Surrounded by an array of gifts and an 18-foot Christmas tree, First Lady Jane Beshear announced Governor Steve Beshear’s proclamation of December 2013 as “Give a Gift Made in Kentucky Month,” in a ceremony today at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.
“Kentuckians don’t need to look far for unique and quality gift ideas this Christmas,” Mrs. Beshear said. “Across the Commonwealth, there are countless local shops and businesses filled with books, food, artwork, toys and more. I encourage everyone to purchase Kentucky-made gifts this holiday season, and discover the exceptional service and personal touch of Kentucky small business.”
Madeline Abramson, who is board chairwoman of the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, participated in the ceremony, along with Lindy Casebier, deputy secretary of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet; and Victoria Faoro, executive director of the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea. Other officials, local gallery owners, craftspeople and business owners also attended, encouraging everyone to invest in the state’s artisans. Local artist Lindy Evans participated in the event by demonstrating her sculpted Santa figures.
“Today was an especially exciting day as Mrs. Beshear joined us to announce Gov. Beshear’s proclamation of December 2013 as “Give a Gift Made in Kentucky Month!,” Faoro said. “December is a wonderful month for us. Visitors have a great time selecting gifts from the thousands of Kentucky-made products available at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.”
Berea is known as the “Folk Arts and Crafts Capital of Kentucky,” where a wide variety of craftsmen studios, galleries, shops and the Kentucky Artisan Center offer wonderful Kentucky-made choices for holiday shopping.
Berea shops where visitors can find Kentucky-made gifts include: The Shoppe of Boone Tavern; Estelle Jewelry; Appalachian Fireside Gallery; Peace Craft; Berea Fudge Shoppe; The Promenade Gallery; Gallery 103; The Log House Craft Gallery; Amish Store; Honeysuckle Vine; Lindsay Gallery; Dinah Tyree, Watercolors; Jazzy Jewels by Linda; Sutherland Music Shoppe; Music Makers; Kentucky Guild of Artists & Craftsmen Gallery; Old town Candy Kitchen and Fudge Factory; Gilliam Gallery & Studio; Top Drawer Gallery; Family Tree; Kiln Time, PhbeaD; Berea Center for the Arts; Fiber Frenzy; Puppets and Such; Old Town Seamstress & Historic Costumes and the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.
Working artist studios in Berea include: Berea College Student Crafts; Student Crafts on the Square; Warren A. May, Woodworker; Hot Flash Beads; Images of Santa; Gastineau Studio; Weavers Bottom and the Glass Studio.
To find a great list of places to buy holiday gifts across the state and region go to the Kentucky Arts Council’s Kentucky Crafted Retailers listing at http://artscouncil.ky.gov/KentuckyArt/retailers.htm
Additional places to find Kentucky-made items include Capital Gallery, Frankfort; Ann Tower Gallery, Lexington; Homegrown Press, Lexington; The Community Art Center, Danville; Lexington Art League, Lexington; Cross Gate Gallery, Lexington; Savane Silver, Lexington; Be Be’s Artisan Market, Paducah; Mary Rezny Gallery in Lexington; Bread Box Studio Artists in Lexington and The Cozy Corner in Whitesburg. In Louisville, visit Craft(s) Gallery, Zephyr Gallery, Gallery Janjobe, Swanson Cralle Gallery, Edenside Gallery and Flame Run Gallery.
The Kentucky Unbridled Spirit Gift Card is another way to purchase Kentucky-made gifts for that hard-to-buy-for person. Gift cards purchased at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea can be used at other Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet agencies such as the Kentucky Horse Park, the Kentucky Historical Society, and at all Kentucky State Parks.
Unbridled Spirit Gift Cards can be purchased at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, the Kentucky Horse Park, the Kentucky Historical Society and its museum store, and at all Kentucky State Parks, or by calling 1-800-255-PARK (7275; option 5) or by going online at http://www.parks.ky.gov/gift-cards.
The Kentucky Artisan Center is located 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 cafe is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free.