Really a multi-media artist, Freda Fairchild generally refers to herself as a printmaker. “That’s the most important part of any piece that I do,” says Freda. Whether it’s fiber art, etching, painting, encaustic or wood-work, there is pretty much always some element of print-making involved.
Freda’s work is magical with it’s subtle, almost elusive nuances dancing out from behind layers of color. Not bold and darkly whimsical (like daughter Cricket Alexander’s work) Freda’s work is more about a person’s layers of feeling. It’s like the tears you see just under a person’s smile or the insecurity under bravado.
After graduating from Berea College (Just south of Lexington, KY) with a degree in art, Freda moved to San Francisco to do her graduate work in painting. “I never really thought of myself as a painter, though,” Freda muses. “And when I was introduced to viscosity print making, I was spell-bound!” Moving from Northern California to Southern California, Freda had an opportunity to focus on her work and became a master print-maker. She worked in a variety of mediums – wood, fibers, metals, paints, inks and dyes – and developed a style very much her own.
2001 was a big year for Freda: she had her first two solo art shows and she moved to Paducah from San Diego. Freda had seen a few ads and articles about Paducah’s Artist Relocation Program over the years, but it took her sister dragging her across the country to visit. And like so many others, Freda’s weekend visit turned into a new life for her. She found a wonderful old yellow Victorian house. The owner (the lovely Mrs. Randall, for those of you that knew her), was happy to sell the big house to someone who would take care of it and the garden, so the deal was sealed and Freda now lived in LowerTown, Paducah!
Having been awarded a grant by The Kentucky Foundation for Women, Freda plans on spending the next several months working on a project that she said has been percolating in the back of her mind for years. The message of this project, like so much of Freda’s work, is about hope and growth. “It is never too late,” Freda smiles. “As long as you are alive, you can continue to grow and expand and learn and change.”
Enjoy Freda Fairchild’s enchanting artwork at Studio Miska, located at 627 Madison Street in the LowerTown Arts District. Studio Miska is open Friday and Saturday from 12:00 to 5:00 pm or by appointment. For more information, you can contact Freda at 270-442-5266 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Erica Moore