Arts on the Green
La Grange, Ky.’s premier art festival to celebrate its 20th year in June
Crochet artist DeLozier turned her talent
into a business
Arts on the Green
• 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday, June 1, and 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sunday, June 2, around the Oldham County Courthouse in La Grange, Ky.
• (812) 222-3822 or www.aaooc.org.
LA GRANGE, Ky. (June 2019) – Twelve years ago, when Beth DeLozier began crafting necklaces out of yarn, she never dreamed it would turn into a lucrative side business. Over the years, her hobby has evolved into Crochelaces, a business that will be exhibited at this year’s Arts on the Green festival.
When starting out, “I did it as a hobby, but didn’t think people would want to buy it,” said DeLozier, 43. Her mother-in-law had shown her different accessories made out of yarn years ago when DeLozier was working as a nurse practitioner. The yarn was crocheted so that it looked like beads.
Realizing it was something she could do from home because her kids were young at the time, DeLozier thought she’d give it a try and see how far she could go with it. She taught herself how to crochet and now crafts “a variety of fiber accessories,” she said.
This southern California native makes necklaces, earrings, scarves and shawls from light-weight novelty yarn. She said crafting the items she sells is soothing. “It’s relaxing and peaceful. I love coming up with new things and I love all of the colors-that keeps it interesting.”
Beth DeLozier taught herself how to crochet as a hobby at first.
DeLozier has participated in the Arts on the Green juried fine art festival for several years and will return for this year’s show, set for 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday, June 1, and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sunday, June 2, in downtown La Grange, Ky. Arts on the Green is presented each year by the Arts Association of Oldham County.
DeLozier has also participated in the association’s Arts on CityPlace, The Big Four Show, Cherokee Triangle Art Fair and Norton Commons Art Festival. She also sells her accessories in boutiques, galleries and gift shops. “There is one store in Florida that sells a lot of my work.”
She added, “The community is very supportive of the artists who participate in Arts on the Green. The setting is nice and the organizers are very helpful.”
This will be the 20th year for Arts on the Green. More than 125 booths with 150 artists will be set up on the courthouse lawn and Second Street in La Grange. Cash awards are given for Best of Show and First Place, as well as ribbons for second and third place.
There will be 10 food vendors featuring crab cakes, tacos, Philly steaks, fair foods, ice cream and cakes. On Saturday, a free shuttle sponsored by Tri County Ford will take people from La Grange Elementary School to Jefferson and Second Street to the festival, from the Dollar Tree to Oakview Apartments to Cedar Court Apartments to Shepherd of the Valley to Copperstone Park and back to La Grange Elementary. “We want everyone to have an opportunity to attend Arts on the Green,” said Arts on the Green Director Mary Klausing.
She said the event has lasted 20 years because “of dedicated people who love the arts and want the arts to be a part of this community. Following the mission “of bringing the arts to Oldham County” and now to surrounding areas has given us a guide to work toward.”
A sample of bourbon barrel artist Frank Charles’ talent is pictured above.
She continued, saying that “each year other volunteers step up and want to continue to build and expand the arts in our community. It is a mission that anyone and everyone benefits. Whether to appreciate someone else’s creativity or enhance your own, the arts pops up everywhere in our day-to-day lives. It is a positive and a bright light that awakens the spirit and the soul.”
“There is a niche market for bourbon stuff,” he said. “I like to think we are preserving a piece of history and giving it a twist by turning it into something new.” Charles is also beginning to craft items from reclaimed barn wood, to expand his offerings.
Other association members pitch in for this festival, such as photographer-fiber-glass artist and graphic designer and association president Ann Stroth. She has designed the Arts on the Green poster for many years.
Jim Cheski is in charge of marketing. “Jim also helps keep the quality that keeps Arts on the Green a Fine Arts and Crafts Show,” Klausing said. “He finds and lines up the judges. It is his direction that keeps Arts on the Green as a quality show.”
The first Arts on the Green took place on a cold and rainy day in April 1999 on the grounds of the Oldham County History Center. The show was the idea of Sandra Graves and Donna Miller, both artists who had participated in art shows. It has grown tremendously since that time.
The Oldham County History Center, which is adjacent to the courthouse, holds a Colonial Trade Faire the same weekend in conjunction with Arts on the Green to teach the public about the skills, crafts and trades of colonial America.
“It is wonderful to walk from a modern day festival back into the time of 18th century,” Klausing said. “I enjoy how the costumes, set up, and wares reflect those times.”
The community became even more involved in Arts on the Green when Tim Curtis, Director of Parks and Recreation, agreed to move the parks monthly Americana music program from the John Black Community Center to the Woodsong’s Coffee House stage for the June program.
Arts on the Green also encourages hands-on participation from the public.
This year next to the Kid’s Activity Center, a ceramics artist will be demoing and allowing adults and children an opportunity to work the wheel and create a pottery piece. The Kid’s Booth will have Free Face Painting for children 13 and under and a chance to design next year’s winning Notecard Contest.
“The Emerging Artists Booth was a way to introduce Oldham County High School students to be a participant of the festival,” Klausing said. Under the direction of Alvin MacWilliams, high school art teachers select students to participate at the festival and the booth showcases the best student’s work.” It gives students the opportunity to be a part of an art show and hopefully they will want to participate as an artist someday and/or take an active role in the arts.”
This will be Klausing’s last year as director for the show. Nancy Daneshmand has been working with her as Assistant Director, and next year they will reverse roles to ease the transition. “Nancy is very excited about learning the role of director and is a very capable leader to continue ‘bringing the arts to Oldham County,’ ” said Klausing.
“The show always offers new and different artists. There are about 50 new artists displaying their works at the festival. I always enjoy walking and talking to the returning artists because it is their very nature to continue to be creative. I am inspired by their “out of the box” thinking and appreciate the hours of work creating a new piece,” she said.
Although he is not new to the show, Frank Charles is one artist whose work is different and in high demand. He handcrafts wooden items using Kentucky bourbon barrels that results in interesting and unique indoor and outdoor pieces.
Because of his “longtime passion for woodworking and the history of Kentucky,” Double Oaks Design was born. Charles, 54, retired from a long career in law enforcement in December 2018. Before that he was in the military. He was looking for something “to keep my mind sharp and hands busy.”
He rediscovered his love of woodworking, and his wife, Amy, is slowly getting into the hobby, also. Charles, who is originally from Lexington, Ky., said they participated in Arts on the Green for the first time last year and “did extremely well.”
This year he has expanded from one booth to two to display his inventory of furniture and accessories. He sells smaller items such as Christmas ornaments for $6, and larger pieces such as lighting fixtures or a bistro table with chairs that sells for $600.
“We try to fit all price ranges,” said Charles, who can also do custom engraving on his bourbon barrel creations. “Every single piece of wood is different from any other barrel.” Because they are curved in three different directions, this makes turning it into a piece of art a challenge.
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