LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — The Cumberland Valley National Bank and the Laurel County Public Library co-sponsored the Cumberland Gallery Art Show this year, and Tuesday night local artists met for an open reception.
The event featured work submitted by amateur artists from Laurel, Jackson, Whitley, Clay, Knox, Rockcastle, McCreary, Pulaski and Madison counties.
Many of the artists were available to meet with the public and answered questions about where they find inspiration and why they paint.
Brandon Thorpe of London was among the artists present for the reception event.
Thorpe submitted two entries into the art show, both pieces stood out due to Thorpe’s unique and interesting art style.
“I grew up really poor,” Thorpe said. “While some kids got Play Stations, I got paper and coloring pencils and I was really happy about it.”
Thorpe said he didn’t really start taking art seriously though until he got in a little bit of trouble.
“I got in some trouble and did some time in jail,” Thorpe said. “Art became a sanctuary to me. It helped motivate me and has kept me out of trouble.”
He said his work is almost always improvised from a basic idea and used to tell a visual story.
The piece he entered into the contemporary category was inspired by a combination of writings by Charles Darwin and documentaries about evolution.
“I thought about evolution and what it would be like if you could freeze that moment when everything begins to change,” Thorpe said. “I tried my best to imagine that moment and once I had it, I wanted to take that moment and I wanted to freeze it.”
Thorpe wasn’t the only artist at the open house talking about his inspirations though. E. Pearl Anderson spoke of the farm she grew up on many years ago.