Tag Archives: art

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Gabby & Brandon Jones

Sept. 28, 2019

Photos by Krystle Hiott of Krystle Hiott Photography | krystlehiottphotography.com krystalhiottphotos@gmail.com | 317.750.1897


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On a late fall afternoon, with the warm sun just peeking through the beautiful fall-tinged leaves surrounding The Old Barn at Brown County, Gabrielle Boone of Floyds Knobs married Brandon Jones of Columbus, Indiana.

The venue gave the couple everything they wanted for their rustic vintage theme. Two large, beautifully appointed cabins flank the barn, and these were rented by the couple to accommodate their wedding party.

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As the leaves rustled, Gabby descended the wrap-around wooden deck of the bride’s cabin. Designed by Mori Lee, Gabby’s gown provided the chic, eloquent silhouette she had always dreamed of. Ivory in color, with a plunging neckline and open low back, the gown flowed with tiers of alternating striped offray sheer and solid patterned satin. Gabby’s shoes were Kate Spade rose-colored velvet and pearl-studded sandals.

Always wanting an outdoor wedding, the groom was handsomely appointed in a charcoal Bonobos suit and Bruno Magli wing-tipped shoes. Brandon waited, and perhaps shed a few tears, while Gabby made her way across the beautiful, leaf-covered path and down the aisle trimmed with white pumpkins to the small congregation seated on wooden benches. The beautiful porch-like setting was the perfect location for the exchange of vows.

Following the vows, guests enjoyed a beautiful reception decorated with crystal vases, candles, peonies and baby’s breath. In addition to the customary wedding cake, macaroons, the bride’s favorite, were served.

Always looking to surprise and treat their guests, the couple chose a breakfast buffet for their reception meal. Piping hot biscuits and gravy, frittatas and bacon were just a few of the offerings with cocktail hour miniature waffles complete with individual syrup pipettes.

Gabby is a 2014 graduate of Floyd Central High School with a degree in fashion marketing, merchandising and retail management from the Art Institute of Indianapolis. Brandon graduated from Columbus East High School and holds a degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University.

ExtolMag_31_Final_Page_25_Image_0001The couple will reside in Columbus, Indiana

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GIVE ME A SIGN

Creatively inspired by Ben Franklin Crafts in New Albany

By JD Dotson


How many times have I begged the universe to give me a sign? Whether I have a difficult decision to make, a project to finish, or I’m just feeling down, I will look around for that sign to help decide or guide or give a bit of hope.

Some days the signs present themselves in unique ways, like an unexpected phone call or taking a wrong turn that leads to something wonderful. Other days, they present themselves as actual signs that I am fortunate enough to pull my head up in time to see.

Two of my favorites stick out: The first was on a trip to New Orleans on a side street and regular path to the French Quarter, but on this particular day someone had placed a giant “LIVE A GREAT STORY” sticker on a heavily graffitied corner. That lucky encounter has spawned a mantra in my life. The second is near my house and something I had driven by for who knows how long and never noticed. Feeling down and out, I was walking to work due to car problems and most likely an empty bank account when I looked up to see “NEVER GIVE UP” painted on the side of the highway. It was the sign I needed to see at that moment.

This issue’s project is a collection of signs to inspire someone special to me. My hope is that they will inspire or comfort her when she is feeling lost. For you, however, the possibilities are endless, but let’s start with what you want to say and your list of supplies, which are available at Ben Franklin Crafts New Albany, the wonderful shop located across from the giant Kroger.

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SUPPLIES:

• Your sign surface (whether a premade sign, slats of wood, or found materials such as yardsticks or paint stirrers)

• 1” wide wood slats for the back

• Clamps

• Wood Glue

• Stencils or Letter Stickers

• Acrylic Paint/Wood Stain/Spray Paint

• Paintbrushes

• Hanging hardware/Jute string

• Staple Gun

• Optional: Wood Burning Kit

Materials provided by Ben Franklin Crafts & Frame Shop420 New Albany Plaza | New Albanybenfranklinartsandframing.com


STEP ONE

Prepare your surface. I found some great premade signs at Ben Franklin that were only in need of a stain or undercoat of paint. If you are building your base from slats or found material, arrange the pieces with the facing surface down. I prefer the uneven edges on mine and then glue the 1” wide slats to the back and clamp until dry.

