The paintings of Frankfort artist Devan Ryan Carpenter are featured in an exhibit at First United Methodist Church through the end of November.
Carpenter grew up in Delaware and met her husband at a small Bible college in Ohio. They moved to Georgetown where Carpenter started her own private piano and vocal studio. In the summer of 2019, they moved to Franklin County.
During the move, their realtor Melinda Nunley, a member of FUMC’s Fine Arts Committee, saw Carpenter’s artwork and invited her to do a show at the church.
“This is my first introduction to Frankfort as an artist,” Carpenter said. In the basement studio of their new home, Carpenter works in sketches, pastels, acrylics and oils. Carpenter loves “the use of unconventional, fantastic colors.”
These can be seen in “Magenta Storm,” a painting on display at the exhibit. A gold sky and magenta clouds hover above a shimmery silver road with a horizon of blue trees.
“One reason I got into art is I had been in a very dark place back in 2009 and it helped me find the joy again,” Carpenter said. “It may be one reason why I’m drawn to so much color. It just kind of counteracts that.”
Carpenter shared that self-expression is a way to connect with people with whom she normally would not have conversations. “It’s a gateway to learn about different people and kind of engage on an emotional level with people.”
Carpenter’s husband is a UPS driver and has taken photographs of rural Kentucky on his route. She sometimes turns those photos into paintings.
“What I hope people see when they view my art is wherever they’re at in that moment of their life when they view that art, I hope it speaks to them in some way and lets them know that there’s much beauty and so many possibilities in this world,” she said.
“The world is full of harsh realities, and I just want to give people an opportunity to just kind of step away from that and just immerse themselves in a beautiful moment. I think we all need it.”
Carpenter recently came across a photo album and journal writings from her late grandmother Barbara. She is creating a new series of paintings based on those materials, which will be exhibited at the Scott County Public Library.
“I had never seen her like that before,” Carpenter said of her grandmother. “I saw her when she was my age. It kind of helped me deal with her passing.”
Carpenter’s next step is to get her art seen by more people.
“My ultimate dream is to one day own my own gallery here in Frankfort where it can be a place for other up-and-coming artists to display their works, and also that the community can be engaged on an artistic level,” she said.
Looking up at one of her colorful landscape paintings called “The Sky is the Limit,” she said, “If I was going to create a world, this is what it would look like.”
For more information on Carpenter’s work, visit dcarpenter.artspan.com/.