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Artist of the Month

La Grange’s Ludke puts
her personality into her artwork

The Missouri native paints in oils, acrylics

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

(October 2010) – Whether it’s a large painting or miniature,
La Grange, Ky., artist Pam Ludke knows how to express herself completely through her work. Often relying on bright colors, her artwork has an upbeat, good feeling to it.
She feels that “with the gift I was given, I really need to use it.”
Originally from Joplin, Mo., Ludke paints primarily in oils and acrylics.
“My painting is about as eclectic as a painter could be,” she said. “I have lots of interests; I don’t want to miss out on anything.”

Oldham County Arts Association

Ludke, 53, took art classes at The Campbell Studio in La Grange eight years ago and continues to do so. She has always been interested in crafts, woodcarving and painting on things, she said. Angie Campbell, who runs the studio, “realized I could put these ideas onto a canvas.”
Since learning to paint under Campbell’s tutilege, Ludke has participated in as many art shows as she can. She won a Merit Award in the Louisville Women’s Club Art Show and a First Place and Best of Show Award in the Mazin Annual Exhibition. She has also exhibited her work at the Mellwood Arts Center Equine Show, the Kentucky State Fair, Arts on the Green, the Campbell Studio Annual Student Show and Gallery 104 in La Grange.
Ludke is the featured Artist of the Month for October at Gallery 104. She said she is dedicated to the efforts of the Arts Association of Oldham County, of which she is presently secretary and Finance Committee chair.
“I was on the initial board when it began,” said Ludke. After realizing that “everything was in Louisville, there’s not a lot of places to go to enjoy art in Oldham County,” she got on board with the association. She made it her mission to bring the arts out of the county and showcase local talent through the association.
“Arts bring the community together,” she said. “It shows who we are.”
“The first thing that I notice about Pam’s artwork is that each time she displayed a new painting or piece it was very different from the last one,” said Kathy Dowling, the association’s executive director.

Pam Ludke

Pam Ludke

Ludke’s paintings “range from photorealistic such as her “Julep Cup” and “Girl on the Beach” to fun, whimsical and abstract which shows in her mini animal paintings and folk art sculptures,” Dowling said. “We can hardly keep enough of her mini-cat paintings on the shelf since they have so much personality and are top sellers at Gallery 104.”
Ludke prefers to paint with oils because the colors can be blended and layered, and forms on the canvas appear to be soft. With acrylics, the work appears a little more stagnant, without the same soft quality, she said.
“I don’t like to waste anything,” said Ludke. Instead of discarding the ends of her canvases, she turns them into cone-shape creations resembling human figures such as Santas, wizards and angels. This artwork has “a different kind of character to it,” she said.
Ludke has on display quite a bit of her work at S. Bayly Boutique, located at 107 S. Bayle Ave., just off of Frankfort Avenue in Louisville. She is inspired by “what I see in nature and the smiles on my friends’ faces.”
But Ludke didn’t start out in the arts. “I started out as a trained musician,” in both violin and voice, she said.
She performs with a competitive women’s barber shop quartet, the Sweet Adeline’s, and to her this is “still art.” She has been a member of the Derby City Chorus and sat on its Board of Directors from 2006-2007 and 2009-2010. She sings baritone and tenor with the latter chorus.
Ludke lives on a small farm off of Old Moody Lane in La Grange where she raises horses, peacocks and cats. She has traveled all over but landed in Oldham County because of her husband’s job.

• For more information about the Arts Association of Oldham County or Gallery 104, contact Kathy Dowling at (502) 222-3823.

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