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Grant County Tourism

Watercolorist Piercefield among
Grant County arts festival entrants

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

CRITTENDEN, Ky. (October 2004) – Kathleen Piercefield became interested in watercolor painting when her children were young. She wanted an artistic hobby that was portable and non-toxic, and she is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts to turn her dream into a reality.

Kathleen Piercefield

Photos provided

Kathleen Piercefield's booth at festival.

At the time, she wanted something she could “do on the kitchen table and put away easily,” said Piercefield. In addition to watercolor painting, she is also interested in printmaking. The idea of working hard on an image and being able to repeat that image so that it is not just a one-time sketch appealed to Piercefield.
“I love the quality of the ink and paper together,” she said. “It takes drawing one step farther.”
Piercefield is just one of 45 or more artists who will participate in the third annual juried arts and crafts show, Autumn Arts Fest 2004, set for Oct. 2-3. The festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Grant County Park in Crittenden, Ky. The location is on I-75 at Exit 166 (one mile from exit on U.S. 25 South).
Artists from Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio will be represented at this free festival. A variety of art forms will be on display, including painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics, jewelry, metal-working, quilting and handmade baskets and soaps. A special art exhibit will feature the work of local pre-school to high school age children. An assortment of vendors will be on hand to provide food and drinks.
Piercefield said her artwork is a combination of inner and outer worlds. It is based on nature and the artist tries to incorporate large amounts of images into her work. She brings out the qualities one might not naturally view with the eye.
The Community Enrichment Through the Arts (CETA) sponsors this event. Piercefield said she participates in the festival to support CETA, of which she has been a member since its organization in 2000. Good sales and the fact that she enjoys the festival are two more incentives for her to participate.

Kathleen Piercefield

Photos provided

Kathleen Piercefield's
lotus painting.

Live music will also be an important part of Autumn Arts Fest 2004, said Scot Lahner, CETA president. Featured performers are Zoe Speaks, a folk music and storytelling duo; Polkin Fun, a group that blends polkas and traditional bluegrass music; Raison d’Etre, a trio of women vocalists from Northern Kentucky; the James Family, a group of top-notch bluegrass musicians from Grant County; and Red House, a local blues band.
CETA sponsors this event to “promote the arts and enrich the community through visual and performing arts,” said Lahner, a graphic artist. CETA is comprised of 20 board members plus other members and volunteers.
The organization also sponsors other events during the year. Past and present events include Children’s Summer Theatre Workshops, An Evening in the Park: Art, Music & Story, and Madcap Production Puppet Theatre. Such events provide for the Dry Ridge community a wide variety of experience through visual art, music, dance, drama and literary arts.
Piercefield said the organization began as a group of visual artists in the local community who gathered to support, encouragement and to promote community awareness of local artists. Until February 2003, they were known as the Eagle Creek Arts Council. At that time they merged with Grant County Celebrating the Arts, a group of performing artists. It was suggested that both groups join together, said Lahner, in an effort to create a local audience.
In partnership with the Grant County Tourism Office, CETA sponsors a monthly show featuring the work of different Kentucky artists found locally and across the state. The artwork is exhibited and sold at the Dry Ridge Outlet Center, where the Tourism Office is located. An opening reception is held for attendees to meet the artist.
“There is a wealth of art available in Grant County that Grant Countians are not aware of,” said Tourism Director Judy Mullins. “It’s a well-kept secret.”
Mullins said the Autumn Arts Fest was well-attended last year, and organizers are hoping for even better crowds in 2004. In addition to community support, many Northern Kentucky attendees were present. CETA is an active group within the community and is not just for artists living in Grant County, but surrounding counties as well, said Mullins.
Elder Fest was recently held at the Grant County Park, where artists age 70-90 had their works on display. This art show was held to let the community know about the many retired individuals in the area who are making worthwhile contributions to the arts, said Lahner.
CETA holds monthly meetings from 6:30-8 p.m. on the first Friday of the month in the basement of the Old Grant County Library next to the courthouse on Main Street (Hwy. 25) in Williamstown. The Kentucky Arts Council provided partial funding for the organization, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

• For more information, contact Lahner at (859) 824-4007 or the Grant County Tourism Department at (859) 824-3451. Or visit: www.grantcokytourism.com.

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