Fiber and Textile Arts Showcased at Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea in July

During the month of July, the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea will host demonstrations and events focusing on the textile arts of felting, fabric construction, and quilting. In addition, Dr. Pearlie M. Johnson will present “Quilt Art: Examining the Narrative in Kentucky Quilts” during Berea’s city-wide Quilt Extravaganza Weekend. 

Lexington artist Cathy Vigor will demonstrate the steps of wet felting wool and creating a vessel on Saturday, July 2 at the Center. Vigor will be showing how wool can be felted with water and agitation into a strong malleable material. She will form the felted wool into vessels and offer children the chance to make a felted bead. 

On Saturday, July 9, Sue Reeves, of Richmond, will cut, stitch, line and then gather colorful fabrics into beautiful and functional jewelry keepers for travelling.  Reeves began making her jewelry keepers when she realized the need for a safe and handy travel compartment for her jewelry.

Also on July 9, the center will offer two free guided gallery tours at 11 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. These tours detail and explain the center’s two exhibits, “Great Impressions: Prints by Kentucky Artisans” and “Kentucky Clay: A Continuing Tradition.”
The Berea Welcome Center Carvers will demonstrate their skills at the center on July 16. Specializing in a variety of woodcarving techniques and subjects, three members will show visitors their carving and painting skills.

On Saturday, July 23, Richmond artist Cathie Brown will create her unique felted purses from 10:30 to 3:30 at the center. Brown creates her purses using felt and a variety of decorative techniques. The purses are then lined with colorful fabrics.

To coincide with Berea’s Quilt Extravaganza Weekend, quilter Brenda Plaster, of Lawrenceburg, will demonstrate how to utilize color, pattern and value in fabrics, to create quilt designs based on different orientations. During her July 30 demonstration Plaster will stitch together fabric blocks to illustrate the many variations possible.

“I love to use the color, pattern and value of fabric along with orientation of the quilt blocks to create new designs. Quilting offers an infinite visual variety,” said Plaster.

Also on July 30, Dr. Pearlie M. Johnson, assistant professor of Pan-African Studies and Art History at the University of Louisville, will present “Quilt Art: Examining the Narrative in Kentucky Quilts.” This talk will explore women's history, storytelling, identity politics, and empowerment. Based on her research, she will examine quilts with cross-cultural parallels in technique and assemblage, as well as revealing unique designs. 

Johnson’s presentation is made possible by the Kentucky Humanities Council’s Speakers Bureau program, and is free and open to the public. This event is being held in conjunction with Berea’s Quilt Extravaganza Weekend held city-wide July 29-30.

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is located just off Interstate 75 at Exit 77. The center’s exhibit, 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 4 p.m. Admission is free.

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea currently features works by more than 700 artisans from more than 100 counties across the Commonwealth. Special exhibits on display include “Great Impressions: Prints by Kentucky Artisans,” through Sept. 10, 2016; and in the lobby, “Kentucky Clay: A Continuing Tradition.” For more information about events call 859-985-5448, go to the center’s website or visit the center’s Facebook page.

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


Photos, left to right: Stitched Jewelry Keeper by Sue Reeves; quilt by Brenda Plaster



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