Arts Council welcomes artists new to Kentucky Crafted: The Market 2015

It’s definitely crunch time. Kentucky Crafted: The Market is this weekend! Nowhere in Kentucky, let alone the nation, will you find such a convergence of high-quality art, craft, literature, music and food.

With approximately 200 artists exhibiting at Kentucky Crafted: The Market at the Lexington Convention Center, retailers have the unique opportunity to purchase items from the largest gathering of Kentucky-based artists under one roof.

alisha Among exhibitors are several who will be showing at The Market for the first time. One of those includes Georgetown resident Alisha Martin, owner of The Bad Button Bespoke Corsets, who learned the art of corsetry from studying museum pieces and through “copious amounts of trial and error.”

“Because corsetry is such a rare craft, many corsetieres are self-taught,” she says.

“Corsetry is a dying art, something that even couture fashion houses have to contract out to artists for their exclusive lines,” Martin says. “As the only professional corset maker working full time in Kentucky, I have dedicated my career to both regaining the lost skills and creating new innovations in the field. As such, I focus on creating both the ultimate in the luxury textile experience, but also a piece that is comfortably molded to the intended wearer’s unique body structure.”

Martin’s work has appeared in numerous runway shows and magazines.

plummerPrintmaker Chris Plummer, owner of Chris Plummer Art, has been exhibiting his work since 1999. He began studying graphic design at Northern Kentucky University, but his artistic direction changed his sophomore year when he took an introduction to printmaking class.

“I realized I wanted to spend the rest of my life creating art and making prints,” the Niagara resident says.

Plummer has been in the Kentucky Crafted program since 2013. He has work on exhibit in the offices of Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear and has earned accolades at several art festivals and fairs.

“I am an original artist whose work stands out within the field of printmakers,” Plummer says. “I bring my unique perspective to each print, whether creating narrative bodies of work or moody, somewhat abstract landscapes.”

Plummer is looking forward to showing his new line of monoprints, which are mostly of Western Kentucky landscapes.

plasterQuilter Brenda Plaster of Lawrenceburg has been quilting for about 10 years. She began as a home-based business while being a caregiver for a family member. Her business, Spool & Bobbin Quilting, has grown, as has her passion for her craft.

“Traditional quilt block designs, some of them hundreds of years old, are the basis of my work,” Plaster says. “The quilt may have a more contemporary feel due to fabrics used, block placement and other elements, but I like its lineage to be present. I also enjoy creating quilts with themes (butterflies, ballerinas, sports, holidays, etc.) and making memory quilts, in which photographs, artwork, letters, and ephemera are used.”

Plaster has designed for and been published by several quilting magazines and fabric companies. She does commission work and has quilts on sale at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.

The Market is open exclusively to retail buyers March 6 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Buyers can also register at the door the day of the event and must bring two forms of business identification to complete registration. For more information about registration requirements, visit the Kentucky Arts Council’s website.

Are you ready to enjoy the benefits of becoming officially designated as a Kentucky Crafted Retailer? Come to The Market and find out how you can participate in statewide promotional campaigns, increase your web presence and let customers know you carry merchandise known for quality craftsmanship and artistic excellence. Get started on becoming a Kentucky Crafted Retailer today! We’ll have information at Kentucky Crafted: The Market 2015, March 6-8 at Lexington Convention Center, to get you signed up and to answer your questions.

The Market was chosen as the #1 Fair & Festival by readers of AmericanStyle Magazine four years in a row. It has been named a Top 10 Event by Kentucky Tourism Council and a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society. The general public is invited to Kentucky Crafted: The Market on Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8.

Come to the beautiful Convention Center and enjoy all that downtown Lexington has to offer. Ample parking is available in the High Street and Manchester Street lots.

For more information on Kentucky Crafted: The Market, like the 2015 Market program and the schedule for the Kentucky Stage schedule of performances, visit our event website.

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Kentucky Crafted artists new to The Market 2015

We’re getting so close to Kentucky Crafted: The Market and the excitement continues to build! Nowhere in Kentucky, let alone the nation, will you find such a convergence of high-quality art, craft, literature, music and food.

Most artists at The Market live and work in Kentucky, and create and sell work under the Kentucky Crafted brand. With approximately 200 artists attending Kentucky Crafted: The Market at the Lexington Convention Center, retailers have the unique opportunity to purchase items from the largest gathering of Kentucky-based artists under one roof.

