Art Guild Fall Fair
Martin finds joy
in passion for photography
puts the spotlight on artists, craftspeople
Helen E. McKinney
(October 2007) After 29 years of teaching
and coaching, Paula Martin decided it was time to retire and pursue
an art form that had always intrigued her. In 1986 she picked up a manual
35mm camera and spent one day out of every weekend photographing nature
as if she were on vacation.
Paula Martin likes photographing simplified subjects, such as
these brilliantly-colored fall
leaves. She will
be among the
exhibitors in Berea.
Martin, 62, had always wanted to be a photographer but
never had the time or resources to further her interest. Originally
from north central Ohio, she had spent her childhood wandering the rural
fields and countryside surrounding her home. As a result, the work she
now produces from her Louisville studio is primarily composed of nature
She spent four years teaching in Ohio and the rest of her teaching tenure
in the Henry County school system. Martin was a middle school and high
school counselor in addition to teaching English and reading.
Martins love for color photography in 1999 led her to jury into
the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen. She had visited Berea,
Ky., where the organization is headquartered, and was impressed with
the high quality of work of the artists, she said.
Martin will be among the artists juried into the guilds Fall Fair.
The exhibit will be held from 10 a.n. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.
to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13-14. Admission price for adults is $5 for adults
and $4 for seniors. Children 12 and under are free.
The Fall Fair provides an array of opportunities for the 80 or more
participating artists. Foremost it is a viable market for selling their
artwork and a way to make business contacts, organizers say. Artists
and buyers come from all over the state to attend this well-known fair,
said Jeannette Rowlett, guild president.
The guild is currently restructuring and developing a three-year plan,
said Rowlett. We hope to have exhibits across the state and offer
workshops. Its a very prestigious thing to be a member of the
The guild has more than 300 members statewide.
Its the best way to share with people the art that I do,
said Martin. Meeting people face to face through the fair provides a
more personal way to sell her artwork.
Martin compared looking through a camera lens to diving or snorkeling.
They are both a total escape, she said. Nature photography
lets her get to the essence of my subject matter.
She likes photographing simplified subjects such as milkweed seeds.
Customers like her sense of sharp detail and vivid color, said Martin.
I dont see the world in black and white.
Established in 1961, the guild is Kentuckys oldest statewide art
and craft organization. The guilds Guild Train, which
is another quality that intrigued Martin, opened the doors to the arts
and crafts world for thousands of Kentuckians.
Running from 1961 to 1967, the train consisted of two cars donated by
the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. The baggage car held an exhibit
gallery and the coach car a crafts demonstrating workshop. It traveled
to locations that had no other access to the arts.
In 1968 train funding was transferred to the guilds fairs, which
provide a way for artists and craftsmen to sell their work to a wider
market. Artists are juried in by experts who look for certain
things, said Rowlett.
Lynn Horine, a newly juried member of the guild from Bedford, Ky., met
these high qualifications. Horine has been crafting traditional baskets
for 20 years. When a friend sent off for a pine needle basket kit for
her constructed by Judy Mallow, an expert in this field, Horine was
hooked on pine needle baskets from that point on.
The wonderful thing about pine needle basketry is that there is
no right or wrong, said Horine. She uses Southern Long Leaf pine
needles that must first be soaked for four to five hours and capped.
Horine uses gourds as a base for her baskets, which must be cut, cleaned
our, sanded and a color or sealer applied.
I just let the gourd and pine needles tell me what they want to
do. Horines craft is sold under the business name of Baskets
From The Heart.
Her friend and mentor, Vickie Eldridge, owner of Apple Tree Studio in
Bedford, Ky., introduced Horine to the Artisans Center at Berea. While
researching the Artisans Center, Horine discovered the guilds
website. She then juried into the organization and the Artisans Center.
She is also president of the Trimble County Arts Council and a member
of the Madison Art Club and Louisville Artisans Guild.
For more information on the Kentucky Art
Guild, contact Jeannette Rowlett at (859) 986-3192 or visit: www.kyguild.org.
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