Kentucky Guild opens new
academy to teach the arts
Richmond artist Banks among the academy instructors.
BEREA, Ky. (April 2015) – Artist Pat Banks finds watercolor painting to “always be exciting.” For her, it’s a new, exciting way to challenge herself through a medium she has loved for decades.
Originally born in Mansfield, Ohio, Banks was raised in Evansville, Ind., and now lives in Richmond, Ky. Her fascination with watercolor “started in the second grade,” said Banks, 60. “I’ve been an artist my whole life.”
Even though you can predict what will happen in a watercolor piece, it’s always fresh and exciting, she said. She referred to art as “part of my journey of discovery.” Banks also works in acrylics from time to time and is a wall muralist.
Banks is a self-taught artist, but has attended workshops from time to time to hone her artistic skills. She said she is inspired by nature, “every aspect of it.”
Banks draws many of her subject matter from nature. “Nature is restorative. By walking across fields, paddling across a river, you renew yourself.”
Along with her love of nature, she is an environmentalist at heart. Banks has been on the founding board of the Kentucky Riverkeeper since 2000 and its director. The organization’s mission is to advocate for the responsible stewardship of the Kentucky River watershed.
Guild of Artists & Craftsmen Academy Classes
- April 17-19: Cabochons with Chuck Bruce.
- May 2: Textured Metal Jewelry with Scott Mattingly.
- May 16: Watercolors with Pat Banks.
- May 18-23: Photography with Roger Ballard & Dorsey Davis
- May 25-29: Enameling with Bob Mattingly.
Her artwork has been featured in various publications and shown in juried art fairs and galleries throughout the region. She began painting wall murals in Southern Ontario, Canada, and they now extend throughout eastern Kentucky. Many of these murals were created with students and sponsored in part by the Kentucky Arts Council.
Banks is a juried member of the Kentucky Crafted program and Kentucky Guild of Artists & Craftsmen. She has been a visiting artist to Japan, Ecuador and France.
She joined the Kentucky Guild of Artists & Craftsmen around 1982. “It’s an association of adults that inspire and support each other,” Banks said.
Banks will be the featured artist for “Kissed by Light,” a watercolor journey on display from March 30 through April 25 at the Kentucky Guild Gallery, located at 116 N. Broadway, Berea, Ky. An opening reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. on April 10.
Banks described the exhibit as “a collection of subjects. Light defines almost everything.”
In addition, Banks will be instructing several classes for the Kentucky Guild of Artists & Craftsmen Academy this year.
“We have started a visual arts academy and scheduled classes for those who want to learn to do visual arts,” said Jeannette Rowlett, Director for the Kentucky Guild of Artists & Craftsmen.
So far, 34 artists have been scheduled to teach classes, said Rowlett. “They will be taught by master craftspeople and last anywhere from one day to a few days, to a week long.” Instructors will come from the area, all over the state of Kentucky, Indianapolis and Missouri.
“Eventually we would like to have six classes going every week,” Rowlett said. Prices for each class differ and some contain a minimum number of four to six students, and others a maximum number of 15 to 20. The smaller classes provide for more one-on-one involvement with the instructor.
“For most classes, you don’t have to bring anything. The materials and equipment are provided,” she said. Classes are a mix of advanced to beginner levels and “some teachers work with all levels.”
Even though the Kentucky Guild of Artists & Craftsmen is 54 years old, it was 2012 before the organization purchased its first permanent venue. “All the other years we were in one office after another,” said Rowlett.
The Guild now owns a 5,500-square-foot building in Berea. It contains six classrooms and gallery space. It is Kentucky’s oldest statewide visual art and craft organization.
The Guild also plays host to an extremely successful Fall Fair, which is scheduled for Oct. 10-11 this year.
For more information, visit www.kyguild.org.
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