Kentucky Artisan Center
Arts and crafts aren’t simply found in one area or even in a handful of locations in Berea, Kentucky; they play an integral part of everyday life throughout this area.
“The entire state of Kentucky is known for its great crafts and artwork,” explained Victoria Faoro, executive director for the Kentucky Artisan Center. “And Berea College and the city of Berea have been internationally known for their strong visual-arts and music traditions and today continue that tradition of offering quality cultural experiences.”
This entire city not only plays home to tons of local artisans and craftspeople with shops scattered throughout town, but also offers a centralized location to get the best sampling from the local artists at the Kentucky Artisans Center at Berea. This center offers a variety of quality arts and crafts, all on one floor, from more than 650 Kentucky-based artisans living in more than 100 counties all across the commonwealth of Kentucky.
“Everything on site is made in Kentucky,” said Belle Jackson, executive director for the Berea Tourist Commission. “The facility itself even features the art of Kentucky stonemasons, who worked for a year installing Kentucky limestone throughout much of the building. Arts and culture are such a great way to see, understand and enjoy what is unique about a region or community.”
Great Smoky Mountains Arts and Crafts Community
In the Great Smoky Mountains and beyond, the term “Made in Gatlinburg” means something special. Making its home along the eight-mile arts and crafts loop in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community is the nation’s largest organization of independent artisans.
“If it can be whittled, woven, painted, sewn, spun, cast or carved, you’ll find it on this eight-mile loop of quaint shops and studios,” said Jim Davis, public relations manager for the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Gatlinburg is all about pure Southern Appalachian history and charm, with a touch of history everywhere you look. In fact, most all of the shops are inhabited by the owners and family members.”
With 100 shops nestled along the loop, groups and individuals alike can shop to their heart’s content at the Glades Center, the Smoky Mountain Arts and Crafts Village, the Morning Mist Village, Buie’s Landing and the Covered Bridge complex.
“Gatlinburg is also home to Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and Arrowcraft Shop, as well as the Shops at Carousel Gardens, where more than 45 crafters have retail displays,” Davis added. “It’s easy to make a day of it all. There are neat places to eat, stroll and shop all along the loop.”