Betsy Baltzer Wins First Place in Fine Art at MAGI show

It was great news to hear that Betsy Baltzer won first place overall for Fine Art at last week’s show at the Morehead Art Guild’s annual art competition.  The painting – “It’s Good To Be Queen” won Baltzer the title.  Betsy is an artist living in Maysville, KY, and one of the founding members of the Ohio River Valley Artist Guild.


Congratulations Betsy!

I heard that a few other guild members took home awards.  I don’t know the details, but the comittee that sends the guild’s press releases to the paper should find out and let the whole community know.   We are very proud of them.

Thursday October 29

First, thanks everyone who participated in the Big Read Art show. There was a good turnout, and everyone seemed impressed with all of the talent in our community.

I have to leave town Wednesday, and will not be able to moderate our monthly critique on our normal date and time, so let’s reschedule for Thursday, October 27 at 6pm.

This will also be a good opportunity to have the building open to the public so that anyone who missed the reception can still see the art show. Can someone let the teachers and students know that the building will be open until 7pmon thursday.

Betsy Baltzer has offered to be in the building for the Kentucky Arts Council Arts District Group’s visit and until critique. (1-6pm) If anyone else can be there, it would make it easier on her.

If you have not been to one of our critiques, Thursday will be a good time to start. Once a month, our local artists meet up to share and talk about their latest work. You don’t have to bring anything to enjoy the conversation. As an artist, I have found these meet ups a good opportunity to get advice on new work.

Please use the blog to leave a comment or ask a question about Thursday.

Show Setup

As you know, all the entries are at the guild for our Edgar Allan Poe exhibit. Monday from 6-9, many people are going to visit our building for the first time. We need to make the best impression possible. It will be a good opportunity to show the community what kind of space they can expect to see when we move downtown to the Cox building.

If you have any work that you would like to display, please bring it Friday afternoon. Our art building should be filled with our artwork.

Later the next week, members of the Kentucky Arts Council, city of Maysville, Berea, and Horse Cave are going to visit our building. The KAC is one of our largest sources of funding. We need to look as good as possible and there are many ways you can help. BRING SOME ARTWORK TO DISPLAY, help with the lighting, straightening up/decorating, etc.

Sorry for the short notice. I will be at the guild tomorrow (Friday) somewhere between 1:30 and 2. If you can help, it will be appreciated. If you want to meet for lunch before , I will be at Margie’s Southern Café on Market street Friday at noon.

Display At Library Window

Vicki And Claudia

Claudia, Toby, Vicki and I setup the display at the Maysville public library.  This year, we thought that instead of highlighting individual member’s artwork, we would highlight our service to the community.

The display showcases some of the artwork and photos from art camp.  Along with two slideshows with pictures of camp, and our other activities.  In between pictures, the slideshow has announcements for our upcoming events like our auction.

The display also has information about how to join the guild, and an announcement for the Edgar Allan Poe Art Contest.

I think that if we show the community what we are bringing to it, they will be more likely to support us in the future (like at our shows and auction).

Rosemary Clooney Festival

Ken and I were talking about how many artists will be setting up at the Convention Center and realized we have no idea. For sure Ken, Dana, and myself will be there. I believe Char Howington and Betsy Baltzer will also have work there.If the room is mostly empty it will not be a good thing for us. Also, if we do not plan a way to get some foot traffic in there we may all be disappointed.  I know the city is buying some advertising on WLW talk radio. I really do not believe that will bring a lot of art lovers into our town, but I may be wrong.

The Big Read

the Kenucky Gateway Museum Center is sponsoring “The Big Read” a program focused on involving the community with literacy. They want to involve the visual arts. This year, they are reading works by Edgar Allen Poe. I suggested they have an art contest. Instead of offering 2 or 3 big prizes, they should offer many small prizes. That way, everyone who participates wins something, and people are more likely to participate. Since we have great lighting and a good hanging system, we can have the show/award ceremony at the guild building. This is a good way for the visual arts to participate in their community. It would also bring the community to our building, so they can see what a great facility we have. Let’s talk about it

Opportunity To Help Downtown Maysville’s Cultural Arts District

I wanted to share this letter from The Downtown Cultural Arts District Association:

Dear Cultural Arts supporter,

Thank you again for participating in one, or both of our public forums. This email is to update you on our progress so far.

