Ball shows school spirit
with drawings of local athletes
Helen E. McKinney
(April 2006) Two years ago, Jerry Ball wanted to
do something special for high school athletes. Ball wanted the community
to recognize each players attributes, not just notice the star
of the game.
by Don Ward
Balls drawings of South Oldham
County High School athlete Katie
Arsenault hangs at Beef OBradys.
While pictures of outstanding players are often displayed
in local papers, Other players are forgotten about, said
Ball. He decided to create pencil drawings of each member of the different
sports teams at Oldham County High School.
After contacting the high school athletic director and meeting with
coaches, he earned their approval to arrange a meeting with the parents
of the players. The individual portraits are matted and framed and measure
20x26 inches. Portraits by themselves cost $65, while a matted and framed
portrait runs $185.
Ball said his work is something he is very proud of. His
work often hangs on the walls of McDonalds, Beef OBradys,
Hometown Pizza, all in La Grange, and at the Oldham County High School.
A small biography accompanies the portraits, and Ball described them
as a morality booster, for the students. It gives
the students their five minutes of fame, he said.
This artistic concept began as a hobby for Ball, 49. He took four years
of art in high school and had planned to take classes in college but
never pursued it. By 1998, he picked it up again and expanded his talent.
The purpose of these student portraits is to focus on the high
school students who have dedicated their life to sports, said
Ball. He feels they have accomplished something worthwhile in their
lives and deserve recognition.
In high school, Ball was interested in sports, competing in track and
wrestling. He now combines his love of sports with art.
As a precursor to his current artwork, Ball had made pencil drawings
for the fire department and police department in Oldham County. Ball
moved to the county six years ago due to a family members illness.
He is originally from Dayton, Ohio.
Having been involved in the construction business for a long time, Ball
is now semi-retired. He is self-employed as a freelance photographer
and produces self-designed graphics.
Ball has exhibited his artwork at the Oldham County Arts Center and
participated occasionally in art shows. His wife, Joyce, who paints
in oils and acrylics, usually accompanies him.
The couple would like to someday open an art gallery on Washington Street
in La Grange. Joyce said the two front rooms of their home would be
perfect to display the couples artwork. They plan to only display
their own artwork to keep things simple.
Whenever Joyce has a few extra hours, she paints. Ive always
enjoyed art, she said. She has drawn since childhood, never taking
classes but calling her ability God gifted.
She has dabbled in a variety of mediums and hopes to tackle watercolor
in the future. Joyce has a wide range of subject matter that includes
still lifes, ballet dancers, snow scenes, animals and a little
bit of everything.
Of her husbands artwork she said, Young people need credit.
The portraits are an uplifting thing for them.
Sharon Schulz, whose daughter, Meredith, was a senior at Oldham County
High School last year, was impressed with Balls work from the
moment she saw it. She said the technique used was different than
just a regular portrait. This added to the overall appeal of the
She thinks it is a great idea to display the portraits throughout the
community. She bought a framed and matted portrait as a keepsake of
her daughters cheerleading days.
Rich Graviss, Athletic Director for Oldham County High School, recognized
Balls passion for art after Ball approached him with the idea.
He said both parents and the community think the portraits are fantastic.
Having them on display in prominent locations, so that others
can see them, is really a plus, said Graviss. The portraits are
on display at the high school temporarily. He said the dance coach at
the high school was so taken with Balls work that she had portraits
drawn of all her seniors to give as presentations for a Seniors Awards
Ball gives a portion of the portrait fee back to the team he has drawn.
It is amazing how realistic they look, said Graviss. It
is a tribute to his artistic ability.
For more information, contact Jerry Ball
at (502) 222-3485.
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