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National magazine to feature folk artist

Eileen JoyceTwo scarecrows made by artist Katie Kelly-O'Hara stand in the Madelyn Helling Library in Nevada City.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

If the two scarecrows in front of the Madelyn Helling Library look familiar, you might have seen photos of their “siblings” in last month’s Sunset Magazine.

The seasonal creations are the work of Katie O’Hara-Kelly from her four-year-old Goodyear’s Bar-based business, Garden Folk.

“I always liked scarecrows and decided to make my own,” said O’Hara-Kelly.



To carry on “the time-honored folk art tradition of scarecrows,” O’Hara-Kelly said she hired “ten ladies to make them in their homes.”

Each scarecrow is a one-of-a-kind creation made of recycled clothing on a three-part wooden support that collapses to four feet in length, she said.




O’Hara-Kelly used to sell the scarecrows at Mountain Harvest Crafts, a crafters’ co-op in Downieville, as well as stores in Auburn.

“I used to try to take them all over the place,” O’Hara-Kelly said about selling the folk characters. “I sent them to catalogues but got no response.” When she sent some to Sunset Magazine, they responded in two weeks, she said.

“I love folk art,” said O’Hara-Kelly, who also teaches art to children. “I love the neat homemadeness of scarecrows.”

Garden Folk made about 300 to 350 scarecrows in the last four years, but the pace picked up after the Sunset Magazine article.

“There are 45 sitting there ready to go,” O’Hara-Kelly said about orders she’s received through her Web site, http://www.gardenfolk.com.


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