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Contents:
Program 1312

1. the Redwood center for people with disabilities
2. sculptors Erika Strecker and Tony Higdon
3. woodcarver Troy Jones
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Kenton County

For more information:
Redwood Rehabilitation Center, 71 Orphanage Rd., Fort Mitchell, KY 41017-3099, (859) 331-0880

Producer: Tom Bickel


Unlimited Potential

Redwood Rehabilitation Center

In the early 1950s, Northern Kentucky parents Dorothy and Al Wood and Bill and Sue Reder were trying to raise children with disabilities—and often feeling isolated because of a lack of support services anywhere in the region. But eventually they found each other, and together they founded a preschool for kids with special needs in a church basement. That family-based effort has since evolved into the Redwood Rehabilitation Center (the name comes from the founding couples’ last names), a state-of-the-art facility that offers a wide variety of services to help people with disabilities reach their full potential.

Redwood is dedicated to the ideas that each of its clients is a multi-faceted individual, with a unique set of interests and abilities, and that services should be designed to treat the person, not just the disability. So while offering a multitude of therapies and nursing services that tend to immediate needs, Redwood also provides camps, outings, art and music activities, and many other opportunities for growth, learning, and just plain fun. Adults can also take advantage of vocational training, job placement services, and life skill classes designed to help them reach the goal of independent living.

On our visit, Executive Director Barbara Howard outlines some of Redwood’s programs, which also include family support and advocacy on behalf of those with disabilities. We also meet mom Angie Reed, who talks about how the vision outlined by other parents more than 50 years ago has made a difference in her own child’s life.




Fayette County

For more information:
• Higdon-Strecker Gallery, 610 W. Third St., Lexington, KY 40507, (859) 396-7118

Producer: Joy Flynn


The Family That Sculpts Together

Sculptors Erika Strecker and Tony Higdon

In our next segment, we learn the story behind Nexus, a stainless steel sculpture commissioned for the grounds of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s new building in Frankfort. The work is a collaboration between Lexington-based metal sculptors Erika Strecker and Tony Higdon, who also have a lifelong partnership deal as husband and wife.

Soaring to a height of more than 40 feet, Nexus features curving metal ribbons and cables reminiscent of a suspension bridge turned vertical. It was conceived, the artists say, as a tribute to humankind’s restless need to explore and to the visionaries whose great ideas have helped us cross continents and oceans.

Both Erika and Tony are alumni of Southern Illinois University’s renowned metalworking programs, though they attended different branches. Erika, in fact, was the first woman ever accepted into SIU-Carbondale’s blacksmithing program. When they’re not collaborating on a piece like Nexus, they generally work on somewhat different scales. While Erika specializes in smaller-scale pieces such as lamps and furniture, Tony creates entrance gates and other architectural elements as co-owner of Ironhorse Forge in Lexington. Pieces by both can be found in the gallery they operate jointly (Erika also has one of her own).

Erika and Tony are also part of an extended family of artists. Erika’s mom, Chris, emigrated to America from Greece and makes her living as a potter. And Sister Zoé Strecker is also a sculptor who’s married to a fellow artist, potter Mike Frasca.




Grant County

For more information:

• KentuckyKarver, 4370 Lemon-Northcutt Rd., Dry Ridge, KY 41035, (859) 428-0609

Producer: Valerie Trimble
Videographer: Amelia Cutadean
Audio: Noel Bramblett
Editor: Jim Piston


What a Relief

Woodcarver Troy Jones

Troy Jones showed an aptitude for drawing at an early age. After he returned home to Kentucky from a hitch in the U.S. Army, someone suggested that he try to make a living at it. Inspired by the detailed paintings of Canadian wildlife artist Robert Bateman, he decided to combine his love of nature with his drafting skills and his own penchant for detailed work. But rather than paint, Troy chose the medium of carved wood.

His first carving efforts were gunstocks showing hunting scenes, created for friends and family members. As word of his skill spread, he started getting requests from private collectors, and commissioned gunstocks are still a big part of his repertoire. But he also creates larger-scale reliefs, from plaques to wall hangings—custom work for clients as well as pieces inspired by his own imagination. His work has won several national awards.

Troy also completed a truly large-scale work in wood some years back: He and his wife, Jane, live in a log home that he built himself.




Fayette County

For more information:
Kentucky Horse Park, 4089 Iron Works Pkwy., Lexington, KY 40511, (859) 233-4303

On Location

Dave hosts this edition from the Kentucky Horse Park. This state-owned 1,200-acre park is a working horse farm as well as the home of the International Museum of the Horse and a horse show and competition facility. In 2010, it will host one of the world’s largest equestrian events, the FEI World Equestrian Games. It will be the first time the games are held outside Europe.



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