Author Archives: Christian Watson

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Art for All

The Kentuckiana area is lucky to have an amazing
event once a year known to bring more than 250,000
attendees from all over the world. If your mind went
immediately to horses and giant hats, think again.
When the leaves change and the weather cools, the
St. James Court Art Show is what attracts people
from near and far.

The one-of-a-kind experience for art lovers in
the heart of Old Louisville is a juried show that now
has more than 700 exhibitors who sell their wares
and high-level art.

Howard Rosenberg, executive director of the
St. James Court Art Show, said the event is special
for many reasons. “The setting is unique,” he said.
“There are very few art shows in the country – I don’t
know of any of them – that are right smack dab in
the middle of a historic landmark neighborhood.
It also gives people an opportunity to see some of
the finest art in the country.”

And it’s free.

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The show was started in 1957 by St. James Court
Association President Malcolm Bird as a way to
make money. The association was out of funds,
and it had looming debt because of recent fountain
repairs. The show was originally open to all and
was just an exhibit. Art was hung on clotheslines
from tree to tree.

Over the years, the show grew and expanded in
the neighborhood, adding Belgravia Court, sections
of Third Street and the West End Baptist Church. The
neighborhood impact average of St. James Court Art
Show is about $56,000 annually, which surrounding
schools and churches each raise – on average – by
using their parking lots for St. James Court Art
Show visitor parking. The money raised from the
actual show has helped fund historic preservation
of the neighborhood, which has spurred housing
restoration in the area. “It grew because it became
such an iconic art show, but it also grew because it
benefits the other neighborhoods to participate,”
Rosenberg said. “They’re all part of a consortium
that makes up the art show as participants. It’s grown
because of the level of art, because of the demand,
because of it being so special.”The St. James Court
Art Show also focuses on ensuring diversity of artistic
medium, making sure that it’s not just oil paintings
or watercolors. There are 17 different mediums,
including jewelry, clay, wood and more.

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The jurors of the show select artists based on
photos of the art, with no idea who the artist is,
Rosenberg said. So, entry is entirely based on the
quality of the art. “Then, during the show, another
group of jurors – people from the art world – visit
and assess the artists themselves,” Rosenberg said.
“Are they engaging? What do people think of the
art? Are they actively participating? Not like a car
salesman trying to sell something, but are they
engaging people?”

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The show annually awards $50,000 in scholarships
to area high school students. Several of are as high
as $15,000 individually. So, visitors are not only
supporting artists who are supporting themselves,
they are also supporting the next generation of artists.

Rosenberg has lived in Old Louisville off and on
for 37 years, and has been a volunteer and organizer
of several projects in the area. He said he likes the
way the St. James Court Art Show showcases the
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“Because of the setting, because of Central Park, I
think that that’s what’s so special about it,” Rosenberg
said. “The fact that it continues to improve and
expand, and new artists are brought in. The fact
that there’s a scholarship program for students. It
brings the neighborhood together and showcases
it in a special way.”

This year’s St. James Court Art Show is Oct. 5, 6
& 7 in Historic Old Louisville. It’s open 10 a.m. to
6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday. Admission is free, but please leave your
dogs at home. For a complete list of artists and
vendors, pick up a free program available at the
welcome tents at St. James Court and Magnolia
Avenue, Fourth Street and Magnolia Avenue, St.
James Court and Hill Street. Or just ask a volunteer,
who will be happy to help you.


St. James Court Art Show
Oct. 4, 5, & 6

Historic Old Louisville

For GPS, use 1402 St. James Ct.
in Louisville

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday & Saturday
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

stjamescourtartshow.com

Free Admission

Rain or shine

No pets allowed

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Here Comes the Bride, Er, Bridal Dress

Laurel Wreath Bridal Owner Laurie Haag shares what’s hot this season?

By Mandy Wolf Detwiler

Photo of Laurie Haag by Naomi Ruth Photography

Photos of wedding gowns courtesy Madi Lane 

Haven gown available at Laurel Wreath Bridal.

Haven gown available at Laurel Wreath Bridal.

Finely with skirt available at Laurel Wreath Bridal.

Finely with skirt available at Laurel Wreath Bridal.

