kentuck's studio artist program
On any given day in Kentuck’s Courtyard of Wonders you can watch a ceramic bowl emerge from a lump of clay, a folk artist at work, or a weathervane grow from hammered metal in our blacksmith’s forge.
Kentuck Art Center rents studio space to local, full‑time artists for below market value to help them make a living doing what they love. Kentuck’s Studio Artist Program fulfills all facets of our mission statement: perpetuate the arts, engage the community, and empower the artist.
Interested in being a Kentuck Studio Artist?
I believe my art performs best when it subtly blends many styles, influences, and media into something unique for that moment. A lot of my work uses themes of nature and historical popular culture references. The mediums I have been using most are acrylics, paint markers, and spray paint. I also enjoy making sculpture. I usually make those out of sculpey or foam and sometimes adhere them to found objects. My main process starts by writing down ideas throughout the day and later revising them into drawings. Depending on the idea in the drawing, I then choose a medium to start working with. When it all goes well, I finish with a fully realized illustration, painting, or sculpture.
Founding Member of Open Letter Press
I operate a small-edition letterpress shop and bindery. I work with themes of cause and effecr and see to reconnect readers with the exploratory spirit of youth. In addition, I have a BFA in Graphic Design from Auburn University, an MFA in Book Arts from The University of Alabama, and over 9 years of cumulative professional experience working in various creative environments and industries. Through the guidance of the Book Arts MFA program and its' faculty, I have extensive letterpress experience and recently purchased my first press (a Vandercook Proof Press number 3). My hand-skills have grown immensly as has my passion for well-crafted printed matter in traditional and non-traditional formats.
Among my earliest memories are the pleasant and peaceful auras at art shows my Pop was attending. I have always been immersed in an intense creative environment, so there was no other direction for me to go. Having always punched someone else’s clock, forms of art became my escape. I’ve played in most everything, but metal has become my unending challenge. These toys of mine have been coaxed from deep in my mind and heart. So many visions and so little time. Peace, prayers, and blessings.”
Kerry Kennedy’s first love is pottery and sculptural ceramics. She has thrown pottery for over ten years. As a student, Kennedy was deeply interested in sculptural works that fused thrown forms with organic aesthetics. These ideas are always influencing even the most functional shapes of mugs and bowls. Her passion for creative anachronism of the rennaisance period takes her to several festivals throughout the nation each year.
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Founding Member of Open Letter Press
Amy LeePard is a book artist and letterpress printer who creates one-of-a-kind and limited edition handmade books and prints. Amy received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Book Arts from The University of Alabama in 2016. Her work incorporates printing processes that span the history of print technology from traditional printmaking to experimental processes for letterpress printing to modern giclée printing. As a hand bookbinder and papermaker, Amy has a special interest in historic book structures and paper sculpture. With a background in architecture and photography, Amy is influenced by geometric patterns, formal design, and the serendipity found in the combination of mechanical and hand processes. Painting, drawing, experimental mark-making, and alternative processes for photography all find their way into her book works. As a curator, Amy served the National Guild of Book Workers as Exhibitions Chair from 2010 – 2016, planning and executing two biennial national traveling juried exhibitions, Horizon (2012 – 2014) and Vessel (2015 – 2017), which traveled to over ten venues across the United States. Amy’s work has been exhibited widely in the United States and abroad. Her work can be found in both private and public collections such as The Library of Congress, the Tutt Special Collections Library, and the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery.
Scott is an accomplished folk artist who was raised in Fayette, Alabama. He fondly recollects times during his childhood when he observed folk artist Jimmy Lee Sudduth create his now-famous mud paintings. Scott is a graduate of Samford University (B.A.), New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div) and Luther Rice Seminary (D.Min). Scott is an ordained minister who lives in Nothport, Alabama. He has exhibited in Kentuck's Hotel Indigo Gallery and the Teer Gallery and has been a Kentuck Artist in the Schools for three years. He attends over 20 festivals every calendar year. He is a minister, and author of Reasonable Doubt — A Case for LGBTQ Inclusion in the Institutions of Marriage and Church. For more information, click here.
Melanie O'Keefe is a full time artist who paints landscapes and nature because, in her words, "it never occurred to me to paint anything else. There is nothing more beautiful than Mother Nature." She works primarily with oil paints and has been constantly working 7 days a week since 2013 to grow as an artist. O'Keefe is a member of the National Oil and Painter's Society (NOAPS) and the Oil Painters of America. She has been published in the nationally distributed Southwest Art Magazine twice, and was one of the winners of the NOAPS "Best of America Exhibit" award. O'Keefe travels the country teaching art classes, attending juried art shows, and working on commissions.