Here, we’re offering a sneak preview of some of the Kentucky Crafted artists who will exhibit at The Market for the first time.

winelandFiber artist Heidi Wineland of Grayson, owner of KittyAllen, entered the Kentucky Crafted Program with her Knitagain plush creations, but she has a background in a variety of artforms, including needlework, painting, stained glass and jewelry making. When Wineland was a child, her mother taught her to sew. In her teens, Wineland started making jewelry, and she has dabbled in other forms of art, like needlework, painting, stained glass, knitting, weaving and dollmaking. She began teaching crafts while she was still in college.

Wineland’s inspiration is derived from whimsy, she says. “I like to make small, simple things that make people happy,” Wineland says. “I would rather be amusing than awe-inspiring.” Wineland was juried into Kentucky Crafted for her unique plush animal and monster dolls called Knitagains.”

“It delights me to see people delighted by my little Knitagain friends, and I love to see them go to loving homes.”

bonbrightSelf-taught Louisville woodworker Chris Bonright made a second career out of a longtime hobby when he started Strictly Cedar Woodworks in 2012. His output has evolved from creating a basic Adirondack style chair to designing, building and selling more than 70 different furniture and garden accessory products.

“Strictly Cedar’s competitive edge is based on offering handmade and environmentally friendly products,” Bonbright says. “Whether you decide on individual pieces or our very popular furniture sets, our high-quality products grab consumers’ attention and provide opportunities for increased revenue.”

Bonbright’s choice of materials is made with the environment in mind. He uses only reclaimed or recycled western red cedar. Each piece is made to order, crafted in America “from lumber to labor.”

He is anxious to forge new relationships with buyers and to interact with other Kentucky Crafted artists to learn from their experiences in the program.

Buyer registration for Kentucky Crafted: The Market is free and available on the Kentucky Arts Council’s website. The Market is open exclusively to the trade March 6 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Buyers can also register at the door the day of the event and must bring two forms of business identification to complete registration. For more information about registration requirements, visit the Kentucky Arts Council’s website.

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How do we create enough art to sell at the Kentucky Crafted: The Market?

We are happy to host Kentucky Crafted Artist and February’s Featured Artist of the Month Laverne Zabielski for this week’s guest blog.

First, we create and we like it. We share it with others and they like it. They want one. They say, “You could sell these.” And you begin to ponder the possibility. The first hurdle is not how or where would you sell. The first questions are “how will I make enough to sell” and “how can I let go of this beautiful art that I like so much?”

Having enough inventory is important. I know that people are not likely to enter a booth that appears picked over and sparse. If I want to gross $3,000 at a fair, I know that I need to have at least $6,000 worth of art to sell. I know that no matter how precious a piece of art is, I want to be willing to let it go. Sometimes these are the ones with the highest price. And if it sells too quickly, I know that I priced it too low. Lesson learned.

Rule #1

Know that you are prolific, and you can always make more. Yes, there is much time and energy and thought involved. However, ultimately, when you surrender to the creative aspect of every step in your process, the work flows through you, and art to share happens.

Rule #2

Work to fill stations instead of to finish a product. I always have silk scoured, ready to Shibori pole wrap; I always have silk dyed, ready to steam; and I always have freshly dyed silk ready to sew.

This is my favorite time of the year to create new work for Kentucky Crafted: The Market. I follow trends a little bit, like orange, blue and turquoise. However, following the seasons is more fun, and since I consider my Truly Wearable Art  a “power tool,” it can be worn all year, any year, anywhere, when you want to make a statement. After I Shibori pole wrap the silk or felted merino wool, I create palettes to reflect the colors surrounding me; palettes that will compliment your wardrobe. In late winter, early spring, I add a little bit of each color’s compliment to my formulas as I prepare to drizzle the dye. I am always amazed at how well the fabrics I dye blend with the natural scenes. 

Be Bold. Be Striking. Take the risk to express yourself.  Be prolific. It’s worth it!

By Laverne Zabielski

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From guest blogger Carla Gover

We are happy to host singer, songwriter, dancer and a KAC Performing Artist, Carla Gover for this week’s guest blog.

