Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
Derek Downing to Demonstrate Basketry at Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, May 19, 2015  
Contact Information:  Gwen Heffner
Information Specialist
Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
Phone: 859 - 985-5448 Ext. 230

On Saturday, May 23, Lexington basket-maker Derek Downing will demonstrate seagrass and reed basketry from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.

Downing began designing and crafting his unique baskets in 1986. His designs are based on the traditional egg-basket form and are woven of grapevine, hand-dyed rattan and seagrass, a material less commonly used for woven baskets. The handles of his baskets are also crafted from native grapevines.

Though based on traditional materials and a traditional form, Downing’s baskets are distinctive, many featuring vividly colored accents, created using dyes Downing mixes specially for his projects. Visitors at the center can enjoy watching him create his baskets, and also view finished baskets.


Derek Downing demonstrates his basketry at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea

Works by Downing are regularly available at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, 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 4 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. Special exhibits on display include, “Turn, Turn, Turn: Lathe-Turned Works by Kentucky Artisans” on display through Sept. 12; and on display in the lobby, “Kentucky Murals by Frank W. Long” through July 4. For more information about events call 859-985-5448, go to the center’s website at or on Facebook at

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