Image: "Daphne" lampworked glass by Steve Scherer
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea celebrates the Center’s 15th Anniversary in 2018. This exhibit, "Show & Tell" recognizes 39 artists from all across the state who over the years have shared their talents by giving demonstrations at the Center and bringing the creative process to life for visitors.
Artist demonstrations are central to the Kentucky Artisan Center and take place every Saturday throughout the year. Demonstrating artists talk with travelers and show the processes and techniques that they use to create their individual works. From jewelry to painting to woodturning and more, demonstrating artists give visitors a glimpse into their creative cauldrons.
The exhibit, which runs through August 31, brings together new works, biographies, photos and videos of these artists from over the years. From 2003 to 2008 artist demonstrations at the Center were held every Friday and Saturday and in 2009, Saturday became the demonstration day. Since 2003, the Center has offered 1,030 artist demonstrations!
All of the artists included in this exhibit have demonstrated at least eight or more times. The regional group, the Berea Welcome Center Carvers are regulars every third Saturday of each month. Three different members demonstrate each time and two members, Jack Gann, of Berea and Ron McWhorter, of Richmond, have works in this exhibit.
Artists often demonstrate one aspect of their process but also display examples of the steps used to create their works. Theresa Kibby, of Somerset, brings visual images that explain all the steps in her jewelry making and uses her die press to cut out animal shapes from anodized colorful aluminum.
Woodturner Jamie Donaldson, of Georgetown, brings his wood turning lathe to the Center and visitors love seeing him turn vessels as the wood chips fly. Donaldson states, “the hours I spend at the lathe are a communion. The fellowship of wood and steel is a spiritual experience by itself, and the yield is always more than art or kindling.”
Kristal Gilkey, of Berea, brings her potter’s wheel to the center and amazes visitors as she throws vast numbers of pottery pieces on the wheel. She even manages to transport the work back home to her studio Alley Cat Pottery.
Glass artist Steve Scherer, of Edmonton, is a popular demonstrating artist who uses his gas torch to create intricate animals, figures and birds from glass. On May 12, Scherer will be demonstrating at the Center and he often shows artisan center staff how to work the glass, as they make small animals under his supervision. The exciting process of flame and glass mesmerizes visitors. His figurative piece in the exhibit titled “Grace” was created with borosilicate glass and fumed with gold. His piece "Daphne" is a depiction of the Greek legend.
Two-dimensional artists have also demonstrated their techniques over the years, including printmaker Deborah Stratford, of Louisville, Louie Northern, Carl Von Fischer and Janice Harding Owens of Mount Vernon, and Janice Miller, of Lancaster. From formal landscapes to folk art paintings and linocut prints, artist demonstrations offer a wide array of 2-D techniques accompanied by educational handouts, free to visitors.
Participating artists include: Berea College Broomcraft; Robert Brigl, Bowling Green; Elizabeth Brown, Mt. Sterling; Sherrie Cocanougher, Parksville; Gerald Cooper, Berea; Jamie Donaldson, Georgetown; Derek Downing, Lexington; Lindy Evans, Berea; Jack Gann, Berea; Bob Gibson, Lawrenceburg; Kristal Gilkey, Berea; Donna & David Glenn, Louisville; Darlene Hellard, McKee; Joanne Hobbs, Bardstown; Theresa Kibby, Somerset; Marianna McDonald, Lexington; Ron McWhorter, Richmond; Janice Miller, Lancaster; Lonnie & Twyla Money, East Bernstadt; Janet Northern, Mt. Vernon; Louie Northern, Mt. Vernon; Janice Harding Owens, Mt. Vernon; Gin Petty, Berea; Christopher Robbins, Berea; Jeannette Rowlett, Berea; Pamela Rucker, Lancaster; Steve Scherer, Edmonton; Janet Serrenho, Lexington; Donna & Donnie Smith, Waco; Christa Smith, Elizabethtown; Shawnna Southerland, Berea; Deborah Stratford, Louisville, Carl Von Fischer, Mt. Vernon; Mike Ware, Hindman, Bill Whitt, Waco, and Elizabeth Worley, Lexington.
The Kentucky Artisan Center features works by more than 750 artisans from more than 100 counties across the Commonwealth. For more information about events call 859-985-5448, go to the center’s website or visit us on Facebook.
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 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the Artisan Cafe & Grill is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Images left to right clockwise: "Green Winged Teal Hen" and "Mallard Hen" wooden carved duck decoys by Bob Gibson; "Mercer County Farms" pastel painting by Marianna McDonald; "Southwest Spring" glass bead necklace by Sherrie Cocanougher; "Cactus Cups" by Kristal Gilkey of Alley Cat Pottery