So you’ve got the ring on your finger. Your next step is to most likely pick up a bridal magazine. Maybe two. But don’t get your heart set on the first couture piece you see – chances are you won’t find it in Kentuckiana and if you, do the price is likely scary enough to scare the curl out of your hair.

Still don’t be defeated, says Laurie Haag, a wedding planner and owner of Laurel Wreath Bridal. These books are designed to give you an idea of what you want, be it a mermaid train, the poofiest dress found or sleek and sophisticated.

Haag dislikes being asked what’s hot in the bridal world, because that depends on location. Here in Southern Indiana, we’re still pretty traditional

Finley cape full length gown available at Laurel Wreath Bridal

Finley cape full length
gown available at
Laurel Wreath Bridal

“Bazaar magazine might say that suiting and blazers or these super really avant-garde bridal separates with detachable crazy trains are what’s going to trend for 2020,” Haag says. “I can 100 percent tell you the brides in the Midwest and in our area aren’t going to connect to that. They could say that’s what is the trend or what we’re moving toward. I always say that’s not for every bride in every area of the United States.

“There are some things that are kind of trends that I can see coming up,” Haag says. That includes add-on bridal capes –– not the long, winter styles designed to keep a bride warm, but light and gauzy capes that simply adorn the shoulders.

“It’s a short, beautiful capelet over a plain gown,” Haag says. “The capelet has the detail, the lace and the beading. (We also see) capes that attach to the front of the gowns and act as sort of the veil.”

Made of organza or tulle, these longer capes serve as both a stunning addition to a gown and take the place of the veil if a bride doesn’t want to wear one.

Henley with cape available at Laurel Wreath Bridal.

Henley with cape available at Laurel Wreath Bridal.

Feather details along the bottom of gowns are popular, but so too are more structured gowns of yesteryear.

“They’re trying to say that high-low hems are trying to make a comeback,” Haag says. “I’ve not seen it in Bridal Market, but it might eventually.” The aforementioned bridal event happens at the end of September and sets the tone for buyers for 2020.

“Traditionally, most bridal boutiques are doing their buys for the next season at the end of August/beginning of September, and that’s when the designers are doing their new visions that the brides are going to be able to get their hands on,” Haag says.

Haag says “illusion lace, sometimes labeled as “tattoo lace” on the sleeve or top is very “now” and “we saw a lot of Mikado satin at the last market, so I’m sure that’s going to carry over as well.”

Does fabric make a difference anymore? Haag said no, “and I’m a big proponent of not really trying to follow trends anyway. … We always say in our bridal appointments that people should have an open mind.”

Some brides come in with poof, glitz, Pinterest and “Say Yes to the Dress” on the brain, but once she starts exploring, “they’re not connecting, they don’t look that good on them and we’ll say at some point in the appointment ‘Hey, you want to try something a little more unexpected?’” Haag says. “At that point we’ve won their trust and they’re like, ‘Ok, sure!’ and that’s the bride that’s going to walk out with the most straight, sleek, no-embellishment, super body conscious beautiful gown, and it takes them by surprise.

Henley full length gown available at Laurel Wreath Bridal

Henley full length gown available at Laurel Wreath Bridal

“We can talk about trends, but I feel like every bridal, their dress shopping is a journey and they need to be open-minded.”

Haag suggests brides not get overwhelmed and to visit as many local high-end boutiques as it takes to find the one that makes her eyes sparkle, “and she almost doesn’t want to take it off,” she says. “That’s the one.”

So You’ve Been Asked to Be a Bridesmaid … Now What?

No, lime green doesn’t look good on everyone. And no, you can’t cut every dress short and wear it again (although I did once!).

Says wedding planner Laurie Haag: “We tend to recommend that the bride picks the color that she wants, maybe the stylistic look of what she’d like her bridesmaids to look like –– not that she should get any opinion from her bridesmaids, and we all know that bridesmaids are of varying ages, sizes various stages of life (like bridesmaids who are expecting or will have just had a baby and are more body conscious), you really try to keep that process simplified. We would hope that bridesmaids realize and understand that we think of bridesmaids as they’re going to be framing the photos. They’re going to be side by side with the bride in the total bridal party. They’re the frame to make the bride and groom shine.”