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STEP TWO

Figure out what you are going to say. Then, how are you going to get your message to the surface? There are several ways to go about it. You can use stencils to draw the letters and then paint inside the lines. You can use the letter stickers as a mask and paint outside the lines or spray paint the whole surface, then peel the letters off. If you have time, patience and a wood burning kit with letter attachments, you can burn each letter into the wood one at a time or even hand letter your saying.

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STEP THREE

Hang it. There are many ways to hang your signs: sawtooth hangers that can be hammered into the back of the piece, picture hanging kits with wire or a long piece of jute stapled to each side of the back.

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STEP FOUR

Finally, hang it and prepare yourself for inspiration. Sometimes, we all need little reminders that there is good all around, that people care for us, that we all matter, that the answers we seek are waiting to be discovered. Hang them where you will see them every day. Hang them so someone in need of a sign will come across it. Attach it to a pole and march that inspiration down the street. Some people will say, “Look at that crazy person carrying that sign” but there will be some that think “I needed to see that today.”

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WHERE ONE DOOR CLOSES…

Made by Morgan

Creatively inspired by Ben Franklin Crafts in New Albany

By Morgan Sprigler


…Another one opens and just like that it’s Spring, bringing us a promise of sunlight, crisp air and fresh beginnings. To welcome the new season, I’m sharing with you a kid-friendly craft that incorporates a little education, too, and started – as always – at Ben Franklin Crafts New Albany. By the way, new store hours went into effect in January. Ben Franklin is open 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. If you’re ready to get down and Derby, stop in sometime soon to see the growing collection of fascinators and hats (for men too!) or talk to a staffer about creating one specially for you.

Now, let’s craft!


BEN FRANKLIN CRAFTS NEW ALBANY SUPPLIES

• Wooden hanging door

• Chalk paint of your desired color

• Cardstock of your desired color x 2

• Scissors

• Spring items of your choosing

• Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Total project cost = $42


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Find some time when you and your kid(s) can go craft supply shopping together. As you are browsing, start up a conversation about seasons. Use this opportunity to test their knowledge and do a little teaching, too. Start with the wooden door. Because it has 6 “panes,” have your child(ren) come up with six different aspects of spring. Each item will eventually be displayed on your door and will remind your child(ren) what the season is all about. My girls and I settled on rainclouds made from cotton balls with rain made from blue stones, butterflies, a birds nest with eggs, flowers, birds on a twig, and a cross to symbolize Easter.

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Paint! We chose a delicate, light pink chalk paint in a spray can. However, you may use any paint you desire. I like the look of chalk paint for this project, but a flat or matte paint would be pretty as well. The red door from Ben Franklin is also very nice just as it is, if you want to skip this step. We also decided to paint our door handle gold using acrylic paint, because, why not?! Paint and then let the door dry.

STEP THREEExtolMag_31_Final_Page_38_Image_0001

Using your heated glue gun, apply glue around the perimeter of one sheet of cardstock. Apply sheet to the back of your door, covering four of the bottom panes.

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Cut your second sheet of cardstock in half and repeat step three to cover the top two remaining door panes.

STEP FIVE

Glue your spring items to the cardstock inside each pane, while talking with your child about why each one is important and/or specific to the season. Again, all of our items were purchased from Ben Franklin Crafts New Albany, with the exception of our rain clouds, which are simply three cotton balls arranged together. We also found a twig outside to use as a branch for our little birdies. Instead of items for every pane, you and your child also can paint or draw inside one or more panes or you can collect items from your garden.


Note: This door can be updated for each season by easily removing the cardstock from each pane and adding new objects. (You could even update for birthdays by choosing six of the birthday guy or gal’s favorite things.)

Variation 1: Instead of cardstock, you can use felt for the background and utilize Velcro to attach your objects instead of glue. This would make this project even more conducive to changing out with the seasons.

Variation 2: If you would rather have a centerpiece for your kitchen table or kids table, Ben Franklin carries an array of wooden boxes that would work well for this project, too. You and your child(ren) could decorate each side of the wooden box and add a floral arrangement to the top! Voila!

Happy Spring, Extol Readers!

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Speed Across the River for Great Art and More

5 things we love about the Speed Art Museum

COURTESY PHOTOS


ExtolMag_30_FINAL_Page_17_Image_0001When the Speed Art Museum reopened in 2016 following a massive, three-year closure for renovation and expansion, guests were mesmerized by the changes. Today, the Speed continues to evolve into a place where great art meets great community, with a focus on exhibitions, events, film, food, and more, that draws families, art lovers, and the entire community to its iconic building.When the Speed Art Museum reopened in 2016 following a massive, three-year closure for renovation and expansion, guests were mesmerized by the changes. Today, the Speed continues to evolve into a place where great art meets great community, with a focus on exhibitions, events, film, food, and more, that draws families, art lovers, and the entire community to its iconic building.

