Arts on the Green

Unique jewelry artist Wiseman to showcase style at June show

She will be among 150 artists at the
annual art show in La Grange

LA GRANGE, Ky. (June 2016) – Most women can’t deny they are drawn to silver and gold jewelry. It matches everything they have to wear. For Josie Wiseman, she gets to handle new pieces of jewelry every day.
As an artist, Wiseman creates gold and silver jewelry. Each piece is hand-made and one-of-a-kind in design – something you can’t just run out to a local store and buy.
“I like jewelry,” said Wiseman, 69. “I had seen some jewelers’ work that I really liked. I asked them how they had made the jewelry.” And the rest is history. From that point on, she began crafting her own earrings and pendants.
Wiseman’s distinctive jewelry will be for sale at this year’s 17th annual Arts on the Green Juried Fine Arts and Crafts Festival in downtown La Grange, Ky. On display for the weekend of June 4-5 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day will be original handcrafted painting, mixed media, photography, ceramics, sculpture, glass, jewelry, candles, special foods and soaps, metal, wood and fiber. More than 150 artists, both local and national, will be featured.
Many of the participating artists also exhibit at St. James Court Art Show, Cherokee Triangle and Mellwood in Louisville.
Wiseman mixes silver and gold and sometimes silver and copper for her creations. She mostly works in art clay silver, a pure silver powder that is combined with non-toxic binders (fine granules) and water.
She then mixes it with clay and puts it in the kiln and “it comes out as silver.” When fired, the binders burn away leaving pure silver. Prior to firing, the jewelry can be rolled, sculpted, stamped, sanded, filed and engraved.
She has taken classes through the Louisville Visual Arts Association and in North Carolina, California and Mexico. In her work she uses “a lot of natural forms – leaves, stones in some jewelry, unless I use art clay. It’s cold casting.” Otherwise, she’ll use sheet silver and for embellishment, “look for a stone that would look good being used this way.”
A new addition to the art show this year will be a shuttle bus that will pick up event-goers at the La Grange Baptist Church located at 1139 Commerce Pkwy. on Saturday, and at the Oldham County Health Department located at 1786 Commerce Pkwy. on Sunday. Organizers hope this will cut down on congestion in La Grange.
On Saturday from 5-7 p.m., a traditional “wine down” will be held under the big tent after the show. Music will be performed on the Woodsongs Coffeehouse Stage, hosted by Oldham County Parks & recreation Director Tim Curtis, and sponsored by parks department.
Wiseman “is an excellent quality artist,” said Mary Klausing, chairperson for Arts on the Green. The event is coordinated by the Arts Association of Oldham County, which also showcases members work in Gallery 104 in La Grange.
“We have all original artwork. Half of the artists are returning, the other half are new each year,” Klausing said. “We have a nice mix of artwork and crafts.”
She said Arts on the Green has a “good jurying process of three jurors. They really look at the quality of the work.”
A frequent comment she gets about the event is that “it is one of the best art festivals we go to.” In terms of organization, “I think we’re right on track,” she said.
People like it because “we’re not huge, but we’re manageable. La Grange is an inviting community, and you’re not exhausted once you visit the booths. People can visit the shops and restaurants as well while they are here,” said Klausing. “It has a nice community feel to it.”
Wiseman, who has lived in Louisville since 1974, said the event is “very well run.”
She ran that show for 10 years, so she knows how much involvement is required from the organizer’s point of view. She said the Arts on the Green organizers “work extremely hard to make it pleasant for the artists.” Wiseman has participated in the event for about seven years and placed second many times. “I keep wining second; this year I’m going to try for first.”
Of her artwork, Wiseman said, “Not many people do the kind of work I do any more. I look around at other shows and the products look pretty much alike. All of mine are made by hand. I try to make them special.”
Wiseman’s jewelry ranges in price from $10 for a simple piece of jewelry, up to $400 for a gold carved opal and diamond pendant.

• For more information, contact the Arts Association of Oldham County at (502) 222-3822 or Mary Klausing at (502) 419-5203.

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