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.
Fiber 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.”
Self-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.