If you haven’t visited recently, here’s a primer on some of our favorite things about the Speed Art Museum: Art for All – The Speed Art Museum is Kentucky’s oldest and largest art museum, covering 6,000 years of art from around the world. From ancient Egyptian art, to the European Masters, including Rembrandt and Monet, to modern classics and more, the Speed invites everyone to experience art for all. Thanks to a generous grant from Brown-Forman, the Speed offers free admission to all every Sunday from 12-5 p.m.

FREE Admission for IUS Students – Thanks to a partnership between The Speed and Indiana University, IUS faculty and students with a current student ID receive free admission through Aug. 1, 2022. What are you waiting for? Go now!

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Excellent Exhibitions – The Speed’s permanent collection is breathtaking in its quality and historical significance. The museum’s curators frequently rotate pieces from the expansive collection in storage to keep the art fresh and exciting as you visit time and again. The latest special exhibition on display is Tales from the Turf: The Kentucky Horse. If you love horses, don’t miss this first exhibition to examine Kentucky’s relationship to the horse through art. It features paintings, sculpture, photographs, drawings, prints, and manuscripts from Kentucky’s major private collections, all telling equine tales of Kentucky’s history with horses. Most of the collection has never been seen in public and is only on display until March 1, so hurry in for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see this equine spectacular.

The Speed Cinema – Catching a flick takes on new meaning when you visit the Speed Cinema, which shows films you can’t see anywhere else in this area. Documentaries, independent masterpieces, foreign classics, and more are carefully curated to showcase the best in cinema.

A Museum on a Mission – In addition to the world class art, the Speed features dozens of events, tours, and activities for all ages every month. The popular After Hours adult evening event takes place every third Friday for mingling, drinks, food, music and of course, art. Each month features a different theme, with speakers, entertainment, cinema and more. Families are always welcome at the Speed, with a special focus on the tiniest visitors through Art Sparks’ hands on learning opportunities. New to the Speed are family Saturdays, with all Saturday programming focused around the family.


The Speed Art Museum

2035 S. Third St.

Louisville

502.634.2700

speedmuseum.org

HOURS

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday

10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday

12 p.m.-5 p.m. Sunday

Closed Monday and Tuesday

ADMISSION

Members: Free

Adults: $18

Seniors (Age 60+): $12

Kids (Age 4-17): $12

Kids (Age 3 and under): Free

University of Louisville students, faculty, and staff: Free

Select area schools (including IUS): Free

College students with valid ID: $12

Military personnel: $12

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LIGHT THE HOLIDAYS

Creatively inspired by Ben Franklin Crafts in New Albany

By JD Dotson

ExtolMag_30_FINAL_Page_45_Image_0002The holidays are fast approaching and seem to sneak up on me every year. ’Tis the season we typically pull out all of the holiday decorations, lights, garlands and trees and cover every inch of our house in festive decor. Glitter seems to cover most surfaces, too, by the end of it despite my banning of the substance.

Intent on finding new ways to spruce things up, I took a trip to Ben Franklin Crafts in New Albany, which had my head spinning with thoughts of updating my festive decor, but I was on a mission.

I had a conversation with a friend who wasn’t going to decorate this year citing a super-busy schedule leading up to a holiday vacation, so he wouldn’t be home enough to enjoy it. There have been years when my decorating was minimal and years when the sparkle was over the top, but I had a hard time imagining nothing. This issue’s craft project stemmed out of that conversation.

The craft could definitely serve as a centerpiece or a mantle, but I also wanted it to suffice as a holiday scene for someone in a small apartment, dorm room or beautiful gift that’s sure to spread some Christmas cheer.

The beauty of this project is that it can be customized to your own unique slice of life. Switch the bunny out for a deer, or the lovebirds for cardinals. Add a couple of tall skinny trees and a less rustic fence. There is no shortage of options roaming the aisles of Ben Franklin and plenty of room to create your own personal scene.


