Photo Thomas L. Freese

Thoma L. Freese

Artist Statement

I am mostly a self-taught artist. I work often in wood, deer bone, stone, shell and antler. I use both purchased materials and found or re-purposed materials. Some of the wood and other materials I use are local to Louisville or northern Kentucky and Southern Indiana. My designs are sometimes Celtic, which is my heritage, and also Southwest, as I lived 12 years in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I usually prefer natural wood crafts with sometimes wood burned designs.


I have worked since 1993 as a teaching artist–visiting schools around Kentucky and beyond, teaching a wide variety of art projects.

I’m a storyteller with over two dozen educational and entertaining programs. I play guitar, harmonica and other instruments and often include stories from diverse cultures. Some programs include my telling stories in English combined with Spanish. I’ve been hired to tell stories as far away as Alaska and Argentina. My dream is to add more countries where I can visit, perform and teach.

I choose stories that intrigue; that teach life lessons; that stimulate participation and dialogue. I tell both my own tales and the stories shared by others.

I’m also an author of several books. I love to write and I want to write more. I need to join Author’s Anonymous I guess, because after 10 books and 160 articles, I still want to create more stories and more books. Many of my books provide true narratives of people’s encounters with ghosts, spirits or angels. I’m an adopted Kentuckian at a quarter century and I find this a land of amazing beauty, wonderful people and great stories. Perhaps you have stories to share with me? I’m always looking for new collaborators – artists who can illustrate books, and cover designs, as well as story contributions on varying themes for future books.

I’m descended from a family of artists including: my mom, siblings and my son. Art is in my blood and is my therapy and I love to craft something of beauty. I am so honored when someone buys my wood crafts to take home and wear or use.

More About the Many Talents of Thomas

Thomas Freese is a storyteller and author who performs over a dozen entertaining and educational programs for both children and adults. He tells stories in schools, after school programs, libraries,community centers, private and company parties, church and other groups. His storytelling programs include Origami Tales, World Folk Stories, Fairy Tales, Ghost Stories, Pioneer Tales, Silly Stories and Songs, Tales of the Desert Southwest, Hispanic Stories, Jack Tales, Star Stories, and Native American Tales. Thomas Freese brings musical talents to his story telling performances. He plays guitar, harmonica, and other instruments.

Thomas has published five amazing books of ghost stories. He writes both nonfiction and fiction books. In addition he has written for over ten years for Lexington’s Chevy Chaser and Southsider Magazines with over 120 articles. His published works include: Shaker Ghost Stories from Pleasant Hill, Kentucky; Fog Swirler and 11 Other Ghost Stories; Strange and Wonderful Things: A Collection of Ghost Stories with Special Appearances by Witches and Other Bizarre Creatures; Haunted Battlefields of the South; Ghosts, Spirits and Angels: True Tales from Kentucky and Beyond; and more, some of which are no longer in print.

Thomas Freese also is a visual artist in multiple media. He studied art at McNay Art Institute, The Southwest Craft Center, The University of New Mexico and The University of Louisville. Thomas created a line of wooden, folk art jewelry which includes Southwest and Celtic designs in pins and earrings. He taught as an Artist-in-Residence for many years through the Kentucky Art’s Council’s Arts Education program. Thomas is available to work with school and other groups, any age.

Art Therapist
Thomas Freese has a BA in Psychology, a Master’s Degree in Expressive Therapies. His professional licensing and credentials include Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) and Registered Art Therapist, Board Certified (ATR-BC). As a Psychologist, Thomas has experience as a counselor in both clinical and school settings.

Thomas Freese has worked in Kentucky schools since 1993 teaching visual arts and crafts, literary arts and storytelling. He has worked through numerous programs including Poetry Out Loud, Kentucky Arts Council’s Arts in Education and Performing Arts Directory. He teaches a variety of visual arts including origami, folk art, retablos, paper engineering, tessellations, rubber stamp carving, wooden jewelry and more.

Thomas would love to perform or teach at your text event. You will love the wisdom, energy and life experience he brings to your program. To bring Thomas and all his talent to your next program, please contact him via email, and provide the details of your event, the type of talent you seek, and your contact details. He will be in touch as soon as possible. MOST events require at least a two-week notice, although if his current schedule permits, he may be able to accommodate shorter notice. ASK!