Through local murals, logo designs and other works, the art of Courtney Ballard is easily identified by those living in Elizabethtown. Ballard is a multidisciplinary artist and designer who creates her works and consults with clients in her downtown studio, Hip South. For Ballard, much of her passion for art started as a student at SJS, taking art class with her teacher, Mrs. Blair.
“The art room at that time was located in the basement of the school, and I looked forward to packing up my supplies every week and walking down to work on something interesting and messy,” Ballard said. “She definitely made an impact on me and my love for the arts.”
Originally from Louisville, Ballard moved with her parents and three sisters to Elizabethtown when she was five years old. She attended SJS from kindergarten through seventh grade. Ballard said she looks back on her time at SJS fondly and remembers the simple joys of the time, from cookies in the cafeteria to researching in the library’s encyclopedias to the fun field trips she took.
“My time at SJS was full of love, faith, and discipline,” she said. “I always felt supported and inspired as a student, encouraged to work and learn with honesty and kindness. The lessons and foundation of those years have left lasting impressions on me both personally and professionally.”
After her time at SJS, Ballard went on to graduate from Elizabethtown High School and later earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Kentucky. Before opening Hip South, Ballard worked as a graphic artist, freelancer, and teacher. She has worked with a variety of clients and partners, such as Elizabethtown Tourism and Convention Bureau, Running Soles, The State Theater and more.
Since her time attending SJS, Ballard has returned to the school on multiple occasions, both because her two sons attended the school and because she served as an art teacher.
Ballard said throughout her life, her Catholic education has always served her well.
“It created a strong foundation of hard work, compassion, faith, and integrity that I’ve had the pleasure of carrying with me throughout my life,” she said. “I cherish the values of living a life through service to others and loving all people with respect and compassion.”