For the 10th consecutive year, the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program, a division of the Kentucky Arts Council, is sponsoring retail shop owners and buyers from around the United States to attend Kentucky Crafted: The Market 2005, through the “Fly the Buyer” program. Eight buyers have been selected from over 40 nominations and will receive complimentary travel expenses and accommodations to attend The Market. They represent galleries, interior designers, and shops with products ranging from two-dimensional art to fine crafts.
The “Fly the Buyer” guests include this year’s booth judge, Sherry Masters, Grovewood Gallery, Asheville, North Carolina; Amy Hoffman, Arts & Artisans, 5 locations in Chicago, Illinois; Aaron and Monica Maxwell, Harmony Ridge Gallery, Lewisburg, West Virginia & Harmony Isle Gallery, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; Deanne McKeown, Gifted Hands Gallery & Isadora Handweaving Gallery, Sedona, Arizona; Eunice Wallar, Waverly House Gifts & Gallery, Springfield, Missouri; Ronni Kaman, The Collector Gift Gallery, Merrick, New York; Eric Johnson, Ostafin Design Ltd., New York, New York; and Karen Zucker, Klay Gallery, Nyack, New York.
The Fly-The-Buyer program began as a way for the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program to attract high quality retailers that might not be familiar with the variety and quality of folk, traditional and contemporary craft available at the award-winning four-day wholesale and retail market. Some of the buyers have gone on to become recipients of the Top Out-of-State Retailer Award, presented at the Market. Several have been recognized as Top 100 Retailers of American Craft as named by Niche Magazine.
“ I am excited and anticipate seeing crafts at the Market that are absent in the New York area. We are great advocates of the arts and will be looking to add some new artists in Klay Gallery,” said Karen Zucker, Klay Gallery, Nyack, New York.
Kentucky Crafted: The Market is produced by the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program, a division of the Kentucky Arts Council, a state agency in the Commerce Cabinet, Commonwealth of Kentucky. For more information, call 888 KY CRAFT (592-7238); or visit the Program's site at www.kycraft.ky.gov.
Since 1981, the Craft Marketing Program's mission is to develop the state's craft industry, support and empower Kentucky artisans and craftspeople, create an economically viable environment for craft entrepreneurs, preserve the state's craft traditions, stimulate and support product development, and generate public awareness, public support and public/private partnerships.
The Program provides assistance to Kentucky residents, individuals, or groups wanting to develop as craft professionals through economic opportunities and training, to other outside entities (e.g., craft retailers, craft and art organizations, community and government agencies), and the general public. The craft industry in Kentucky contributes 252 million dollars in annual sales and Kentucky is recognized as a model state for its craft programs and its role in the $14 billion national craft industry.