Ed Franklin is an artist that studied at Berea College and now lives and works in Lexington, KY. Franklin currently works at a book and gift shop store called Sqecial Media when he is not creating his amazing pieces. His wood pieces are whimsical and mythical. He builds this community through his art. He created a gift-giving art project called "A Doll a Day for June," where he placed one of his hand-created dolls all around downtown Lexington. It was a type of scavenger hunt with clues and photos that he posted to hint people where they were. The month-long event lasted all month till June 30th. He has used his art and talents to connect people together in the community.
Lexington Art League (LAL): What motivated you to become an artist? Was it something you always wanted to do, or did some person or event influence you to pursue it?
Ed Franklin (EF): I remember someone I very much admire saying to me, "Let's have some fun and get lost in this beautiful city." I was just a kid at the time so the idea of being lost troubled me, but the more we walked, the more relaxed I became
and the more aware I became of the landscape around us. Being a bit lost makes you more aware of your surroundings.
Being a bit relaxed makes your surroundings more beautiful. With that excursion I began to look at drawing (and art in general) as language, communication, dialogue -a city to become lost in - alive with shape, colour, line, form, grid, repetition, pattern.
Everything is constantly talking to us. Lines that catch, entangle, move us along. I wanted to be part of that energy and movement.
LAL: What would you say is your number one inspiration in creating the pieces that you do?
EF: A lost and hidden time.
LAL: What goes into your design process for a new piece?
EF: A good deal of waiting and being patient.
LAL: What would you describe as the central theme of your artwork?
EF: Looking backwards— old German and Scandinavian toys, icons, Dada, modernism, a first kiss.
LAL: What do you think is the biggest reward in creating and sharing art?
EF: Being able to communicate in a different sort of language.
LAL: What went into the creation of the pieces being presented in the CSA shop?
EF: Energy, effort, thought— creating 30 small pieces in a very short amount of time becomes like building a small factory with an employee of one.
LAL: What does it mean to you being apart of CSA and supporting the local arts?
EF: Supporting any art and having the possibility of making someone even a little happier goes a long way in making me feel lucky and a bit better about the world.
LAL is so excited to have artist, Linda Blumer with us for the CSA Fall Share event. Linda grew up in the Appalachian Mountains of Eastern Kentucky. From a young age she was drawn to the creative side of life, having a natural love for art. Having grown up in the mountains surrounded by nature, she developed an interest in the outdoors and people. This grew into a passion to take pictures of her surroundings and later led her to pursue a career in the photography field. Linda followed her passion and attended the Ohio Institute of Photography in Dayton where she continued to grow and learn about photography. She is inspired by the ever changing world around her and believes it is her purpose to create art.
Lexington Art League (LAL): How did you first get started with photography? What made you want to pursue a career in this field?
Linda Blumer (LB): I grew up in rural Eastern Kentucky, and had the ability to get out and roam in nature. Wildflowers became my passion and for many years that was my main focus. I was fortunate to have met and made many friends that also were nature photographers. I was always interested in putting things together as a child, so I think this was the beginning of my love for art. I received a Polaroid camera, that shot only black and white film in the 1980ʼs and a few years later I bought my first 35mm camera, a Nikon FM, totally manual, and I was hooked. I wanted to document and create images with my camera and it gave me my creative outlet. I attended the Ohio Institute of Photography in Dayton, Ohio for two years with my main focus portraiture. I worked in the studio setting for several years, but wanted more freedom with the camera, so I went back to nature.
LAL: Your photographs are amazing and nature is one thing that really inspires you. Would you say you gain inspiration from anything else?
LB: I am inspired by the changing world, and it is a daily change. I feel that I am here to create art.
LAL: Is there a certain theme that your work portrays?
LB: I feel that I have become very eclectic with my photography, if I see something that interests me, the chase is on to create something visually different.
LAL: The majority of your work is photography, but you also have some mixed media pieces. Can you tell me about the process you go through when creating these mixed media pieces?
LB: I think as artists we progress with our creative abilities and mixed media is that progression for me. Photography is mostly my base for creating the mixed media. I will use a photograph and add the encaustic wax or some found object where I am shooting. I am not back to hand coloring some my images with pastels and pencils. Mixed media has opened up many new doors for me.
LAL: Great! Now what would you say is the most rewarding part about being an artist?
LB: The finished piece, and the ability to create that piece. I am a driven artist.
LAL: We are so excited to have you as a part of the CSA Fall Share. Why is supporting local art important to you?
LB: Lexington has so many great artists, I am honored to work with and support the community.
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All Lexington Art League programs are made possible through the generous support of LexArts. LexArts allocation of $50,000 represents the largest single donation to the operations of the Lexington Art League.
The Kentucky Arts Council, a state arts agency, provides operating support to the Lexington Art League with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support provided by Lexington Parks & Recreation.