Halo and Haisley gowns available at Laurel Wreath Bridal.

Halo and Haisley gowns available at Laurel Wreath Bridal.

Haag recommends the bride choose a couple of dresses, a couple pairs of shoes and have their bridal party come to a consensus. Letting bridesmaids choose their own, say blush and back, is an invitation for disaster as there are many interpretations of both colors.

“You give bridesmaids total control, and it just gets crazy,” Haag says.

Ivaine gown available at Laurel Wreath Bridal.

Ivaine gown available at
Laurel Wreath Bridal.


INTERNATIONAL BRIDAL STYLE COMES TO LOUISVILLE AND SOUTHERN INDIANA

In addition to a wide array of dresses, headpieces and accessories, Laurel Wreath Bridal is the exclusive carrier of Madi Lane gowns, which are pictured in these pages.


Laurel Wreath Bridal

203 W. 1st St.

New Albany

812.946.2038

LaurelWreathBridal.com

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More Than Meets The Eye

PC Home Center is a perfect place to pick up gifts and home accents

BY ANGIE FENTON

Summer is the season for relaxing, but it’s also an opportune time to make a few improvements on your home. PC Home Center in New Albany is one of my favorite places to find inspiration, experts and a host of products and services for renovations, remodels and new building projects. It’s also one of my top secret (until now) locales for finding unique home accents and gifts. Here’s an array of items for every budget.


Real Root Console, $1,499.99

Real Root Console, $1,499.99

Bird house, $49.99

Bird house, $49.99

Cutting boards, $16.99 and $29.99

Cutting boards, $16.99 and $29.99

Bird house, $54.99

Bird house, $54.99

Cloth wine bags and trays, $4.99

Cloth wine bags
and trays, $4.99

I Love You Like Biscuits & Gravy Tray, $5.99

I Love You Like Biscuits
& Gravy Tray, $5.99

Hand-Carved Wood Labrador, $89.99

Hand-Carved Wood
Labrador, $89.99

36” Mirror, $324.99

36” Mirror, $324.99

Voluspa Crisp Champagne Candle, $27.99

Voluspa Crisp Champagne Candle, $27.99

Cycle Gathering Table, $599.99 (stools $99.99 each)

Cycle Gathering Table,
$599.99 (stools $99.99 each)

Three Amigos Canvas Art, $49.99

Three Amigos Canvas Art, $49.99

She’s Whiskey In A Teacup Sign, $12.99

She’s Whiskey In A Teacup Sign, $12.99

Don’t Let Anyone Ever Dull Your Sparkle Sign, $8.99

Don’t Let Anyone Ever Dull Your Sparkle Sign, $8.99

Metal Rabbit Clipboard, $5.99

Metal Rabbit Clipboard,
$5.99


PC Home Center

123 Cherry St.

New Albany

812.944.4444

pchomestores.com

@PCHomeCenter

*PC Lumber & Hardware is located at 150 Hunter Station Road in Sellersburg


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THE GREATEST GIFT SINCE SLICED BREAD

swordBy Ray Lucas

Don’t you love it when you receive a surprise gift that blows you away? It doesn’t happen as often for me as an adult, but I remember as a child receiving memorable gifts that were not only unexpected but turned out to be something I didn’t know I needed, and that suddenly completed me.

For Christmas one early year, I received a drum set – and it was awesome! I didn’t realize that I needed these drums until I had received the set from Santa, and then it was perfectly clear that I should have been banging on them for years. A few years later, I was awed by the gift of an Evil Knievel motorcycle jump set, complete with the Evil Knievel action figure in his star spangled cape.

More recently, my wife tracked down the folks who make maple syrup-flavored cotton candy at a local winter festival and had them make me a special batch for my birthday. I look forward to this particular treat each year for months prior and will buy a dozen bags of the delicious candy at the annual Maple Syrup Festival. So, to receive it as a gift out of season was unexpected and something I didn’t realize I needed.

These are the best kind of gifts: ones that take us by surprise. Gifts from loved ones who know us better than we know ourselves. They’re gifts that remind us of a need that we didn’t even know we had.

