WKU alumna builds art business from the ground up

Elizabeth Rhodes is a WKU alumna and local glass artist in Bowling Green. She graduated from WKU in 1995 and began her art business the same year. Rhodes still creates many commissioned art pieces for clients, but she also teaches weekly painting and glass collage making classes at the Resurrection Shop.

Noah Moore

WKU alumna, local glass artist and entrepreneur Elizabeth Rhodes ditched conventional studies in favor of stained glass, ceramics and making a difference through art.

Rhodes moved to Bowling Green just before her senior year of high school, where she continued to take art classes. She then got accepted into Vanderbilt University, where she entered as an undeclared major. Creativity runs through her veins, but she wasn’t always so fixated on artistry as a career.

“I guess a turning point in my career was when I started at Vanderbilt and decided that I needed to be doing something with my hands,” Rhodes said. “They didn’t offer any arts classes, so I registered for an extracurricular stained glass class offered to help the medical school students have a creative outlet.”

Rhodes said it was from there she found her passion and her “happy place.” She transferred to WKU for its arts program with a major in studio art and an emphasis in graphic design. Some of her favorite classes at WKU included fiber arts and ceramics.

Rhodes graduated from WKU in 1995 and began to build her art business, Elizabeth Rhodes Studio, in Bowling Green.

As the mother of two boys, she began to find more of her passion as her sons grew more independent. She says the years she spent as a full-time mom, doing art projects with her sons and making her own art during nap times was when she truly cultivated her creativity.

Now that her boys are 14 and 17, she has found time to focus on her business. Her sellable and commissioned artwork ranges from hangable glass art to murals and handmade canvas pieces.

Rhodes has also participated in the local Gypsy Moon Art Sales at Highlands Stables and will be participating again this coming fall with various art pieces for customers to purchase. Her pieces are among the favorites of longtime customer Alison Sexton of Bowling Green.

“She is absolutely amazing,” Sexton said. “She not only designed my daughter’s playroom but I also have 13 pieces of her glass art. My most favorite is the Mother’s Day gift from my husband. It is a large horse that hangs in my breakfast area and is so gorgeous.”

Rhodes’ connection with returning clients is one of the cornerstones of her business. She offers weekly classes at The Resurrection Shop, a furniture and art store in Bowling Green, in painting and glass collage making. She also teaches private art lessons and at other local and out-of-town venues. To Rhodes, this is the thing that brings her utmost joy.

“It brings me extraordinary joy to be able to teach others how to create and make beautiful art,” she said. “Students in my classes rarely realize the depth of their talent until they are given the opportunity to be creative. Watching that come to life is the essence of fulfillment.”

For more information on Elizabeth Rhodes’ classes or commissioned artwork, call (502) 384-5194 or visit her Facebook page at Elizabeth Rhodes Studio.

Features reporter Noah Moore can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @noah_moore18.