SUPPLIES:

Lantern

Ribbon and greenery wire

Sprig of greenery

Small tree

Beads (for ornaments)

Elements in the scene: bunny, birds, fence

A bag of snow

Elmer’s Glue

Long craft paintbrush

Glue gun and glue sticks

Materials provided by Ben Franklin Crafts & Frame Shop

420 New Albany Plaza | New Albany

benfranklinartsandframing.com


ExtolMag_30_FINAL_Page_46_Image_0002STEP ONE

Start with the tree. I took turns with red and green “ornaments” (they’re actually beads) to evenly distribute. Want to ditch the traditional red/green color combo? Do it! Hot glue your favorite color ornaments all over your little tree. I am usually pretty particular about excess glue all over, but in this case, the glue looks like ice and icicles and fits in perfect with the scene. Next, carefully wind your lights up the tree starting at the bottom and finish at the top. Make sure to leave a bit of wire left to reach the inside of the top of the lantern.

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STEP TWO

ExtolMag_30_FINAL_Page_46_Image_0003Glue everything down. Start with the tree and don’t be afraid of being heavy-handed with the glue gun — it’s all getting covered in snow. Once the tree is anchored, I glued the battery pack into the top of the lantern. With the lid closed, it will be hidden. Just make sure to position the opening mechanism so battery changing is easy. Add all your elements — bunny, fence, birds, deer, whatever — your imagination has dreamed up and glue them into place.

STEP THREE

ExtolMag_30_FINAL_Page_47_Image_0004Let it Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Before you let loose your powerful snowstorm, use a paintbrush to paint a bit of glue to things that would naturally catch a bit of snowfall if they were real-sized. I brushed the glue on the posts of the fence before the big storm started, so that they caught some of the flakes on the way down. You want a good amount of accumulation on the ground, but not enough to call off school.

STEP FOUR

ExtolMag_30_FINAL_Page_47_Image_0005Accessorize! I wired a big, hand-tied bow on top, green with red velvet accents, pulling in some colors from my ornaments and added a bit of snow-covered greenery. The selection of ribbon and greenery accessories at Ben Franklin is staggering, so mix it up and bring your own taste into your scene. Then, tie away… unless you need some help. I have a confession, dear readers. I ran into Ben Franklin co-owner Kristy Dunlap-Smith who tried to teach me how to make the perfect bow. I took the ribbon home and made some not-so-perfect, pretty awful bows. So, I used Kristy’s sample as the bow for my final project. You can easily use a pre-made bow or have one of the super-helpful people at Ben Franklin help you out. It is the season of giving, after all.


Whether you are surrounded by twinkling lights and up to your ears in decorations or enjoying your tiny slice of festivity, I hope your holiday is full of love and kindness.

harvest

Harvest Ahead

HARVEST HOMECOMING’S CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD COURTNEY LEWIS OFFERS A SNEAK PEEK OF THE UPCOMING FESTIVAL SEASON 

PHOTO BY CHRISTIAN WATSON 

HARVEST HOMECOMING 2019 is on the horizon. So, we asked Courtney Lewis, chairman of the board, for a bit of insight and input as to what to expect. 

Q & A WITH COURTNEY LEWIS:

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A PART OF THE HARVEST HOMECOMING VOLUNTEER TEAM? 

This year marks my 12th or 13th festival. At some point all the fun runs together. 

WHAT DOES HARVEST HOMECOMING MEAN TO YOU PERSONALLY? 

For me, Harvest Homecoming really is about family and friends. We all have a Harvest Homecoming story. A great memory from our childhood or the first time we got to go on the (non-sanctioned) Beer Walk or meeting the love of our lives (not me, but if Mr. Right is ready, I’ll be in downtown New Albany for a couple weeks in October) or taking our children to get their first chicken and dumplings. It’s become a bit of a tradition with my coworkers to spend that Friday afternoon together. It’s like team building for us. I will never forget (thanks to the pictures) those moments. My nieces started volunteering last year, and I couldn’t be more proud of them for taking time out of their teenage lives to give back to their community. They are setting an example, knowingly or not, for their friends. Every place in the world has their thing, but for anyone who grew up here, Harvest Homecoming holds a very special spot in our hearts. 

WHY IS HARVEST HOMECOMING BENEFICIAL TO OUR COMMUNITY? 

Harvest Homecoming is such a great way to showcase our city and really celebrate the beauty of our neighbors. New Albany’s best assets lie in the people in this community. It feels great to see people come together and enjoy our city during the most beautiful time of year in Indiana. Not only is the economic impact beneficial to our businesses and local non-profits, Harvest Homecoming is able to give back to the younger members of our community through our scholarship programs. As an all-volunteer work force, Harvest Homecoming is also able to continue a rich tradition of giving back to our city and passing those values on to the next generation of pumpkins. 

