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Kentucky arts shine at Southern Legislative Conference

A special and distinctive array of Kentucky art will be showcased for sale July 10-12 at the Lexington Convention Center. 

The Kentucky Market, created by the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea and the Kentucky Arts Council as part of the Southern Legislative Conference, is a joint venture that will feature works by more than 150 Kentucky artists from across the state. 

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers, chairman of the Southern Legislative Conference, developed the idea of The Kentucky Market as a way to showcase Kentucky culture for the delegates from the conference’s 15 states.

“Bourbon and horses are great things for our state, but we want people to know that Kentucky has a lot more to offer,” Stivers said. “There are many talented artists across our Commonwealth who deserve to have their work on display before a significant audience. The Southern Legislative Conference will be a great boost for the economy of Central Kentucky, a tremendous learning experience for those in attendance and a wonderful opportunity to show more than 1,200 visitors what Kentucky has to offer. The Kentucky Market exhibit will play an important role in this process.”

Arts council and artisan center executive directors Lori Meadows and Todd Finley, respectively, are grateful for the opportunity to showcase the best in Kentucky art and craft. 

“Sen. Stivers has worked diligently to bring this conference to our beautiful Commonwealth and we are honored to co-host The Kentucky Market,” Finley said. “The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is a showcase for Kentucky’s finest artists and this event will not only highlight the talent Kentucky has to offer, but will also allow a hands-on, interactive opportunity for guests and residents.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Kentucky artists to show their work in front of fellow Kentuckians and in front of delegates from the Southern Legislative Conference’s 15 states,” Meadows said. “Our artists are ready and up to the challenge of putting on a fantastic show.”

The Kentucky Market features a curated selection of artwork and specialty items hand-crafted by artists in arts council programs and sold at the artisan center. Visitors will find art for the home and office, jewelry and other wearables, toys and dolls, pottery and kitchen items, bath products, gourmet food items, books and music by Kentucky writers and musicians, and more. 

The event will also include demonstrations by Lexington artisans, book signings and streaming video of artists creating their work during demonstrations at the artisan center. 

The Kentucky Market will be located in the convention center’s third floor lobby and will be open Sunday, July 10, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday, July 11, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Tuesday, July 12, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Artist demonstrations will be held each day from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and again from 3 to 7 p.m. Demonstrating artists are from the Lexington area, promoting Lexington’s creative artist studios. 

Demonstrators are: Bill Berryman, Winchester; Janice Harding Owens, Mount Vernon; Melissa Oesch, Rachel Savane', Stephen Wiggins and Elizabeth Worley of Lexington. Photographers Linda Doane of Louisville and Jeff Rogers of Lexington will also be signing copies of their new books.

Work by 52 artists adjudicated into the arts council’s Kentucky Crafted program will be on display and for sale. 

“We are excited to be offering a great selection of artist works at The Kentucky Market,” Finley said. “This showcase during the Southern Legislative Conference will be a taste of what can be found at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.”

The Kentucky Artisan Center is located at Exit 77, off Interstate 75, south of Lexington.

The Kentucky Market will also feature the arts council’s exhibit titled “Made to Be Played: Traditional Art of Kentucky Luthiers,” which chronicles Kentucky’s rich tradition of instrument making. The exhibit is dedicated to the memory of master luthier, craftsman, instrument inventor and musician, Homer Ledford, and it explores the important role of luthiers in Kentucky music communities. 
“Made to Be Played” will be adjacent to The Kentucky Market, and can be viewed during The Kentucky Market’s hours.

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