My first trip to the Kentuck Festival of the Arts was a completely new experience. Everything was different: the art, the colors, the smells, the people, the art styles. I even got to listen to different music – this band named Steelism that played instrumental rock ‘n roll – but I also had a really bad sweet tea, which wasn’t even sweet.
I loved everything about Kentuck (except that sweet tea). It felt like going to camp (or at least how I imagine what it would feel like to go to camp). For a moment, I felt connected to the world around me. It also opened my eyes even more to art. I saw that there are many more ways to create art than I already knew but I had just never seen them. Everything was beautiful, and I was honestly shocked at the number of people, from senior citizens to one-year-olds!
I had come to interview Jeff and Jaky Felix, a married couple who are glass artists. After finally understanding the festival map, I found their booth. Jeff Felix was man of few words but I saw in his face the same expression as his wife’s. During the interview, I could see Jaky Felix’s eyes looking behind me very discreetly, and I believe she was admiring how some people are willing to go out to see and buy art. I did not mind that anyway because I think I would feel the same. I feel like I shared that amazement in common with Jaky Felix.
When I asked her how she felt about being an artist in today’s society, she told me, “My husband and I felt like we had to adapt, since a lot of people don’t go out to art shows anymore. We had to begin selling our art online, which was something we definitely weren’t used to.”
I asked Jeff and Jaky what advice would they give to an upcoming artist, they answered, “We would say to not lose your idea beneath all the recommendations, or what will sell. try different types of things but as you go develop a theme that gives the same feel with the rest of your art.”
I think that is amazing advice since we are often told to just try new things or to always do the recommendations we are told— in the end, we just lose the true meaning behind our own art.
The Kentuck Festival of the Arts is something special, something I know I will never forget. Though I have only known the classmates who I came with for a few months, they helped make it memorable with the lame jokes we told on our way there, or our terrible singing to the songs on the radio, or maybe just complaining of the homework we had to come home to. This memory is tattooed on my brain.
And if you want to know more about Jeff and Jaky Felix, visit their website: Joyful Imagination Glass.