LA GRANGE, Ky. (June 2004) Vicki Bangs can transform an ordinary
frog into Prince Charming. All she needs is a basic concept and a
piece of copper.
Originally from Indiana-polis, Bangs described her popular garden
art as whimsical copper frogs. The creations she conjures
up depict frogs in various situations from everyday life. They are
a recreation of the same things people do, said Bangs.
of Vicki Bangs'
Bangs is just one of 85 artists participating in the juried Arts
on the Green fine arts and crafts exhibition on June 5-6. The event
will be held on the Courthouse lawn and adjacent grounds of the Oldham
County History Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from noon
to 5 p.m. Sunday.
The Oldham County Arts Association sponsors the show, now in its third
year. The association is very excited about its growth and the
community is behind us, said show coordinator Donna Miller.
Were finally doing what we were meant to do.
This is the first time Bangs will participate in what Miller labeled
a family oriented show. A childrens art show is
also held during Arts on the Green, with this years medium being
poetry. Cash prizes are offered for first, second and third place
for this show, with participation through the county school system.
While many of the artists are from the local area, artists from as
far away as Key West, Fla., and Michigan will participate. Instead
of the association trying to contact artists to participate in the
show, Were now being found, Miller said.
Bangs, 53, attends 12 art shows a year in the Louisville area and
Indiana. She has had her own business, Paradise Point Creatures, in
Westport, Ky., for the last four years. I love yard art,
said this self-taught artist.
Bangs crafts custom-made pieces or sells copper frog sculptures that
she has designed and copyrighted. She often names them, such as Tiger
Toad, who carries a golf club. The process for creating a single frog
can take from hours to weeks, depending on size.
Her frogs generally range from two feet to five feet tall. They are
laughable, carefree creatures with sports themes or elements of a
certain job depicted into them. Her largest creation was a frog six
foot tall dressed in a bikini.
Some of the smaller copper characters Bangs creates that can be found
crawling around her booth are granddaddy long legs, snakes and spiders.
These smaller creatures are sold for $15 while a larger, six-foot
frog could carry a price tag of $1,200.
Accessories, such as a fishing pole, golf club or binoculars, can
raise the price of the frogs. Bangs said her creatures are born at
a recycling center in Louisville, where she buys scrap pieces and
then cuts patterns from them. From her studio she pounds, solders
and bathes them in an acid bath to give them a green patina similar
to their real life counterparts.
of Vicki Bangs'
She was among the featured artists at the annual Berea Craft Festival
in July 2003. Bangs artwork was also featured in promotional
material for this years Kentucky Crafted: the Market. Her work
is displayed locally at Hidden Hill Farm in Utica, Ind., and The Garden
Wall on Market Street in Louisville.
She sells her copper creations to stores all across the United States
and recently sent her work to a customer in Stromsburg, Germany, and
Key Largo, Fla. A German resident had been visiting one of her neighbors
and saw the frogs in her front yard. He loved them and had her create
one for him, she said.
Other area artists participating in this years Arts on the Green
include Janet Bailey Burch, Ann Carter, William Craig, Carol Logan,
Erica Kirshner, Debbie Cherie Joplin, Sandra Graves and Ken Reid,
who will be giving a demonstration of his wood turning craft. Somerset,
Ky., dulcimer maker and player Mark Eubank will also be exhibiting.
Prizes to be awarded for this juried event include $500 for Best of
Show, $150 for Best of Booth, and a first place award in each of three
categories for 2-D, 3-D and wearable art, with prize amounts of $150,
$125 and $100. There will be no purchase awards this year.
A member of the association for the past five years, New Castle, Ky.,
artist Emmy Houweling has been selected to be the featured artist
for this years show. She is a very accomplished artist
and supporter of the Arts Association, said Miller.
Miller said the opening of the new Oldham County Art Center in Crestwood
in the fall would offer more opportunities for local artists to take
part in exhibitions. Association president Mary Klausing said the
center would be a definite draw for the many artists that reside within
For more information on Arts on the Green, contact Miller
at (502) 222-7383 or Klausing at (502) 241-9393.