The early-morning sun drew a crowd Saturday during the opening hours of the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen Spring Fair at Memorial Park.

Approximately 90 artisans were featured with displays including jewelry, leather, basketweaving, paintings, dollmaking and much more.

Saturday featured live music from Wade Blair, Mother Jane and the Ohio River Minstrels, as well as performances by the Kentucky Storytellers Association.

Another special feature Saturday included a spring Garden Fest on the College Square and all around Boone Tavern. This event featured garden-themed exhibits, demonstrations and special entertainment.

Most of the artists featured this weekend are from Kentucky or within 50 miles of the Kentucky border.

Colina Shannon of Nicholasville was a little nervous Saturday because it was her first show in seven years. Shannon is an experienced dollmaker who creates the characters with her imagination, she said.

“They’re called art dolls and they’re made from polymer clay,” Shannon said. “They’re all handmade and one-of-a-kind. About 9 to 10 hours go into each doll. I start with the sculpting of face and hands and then I dress them.”

Although she admits that her first show is “nerve-racking,” she enjoys meeting people who are interested in her work.

“I love seeing the expression on people’s faces when they see my dolls,” she said.

Allen Jewel of Woodford County carries an appropriate last name for his line of work.

“My business card says that I’ve always been a jewel,” he said.

This is Jewel’s first show in Berea, but he has been making jewelry for about 30 years. “People seem to be admiring my work here today and I’m getting some good comments,” he said. „I have some things that nobody else has. I use a lot of picture stones that are called paintings by God. They’re stones that when you cut and polish them, you see scenes in them.”

Jewel works in both silver and gold and just recently learned that he is carrying on a family tradition.

“I just found out that some of my relatives were early Kentucky silversmiths,” he said.

Rosemary Graves of Richmond spends most of her time teaching a continuing education course at Eastern Kentucky University, but Saturday, she brought her work to display and sell.

“I’ve been doing this for over 20 years and I teach basketweaving to people 65 and older,” she said. “I like being able to do something with my hands and, of course, basketweaving is the oldest craft of mankind and it’s fun. We feel like it’s a gift we’ve received and it’s not any good unless you give it away.”

The craft fair ends today at 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and free for children 11 or younger.

Ronica Shannon can be reached at or 623-1669, Ext. 234.

React to this story:


Trending Video

Recommended for you