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Celebrating local treasures

Apple Tree Studio opens
new studio, gallery in Bedford

Open house event to include
area artists, musicians

By Lela Jane Bradshaw
Contributing Writer

(December 2008) – When Vickie Eldridge moved to Trimble County from Atlanta, she didn't expect to find herself in the midst of a growing art community. While teaching art part time at Kathryn Winn Primary School she decided to open a studio in Bedford, Ky.
“Basically, I love art. I love teaching art and I thought it would give me a way to get back to my own art,” Eldridge said of the inspiration to begin Apple Tree Studio eight years ago. The teacher had hopes that there would be enough community interest to support one children's class and one adult's class. However, the enthusiastic reception quickly required an increase in the number of classes offered. Between her work with the studio and her involvement with the Trimble County Arts Council, Eldridge met a range of artists working in a wide variety of mediums.

Vickie Eldridge

Photo by April Wilson

Art instructor Vickie Eldridge has
been teaching art in Bedford
for the past eight years.

“What amazed me so much when I moved up here was the number of talented people in the county,” Eldridge recalled. “It's like finding buried treasure,” she saids with a laugh.
The community is invited to share in this treasure trove of area artists at two upcoming Apple Tree Studio events. The studio will be open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. as a part of the "Light Up Bedford" celebration taking place Dec. 5. Then on Saturday, Dec. 6, the studio will play host to its Christmas Open House from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Each evening, the studio will offer unique, regional art items for sale as well as the chance to meet the artists in person. The Apple Tree Studio is located at 101 Hwy. 42 West in Bedford. This is the second year the studio has held an Open House and the first in its new location. “We really had a lot of fun last year and decided to keep it up,” Eldridge said.
The Open House offers shoppers the perfect opportunity to pick up everything from heirloom gift items to small stocking stuffers. Visitors will also be able to hear stories from the artists themselves about their lives and work.
Betty Trimble will offer architectural pen and ink drawings that capture beloved buildings from around Trimble County. Guests will be able to enjoy the unique crafts of Lynn Horine. She has been making traditional Appalachian baskets for the past 17 years and has gained attention for her pine needle gourd baskets. For the perfect addition to holiday outfits, check out Maiken Ischiel Young's exciting line of handwoven, Scandinavian inspired scarves, shawls and clothing. Judy Tingle will offer her sterling silver wire wrapped jewelry that has been sold at the famed St. James Art Festival in Louisville for the past eight years. Eldridge herself will offer limited original paintings, drawings and note cards. She also accepts commissions for oil and pencil portraits for those thinking ahead for future gift ideas.
As part of the Christmas Open House, performances by musical guests will set the tone for holiday cheer. Pianist Ron McCloy, dulcimer musicians featuring Ron DeVore, and the barbershop quartet, “Pay it Fourward,” will appear throughout the day. Marvin Kiper, a singer in “Pay it Fourward,” said of the group's style, “The harmonies when we're really clicking are incredible. We don't think there's any other music like it.”
Kiper noted that the group enjoys the challenges that come with singing as a quartet. “It is the hardest thing that we've found to do vocally because there's no one to lean on.” The group has performed at sporting venues such as Churchill Downs and Louisville Slugger's games, as well as charity events and churches. Kiper finds the reaction of audiences rewarding, saying, “Every once in a while you'll see the jaws drop, heads turn. It's a real big adrenaline kick.” The art and music of local residents combine for a celebration of regional talent.
The Apple Tree Studio also offers visitors the chance to explore their own artistic talents. Eldridge teaches oil painting, watercolor, and drawing classes with classes available geared toward either children or adults. Other upcoming classes include a presentation by jewelery artist Tingle's in January and a summer class on traditional basket making presented by Horine. The studio also offers special workshops on the art of paper quilts. These unique wall hangings can be finished in six to eight hours and feature exquisite textures.
Eldridge says these quilts are “good for people who are not interested in oil painting or drawing, but want to have something in their house that they made.” For those looking for a fun day out with friends, the Apple Tree Studio offers many opportunities throughout the year to create lasting memories.

• For more information about Apple Tree Studio, call (502) 255-4030 or visit: www.appletreestudio.spaces.live.com.

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