Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
Kentucky Artisan Center Kicks-Off Holiday Events Nov. 29

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, November 25, 2014  
Contact Information:  Gwen Heffner
Information Specialist
Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
Phone: 859 - 985-5448 X 230

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea starts off the traditional holiday shopping weekend with folk art, holiday music on Celtic harp and Uilleann pipes and a book signing on Saturday, Nov. 29.

On Saturday, folk artist Jo Ann Butts, of Sandy Hook, will demonstrate her whimsical folk art roosters and animals from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 the center.

 Folk-art rooster by Jo Ann Butts

Born in 1950 in an old log cabin where her father, grandfather and great-grandfather were born on the Watson family farm in eastern Kentucky, Butts learned to make toys for herself and her siblings using a pocket-knife to make whistles, bow and arrows and a multitude of items.

“Growing up without anything helped sharpen my skills and helped me to learn how to work with my hands and create something from nothing,” she said.

Butts now creates a wide variety of animals that reflect having grown up on a large hillside farm. She paints her pigs, hedge-hogs, sheep, skunks, fish, badgers, turtles and frogs with brightly colored paint.

Also on that Saturday, musicians Lorinda Jones and Cathy Wilde will perform holiday music from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Center. Jones plays Celtic harp and Appalachian dulcimer and Wilde plays the Irish Uillleann bagpipes and flute.

As both a musician and certified music therapist, Jones believes that the ancient tunes of the Celts encompass the range of human emotions. She performs at traditional dulcimer and Irish festivals, teaches workshops, and conducts sessions for retreats and special wellness programs.

 Musician Lorinda Jones plays the Celtic harp and Appalachian dulcimer

Wilde started playing music on the classical flute and in 1987 went to Ireland where she took up the tin whistle and eventually the wooden flute. In 2007, Wilde found her true instrument – the Irish bellow-blown Uilleann bagpipes, a quieter and more versatile version of the Scottish bagpipes. 

This musical duo will perform sets of holiday music, talk to visitors about their music and their unique instruments and be available to sign their CD's. From toe-tapping renditions of holiday favorites to hauntingly beautiful traditional Christmas carols, visitors will enjoy this musical experience.

In addition, on Nov. 29, photographer Ed Lawrence, of Frankfort, will sign copies of his book “Kentucky 120” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.

Lawrence purchased his first digital camera 10 years ago and began wandering the back roads of Kentucky taking photographs of the landscapes he encountered. Lawrence’s book, “Kentucky 120,” is the culmination of his 10-year quest to make landscape photographs of every county in Kentucky.

 "Kentucky 120" by Ed Lawrence

“Every day is a learning process, and I am inspired by the beauty of Kentucky's shaped and natural landscapes,” he said. “When I realized that I had photographs from 35 counties it became a personal challenge to take photos in all of Kentucky’s 120 counties. If a picture is worth a thousand words, this book contains at least 120,000 words.”

Folk art by Butts, musical recordings by Jones and books by Lawrence are regularly available at the Kentucky Artisan Center, 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 cafe is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free.

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea currently features works by more than 700 artisans from more than 100 counties across the Commonwealth. A special exhibit “Put a Lid on It: Containers by Kentucky Artisans,” is on display through Feb. 28, 2015; and on display in the lobby starting Nov. 22 will be, “Let it Snow” which includes a large Christmas tree featuring artisan ornaments and gifts. For more information about events call 859-985-5448, go to the center’s website at  or visit us on Facebook at

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.