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Art and Culture is alive in Lawrenceburg

By Patti Nickell

Weekends in Lawrenceburg are usually the time for catching up on household chores or catching up on football, whichever you think the most important. On Saturday, November 4th, however, you may have to put off the chores and tape the football game.  That date marks the return of two annual favorites – Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead celebration) and the popular Art Trail.

Dia de los Muertos

Photos by Franzetti Photography

The party kicks off at 5:00 p.m. and goes on until 9:00 p.m.   Admission is free, but requires a ticket for admittance with a cut-off for October 31.

“We need to know how many we can expect,” says Roger.  “Last year’s event attracted about 500 people, and we expect an equal number this year.” That means a lot of Mexican delicacies such as Pan Dulce, a homemade bread; mini burritos; chocolates, and flavored water made with various fruits are made for the event to share with the community.

And that’s not all they share. There will be face painting; classes in making skulls from sugar; photo ops in front of butterflies and the ubiquitous skulls, and folk dancers who will entertain with traditional Mexican dancing.

 “And, of course, there will be the altars,” says Roger. The brothers already have plans for their family alter, noting that six other families have also indicated they will decorate alters for their loved ones. “We would like to invite anyone who wants to have an altar to let us know,” he says.  “The altars can honor family, including pets, as well as friends or even members of the Lawrenceburg community.

Since they grow their own marigolds, they will have about 6,000 available as decorations, he says. Guests are encouraged to paint their faces, don masks or go all out and dress as La Catrina, the Aztec goddess of death who protects the departed and assists them into the afterlife.

Open Studios on the Art Trail

November 4th promises a double dose of fun and excitement this year.  While the Dia de los Muertos celebration will take over the town that evening, day-trippers won’t be at a loss for something to do. Every year on the first Saturday in November (this year, the 4th), the Anderson County Arts Council invites people behind the scenes to see working artists perform their magic.

“This is the only day of the year that we open the doors to our studios and invite the public in to see just what it is that we do,” says Karine Maynard, who founded the Art Trail in 2009. This year two artists will open studios to the public, and their disparate talents prove just what a creative community Lawrenceburg is.

Karine and her artist husband Matt will throw open the doors to their 6,000-square-foot studio on Fox Creek Road.  As artists/blacksmiths, they specialize in large architectural ironwork projects.

“What visitors will see this year is Matt, me and our other artists working on a public art piece for America in Bloom, which  upon completion, will be installed in the Anderson County Park,” she says. Actually, the invitation is two-fold, says Karine.  Visitors can see the sculpture – made up of large bells – in progress, and then are invited to see the bells’ installation in the park.

The Maynards will offer live music, food, and demos from their on-site blacksmith staff.  What they won’t offer is the opportunity to purchase anything. “Because our art is architectural and large in scope, we won’t have any pieces for sale,” says Karine.

Don’t worry.  Her Fox Creek Road neighbor and fellow artist, Marianne Brown of Marianne Brown Pottery, will, and it will be discounted to boot.

“I will have the rooms open with both my firsts (pottery with no flaws) and seconds  (items with a minor crack or blemish)”, says Brown, who will offer 20 percent off firsts and 80 percent off seconds. “I’ll have on sale a full range of items from teacups to large platters, and everything in between,” she says. For those unfamiliar with her, Brown works in clay, specializing in hand thrown functional stoneware with unique textured designs stamped on each piece.

When asked why the Anderson County Art Trail has continued to be so successful, Maynard responds, “I think it’s because people are intrigued with places they can’t get into at any other time.”

The Art Trail is open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and will be free of charge.