Inaugural art show

Oldham Co. Arts Center
to feature works by local talent

Karen Barry turned to art after retirement

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

CRESTWOOD, Ky. (April 2005) – After retiring from her full-time position with the U.S. Secret Service in 2000, Karen Barry decided to devote more time to an artistic hobby. She then had the time to develop her artistic skills and choose as her medium oil painting and colored pencils.

Karen Barry

Karen Barry

“I love color,” said the 52-year-old Oldham County resident. “Color is the most important thing to me.” As an example, Barry referred to the varied hues of clouds in the sky after a storm.
The only formal fine art training Barry ever had was at Angie Campbell Studio in La Grange, Ky. She learned the tricks of the trade from watching others in the class.
She cited the different styles in which Campbell’s students paint as encouraging to her. Barry said she most admired the expressionists, Old Masters and early American painters. “I love studying about paintings as well,” she said. Barry attends as many exhibits as possible.
Barry will be displaying her work locally in the “Celebration of Art” exhibit, April 16 to May 21 at the Oldham County Arts Center in Crestwood, Ky. An opening reception will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 16, for the artists and the public. This is what organizers hope will be the first of many exhibits at the Arts Center.
“We have so many gifted artists in Oldham County, ranging from nationally known professionals to Sunday Painters,” said Harrie Buecker, Arts Center principal. Originally, several art teachers from the Oldham County School system wanted a venue in which to exhibit their student’s work. The Arts Center decided a community venue for Oldham County citizens would be a better starting point, said Buecker.
The first exhibit will be comprised of Oldham County artists, with a student exhibit to follow next year. Two countywide student shows are in the works, said David Thurmond, Oldham County School’s Director of Instructional Support. Plans also call for a professional photography exhibit to be scheduled for next year.
This first exhibit will showcase the talent of as many Oldham County artists as can be garnered in one place. “The Arts Center is a place for everybody, both professional and amateur,” said Thurmond.

Karen Barry's Horse Sketch

Photo provided

Karen Barry’s sketches and paintings
will be on display with others at the
“Celebration of Art” exhibit.

This is not a juried exhibit, even though many of the participants produce juried quality work. Local professional artists include Richard and LeeAnn Luce, Angie Campbell, Debbie Sherie Joplin and Barry.
Barry attended the University of Maryland, where she was an art major for three semesters. She ended up majoring in physical education and taught for a year before deciding she should go into law enforcement.
Originally from the Washington D.C., metro area, Barry said she draws her inspiration from nature. She lived in Denver for a time where the colors in the mountains and the changing light upon them left a profound influence upon her. “When you’re an artist, you look at things differently,” she said.
Barry also sketches and paints a lot of horses. To an artist’s eye, “There may be 20 different shades of brown,” she said. Barry always had a knack for drawing horses and has five of her own. She loves to depict movement in her horse drawings.
Barry will probably enter examples of both of her mediums in the Arts Center exhibit. She has never shown her drawings before. She paints a lot of landscapes and seascapes, often traveling to Bermuda to shoot pictures she will later use as reference for paintings.
Barry and other participating artists may submit up to three pieces of their work. All 2-dimensional artwork must be original or a fine-art reproduction process. A variety of media will be accepted: paintings, drawings, printmaking, photography, sculpture, functional and fiber artwork.
Artists are asked to bring their work to the Arts Center at 7105 Floydsburg Rd. in Crestwood between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday, April 11, through Wednesday, April 13. “We hope all the artists in the county will participate,” said Buecker.
The exhibit can be viewed 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday; and 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. The Arts Center will be closed on Sundays and Derby Day.

• To receive an entry form and details, contact Thurmond at (502) 241-6018, ext. 351 or email dthurmon@oldham.k12.ky.us. The application can be downloaded from the Oldham County board of Education’s website at: www.oldham.k12.ky.us.

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