Functional Art

Arts Association of Oldham County presents Wearable Art Show

La Grange artist Stickler creates unique purses

LA GRANGE, Ky. (September 2018) – Local textile artist Lois Stickler takes recycling to new heights in her artwork. She is a local artist who creates original purses from repurposed materials. Relying upon her sewing skills, she creates handbags and purses that are as useful as they are creative.
Stickler was inspired by a South Carolina artist to craft her own unique handbags. “I really liked what she did, but this artist used all new materials.”
Not wanting to be a copy-cat, Stickler developed her own patterns and employed an eco-friendly approach “I wanted to do it with recycled materials, unlike what she did using mostly new materials.”

Photo provided

Lois Stickler relies on her sewing skills to craft her purses and handbags.

The La Grange, Ky., resident says she has always had an interest in recycling. For her artwork, she decided to use “what most people would throw into a dumpster.”
Stickler begins each project by using reclaimed materials such as leather, wool and denim. “These materials are paired with new fabrics, which I have often been given or found ready to be discarded by someone,” said Stickler, 65.
Having sewn in some capacity or another throughout her adult life, Stickler said this was “just a new direction for those skills.” She has been crafting these distinctive purses and handbags for more than three years.
Stickler and her husband lived in New Jersey before relocating to Henry County, Ky. In addition to being a member of the Arts Association of Oldham County, she also belongs to the Henry County Arts & Craft Guild, Louisville Art Guild and the Louisville Area Fiber and Textile Artists.
She will be part of a new show the Arts Association of Oldham County will premiere in September to highlight regional and local artists. The Wearable Art Show is one more way the association continues to bring the arts to Oldham County.
The show is planned from Sept. 4 to Oct. 6 at Gallery 104, located at 104 E. Main St. in La Grange. A member and public opening awards reception is set from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6.
The show entails “developing, recognizing and showing our many, professional, developing and student resident artists and inviting regional and national artists to bring their expertise to the county,” said Jim Cheski, the association’s vice president and marketing director. “We endeavor to vary the offerings of our Gallery 104 shows to feature a wide variety of artistic expression and Wearable Art met an unmet opportunity.”
Gallery 104 is operated by the Arts Association. The 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization sponsors 10 feature art shows in Gallery 104 annually, displays 40 regular gallery member artists, produces two major arts festivals – Arts on the Green and Oldham Arts on CityPlace. The association also offers three $5,000 Oldham County art student scholarships, teaches art classes and promotes The Oldham County Singers.
This Wearable Art Show exhibit “includes original work produced within the past three years that can be worn by one or more individuals (people or animals),” Cheski said.
Included will be clothing, jewelry and accessories in all mediums meeting family standards. Items that will appear in the show might be necklaces, pins, earrings, rings, hats and hat pins, purses, suites, dresses, gloves, shoes, belts, shawls, sweaters, blouses, coats and other removable decorative adornments.
All artwork will be juried into the show by Cheski, who is also the show chairman, and the Arts Association’s director, Brenda Marks.
Prizes awarded will include ribbons in the adult division for first, second and third place, and Honorable Mention. There are two student division categories: Junior Class-Grades K-6 and Senior Class-Grades 7-12. First place and Honorable Mention ribbons will be awarded. Cash Awards will be awarded for first through third places in the Adult Division and first place in each student category.
Although she mostly crafts handbags, Stickler plans to enter something a bit different from her usual artwork. She said she will enter a woolen cape, embroidered with wools from old sweaters.
The show will be judged by Vicki Kinser, owner of Friends & Fiber Inc., located next to Gallery 104. Kinser has judged shows for the association before. For two or three years she judged the fiber category for Arts on the Green.
A member of the association, Kinser said she will be looking for artwork similar “to what we do in our shop, which is knitting. Our knitting is a wearable art form also.”
Kinser said she will be looking for creative pieces of artwork that fit certain criteria provided by the association.
She thinks the theme of the show is a timely one. “I feel like there is a movement in our country right now to get back to doing things with our hands.” Creating things “with your hands and doing things for yourself is good for you mentally. It gives you a wonderful feeling.”

• For more information, contact the Arts Association of Oldham County at (502) 222-3822.

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