WHAT CHANGES CAN THE COMMUNITY EXPECT TO SEE FOR THIS YEAR’S HARVEST HOMECOMING? 

Harvest Homecoming is really evolving and trying new things this year. Parade Day will look different with a day full of family fun in downtown. The Carnegie Center for Art & History will host their annual #IAMPUBLICART event on Bank Street at noon; the parade will kick-off at 3 p.m. (new this year) from New Albany High School, and then we’re going to park the floats around Bicentennial Park so people can get up close and personal with them while we partner with Mayor Jeff Gahan and the City of New Albany for Harvest Kickoff Karaoke in Bicentennial Park. 

We’ve got some amazing new partners this year like Samtec Cares, UPS, SoIN Tourism, the Community Foundation of Floyd County and so many more that we’re excited to welcome to our Harvest Family. With the support of our neighbors in the community, we’re able to take our all of our kids’ events and riverfront concerts to the next level. 

We have a great team working on the new Samtec Cares Family Stage in the First Financial Parking Lot that is going to be huge for kids of all ages. Vice President Amy Cummins and her team are working with new partners at the Floyd County Library and its branch at the Carnegie Center to fill that space with fun, interactive and educational programming Thursday and Friday during Booth Days, and I think everyone is going to be very excited to check that out. 

Make sure to follow Harvest Homecoming on Facebook & Instagram for a full schedule of events. 

WHAT IS THE THEME FOR HARVEST 2019? 

This year’s theme is CarniFALL, based on our president’s, Art Niemeier’s, love of the Bahamian Festival, Carnival. It’s also a carnival, so look at us being clever. We are so excited to celebrate culture and unity and the joy of being a vibrant community of loving people from everywhere. 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE HARVEST HOMECOMING EVENT? 

This is so hard. I really love all of our events for different reasons. I am so excited about the parade this year. Our Parade VP, Allyson Glass, has really put in so much effort to take our parade to the next level, and I can’t wait to see the community be able to enjoy her hard work. I LOVE Pumpkin Chunkin and what that partnership with Purdue Polytechnic Institute has done to further STEM education and awareness in our community. 

The Business Luncheon is hands down THE (clap) BEST (clap) luncheon, probably in the world. 

I also really enjoy our Riverfront Events from the car show to the concerts and new this year, the Harvest Hops Beer Fest. 

With help from our friends at Sounds Unlimited Productions, Alpha Media and Monarch Beverage, we’re working to bring exciting concert experiences to the Riverfront Amphitheater this year. Also, if you haven’t been to the Kid’s Dog Show, I highly recommend it. Super-cute dogs, even cuter kids; it’s the best way to spend a Monday evening at the Riverfront Amphitheater. 

WHAT FOOD IS A MUST-TRY AT HARVEST HOMECOMING? 

LOL. Literally everything. A couple years ago, myself and a couple of the ladies in the festival started a new tradition called “Smorgasbord Sunday.” I would venture to say the three of us spend 20 to 30 bucks apiece, we all get something different, go in a room at the Harvest Homecoming Office where no one can find us and we pig out. Some of our favorites are Brooklyn & the Butcher’s loaded potato and steak tips, Mason donuts, ribbon potatoes with cheese sauce and beans, and greens and cornbread from Chef Walker. 

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ANYONE WHO HAS NEVER EXPERIENCED HARVEST HOMECOMING? 

Be prepared to have fun and be patient. We are so blessed that hundreds of thousands of people choose to visit our city every year during the first week in October, but that also means a bit of congestion. I would make sure you’re following Harvest Homecoming, the City of New Albany and SoIN Tourism on social media so you can plan your perfect Harvest Homecoming visit. We have something for literally every age and interest. 

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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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Be Our Guest

We sent our resident explorer, JD Dotson, in search of the perfect wedding gifts that will land you on the greatest guest list 

PHOTOS & STORY BY JD DOTSON 

Always looking for the perfect wedding gift that is sentimental or functional (or both!), I have a tendency to skip buying the single salad fork on the registry and look for something special for the couple of the hour. I 100% get the importance of a gift registry, especially if the couple is someone I barely know or just starting out in adulting life together. But I also 100% trust my instincts on giving thoughtful gifts to people I love and in no way have waited until the last minute when the only thing left on the registry is a $600 Vitamix. So, here are a few of my faves that will help land you on the unofficial “Greatest Guest” list you know couples compile. 

