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  • Giselle Smith

Love Local Makers

Whether visiting a coffee shop or taking the kids out for gelato, you’re sure to come across a variety of amazing art across establishments and in homes throughout Elizabethtown. Our bustling town is the perfect place for artists of all kinds to set up shop whether painters, sketch artists, graphic designers, or textiles—Hardin County has no shortage of local talent in the art department. There are too many to list, but flip through the coming pages to learn about some of our favorite local makers.

Susan Bunch was born and raised in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Williamsburg, Kentucky. The daughter of parents who loved the outdoors, she grew up knowing a love and respect for art in nature. In many of her works of art, she has captured the aesthetic value in many different types of media, including oil paints, acrylic, watercolor, ink, and more. The legacy of her expertise as an artist is apparent in her paintings and her consideration of detail and color.

Susan spent ten years in Charleston, South Carlona where she sold her original artwork at the Market Hall in Charleston. She could not have imagined that her clients one day would include Tommy Hilfiger. Susan is an award winning artist! She started entering art contests more than twenty years ago. She has displayed and sold her artwork at the AmericasMart in Atlanta, Georgia for several years.

“Hello! I’m Courtney Ballard, a multidisciplinary artist and designer. With a formal background in Fine Arts, I worked as a graphic artist, freelancer, and teacher until pursuing a solo studio practice. Heavily inspired by color, pattern, shape, and texture, I’m constantly exploring new ideas and processes. My work presents a balance of playfulness and precision, quirky and classic, using paint and digital mediums as modes of creativity to ignite curiosity and spark joy.

While graphic art is my first love, I’ve illustrated and designed on all scales, from small commission work to expansive large-scale murals, collaborating with partners near and far. I often find that my work shares a common space in both the design and art worlds, allowing my process to be simultaneously strategic and organic in nature.

I’m the owner of Hip South, my studio space in downtown Elizabethtown, where I work, meet with clients, and welcome my community.”—Courtney Ballard

“I love anything that allows me to express my creativity. Painting, writing, and cross-stitching are my favorite mediums. I am the Director of Development at United Way of Central Kentucky where I work hard to help raise funds for twenty different non-profits within a five-county region.

I am a published author of two books called“The 60 Day Journey” and “This Haunted Girl”. I have proudly written for Elizabethtown Lifestyle Magazine many times. For five years, I owned and managed an exotic pet and farm animal rescue called “The Other Pets Animal Rescue” located in Germany and Kentucky. I have traveled to eleven countries, lived in Germany, Texas, Virginia, and Northern California. I was a ballet and tap dancer for almost 20 years and even danced in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. In my spare time, I enjoy reading tarot cards and teaching meditation and breathwork classes. I also give great hugs.” —Andrea Hill

Richard McLaughlin, a multifaceted creative force in Elizabethtown, embodies the essence of artistic versatility. A writer, poet, potter, ceramic sculptor, musician, educator, and artist, his diverse talents converge to create a tapestry of expression that resonates with depth and warmth. McLaughlin’s artistic journey is marked by a profound dedication to his craft and a relentless pursuit of self- expression. His works, whether penned on paper, shaped from clay, or composed in melodies, reflect a rich tapestry of experiences and emotions. With each stroke of his pen or sculptor’s tool, McLaughlin weaves intricate narratives and evokes powerful emotions that linger in the hearts and minds of his audience. Dozens of his captivating pieces adorn the walls of Vibe Coffee Shop, inviting patrons to immerse themselves in the soul-stirring beauty of McLaughlin’s artistic vision.

“I’m Alex, owner of Daughter Handwovens. I am a self-taught weaver, though I’ve learned much from other weavers along the way and have been weaving for nearly ten years. By weaving, I get to both create beauty and think critically with every throw of the shuttle. I am constantly making mistakes and doing things my own way, but seeing the finished fabric is always worth it.

I started this business as a way to reach women with messages of strength and beauty. The main inspiration for Daughter—both in name and mission- is Proverbs 31, which speaks of a woman who fears the Lord. A woman who, “dresses herself with strength” and, “the teaching of kindness is on her tongue,” and who, very fittingly, “makes linen garments and sells them.” This is a woman I admire, and as a Daughter of the King, it is who he is making me into day-by-day.”


Michelle Piscatello’s artistry melds an engineer’s precision with an artist’s sensibility, specializing in nature drawing, macro photography, and designing both pressed and dried florals. Her inspiration will never run dry as it springs from the intricate beauty of nature. She’s particularly noted for her attention to detail and a refined eye for design. Michelle is currently channeling her talents into a fresh series of colored pencil drawings, focusing on the rich textures and hues of vegetables. Beyond creating, she shares her passion by teaching private art classes to people of all ages.

You can see and purchase her drawings at The Dreamery in downtown.

Suge Buterbaugh is a Kentucky native, hailing from Harrodsburg, Kentucky, and is now residing in Rineyville. She is a small, but up-and-coming oil painter who has completed several commissions and a mural at ‘Out on the Vine’ in Elizabethtown. Suge’s artistry is focused on the beauty of nature and wildlife, but also ranges to the everyday items that we find beautiful. You can find Suge’s artwork on Instagram,TikTok and Pinterest, with her username being Suge_Artworks for all platforms.

You can find prints and original paintings for purchase at

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