The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is the quintessential Kentucky experience, from handcrafted art objects representing works of Kentucky artisans to exhibits that take visitors for a deep dive into handcrafting traditions like quilting. But there also are diverse touches like the state’s famed Hot Brown offered in its restaurant, the fresh-picked, fragrant flowers that brighten the restrooms, and the building itself, with limestone quarried in the state and a foundation laid by Kentucky stonemasons. And it all unfolds in the state’s Folk Arts and Crafts Capital.
“Kentucky’s story is told through the eyes of the over 850 Kentucky artists whose works are for sale and on display,” says Gwen Heffner, the center’s curator and public relations, marketing and information specialist. “Books and poetry by Kentucky authors, including the renowned Wendell Berry, can be found alongside special Kentucky foods, music, fine art, sculpture, jewelry, toys, pottery, quilts and more.”
Springtime artwork additions include colorful and lightweight resin jewelry by Kara Huesman of Florence, wooden bow ties created by Ryan Roling of Crestwood and colorful, eye-catchingly mobile wind chimes by Dru Perry of Lexington.
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is a beautiful, spacious and centrally located travel stop where visitors can find not only artworks to fit every budget—from 55-cent postcards to a life-sized, $54,000 wire horse sculpture by Dacelle Peckler—but information about must-sees across the state: small-town treasures, outdoor adventures, culinary trails and city sights.