Don’t get me wrong, not every gift has to be some type of haiku experience to be appreciated. I recently received gift cards to Chick-fil-A and to the New Albanian from friends who well know my love languages (fried chicken and craft beer). Yes, they were gift cards, but they also were thoughtful expressions of appreciation by people who know what I love.

With that said, I find myself too often falling into the practical gift trap of buying a gift card to Lowes or a Visa one. These gifts are very practical and, I’m sure, appreciated but will soon be forgotten and don’t say all that I mean to say when giving a gift. Maybe they are OK for an occasional graduation gift, but I feel I can do better for a loved one’s wedding or a dear friend’s birthday. I, for one, need to step up my gift-giving game.

I found myself reflecting on the state of gift giving after a recent birthday gathering with friends. I had told my wife I didn’t need a party, but she assured me that I did. We met at a local pub, Pints and Union. As friends gathered, they overwhelmed me with gifts of rare craft beers, fashionable bourbons and even three pounds of bacon. “Beer, Bourbon and Bacon” – sounds like some wonderful music festival I should get tickets to this summer, regardless of the lineup.

Other friends shared unique gifts of safari hats, AA batteries (there’s a story there) and a bonfire cake right out of the Ace of Cakes show that all spoke of how well they know me.

But the most intriguing gift of the night came in a long, slender box that screamed Red Rider BB gun. When the time came to open the box, I pulled at the paper, ripped open the box and stood in awe as the gift came into full view. It was a three-foot Samurai Sword protected by a decorative sheath of black and yellow.

Like Ralphie from the classic Christmas Story movie, I smiled and momentarily dreamed of villains in my backyard that I could vanquish with this powerful sword in my grip. An eruption of cheers went out at the party as I held the sword above my head. Just as it had been with the drums from Santa, I was overwhelmed by this unexpected gift that I didn’t know I needed and that had suddenly completed me.

Walking out of the pub that night with the sword in my hand, I could feel the other patrons’ eyes upon me as they asked each other at their tables, “Is that guy carrying a sword?” I have never felt like such a badass.

Is a Samurai sword practical for a middle-aged banker?

Um, no.

Does it make sense to have a sword in my home, given young, curious children who have already asked to test its ability to cut their PB&J sandwich into diagonal halves?

Probably not.

Does this sword, straight out of the Kill Bill movies, complete me?

You betcha.


“JUST AS IT HAD BEEN WITH THE DRUMS FROM SANTA, I WAS OVERWHELMED BY THIS UNEXPECTED GIFT THAT I DIDN’T KNOW I NEEDED AND THAT HAD SUDDENLY COMPLETED ME.”


And was this sword the best gift I received that night?

Not even close.

The greatest gift I received that night wasn’t revealed to me fully until the next morning as I scrolled through photos my wife had taken during the prior evening’s celebrations. Embedded in the party images was a reminder that the greatest gift, even if not completely unexpected, was the company of loved ones who had gathered with me to celebrate another year of a life in progress.

Laughing, sharing stories and celebrating with family and friends, some of whom I’ve known since sharing the same babysitter at three years old, was a gift that I wasn’t even aware that I needed, but that suddenly completed me.

It was the gift of love and time together that even gift cards can’t buy.

By the way: the aforementioned sword is not only the best thing since sliced bread – it is the best thing to slice bread.

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A Beautiful Adventure

Koerber’s baubles make every
life event a keepsake

Photos by Danny Alexander
Model: Jacquelyn Koerber
All jewelry available at Koerber’s Fine Jewelry

MAKE A STATEMENT. TELL THE WORLD. FIND A SUBTLE WAY TO SAY, “I LOVE YOU.”
KOERBER’S FINE JEWELRY HAS A KEEPSAKE FOR EVERY BUDGET AND LIFE ADVENTURE.


Koerber’s Fine Jewelry
3095 Blackiston Mill Road
New Albany
812.945.5959
koerbersfinejewelry.com

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LESLIE LEWIS & ASSOCIATES INTERIOR DESIGN OPENS THE SHOP

JEFFERSONVILLE INSTITUTION NOW OFFERS BOUTIQUE HOME GOODS SHOPPING

Leslie Lewis & Associates Interior Design (LL&A) officially opened The Shop on March 26 at LL&A’s Jeffersonville location with a grand opening and ribbon-cutting.

