The Kentucky Artisan Center will feature basketry during the month of March with artist demonstrations showcasing a wide variety of Easter baskets. Artists will be making baskets from tree bark, reed and vines. All demonstrations at the Center are on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
On Saturday, March 4, Robin Reed, of Irvine, will create baskets from bark from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Bark, the outermost covering of a tree, is a versatile natural material that for thousands of years has been used to make huts, houses, roofing, buckets, canoes and boats. A self-taught artisan, Reed keeps this tradition alive by creating baskets from the bark he harvests from willow and poplar trees growing along the banks of the Kentucky River and its tributaries, near his rural Estill County home.
On Saturday, March 11, Elizabeth Worley, of Lexington, will demonstrate her reed basketry techniques from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.
Worley creates contrasting color in her baskets by dying the reed with walnut hulls and incorporating old kitchen, sewing and garden utensils and tools into her baskets. Her love of antiquing has inspired this direction in her work.
Also on Saturday, March 11, the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea will offer visitors free guided gallery tours through the center’s exhibit, “Have a Seat: Chairs by Kentucky Artisans” and the lobby exhibits, “Reveal: Don Ament and Joyce Garner.”
These free, guided exhibit tours will be led by Kentucky Artisan Center staff who will talk about the exhibits, the artists and individual works. Staff will answer questions about the techniques and various processes used, and the objects featured. Tours will be given at 11 a.m. and again at 2 p.m.
On Saturday, March 18, three members of the Berea Welcome Center Carvers will demonstrate woodcarving and talk with visitors from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea. Carving that day will be Will Bondurant, Ron McWhorter and Oris Stanton.
On Saturday, March 25, Janet Northern, of Mount Vernon, will demonstrate how she creates her baskets from stripped honeysuckle vines and hickory bark from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.
Northern has been making baskets for over 20 years and utilizes the wood and natural vines that she finds and gathers in the region surrounding her Rockcastle County farm to create her baskets.
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is located just off Interstate 75 at Berea 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 9:00 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 “Have a Seat: Chairs by Kentucky Artisans,” through March 18, 2017; and in the lobby ”Reveal: Don Ament and Joyce Garner.” For more information about events call 859-985-5448, or visit the center’s website or Facebook page.
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Photo top: Baskets made from vines and hickory bark by Janet Northern
Photos bottom, left to right: Basket with garden tool by Elizabeth Worley; Chip carved wooden tiles by Will Bondurant; Bark baskets and birdhouses by Robin Reed of Irvine.