Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
Folk Artist Jo Ann Butts to Carve Whimsical Roosters and Animals at Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
On Saturday, Oct. 22, folk artist Jo Ann Butts will demonstrate making her whimsical folk art roosters and animals from 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.
Jo Ann Butts was 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. Growing up in a hard-scrabble family, Butts learned to make toys for herself and her siblings. She learned to use a pocket knife to make whistles, bow and arrows and a multitude of items. Butts states, “Growing up without anything helped sharpen my skills and helped me to learn how to work with my hands and create something from nothing.”
Creating things runs in the family. After moving back to Kentucky from Ohio in 1999, it was her cousin, the famous folk artist Minnie Adkins, who encouraged Butts to begin working with wood. She started with a small sheep and slowly branched out until she 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. Her signature animal is the rooster which she will be carving and painting during her demonstration at the Kentucky Artisan Center.
Butts has also painted three murals on barns in Elliott County where she lives. Her work is sold at the Kentucky Folk Art Center in Morehead, and in the Huntington Museum of Art as well as in galleries in five other states.
Works by Jo Ann Butts are regularly found at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, located at 200 Artisan Way, just off Interstate 75 at exit 77 (Berea). The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the café is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. The center currently features works by more than 650 artisans from 100 counties across the Commonwealth and a special exhibit An Artful Array: Bowls by Kentucky Artisans. For more information call 859-985-5448 or visit the center’s Web site at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Kentucky Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.