 

extolmag_28_ad_final_page_052_image_0002Set of 3 galvanized steel hearts, $19.99 

Ceramic You and Me Dish, $3.99 each 

Instantly feeling the need to redo everything in my house, I had to remind myself to stay focused when I go to PC Home Center. Anything a young couple starting a home together might need can be found in this store. From paint, flooring, windows, cabinets to entire kitchen installations and really cool lighting features, PC Home Center offers gift cards in any denomination to get the project started. Not one to just toss a gift card at a couple without something to open, I found this galvanized steel heart set of three containers, and a couple of “you and me” ceramic ring dishes to compliment. 

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For the bicycle enthusiast couple on your gift list, I fell in love with this Cycle Gathering Table. I even have the perfect spot picked out at home and don’t mind a belated wedding present. 

Cycle Gathering Table $559.99 


PC Home Center 

123 Cherry St., New Albany | 812.944.4444

www.pchomestores.com


extolmag_28_ad_final_page_053_image_0002The blank page cut out letter books have the look of vintage, classic readers digests. They come in a wide and wild variety of cover designs, all 26 letters of the alphabet and the ampersand. Combine the initials of the couple, spell out LOVE, the last name, any romantic word for a functional, customizable and fun gift. 

Everyone needs that chip and dip tray for fancy entertaining. The couple are full-on adults — no more cutting the top of the bag off and screwing off the lid. It is time to actually elevate the chips and dips when company calls. The Nora Fleming line of platters, cake stands, serving trays and chip and dip bowls can be accessorized with “decorative minis.” Every kind of theme is available from summer fun, holidays, baby, even a tiny ceramic zombie hand and they all easily attach to the dish. 

extolmag_28_ad_final_page_053_image_0003

Nora Fleming Chip and Dip Platter, $43.20 

 

Decorative Minis, $11.66 each 


Ben Franklin Crafts 

420 New Albany Plaza, New Albany | 812.944.1215

www.benfranklinartsandframin.com


extolmag_28_ad_final_page_054_image_0001The best way to get your foodie friends to invite you over for a post-honeymoon meal is to get them amazing things they can use in the kitchen. I love a multifaceted theme gift, and The Olivet delivered. I discovered The Oil and Vinegar Lovers Cookbook by Emily Lycopolus and picked a variety of exotic goodies (Rose’ Wine Balsamic, Blood Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Hawaiian Black Lava Salt and a Citrus Peel Rub) and topped off the gift with a locally-handmade wooden cutting board by Wayne Pepin. I may have had some chocolate and macarons while I shopped. Don’t judge. 

 

Cookbook, $29.95 2 oz. bag of spices or salts, $7 each or three for $18 

375 ML Balsamics, $18.95 

200 ML Olive Oil, $13.95 

Cutting Board, $79.95 


The Olivet 

37 Bank St., New Albany | 812.913.4430 | www.theolivet.com 


extolmag_28_ad_final_page_055_image_0001Georgetown boy meets the love of his life in Clarksville. Wedding toasts follow in the stemless wine glass with etched zip codes. No matter what area the couple grew up in or plan to call home, zip code glasses can be special ordered. 

$9.99 each 

extolmag_28_ad_final_page_055_image_0002The rustic, simple and sweet couple, hand-carved out of wood, painted and embellished is ready to be taken to their new home. Sold individually, they are perfect for every couple. 

$30 each; $60 for the couple 


Madhouse 

151 E. Spring St., New Albany | 812.924.7728 www.madhousena.com 


Walking into True North makes me want to get remarried and put so much hand-made beautiful stuff on my list. I fell in love with the simple driftwood candle holder by Mack Dryden, even though my IKEA coffee table would do it justice. Depending on how much you loved me and my significant other, you could throw in the gorgeous Paul Weddington coffee table it sits on and I wouldn’t hate that one bit. 

extolmag_28_ad_final_page_056_image_0003Driftwood Candle Holder, $45 

Table, $475 

extolmag_28_ad_final_page_056_image_0002Every home should have that beautiful tea set that comes out on special occasions. Dallas Wooten’s soda-fired ceramic tea set deserves a spot in a glass cabinet and carefully taken out when people you love stop in for tea. A really beautiful, functional work of art is an ideal gift. 

