Arts & Crafts Shopping in Kentucky
Beginning with the earliest days of English settlement, handicrafts have been a beloved art form in the Bluegrass State. While many Kentucky arts and crafts are rooted in tradition, others are on the cutting edge of contemporary art. You can find it all on your visit, and even bring home a piece or two as a gift or souvenir.
Berea, known as the Folk Arts & Crafts Capital of Kentucky, is home to a thriving community of artisans with shops and studios scattered throughout town. The city’s craft heritage is tied to historic Berea College, the first integrated and coeducational college in the South. Paducah, home to the National Quilt Museum and Lower Town Arts District, has been designated a UNESCO Creative City, one of only nine in the United States. Inspiration awaits visitors to this city’s many vibrant galleries and workshops.
The Kentucky Artisan Center, Appalachian Artisan Center and KMAC Museum all display and sell works of hundreds of Kentucky artisans. Kentucky Arts Council maintains directories of Kentucky Crafted Artists and Retailers that have met the Council’s criteria of artistic excellence and professionalism as judged by independent panels of arts professionals. Plus, handcrafted wares are the centerpiece of many festivals throughout the Commonwealth, large and small.