The Shop is a boutique that’s filled with home accents and accessories, with new items arriving daily.

LL&A puts the “fun” in “functionality” and is known for the team’s creativity, innovation and client service.

247 Spring St.
Jeffersonville
812.282.6640
leslielewisdesign.com
Facebook: @llainteriordesign

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GO WITH THE FLOW

 

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HENRYVILLE’S ADAM KLEINERT FINDS BEAUTY IN MISTAKES AND TURNS THEM INTO GEMS

By Mariah Kline
Photos by Christian Watson

Adam Kleinert has no idea what to expect.

The talented artist, who has made a name for himself as a sought-after graphic designer whose clients include both local and national companies, recently began a foray into jewelry making.

“The nature of the beast is learning to find the beauty in the mistakes,” he said quietly, a smile behind his words. “It’s about embracing imperfection, but you should talk to my wife about that.”

Kleinert laughed at the double entendre but turned the focus to wabi-sabi – a Japanese ideal that has been Westernized to essentially embody the concept that nothing is perfect and there is beauty in that – which is something he has embraced personally, professionally and artistically.

Born into a creative family, Kleinert began drawing at a young age and says his parents consistently encouraged him to pursue his passion. He majored in fine art and graphic design at
Ball State University, where he studied painting, printmaking, ceramics and sculpture after first attending Hanover College where he played baseball, though his heart was always in aesthetics.

a0“We couldn’t use the computer for graphic design until our junior year,” recalled Kleinert,
whose work was quickly noticed and admired by his professors and peers.

“Everything had to be hands on. We were using computers, but they still wanted our work to have a fine art feel to it and think with our minds instead of thinking with a computer. Even after we could start using computers, I did quite a few projects all by hand because I enjoyed it.”

Years later, Kleinert – who co-writes Extol Magazine’s FamFitter column with his wife,
Kristin, and also serves as the publication’s creative director – enjoys expressing his artistic talents in various mediums.

“It’s always whatever hits me or inspires me,” Kleinert said. “Sometimes, I’ll paint, sometimes I’ll draw. I’ll do live drawings on Facebook, and I do a comic (sometimes live on Facebook) every
week. I just do whatever I can to release all of my creative juices.”

On his Facebook page – Adam Kleinert Workroom – followers can find the adorable and hilarious comic “Poco & Mo,” which was inspired by one of his daughters and her pet goat,
as well as several of his other projects. The latest undertaking he’s shared is handmade jewelry
crafted with resin and barn wood.

“The wood I’m working with now came out of a barn in Charlestown,” he said. “The beams are probably 150 years old or more, and the barn has been torn down since. (The jewelry) has a true Southern Indiana history to it, and it’s almost like a little piece of history you’re wearing.”

Kleinert said he devised the method for making the pieces by accident.

“I started playing with (the wood) for another project, but as I cut into it, I found all these holes.
Mother nature and time had just destroyed this wood but in a beautiful way to where there are
holes and gaps,” he said. “It’s just been eaten at and deteriorated by pests and bugs and everything through the years. Then, I started thinking about this resin and playing around with it, so it just kind of came naturally after that, and I turned it into pendants and earrings.”

Kleinert has since perfected the process, which requires a great deal of patience. While it is admittedly painstaking, he appreciates the experience.

“With this jewelry, the resin and the wood, I don’t know what’s going to happen when I pour
it because I can’t see inside the wood until I cut into it and get to see these beautiful colors and
shapes. So, I don’t even know how much I’m actually doing there. It’s more that mother nature
did all the hard work,” Kleinert said.

