Gigantic sculptures at St. James Court Art Show

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — One of the largest art shows is back in Louisville this weekend.

The St. James Court Art Show returned for its 66th year in a row.

What You Need To Know

  • The St. James Court Art Show returned for its 66th year in Louisville.
  • Joe Autry, 44, is back for his third year at the show showing off his sculptures
  •  Autry works on each sculpture for weeks using trees that developers were planning to discard
  • The art show attracts 250,000 people on average every year

Joe Autry, 44, has been sculpting since he was 17 years old. He started out in bronze sculpting and for the last 15 years he has made chainsaw wood carving his full-time job.

“I really like extreme things, and, you know, carving with a chainsaw seems pretty extreme, so it’s kind of exciting. It stays exciting,” Autry said. “Every day that I’m carving is exciting.”

He said he saves trees from local developers who are going to turn the trunks to mulch, so that way he can turn the trunks into art.

“A lot of my sculptures are influenced by maybe some mythological stories or legends or different practices,” he said. “I’m also a yoga practitioner, so I’m really interested in eastern philosophies.”

The Louisville native is one of 600 artists at this year’s St. James Court Art Show. This is his third year at the show.

“I guess the most interesting one right now is this cobra over here, it’s my most recent piece,” Autry said. “It’s a nine-foot cobra that I finished a day before the event and so I enjoy that piece the most right now.”

He said it takes anywhere from weeks to months to finish a piece, and when it’s done, it’s bittersweet.

“You know, after every project that, it’s kind of like, oh, it’s over. But then, there’s always a new one that’s coming up on the horizon, just like a sunrise,” he said.

You can find his artwork around the commonwealth in parks and museums.

“Kind of a never a dull moment unless you don’t know how to sharpen your saw,” he said.

You can check out Autry’s work at the art show this weekend. The art show attracts roughly 250,000 people on average every year and admission is free.

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