Tea set, $120 


True North 

137 E. Market St., New Albany | 502.873.868

www.shoptruenorth812.com


extolmag_28_ad_final_page_057_image_0001The stacks of books that have been on my side tables and coffee table for the past 12 years are the ones I keep telling myself I am going to read. I found a stack of books at LL&A that make the reading quick, easy and perfect for the happy couple. “I was made for loving you baby, you were made for loving me” will now be stuck in your head as well. Top off the gift with a bottle of wine and a congratulatory bottle topper and get yourself out on the dance floor. 

 

Bottle Toppers, $18 

Book Stack $ 172 


LL&A Interior Design 

247 Spring St., Jeffersonville | 812.282.6606

www.leslielewisdesign.com 


extolmag_28_ad_final_page_058_image_0005There is nothing wrong with pre-wedding gift giving. You want the couple to look and feel good on their wedding day, and gift cards to Body & Brow Boutique will take care of both of them head to toe. Facial and body waxing, male waxing, tanning, facials and even makeup application are available. I thought treating the couple to a nice soak with some bath bombs for after the big day would be a good way to start spending the rest of their lives together. 

Gift cards available in any denomination, price list available on the website. 

Bath Bombs, $6.50 


Body & Brow Boutique 

141 E. Spring St., New Albany | 812.225.9191

www.bodyandbrow.com


extolmag_28_ad_final_page_059_image_0005Great as a pre-wedding gift to be used at a reception perhaps, the Love Jar by Gratitude Jars comes with 250 blank foil embossed Love cards. Guests can leave a love note in the jar as a keepsake for the couple after the wedding. Great minds think alike: the Love Jar is one of Oprah and my favorite things, too. 

Love Jar $45.00 

extolmag_28_ad_final_page_059_image_0006Love is Love is Love in these beautifully sweet rendered wedding mugs. Love is a lot of things and I hope every morning starts off the day right with a good cup of coffee with the one you love. 

Coffee Mug, $15 


Regalo 

234 Pearl St., New Albany | 812.542.6567 | www.regaloart.com


 

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SAPPHIRE BOUTIQUE PRE-DERBY PARTY

April 12 • Jeffersonville

Photos by Bailey Boyd

Sapphire Boutique held its inaugural pre-derby fashion show and party on their back patio at the 326 Spring Street location in historic downtown Jeffersonville. The head-turning affair thrilled guests with the latest in spring, summer and Derby fashions.

Kristy & Jeff Smith

All In The Family

Diann & Dane Smith

Diann & Dane Smith

New Albany’s Ben Franklin Crafts and Framing Is an Inspiring Institution

BY LAURA ROSS | PHOTOS BY CHRISTIAN WATSON

The Smiths are one crafty family.

Literally.

The long-time Indiana family is devoted to the community but also creative, energetic and incredibly adept at producing savvy business models that thwart big-box Goliath stores and provide a locally-owned experience and business that caters to customers.

Ben Franklin Crafts and Framing, 420 New Albany Plaza, has been in the Smith family since it opened in 1990. But its roots go much deeper.

Joe and Hilda Busteed originally opened a Ben Franklin Crafts franchise store in Milan, Indiana, during the post-war era.

“Joe was a Fuller Brush salesman originally,” said Kristy Smith, who is a third-generation owner of Ben Franklin Crafts and Framing along with her husband, Jeff Smith, and family partners Dane and Diann Smith.

“When Joe and Hilda opened their Ben Franklin Crafts store,” said Kristy, “it was a true five and dime. You could buy everything there from coffee beans to fabric to make a dress. We still have their first cash register, which rings a maximum of two dollars.”

The Busteeds were treasured local merchants, and when Joe died of an aneurism in his 50s, his daughter Patsy Jo and son-in-law Wayne Smith took over the store. Later, they opened a second shop in Bloomfield, Indiana.

In the late 1980s, Walmart began its the march across the country, gobbling up the market share of mom-and-pop craft and soft goods stores.

So, said Kristy, “Patsy Jo and Wayne conducted a population study and looked for a location that would support an independent craft store. New Albany popped up on the map and had the right socio-economic factors, so they took a leap of faith, closed their two stores and moved south in 1989.”

Kristy & Jeff Smith

Kristy & Jeff Smith

The Smiths ran the popular New Albany Ben Franklin until they retired in 2000 and passed the mantle on to sons Jeff and Dane and their wives, Kristy and Diann. The team of four now manage Ben Franklin and the attached Ben’s Boutique specialty store together, parceling out roles to fit their talents.