“YOU CAN MESS IT UP AND IT STILL TURNS OUT IN A BEAUTIFUL WAY. THAT’S WHAT I LIKE ABOUT JEWELRY MAKING: BEING CREATIVE AND LETTING WHATEVER COMES OUT, COME OUT.” –Artist Adam Kleinert

“YOU CAN MESS IT UP AND IT STILL TURNS OUT IN A BEAUTIFUL WAY. THAT’S WHAT I LIKE ABOUT JEWELRY MAKING: BEING CREATIVE AND LETTING WHATEVER COMES OUT, COME OUT.”
–Artist Adam Kleinert

As sole owner of Hatch Design Co., a graphic design company, Kleinert said, “I have my design work where I plan and collaborate with clients, which I thrive on, and I appreciate those partnerships and structure.”

The artist lives in Henryville with his wife, four children and several furry family members in a rural setting, all of which feeds into his creative and energetic spirit on every level.

“I have a lot of family around and it’s always a blessing to have that. And I like being out in the
country,” he said. “I think I draw a lot of inspiration from that as well. I’ve never really thought about it before now, but I think the small community and kind of being out in the open inspires me.”

And, with his new foray into jewelry making, he has experienced a newness he didn’t expect.
“It can be more free-flowing,” said Kleinert. “You can mess it up and it still turns out in a beautiful way. That’s what I like about it: being creative and letting whatever comes out, come out.”

Adam Kleinert’s jewelry is available at
Regalo, 562 S. Fourth St. in Louisville or via @
AdamKleinertWorkroom on Facebook

 

 

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That’s Funny

Southern Indiana and Louisville unite through laughter

By Grant Vance
Photos by Danny Alexander

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Within the subtle but blossoming artistic community split between the metro parameters of Southern Indiana and Louisville lies something pretty funny. A lot of different somethings, in fact.

Although not properly appreciated as an official comedy hub by outsiders to date, the area hosts a plethora of different comedy stylings throughout any given day of the week. Shows range anywhere from open mics to variety outings, showcasing some impressively funny local comedians and outside, touring talent alike.

The vast amount of shows come with their vast amount of subgroups and specificity – from serialized specialties in Louisville to more traditional improv and standup on both sides of the river, including a brand-new venue.

Enter Adriane and Vernon Thompson, husband-wife creators and directors of Comedy by the Bridge, a dedicated hub inside the Sheraton Riverside Ballroom in Jeffersonville that hosts comedy shows every Friday through Sunday.

“It first started (with) my husband and two other comedians 10 years ago as Ultra Combo Live,” which performed in a number of local bars, Adriane Thompson explained. “We started getting feedback that people wanted us to get our own venue. We thought maybe we could open our own venue. The next thing you know, this opportunity came open at the Sheraton, and then one thing after another fell into place.”

Thompson is a successful local stand-up herself, responsible for leading the female-driven Ultra Combo Pink before establishing Comedy by the Bridge with her husband

Comedy by the Bridge hosts bigger “name” comedians with the inclination of attaching up-and-coming local comedians as openers and hosts.

“It’s a beneficial thing, especially for an up-and-coming comedian in this area. It’s not easy to get noticed by different comedians, especially a big name, like if you were in New York, Chicago or LA,” Thompson said. “But by doing a show with us, you’re getting exposure in front of comedians who are traveling around the country doing this.”

Local legend Mandy McKelvey (known best for her stand up, character roasts and storytelling show, “We Still Like You”), for instance, was on the docket not long ago at Comedy by the Bridge.

Bringing in outside names who have made it to network TV and the likes is a way to draw a crowd, but the heart of Comedy by the Bridge is in exposing the local community and making a name as an official comedy hub.fun2

“Why can’t we make Indiana a hub for comedy?” Thompson asked. “Nashville is a hub for music, Indiana can be a hub for comedy. And that’s our goal: to make this a must come place if you’re a comedian.”

Comedy by the Bridge is one of many outlets providing a positive and welcoming place for local talent to perform and grow, but it’s not alone. Other Southern Indiana venues offering traditional open mics and stand-up are within the notable list of Wick’s, Barrel and Mac’s Hideaway. Branching back out to Louisville, there’s The Bardstown, The Caravan Comedy Club, Monnik and Tap Room, among others. Traditional stand-up is far from all the local comedy scene has to offer, however.

One venue offering a wide variety of alternative variety shows for Indiana and Louisville comedians is Kaiju in Germantown.

