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Arts on the Green

Westport’s Kinney has the touch
when it comes to metal crafting

He returns to show after
winning the Jewelry award in ’09

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

LA GRANGE, Ky. (June 2010) – With retirement looming ahead of him, Tom Kinney began looking for an intriguing hobby. With a little encouragement from his wife, Mary, he embarked upon a journey that would lead him through a discovery process of fashioning jewelry from mixed metals.

Tom Kinney

Photo provided

Westport, Ky., resident Tom Kinney
won the Jewelry category in last
year’s Arts on the Green with his
mixed metal jewelry. He returns
for another show in June.

Mary Kinney had attended an art school in Gatlinburg, Tenn., and suggested he give it a try. Once Kinney took a class on Beginning Metal Smithing, he was hooked.
He studied on his own, collecting as many books and periodicals about jewelry making techniques as he could. Of the four classes he took in Gatlinburg, Kinney said, “They give you a jump-start” on making jewelry. “You can learn so much so fast.”
For design ideas, Kinney looks at natural things. “I enjoy doing it,” he said.
“My jewelry has a different look,” said Kinney, 68. He often combines copper, bronze and brass to create unique accessories such as earrings, pendants, bracelets, broaches and rings.
“I sell a lot of jewelry to men,” said Kinney, who is originally from Northern Ohio. His mixed metal rings appeal to men who want a distinctive look.
Kinney moved to the Louisville area in the early 1970s and participates in five to six art exhibits a year. Last year, he was the winner in the Jewelry category for Arts on the Green, a juried multimedia art show held in downtown La Grange.
Because of the high standards set for artists who participate in Arts on the Green, he said he was surprised that he had won. This art show is the primary fundraiser for its sponsor, the Arts Association of Oldham County, which gives away $15,000 in scholarships to seniors from Oldham County schools.
Kinney will be alongside many other fine jewelry artists and those who create artwork in a variety of medium for the 2010 Arts on the Green. Held on June 5-6 on the grounds of the Oldham County Courthouse. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. This free juried art show will feature woodturning, photography, paintings, yard art, ceramics, fiber art, sculpture and many one-of-a-kind items.
In addition to all of the fine art offerings, Arts on the Green provides a food court on Second Street. A Kids Greeting Card contest is free for children 10 and under. The winner’s drawing will become a Christmas card sold at Gallery 104 in La Grange over the Christmas holidays.
“The show has grown into a very respected event with many artists returning each year,” said Marion Gibson, director for Arts on the Green. She said one of the highlights for the artists is the barbecue dinner held Saturday night at the home of Arts Association members Frank and Jo Ann Luecke.
“The show has grown into a very respected event,” Gibson said. “One great change this year is that Judy Wegenast, director for many years, is back on board helping to produce the show. She almost single handedly, really, built the show into what it is.”
Arts on the Green presently bestows awards in 10 categories. Sandra Graves, current AAOC President, helped organize the first Arts on the Green 11 years ago. The event began with 13 booths on the lawn of the Oldham County Historical Society. It has now grown so large that “we capped the participants at 100,” said Graves.
Only the highest quality artwork meets the high standards set by Arts on the Green organizers. “When we founded Arts on the Green, it was with the intention to become a nationally recognized show of excellence – and it has,” Graves commented.
Many out-of-state artists, especially regional artists, attend the juried show. A large number return each year, and most of the participating local artists are also juried into Kentucky Crafted.
“Judges are chosen for their expertise in each of the eight categories,” said Graves. So far, Kathryn Cohen and Bill Lammlein have agreed to sit on this year’s judge’s panel. “We try to ask local people whose business is in some kind of art-related field,” said Gibson. Cash awards will be given in ten categories.
Artists like Kinney love the ambiance surrounding the event, Graves said. “We treat the artists with very special care.” In addition to the barbecue dinner, artists get breakfast each morning and golf carts were rented and used last year to assist the artists in loading and unloading. Dozens of volunteers give of their time to help each year as well.
The whole event culminates into “a wonderful experience,” said Graves. “When you attend Arts on the Green, we want you to go away feeling you have had a beautiful and unique experience.”

• For more information, contact Marion Gibson at (502) 338-4391, the Arts Association of Oldham County at (502) 222-3822 or visit: www.aaooc.org.

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