“Everyone has their job,” said Kristy. “I do the displays and change the seasons out and help with the buying. Diann is the floor manager, working with employees and setting the sales and connecting with customers. Dane watches over the frame shop, and Jeff is a jack of all trades – from running the finance and business end to driving our truck when needed,” she added, with a laugh.

And, don’t forget the next generation in the wings. “Between us, we have five children – Tyler, Ryan, Logan, Rylie and Luke – who have all worked in the store,” said Kristy. “They are the future.”

“I never knew I’d end up doing this,” admitted Jeff Smith. “But the opportunity arose when I was in college studying business, and I went for it.”

The Smiths maintained the philosophy of building an inventory tailored to local customers’ needs and focused on buying and selling products from local artisans and craftspeople. That extends to wood products from Diverse Woodworking in Lanesville, to Silver Creek Leather in Jeffersonville, Kaiser Wholesale, Master Frame Supply, and hand-made grapevine wreaths by Morris, which is located across the river in Kentucky.

“We buy local whenever we can,” said Jeff. “That’s our family philosophy. You get the best service dealing with people who know you and are local. We do that as much as possible to keep the growth in our community.”

“A Target is a Target is a Target,” added Kristy. “What makes each community special are the family-owned businesses like ours that care about their neighbors and customers.”

The Smiths’ 18 employees are also considered part of the extended family. Many have been with the store for more than 20 years and are welcome, friendly faces to customers.

“People feel comfortable coming here,” said Kristy. “You get personal attention and help. Our employees are people who knit, who quilt, who paint. They use the products that we carry, so that they can offer advice to customers.”

The staff at Ben Franklin eagerly dives into personal projects for customers, from craft and holiday projects, to school assignments and church activities.

“Schools and churches always need specific things and quantities,” said Kristy. “If we know that church camp is coming soon and they’ll need 200 pieces of whatever, we will go through all our catalogues to find that and have it ready. An advantage to being a long-time local business is we know when the science fair projects are coming, we know when the Turkey Bowl is, we know when we’ll need hundreds of t-shirts at the go. That prepares us for when parents all come running in at the last minute looking for 400 skulls for an anatomy dissection class.“A TARGET IS A TARGET IS A TARGET. WHAT MAKES EACH COMMUNITY SPECIAL ARE THE FAMILYOWNED BUSINESSES LIKE OURS THAT CARE ABOUT THEIR NEIGHBORS AND CUSTOMERS.” –Kristy Smith

“It’s about building those relationships with our community,” Kristy added. “We genuinely want to help our customers come up with what they need, and we work with them to find solutions that are either easier or cheaper. Our employees love it when someone asks, ‘How I can I make this happen?’ and we always make it happen.”

The Smiths’ Ben Franklin store offers many classes through the year and will expand their children’s classes and craft sections in the coming months. Derby is always a huge seller for Ben Franklin, too. Hats and fascinators rule the world there, beginning in March. They will also add a new men’s gift wear section in Ben’s Boutique soon.

The children’s activities are key, said Kristy. Not only do the crafts provide a creative outlet and time to craft with their parents or siblings, crafts also work on a child’s dexterity and focus, and can reduce anxiety levels.

“It’s those moments that you might think are nothing, but years from now, you’ll treasure those crafts you made with your children,” she said. “It’s not the piece you made but the time you spent together, literally crafting memories.”

Additionally, Kristy is not only a business owner but also a busy mom and global manager for quality for Zeochem in Louisville, where she works her “other” full-time job. Zeochem, which creates molecular sieves and specialty zeolites for chemical and liquid absorption processes in manufacturing, puts her chemistry degree to good use. But, working with Ben Franklin brings out her creative side.

screen-shot-2019-03-07-at-5-01-27-pm“When I’m at Zeochem, I’m looking at parts per million down to .004 weights and percentages. But when I’m at Ben Franklin, I can design the floor layouts or create natural, free-form floral designs. It’s the perfect stress relief,” she explained. “My mother was an art major and my dad was an engineer, so it’s the perfect blend of left brain-right brain for me.”

screen-shot-2019-03-07-at-5-01-10-pmWhat does she love most about her time at Ben Franklin Crafts? “One of the best things about a craft store is you’re connecting with people in moments of their lives,” she said. “You’re quilting the afghan for the new baby, you’re framing the diploma, you’re making a funeral wreath for someone’s mom’s grave. These are life moments and you connect on a family level.”

But above all? “Family,” said Kristy. “It always pulls you back to family.”