Kaiju is home to several different comedy shows, most notably the weekly variety show Kaijuesdays and the sketch comedy collaboration, Sketchy Stuff. Kaijuesdays’ alternative shows alternate per week, ranging from roast battles to storytelling to late-night-style talk shows, to name a few.

“Kaijuesdays was conceived as comedy homework,” producer Greg Welsh explained. “(It was) something to challenge comedians to get out of their comfort zones and try new things.”

New things arose and then some.

As Kaijuesdays producer Emilie Parker Strange puts it, a Kaijuesdays performance “might be the only time that, that particular thing has ever happened in history and will ever happen again.”

The show is roughly three years old, born from available venue space at Kaiju and a dream to shake up the local comedy mold.

“We star ted w ith only three shows : ‘Thunderdome,’ ‘Why Would I Know That?!’ and ‘Comedians in Cars Watching Bond,’” Welsh said. “Since then, we’ve had over a dozen original shows. Some have been hits, like ‘Slideshow’ and ‘Third Degree Burns,’ but some didn’t make the cut, like ‘Mix Em’ Up,’ which was a little too inside baseball to keep in regular rotation.”

Kaijuesdays certainly holds true to its manifesto of uniqueness and originality, with a cast of one-time and recurring characters and caricatures that would be a chore to list outright.

A couple standouts within the last three years include: Michael Bay as a renowned novelist (Nathan P. Woodard); the overly earnest, blumpkin henchman Clodhopper (Zac Carman); God (Tyler Gooch); and the locally-famous, self-aware possum, The Possum (Chris Vititoe).

“I spend more on costumes for Kaijuesdays than I do on my wardrobe,” Strange laughed.

Despite its influence and originality, Kaijuesdays is far from a one-trick Tuesday monster as far as benefiting the comedy community goes. Considering its expansive nature, Kaijuesdays lends itself to opportunities and comedic growth young or traveling comics may not find elsewhere.

“We like to cast a wide net so it’s not the same 10 comics on every show,” Strange said. “(Kaijuesdays hosts) a few comics from Southern Indiana, but we’re always looking for more. When people come in from out of town they can get on one of our weird shows, too.”

Welsh continued on the encouraging nature of Kaijuesdays.

“We’re all about encouraging comics to come up with their own show ideas and giving them an outlet and an audience,” Welsh said. “Some of the best stand-ups in the area have other comedic talents that rarely get showcased.”

“It’s a labor of love on our end,” added Strange.

Although Comedy by the Bridge inJeffersonville currently only hosts more traditional stand-up comedy shows, the sky is the limit for what can be done in the space.

“We’ve been in touch with 502 improv. Once we’re more established and know how it’s run, we would like to do an improv show there,” co-owner Adriane Thompson said. “Kaiju has a ton of variety shows. I did a show there called ‘Wild Card,’ and it was the most fun I’ve ever had. I would love to see something like that at Comedy by the Bridge. It would be awesome to take all of these different types of comedy genres and provide a venue for them to display that in Indiana, too.”

Keep up with Comedy by the Bridge by visiting comedybythebridge.com. For more information on Kaijuesdays, a schedule of comedy events ,and Louisville and Southern Indiana comedy in general, visit lolvillecomedy.com.

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Wedding Watch

Now that you’ve said, “I do,” why not share your special day with Extol readers? We’re seeking brides and grooms who want to give a glimpse of their big day in the pages of our magazine. There is no cost for this multi-page feature, but there must be a Southern Indiana angle.
We love sharing photos from the nuptials and receptions and encourage participants to name the vendors used.
If you are interested in seeing a wedding beautifully highlighted in Extol, send an email to extol@extolmag.com and include “Wedding Watch” in the subject line.

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THE FAMILY COMPOUND: WHY IT WORKS FOR US

Our resident family explores a close-knit life


We’ve mentioned before that we live very near our extended family.

The word “near” may be an understatement in our case.

You see, in reality, it’s something closer to “on top of” or even “all up in the business” of that family.

Some of our friends think we’re a little crazy, and some folks have even questioned our decisionmaking skills, but the truth is, it may well be the most sound decision we’ve made.

