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Program 915

1. Joe Ley Antiques
2. woodturner Norman Downs
3. Pamela Smith’s pine-needle baskets
4. Arts Across Kentucky magazine
Season 9 Menu

Jefferson County

For more information:
Joe Ley Antiques, 615 East Market St., Louisville, KY 40202, (502) 583-4014

Producer: Barbara Deeb
Videographers: Cheryl Beckley, David Brinkley

The Old and the Beautiful

Joe Ley Antiques

As a youngster, Joe Ley of Louisville was too poor to afford the price of admission to Fontaine (or, as many long-time Louisvillians refer to it, “Fountain”) Ferry Park. The unattainable merry-go-round inside made him vow to buy every carousel horse he could. Now, as owner of Joe Ley Antiques, he has acquired a lot of carousel horses—and a vast array of other treasures. He calls the shop “a museum, only better”: Here, you can buy.

With its thousands of old doors, mantels, balconies, newel posts, hinges, and other pieces of household hardware, Joe Ley Antiques is also a favorite haunt of those restoring old buildings. And that’s fitting, because the entire shop is itself located inside an old building: a three-story former schoolhouse built in 1890.

Joe Ley Antiques is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm ET.

Kentucky Life previously visited Ley’s shop in Program 115.

Jefferson County

For more information:
• Norman P. Downs, 550 Camden Ave., Louisville, KY 40215, (502) 368-7237

Producer: Dave Shuffett
Videographers: Matt Grimm, Dave Shuffett
Editor: Jay Akers

New Uses for Old Wood

Woodturner Norman Downs

Sometimes, of course, old buildings are not restored but instead fall victim to new development. When that happens, Norman Downs may just step in to give some of the parts new life.

Norman, also from Louisville, is a master woodturner who specializes in walking sticks and canes. His material of choice is wood recovered from old buildings. The final products, each one of a kind, reflect both the efficiency of recycling and the artistry of a dedicated craftsman. Host Dave Shuffett tries out a few examples and talks to Norman about how he became interested in woodworking in this visit.

Hardin County

For more information:
• P.S.: Sentimentally Yours, 759 Round Top Rd., Elizabethtown, KY 42701, (270) 763-1177

Producer, videographer: David Brinkley
Editor: Stephen Kertis

Pine-ing Away

Basketmaker Pamela Smith

Pamela Smith of Elizabethtown also turns simple natural materials into objects of beauty. She is a skilled practitioner of the art of pine-needle raffia basketry, a painstaking craft that involves weaving, coiling, and stitching pine needles and strips of fiber. It dates back to the Civil War era in Georgia, where pines are plentiful, and is related to traditional Native American crafts.

Pam’s work ranges from traditional basket and bowl forms, sometimes incorporating wood cutouts or other materials, to an unusual lidded canister, hats, and even earrings. She has sold several of her most popular creations under the name of her company, P.S.: Sentimentally Yours.

Fayette County

For more information:
Arts Across Kentucky, 387 Codell Drive, Lexington, KY 40509, (859) 215-5319

Producer: Heather Lyons
Videographer: Mike White

Arts Across the Pages

Arts Across Kentucky magazine

As an appropriate last stop for this edition celebrating beauty and creativity, we visit the offices of Arts Across Kentucky magazine, whose purpose is much the same: to showcase the performing, visual, and literary arts around the state.

Published quarterly, this nonprofit Lexington-based magazine covers a wide range of creative endeavors, from traditional Appalachian crafts to cutting-edge sculpture, from painting to poetry, and from ballet to ballads. Editor Nancy Bronner explains that the magazine also tries to feature a wide range of arts organizations—well-known, big-city performing companies alongside smaller, local efforts. Each issue also profiles individual artists, including those who live and work in Kentucky as well as others who are from here but have traveled around the world pursuing their Muses.

It’s an ambitious venture, especially for a state where cultural roots are both broad and deep. But Arts Across Kentucky must be pulling it off pretty well: In 2001, the magazine was honored with the Media Award from the Governor’s Awards in the Arts.

SEASON 9 PROGRAMS: 901902903904905906907908909: Along Highway 62

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