Since the May 13th meeting with Robert McBride, we have been busy working on our Action Plan (to be presented in Covington June 25th) for the creation of a Maysville Cultural Arts District. We also met in Horse Cave on May 15th for a presentation by our counterpart committee, and a meeting with the Kentucky Arts Council. We will meet in Berea July 10th for their presentation. Our presentation will be in October.

The MISSION of the Maysville Cultural Arts District is to create, promote, enliven, and sustain a community awareness of the cultural arts, with opportunities for all.

VISION: Create a Maysville Cultural Arts District encompassing the geographical area from the Ohio River to the North, to Fourth Street to the South, to Limestone Creek to the East, and to Wall Street to the West;  while being mindful of the importance of the regional partnerships and opportunities for our success.

STRATEGIC GOALS:  Attract artists and cultural activities.  Preserve historic buildings and local history.  Promote new regional and local partnerships.

**We need your help**

In order for us to put the strategic plan in to action, we need to know our STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES and THREATS. Please help us by answering the following questions. Your input is invaluable. We cannot put together a comprehensive plan without your thoughts and ideas.

  • What do you feel are the three most significant strengths of our district?
  • What do you see as out three biggest weaknesses?
  • What do you feel are our greatest opportunities, both now and in the next five years?
  • What do you feel poses the greatest threats to the accomplishments of our set goals?

Let’s make sure the visual artists continue to be well represented in downtown Maysville’s development. Email your answers to Mike’s 4 questions by June 18th to

I will share my reply on this blog…once I get my thoughts together, and I encourage everyone else to do the same.

A few reminders

Sorry I’m late with a few reminders.

We are meeting today, June 1st for the final meeting before art camp at 5pm the guild building. If you have not already volunteered to help, it’s not too late, this is going to be a lot of fun, and the more artists that participate, the richer experience we will be able to give the children. Come to the meeting!

Tomorrow, The Maysville Cultural Arts District Association is having an accessibility lecture/breakfast/workshop on June 2nd at 8am at the Museum Center. As visual artists, we have been well represented at these meetings…there are a lot of exciting plans for the arts downtown, and I think we should continue to be a part of these plans…try to make it.

The Cynthiana Arts Council is having an art walk July 24, and 25th. There is more information available at their website:

If anyone is interested…it might be a good show. They have a nice website. Maybe the guild would be interested in setting up as a group to promote our region/activities.

Happy Hour For Humanity is having an auction to benefit the UK children’s hospital. Artists can chose to spit the auction proceeds 50%-50% with the hospital or donate all proceeds to the hospital. This could be a good opportunity to get your artwork in front of a new audience…and make a little money. The time frame is short, but if you want to participate, contact:

Nathan Zamarron


Jacob Werline has opened a new antique store/gallery downtown on second street next to the Downtown Market Deli. He has offered space to any guild members. It looks like a good opportunity for our local artists to have their work represented in downtown Maysville. I would like to see him succeed with local artists, and I am going to take him some work today. Potters, he has shelves.

Here is his contact information:


Finally, KET came to the museum center and filmed Marjorie’s exhibit for their program, “Kentucky Life”. They are planning to visit her home and do an interview. Doug Hendrickson has graciously given us the use of one of his windows on second street, where we have put a nice display of Marjorie’s work. It makes me smile everytime I walk by…it’s great what a difference art can make to our neighborhood. Now that Marjorie’s exhibit is down, we need to change our website’s homepage. If someone can give me an article with photos, I will put it up!

Joseph Wood Reading In Carlisle

Sorry for the short notice, but Joseph Wood, Artcroft’s current resident is going to do a reading of his work at Ed’s Carlisle Cafe Wednesday at 6pm.  Artists and writers are invited to bring their work to share after Mr. Wood’s reading, and then stay for dinner.  Dinner will be made especially for this event, so please rsvp  Call Jim Lally for more informaiton 606.407.1457.

I think this is a special opportunity, so I am planning to skip critique this Wednesday, and I am going to attend after the art camp meeting.  Anyone interested is welcome to ride along with me.

I am willing to reschedule critique if there is need/interest.  Let me know,

Ken Swinson