillips won Best of Show last year at Arts on the Green Fine Arts and Craft Festival, presented annually in La Grange, Ky., by the Arts Association of Oldham County. Show director and club member Mary Klausing said he “received a consensus to win the Best of Show from our panel of 11 judges. His ‘Red Chair’ won for artistic interpretation, unique design, style and craftsmanship.” As winner, his chair was featured on all printed materials for 2017.
Phillips plans to return this year for the 18th annual Arts on the Green Fine Arts and Craft Festival on June 3-4. This show will be held on the Oldham County Courthouse Square from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
Using mostly steel and stainless steel, Phillips sometimes finds “old pieces to recycle and cut shapes from those. After cutting, I weld everything together and then use a variety of methods to finish the sculpture.” He handpicks each piece of metal to create original designs. Finishing touches may include an application of patina, hand grinding a finish, painting or powder coating a color.
“It just depends on the piece,” he said. His business, Studio 47 Designs, is located in Brazil, Ind.
He draws inspiration from artists such as Alexander Calder, David Smith and Henry Moore. “I am currently fascinated by petroglyphs and southwestern motif,” he said.

Photo provided

Arts on the Green’s 2016 Best of Show winning artist Stephen Phillips creates unique pieces.

Phillips mainly sells his artwork at art fairs but also through galleries, museum exhibitions and corporations that want larger pieces. He said that art fairs are a “fun experience and a good way to connect with other arts and travel a bit.”
Arts on the Green often attracts more than 10,000 visitors to La Grange, officials said. More than 125 local and national artists will be featured, many of whom have exhibited at St. James Court Art Show, Cherokee Triangle, Mellwood and similar shows. Featured artwork will include paintings, mixed media, photography, ceramics, sculpture, glass, jewelry, candles, soaps, food, metal, wood and fiber.
“Visitors enjoy the whole package,” Klausing said, which includes, “a picturesque town along the railroad tracks on a beautiful landscaped lawn. A variety of creative art pieces with time to talk to the artists on site can make it a very special occasion to remember.”
One reason for the draw may be due to all of the effort Arts Association members, like Klausing, have put into the event. Klausing has been Director for Arts on the Green for the past seven years.
“The Arts Association of Oldham County Board assigned me the task of enhancing the art show to a festival,” she said. “I have been striving every year to accomplish that task. As a part enhancing and development of a festival atmosphere, the art of music was added this year.”
There are two new categories this year as well, she said. The Print-Book Art category was added for artists who create prints in single or multiple numbered original editions employing: relief printing-wood: linoleum-collage, serigraphy, intaglio, etching, engraving, lithography, organic, mechanical press type, digital or any combination thereof on any and all mediums except giclee reproductions. Giclee is accepted in the painting category with some restrictions.
The New Craft Arts Category was created for any medium to include but not be limited to turned wood bowls, writing instruments, furniture in all media-wood-metal-plastic mosaics. Mixed media or wood are no longer separate categories but are considered a part of the other categories listed.
In addition, “We are trying to expand our consumables to include more foods,” Klausing said. There will be a new artist to the event who makes fudge, one that will have specialty coffee and one selling a variety of dips.
Last year was the first time Phillips participated in Arts on the Green. “I was very pleased to receive the Best of Show award,” he said. Phillips was “impressed with the thoroughness of the judging and especially the fact that they had a judge for each specific category. Not many shows make the effort to do that and I think it makes much more sense to have someone who is an expert in the area they are judging.”
As part of the process, artists were interviewed. “When I was interviewed I had the feeling that the judges were ready to have a 3D artist as the overall winner.” His perception of the event was that “it was a fun experience and a good way to connect with other artists and travel a bit.”
On Saturday, June 3, Red Steel, a percussion and pans music ensemble from Owensboro High School, will perform at noon. They will be followed by the Oldham County Singers at 1 p.m.
Multi-award winning singer-songwriter Michael Jacobs will perform from 4-5:30 p.m. for the Happy Hour portion of Arts on the Green on the Woodsongs Coffeehouse Stage, located in the gazebo on Second Street.
Tim Curtis, Director of Oldham County Parks and Recreation, coordinated the music for Arts on the Green and he has “brought in numerous local and regional groups and individuals to perform on Saturday and Sunday afternoon,” said Klausing.
Jacobs began his music career in Nashville, Tenn., as a songwriter and guitarist. He has been a successful solo artist since 2002, having recorded seven award-winning CDs and performing across the United States and Canada. Jacobs’ music has been featured in numerous documentaries and video presentations, as well as used by other performers in their live shows.

A shuttle will run every 20-30 minutes from the La Grange Elementary School back parking lot, and make drop offs at Second and Jefferson. There will be another pick up from the Oldham County Parking Lot at Main and First Street.

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