Surrounded by an array of gifts, a life-sized Santa and an 18-foot holiday tree decorated with handmade ornaments, First Lady Jane Beshear, along with regional artisans and dignitaries, announced Governor Steve Beshear’s proclamation of December, 2012, as “Give a Gift Made in Kentucky Month,” in a ceremony today at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.

Joining the First Lady were local gallery owners, craftspeople, and business owners, along with Tourism Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Marcheta Sparrow; Madeline Abramson; executive director of the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, Victoria Faoro; Lori Meadows, executive director of the Kentucky Arts Council; and Kerri Hensley, assistant director of Berea Tourism, to pronounce the “Give a Gift Made in Kentucky” proclamation – an investment in Kentucky and its talented and creative people. Demonstrating artists added to this festive event with Lindy Evans sculpting her Santas and Gerald Cooper carving wooden jewelry from walnut.

It was appropriate that this ceremony was held in Berea, the “Folk Arts & Crafts Capital” of Kentucky,”  where you can find a wide variety of craftsmen studios, galleries, shops and the Kentucky Artisan Center, all offering wonderful Kentucky-made choices for holiday shopping.

In Berea visitors can find Kentucky–made gifts at a wide array of shops including Appalachian Fireside Gallery; Promenade Gallery; Top Drawer Gallery; Log House Gallery; Honeysuckle Vine; Boone Tavern Gift Shop; Student Crafts on the Square; The Amish Store; I Love My Stuff;  Family Tree; Jewel Box; PhbeaD; Peace Crafts; Robie Books; Kiln Time; Lindsay Gallery; Antiques, Tools and More; Appalachian Arts & Craft;  Berea Fudge Shop; The Berea Center for the Arts; Gallery 103; Nora Swanson Arts; Home and Hearth Gallery; Music Makers; and the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea. Working artist studios include, Hot Flash Beads; Images of Santa; Gastineau Jewelry; Haley Daniels Woodworking; Weavers Bottom; Hosfeld Jewelry; Jeannette’s Jewelry; Mitchell Tolle Studio and Gallery; Jazzy Jewels; Gallery 210; The Glass Studio; Gilliam Studio & Gallery; Warren A. May; and the Olde Town Candy Kitchen and Fudge Factory.

Statewide, there are many other locations where Kentucky-made artisan works can be purchased.  Some shops and galleries carry exclusively Kentucky-made works, such as Completely Kentucky, in Frankfort; True Kentucky, in Glendale; Kentucky Haus, in Newport; Taste of Kentucky, in Louisville; Damsel Fly Gallery, in Midway; Kentucky’s Best, in Owensboro; Kentucky Appalachian Artisan Center, in Hindman; and the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea. 

Other places to find Kentucky made items are, among others, Artique, Lexington; Capital Gallery, Frankfort; Ann Tower Gallery, Lexington; Homegrown Press, Lexington; The Community Art Center, Danville; Lexington Art League, Lexington; Cross Gate Gallery, Lexington; Savane Silver, Lexington; Be Be’s Artisan Market, Paducah; and The Cozy Corner in Whitesburg. In Louisville, visit the Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft, Zephyr Gallery, Gallery Janjobe, Swanson Cralle Gallery, Edenside Gallery, Gallery Hertz and others. Or find unique items at the Museum of the American Quilters Society in Paducah; Rivers Edge Gallery in Erlanger; Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill; the Kentucky History Center Museum Store; and many of the gift shops found at Kentucky’s State Parks.

The Kentucky Unbridled Spirit Gift Card is another way to purchase Kentucky-made gifts for that hard-to-buy for person. Gift cards purchased at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea can be used at other Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet agencies such as the Kentucky Horse Park, the Kentucky Historical Society, and at all Kentucky State Parks. The card can be used for golf, dining or an overnight stay at a state park, admission to the Center for Kentucky History, a visit to the Horse Park, or to purchase works by the over 650 artisans whose works are sold at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.
Unbridled Spirit Gift Cards can be purchased at the Kentucky Artisans Center at Berea, the Kentucky Horse Park, the Kentucky Historical Society and its museum store, and at all Kentucky State Parks, or by calling 1-800-255-PARK (7275; option 5) or by going online at http://www.parks.ky.gov/gift-cards.

The Kentucky Artisan Center is located just off Interstate -75 at Berea exit 77. The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the cafe is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free.

The center currently features works by more than 650 artisans from more than 100 counties across the Commonwealth. A special exhibit titled, “The Threads that Bind: Textile Works by Kentucky Artisans,” is on display through Feb. 23, 2013. For information about the center’s programming, call 859-985-5448, visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kentucky.artisan.center, or go to the center’s website at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov.

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.



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