By Josh Christian, student news writer
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Campbellsville University is the second post-secondary institution in Kentucky that will be hosting a special exhibit of the Kentucky Folk Art Apprenticeships in partnership with the Kentucky Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and Taylor County Public Library.
“The Makings of a Master” is the title of the exhibit that runs Feb. 1 through 22 at The Pence-Chowning Art Gallery on Campbellsville University’s campus at 205 University Drive, Campbellsville.
The university is working with Taylor County Public Library for an exhibit there as well. This is the first time the Kentucky Arts Council has worked with a city and a university together.
Davie Reneau, associate professor of art at Campbellsville University, said the exhibit is “the best of the best.” She said the exhibit is great for the students of Campbellsville University, and “I think the community will truly love it.”
Susie Trejo Williams, assistant professor of art and design at Campbellsville University, said the partnership with the Arts Council is “a big move for us to continue our mission to be the regional hub for the arts in Central Kentucky.”
The Makings of a Master: Kentucky Folk Art Apprenticeships is a traveling exhibit that explores relationships between master folk artists and their apprentices. Every day, folk communities across Kentucky practice living traditions that are vitally important to their cultural identity. Whether they are musicians, dancers, storytellers or craft artists, all communities have their masters — those who are considered the most excellent representatives of their folk art.
The Kentucky Arts Council, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, has supported masters and apprentices of community-based art forms since 1993 through the Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant program.
Artists include traditional musicians, dancers, blacksmiths, weavers, marble makers, chair makers, quilters, storytellers and more. This exhibit explores the relationship between master and apprentice through artifacts, videos and activities, as well as live performances and demonstrations.
At Campbellsville University, on Monday, Feb. 12 at 3 p.m., Karine Maynard of Lawrenceburg, Ky., a blacksmith, will share about her apprenticeship and life as a Kentucky blacksmith, artist and entrepreneur in room 102 in the art building in the campus of Campbellsville University.
The Pence-Chowning Art Gallery will house an Appalachian chair, Appalachian youth chair, childress and hester baskets on display, alfombras de semana santa process on display and a quilt. It will also house several panels with information such as an Intro, Making an Apprentice, Where Apps Happen, Community and Change.
On Thursday, Feb. 22 at 6 p.m., Sue Massek of Willisburg, Ky., traditional string musician and songwriter, and Melody Youngblood of Berea, Ky., her apprentice, will perform at the Taylor County Public Library, 1316 E. Broadway, Campbellsville, Ky.
The Taylor County Public Library will also house a Blanche Coldiron banjo, two Ed white drums on a stand and the Rolley-hole marble process in a cabinet. Panels, discussing Making a Master, Face to Face, Folk Culture and Continuity will also be included.
Master folk artists embody the aesthetics and values of their cultural group, whether it is a family, regional, ethnic, occupational or recreational group. During an apprenticeship, a master teaches skills, values and stories to an apprentice from their community. The apprentice works toward mastery through active learning and immersion in the culture. The result is a sharing of knowledge which strengthens the traditional art form, helping it to continue and take on new life.
This exhibit is based on field research and interviews from over 20 years of recipients of the Kentucky Arts Council Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant, collected by the arts council and archived by the Kentucky Folklife Program. It includes art objects, videos and interpretive panels with photos and quotes from the masters and apprentices. It has appeared in museums, libraries, galleries and special events across Kentucky.
For more information, contact Reneau via text at (270) 590-3859.