Kentucky Appalachian Craft Fair is June 28-29

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By The Staff

Imagine being able to see and touch a diverse mixture of high quality arts and crafts from throughout Southern and Eastern Kentucky under one roof. Then imagine that every work of art presented is hand crafted by artists and crafters from the region.

For the second year, the Kentucky Appalachian Craft Fair will offer this treasure chest of one-of-a-kind pieces on Saturday and Sunday, June 28 and 29, at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset.

During this fair, artists and craftspeople from Southern and Eastern Kentucky will come together to display their talents and offer a variety of works for demonstration and for purchase. Individual artists and crafters will be exhibiting as well as crafts guilds and cooperatives from around the region, such as the Appalachian Artisan Center in Hindman, David Appalachian Crafts in David, Kentucky Communities Crafts in Barbourville, Pine Mountain Crafts in Whitesburg, Art of the Mountains in Hazard, Red Bird Mission Crafts in Beverly and Sheltowee Artisans in Somerset.

"An event like this allows us to see, touch and experience a wide variety of the beautiful things crafters from our region make with their hands," says Pat Bradley, associate vice president of arts, culture and entertainment at The Center.

Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center, said, "These arts and crafts are often expressions of our cultural heritage, and are also good for the economy. The individuals who make these works of art are entrepreneurs in the business of art. Their work is unique to them and their environment. Their businesses improve economic conditions, and their products go far to increase cultural pride in our area."

The Kentucky Appalachian Craft Fair is a collaborative effort of many arts and crafts groups throughout the region. Amanda Fickey-Fields, arts and culture outreach coordinator at The Center, has been hosting meetings of these groups over the past year, with the goals of forming partnerships, supporting the work of each other and supporting the artists and crafters of the region. Through these meetings, The Center has drawn together the talents and organizational skills of art guilds, craft shops and crafts co-operatives within its 42-county service area. The Kentucky Appalachian Craft Council hosted its first regional fair last summer, with more than 1,000 visitors in attendance.

The fair is an opportunity to learn more about the unique crafts from the region, meet the artists that create these products, hear the stories behind their work, and watch demonstrations of how some of these crafts are created.

Admission for the general public is $3 per person each day with plenty of free parking. The Center for Rural Development is handicapped accessible.

Fair hours are Saturday, June 28 from 11a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, June 29 from noon to 5 p.m.

Sponsors for this event include the Appalachian Artisan Center, Southern and Eastern Kentucky Tourism Development Association, Somerset-Pulaski County Tourism and Visitors Bureau, Pulaski County Government and The America's Scenic Byways Project.

For more information, contact Fickey-Fields at The Center for Rural Development at afields@centertech.com or (606) 677-6000.