In any case, it’s become fundamental to our entire way of life, and we feel certain that all parties involved are reaping rewards. We field questions about it so often we decided to share why it works for us.

Our little slice of Southern Indiana heaven holds four dwellings and four generations: greatgrandparents, grandparents, parents and children. Together, we share the same address, the same mailbox and the same driveway, though, of course, the sharing runs much deeper than just simple physicalities.

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There’s always someone to hang out with when your family lives next door.

Between us are deep-seeded understandings and shared philosophies, common interests and
collaborated ideas.

This may sound rather utopian and unrealistic. So, in the spirit of full disclosure, we’ll admit to
the struggles as well.

Obviously, there is very little privacy.

For instance, we all know who comes and goes, and at what hour, etc.

Obviously, there is very little privacy.

For instance, we all know who comes and goes, and at what hour, etc.

Next, there are disagreements that naturally arise

The inhabitants here are a group comprised of particularly big personalities with strong opinions. We are not always on the same page in every matter, and this can be tricky at times.

And finally, as humans living in close proximity will do, we annoy each other from time to time.

Things don’t always get put back in the proper places, people aren’t always in the same mood as the others around them, child-rearing strategies sometimes differ. No, it’s not TV-sitcom perfection 100 percent of the time, but the benefits are so vast, we never regret them.

The sheer logistics of being so near make it wonderfully convenient. Say, you’re cooking a meal and need an ingredient, doing a project and don’t have the right tool, or moving something heavy and need a hand. There are three other households full of folks absolutely willing to help
out or lend an item at any time.

Next, immeasurable is the value of the village in which we are raising our children.

In our quiver are eight adults who love our kiddos and are able to shower them daily with wisdom, discipline and time. There is never a shortage of caring family members to share a story, help with schoolwork or reign down a little discipline. No bike tire goes unfixed, no injury
untreated and no indiscretion unnoticed.

When our Sydney received her driver’s permit, she had many more opportunities and individuals from whom to learn than her most of her peers.

Numerous occasions that warranted late night ER visits have been made much less stressful due to willing babysitters who could be there at a moment’s notice.

And when the younger kids and their cousins leave toys and sports equipment laying all over
the property, there is always a concerned relative at the ready to teach a lesson and supervise the clean-up.

Then, there’s the love between us, which supersedes any and all discord that has ever arisen here.

We don’t tolerate each other. Rather, we appreciate one another. We know we’re blessed to have this opportunity, and we choose to embrace this life every day. We look forward to continuing to raise our children in this manner, and, if we’re lucky, eventually a grandchild or two. Hopefully, we won’t drive the other family members on-site crazy in the process.


So, how do our kids feel? Here are their responses to questions we asked them about growing up so close to extended family:

QUESTION #1: WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT LIVING
WHERE WE LIVE?

BRAHM, 8:

“I always have someone to play with me and there’s always something cool to do. Papaw works outside and wants me to work with him, Uncle Cole lets me ride four wheelers and dirt bikes, and Ryder (his cousin) will play in the mud anytime you will let us. And Nanny has a LOT
of snacks.”

MOLLY, 11:

“I’m so glad we live where we live because I feel like it’s the safest place on earth. Everyone who lives here loves each other, and everyone would protect us no matter what. There’s always someone around to know we’re safe and also to help us with stuff.”

ELI, 14:

“It’s never boring here. We always have cousins to play with, friends visiting, people working on something or doing something outside. I love the family meals and the holidays and get-togethers. I love that I get to see my grandparents, aunt and uncle and cousins every day. Most
people I know don’t get to do that. I know I’m lucky.”

SYDNEY, 16:

“I just like having everyone around. It feels great knowing I have so much family surrounding me all the time. Everyone takes care of each other here and I know there’s someone to help me if I ever need it. This is a perfect place to grow up.”

QUESTION #2: IS THERE ANYTHING YOU DON’T LIKE?

SYDNEY

“I guess if you want privacy, this isn’t a great place to get it.”

ELI

“Sometimes, there’s an awful lot of people to lecture me.”

MOLLY

“If I get in trouble around here, everyone seems to know about it.”

BRAHM

“Nothing. I really love it all.”