Original Santa sculpture by Lindy Evans
The Kentucky Artisan Center celebrates the holidays with a wide array of arts’ events and music. Come watch artists demonstrate, meet Kentucky authors, listen to artists perform Christmas music, and enjoy your holiday shopping. At the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea you can find special gifts by over 750 Kentucky artists!
Lindy Evans of Berea will sculpt Santas from polymer clay in her demonstration on Dec. 2 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Center.
Evans creates one-of-a-kind, limited edition Santas and dolls developed from studies of real people. She sculpts the faces from polymer clay, paints the features, and uses vintage fabrics to sew the clothing she designs.
There will also be live music and a book signing on Dec. 2. Musician Gary Bertram, of Georgetown, will sing and perform holiday favorites on the guitar from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Center.
Jim Shields of Lexington will also sign copies of his children’s book “Starbird’s Special Gift” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day at the Kentucky Artisan Center. Shields’ story is about a young boy who cares for a bird that he finds struggling in the snow. The story offers readers numerous life lessons with illustrations that bring the story to life for all ages.
Kathy Conroy of Pleasureville will demonstrate her intricate scratchboard techniques on Dec. 9 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Center. Conroy creates realistic images from her drawings and photographs on scratchboard. Scratchboard is a form of direct engraving where the artist starts with a Masonite panel coated with white clay. This clay layer is covered with a thin layer of black India ink leaving the artist a solid black panel as a starting point. Lines are then cut or scratched through the ink to the clay surface and color is added with a brush onto the exposed clay areas.
Photographer, geographer, and writer David Zurick of Berea will also be at the Kentucky Artisan Center on Dec. 9. He will sign copies of his new book, “Morning Coffee at the Goldfish Pond” as well as his book “Southern Crossings” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Zurick, winner of the 2006 National Outdoor Book Award, recounts an event in his life that seems exceedingly uncomplicated: he builds a goldfish pond in his backyard yet there is more to a goldfish pond than meets the eye. Zurick's compelling story travels the world, encompassing places of extraordinary beauty and rich cultural traditions. “Southern Crossings” is a photographic journey to places and people of the southern United States.
Live music on Dec. 9 will be performed by the trio Na Skylark made up of Lorinda Jones on Celtic harp, Cathy Wilde on Irish Uilleann Pipes, and Janelle Canerday on fiddle. They will perform holiday favorites and selections from their new CD “Old Ceol” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Three members of the Berea Welcome Center Carvers will demonstrate a variety of woodcarving styles and techniques on Dec. 16 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Center.
Lexington musician Jan Hill will also play a selection of holiday music on her harp on Dec. 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Center.
Born in Nebraska and raised in Oklahoma, Hill dreamed of playing the harp after hearing it played when she was a child. Hill purchased a harp, taught herself to play, and then took harp classes in Singapore and the U.S. Hill will be playing a selection of holiday favorites from her CD “Christmas Harp Carols from the Hills” available at the Center.
Artists Donna & Donnie Smith will demonstrate their painted gourds and ornaments on Dec. 23 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Center.
When Donnie and Donna Smith planted gourds by their back porch, their journey as craftspeople began. First, a design is drawn on the gourd with pencil and then the design is burnt into the gourd surface with a wood burning tool. After that, they paint the designs with watercolors, inks, dyes, and water-based stains with each gourd being sealed with a clear acrylic.
The trio Raison D’Etre will be performing holiday music with clean harmonies accompanied with guitars, drums, mandolin, and keyboards on Dec 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Center.
The Kentucky Artisan Center will be closed Christmas Day.
Carl Von Fischer of Mount Vernon will demonstrate his oil painting techniques on Dec. 30 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Center.
Von Fischer attended the Central Art Academy, studying commercial art and graduated with top honors. He then worked for advertising agencies in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Denver, and Greenville before moving out west to Missoula, MT where in the open spaces of the west, he began to teach himself to paint. In 2003, Von Fischer moved to Kentucky to be near his son and grandchildren where he now paints full-time. Von Fischer paints rural landscapes and animals.
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is located at 200 Artisan Way, just off Interstate 75 at Berea Exit 77. The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are open daily, year-round, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the cafe is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information about center events call 859-985-5448, go to the center’s website, or visit the center’s Facebook page.
Photos, top clockwise: The musical trio Na Skylark; Painted and carved gourd by Donna & Donnie Smith; Scratchboard art "Owl in Flight" by Kathy Conroy; Author David Zurick shooting photographs on site in Rajasthan