We love everything about southern homes at #Black Southern Belle. So many people think of the traditional architecture and furniture pieces of a southern home but we love the details even more. One detail every Black Southern Belle lives for is a great pillow. We can never have enough, from the bedroom the living room and even our office, if there is room, we will find a place to put a pillow.
Today we are featuring Arcadia Park Designs which specializes in the timeless artistry of fine art photographer/artist Katherine Henry, where every pillow captures the essence of Katherine’s creative spirit and southern roots. This Kentucky bred artisan shared with us some of her favorite pieces from her collection as well as some tidbits from her southern upbringing. We not only love the style and quality of her pillows but her story. We all have this beautiful story of southern family and friends that sticks with us no matter where we go and no matter what season we are in. Take a moment to read through Katherine’s story of her southern family. It is a great way to start off your Thanksgiving weekend.
My family is from Kentucky ( since right after the revolution!) and nearly EVERYONE still lives in the south . While my father moved me to Chicago when I was a small child, I spent most of my childhood summers on a farm in KY, riding horses and learning how the things on our table come from the land.
I think that a lot of people make assumptions about the south and that living in a southern city must be a slow moving kind of life – My move to Chattanooga in 2000 was to run internationally renowned sculptor, John Henry’s studio.(The last name is no coincidence, he is my father). – www.johnhenrysculptor.comHe had relocated to Chattanooga to be centrally located in a city where there is easy access to airports and goods, but without giving up a quality of life that is reasonable and sane. I had been living in Santa Fe NM and working in arts administration in Miami, NY and NM for many years … it was a natural fit to move in to the “family business”. While living in Chattanooga I was also given the opportunity to teach sculpture and photography at Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts – one of the top magnet schools for the arts in the country. Chattanooga is a very sophisticated little city in the heart of the south – between Atlanta and Nashville, two of the largest and fast growing urban areas in the US
Living in Vermont I am frequently asked where I am from – I guess it is obvious I’m not from here and I think there is something about a girl from the south… no matter how many years away. And when I am really really excited ( or absolutely furious), I even have a southern accent! My mother and I laugh about “the code” there are just some things you don’t do or say… I have no idea where one gets these ideas, they must be conferred at birth by maternal grandparents. The last time I said “yes ma’am” to my aunt – I was well into my 40’s … I just can’t imagine not according that kind of respect to someone who has lived a large segment of their years before I could even talk. I think that southern women have a sense of style and move with an apparent ease in the world – to note a famous if fictitious southern belle, our dress may be made from curtains, but only we know for sure! There is a great power in knowing where you come from and that is a foundation of incredible strength.
My grandfather was a builder and built the house my father was raised in and, in fact, he built most of the neighborhood … It was called Arcadia Park and that is where the name for my company comes from. The streets were lined with beautiful trees, oaks and maples and there was a magnificent sycamore in the yard – it is still there….
No matter that I live and work in Vermont, that piece of the south resides in my soul, in my work and in my work ethic. I come from hard working people who knew how to accomplish great things – and did – and still do! I find that there are certain things I remember from my Grandparent’s home that have definitely become a part of my chosen aesthetic. I remember the gleam of light on polished wood and across beautiful carpets. Subtle patterns on textiles and the natural and gracious flow of things made to last, made to hand down for generations. An emphasis on quality, lasting style and elegance without pretension, a sense of timelessness. A lot of who I am, who I have chosen to become and who I hope to always be, comes from my southern roots and a great deal of the design style that I have developed comes from that old Kentucky home.I am starting to wax nostalgic, but I am very interested in an article that is as much about where I come from as where I am going – I believe we can only build on a strong foundation – and mine is deeply rooted in my southern family.