Arts Council
Kentucky Arts Council Recognizes Earth Friendly Artists for Earth Day Kentucky

Press Release Date:  Friday, April 20, 2007  
Contact Information:  Ed Lawrence
Public Information Officer
502-564-3757 ext. 473

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Arts Council gives special recognition to eight earth friendly artists from Kentucky.  Earth friendly artists are artists who use recycled materials, natural materials or industrial waste materials in their creation of art products. Earth friendly artists also can be conceptual artists who challenge their audiences to think about the sustainability of the earth.

“We have many artists who are involved in our programs who could be considered earth friendly artists, “ says Arts Council Executive Director Lori Meadows.  “This is a small sampling of the Kentucky artists who should be recognized for their artistic excellence and environmental awareness.”

The eight artists who will be featured on the Environment and Public Protection Cabinet’s Earth Day Kentucky website ( ) are Lanette Freitag, Sharpsburg; Albertus Gorman, Louisville; Ronnie Jaggers, Bowling Green;  Michael McCardwell, Shelbyville;  Susan Morris, Bowling Green; Virginia Petty, Berea and Robin and Mary Reed, Irvine.


NOTE TO EDITORS:  Short profiles and contact e-mail addresses of each artist are available below. High resolution, print quality photos of work by the artists can be requested from Ed Lawrence at


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The Kentucky Arts Council is a state agency in the Commerce Cabinet that creates opportunities for Kentuckians through the arts. Every $1 in grant funds awarded by the Kentucky Arts Council helps grantees secure $15 in earned income and matching funds from individuals, philanthropic sources and other levels of government. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.



Lanette Freitag, Sharpsburg


Lanette Freitag does wearable art as well as rugs and wall hangings.  “I think people should know that we drill for petroleum to make polyester,” says Freitag  “and that we throw away wool and bury much of the wool produced in the US.  That seems strange to me.” 



Albertus Gorman, Louisville


Al Gorman has been watching the Falls of the Ohio since 2003 and collecting debris to create sculptures from the manmade and natural debris.  He is currently showing at Galerie Hertz in a special exhibit to honor Earth Day.  Some of his sculptures are left at the river to see what may happen to them.  All the creations are river connected and exemplify a process beyond “mere recycling.”  He hopes his project underscores that we will need everyone’s creativity to help the many challenges ahead of us.



Ronnie Jaggers, Bowling Green


Ronnie Jaggers is a sculpture artist who always uses as many discarded objects as she can find.  Her studio business, Chiseled Features, mainly creates piñatas and float people, which are constructed of used newspapers and wood and metal structural materials she picks up before the garbage men and their trucks make their rounds.



Michael McCardwell, Shelbyville


Michael McCardwell creates weavings from junk mail he receives, mostly political ads.  He wishes that he had a great environmental statement but admits that he creates the pieces just because so many political ads are delivered to his house and the paper quality is great.  He is amused at how the colors seem to be limited to blue and white. He likes the idea of taking common items and making them into new items where there is a link between the common things we often ignore and a new item, which forces us to look at the material.



Susan Morris, Bowling Green


Susan Morris coordinates children’s activities tent for the annual Bowling Green International Festival.  For the past several years she has received scrap materials from a local diaper factory, film canisters from a photography company and has collected other treasures from trash.  She enlists friends and local churches to collect milk jugs and potato chip canisters for craft projects.



Virginia Petty, Berea


Gin Petty’s talents are put to many uses, but most recently she has focused on paper making and book making.  She creates papers from a wide variety of native plants harvested throughout the central Kentucky region.  She is the author of the book, “A Papermaker’s Season,” a limited edition, hand bound book describing her experiments and adventures with plants and papermaking.  In celebration of  Earth Day, the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea will feature her demonstrating papermaking.



Robin and Mary Reed, Irvine


Mary and Robin Reed craft baskets and decorative accessories from tree bark.  Because stripping a tree of bark will kill it, they do not harvest bark from their forest unless they have a building project in mind that would require lumber.  They follow local logging operations and harvest the bark from trees that have been cut; therefore recycling a waste product of the timber industry.  They also create dolls and flowers from cornhusks. Cornhusks are a by-product of the corn plant that is usually discarded or burned after the harvest of the corn ear.


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Photo of Styro-buffalo by Albertus Gorman

"Feral Cat" by Albertus Gorman.  Click on photo for downloadable, print quality image.