My name is Carla Gover, and I have been a professional musician and arts educator in Kentucky for over 20 years now. I live and work here because I love this place and have a passion for preserving and celebrating our cultural heritage. One thing I love about my job is that I get to meet amazing people, travel and see the natural beauty of our state. I never dreamed when I began a career as an artist how many different directions it would take me over time. I have toured internationally, recorded five CDs, helped start a music festival, created music for and performed in a movie, played at festivals, libraries, theaters and elementary schools all over Kentucky, and taught music and dance to countless children and adults.

What constantly amazes me is that when you are following your passions, it takes you in directions and offers opportunities you never could have imagined. For instance, I have always had a passion not just for sharing Appalachian music, but also for learning about other cultures through the arts, and for collaborating with diverse musicians to find connections and common themes. That passion led me to learn Spanish, to travel to Mexico three times, and eventually to get a Master of Arts in Spanish from the University of Kentucky. At the beginning of last summer, it also led to a dialogue with the Louisville-based group Appalatin, who create music that blends Latin and Appalachian styles. We discovered a shared vision of creating cultural bridges between Kentucky’s growing Latino population and the traditional culture of the state, all through music, dancing and songs. Our shared vision has led us to perform together, in shows for children and adults, and to begin the process of writing material for a recording project. It is very exciting to work with other artists to create songs, especially as a songwriter who has mainly worked solo.

One of our goals is to show the commonalities and overlap between the two cultures, and there is so much with which to work. Both cultures value the extended family and are very child-centric. Both cultures are historically known for a strong work ethic and a sense of pride. Both cultures have strong traditions around food, music, community and dancing. Both cultures have strands of European and Native American traditions woven throughout. It is exciting to find ways to express those things, in Spanish and English. It is exciting to be able to show Appalachian clogging one moment and Andean flute the next, and then move to an original sing-along that has everyone singing in two languages. Everyone brings something different to the table, and we all feel strongly about creating a more inclusive Kentucky through celebrating our commonalities and sharing our stories.

We plan to continue our collaboration this spring, through performing and writing together, and hopefully doing some recording by this fall! We’re looking forward to playing the Kentucky Stage at Kentucky Crafted: The Market, on March 7, at the Lexington Convention Center, and to being inspired by the amazing talent in our state!

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Introducing Kentucky Crafted artists new to The Market 2015

Counting down the days until Kentucky Crafted: The Market? So are we! The Market only comes once a year and it’s the only opportunity to discover work by such a wide array of Kentucky artists! The majority of artists at The Market live and work in Kentucky, and create and sell work under the Kentucky Crafted brand.

Because we know you are just as excited as we are to get on The Market floor and shop until your heart’s content, we’re offering a sneak preview of Kentucky Crafted artists who will exhibit with us for the first time. Read on to discover your new favorite Kentucky Crafted artists and add them to your list of must-sees during your Market adventure!

$RAZ80DVSusan Vanstone’s journey into jewelry design started when she found a kit to make a Steampunk necklace for her granddaughter. This self-taught artist, who runs her business Steampunk and More from Richmond, says what sets her work apart is that she has incorporated chainmail into her jewelry designs.

“My work is a combination of Steampunk/Victorian, although I do each as separate disciplines along with a combo,” Vanstone says.

Vanstone says she is “honored and humbled” to be working under the Kentucky Crafted brand and is hoping to show a broad audience of art consumers how unique Steampunk style is and how aesthetically pleasing it is to the eye.

BrownPaulA lifelong resident of Louisville, Paul Brown, the owner of EarthyBrowns Natural Products, has been a beekeeper making products from honey for 20 years. He started out making balms for his family, friends and coworkers and gradually built a business.

Brown says he has become one of the biggest natural beekeepers in the Louisville area and has a two-year waiting list of customers to purchase bees he has bred.

“My products are all natural and organic. I will never use GMOs,” Brown says. “I use my soapbox to educate about what we should put in and on our bodies.”

Brown’s products are sold in more than 60 retail outlets.

Meet these artists and 200 others at Kentucky Crafted: The Market, open to the public March 7-8 at the Lexington Convention Center. Tickets are bought at the door. One-day tickets are $10, two-day tickets are $15 and children’s tickets (age 15 and under) get in for free.

For more details on the big event, visit the Kentucky Crafted: The Market website, and get in on the fun and conversation by joining our Facebook event page.

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