Kentucky Tourism


A Printmaking exhibit at the Center and demonstrating artists painter John Lackey, potter Kristal Gilkey and Ri

Currently the Center's retail spaces are closed to the public due to Covid-19.
We will announce any changes to this here.

When open, all exhibits and events are open to the public and free of charge. Check out our Facebook page for up-to-date news and to experience the creative side of KY! 

If you have any questions about the schedule or a specific event, please contact us.




Continuing Now

This exhibit showcases the large format paintings of Bob Leo Jones of Louisville. 

Jones is an abstract artist working in acrylics on large-scale canvas and Masonite. He started creating large-scale paintings in 2015, and his works are free flowing rather than linear. When working on canvas, Jones builds up layers of color with a palate knife. This method of layering allows for a longer drying time, which in turn allows the artist to think about how the painting is progressing.

Jones states, "I am an abstract artist and I have found that my vision is often better realized in a larger format. I layer the paint to build depth and distance into the work."

His painting “We Are Not Going Back the Way We Came" is based on the idea that there is always a way forward that guarantees something new. In the work “Cattails”, Jones’ love for low-lying water can be seen. The natural ponds and creeks of central Kentucky as well as the estuaries of the intercoastal and the mangroves of Florida influence his work. 

Reveal exhibits are a regular part of the center’s exhibition schedule through an annual statewide call-to-artists and provides an exhibition opportunity for 2-D artists whose large works cannot be accommodated within the center’s regular retail spaces.

Nine Kentucky Sculptors


"White Feather" by Gary DuBois

The Kentucky Artisan Center announces a new exhibit titled “Cut in Stone” featuring the work of nine Kentucky sculptors in the Center’s main gallery.

Sculpted and cut from a variety of materials including alabaster, marble, soapstone and limestone, these works range from tiny animals carved in translucent alabaster to large abstractions in marble. 

Sculpting in stone is a reductive process – the taking away of material to reveal the shape and imagery within. All nine of these artists eventually became enamored by the color, texture and hidden mystery of stone.  

Initially sculpting in wood Don Lawler became frustrated by the limitations of the material. He turned to stone because, “Wood sculpture placed outdoors soon deteriorates and I didn’t like the limitation that wood could only be placed in interior settings.”

After working in metal for 10 years, Julie Warren Conn tired of welding. Picking up a piece of Tennessee Coral Rouge Marble, she was soon hooked on the beauty of the material. Her figurative works “Maternity” and “”Sea Birds” illustrate her back-to-back method that showcases two separate views in one sculpture. 

"Maternity" by Julie Warren Conn

Albert Nelson, of Louisville describes working with stone in this way. “I love everything about stone, limestone in particular. Each piece is cut from the earth and has been waiting for my hands for 350 million years.”

Sculptures in this exhibit have been created using both large industrial tools and small hand-held tools. Larger works require large stones delivered by semi-trucks, with cranes and forklifts to handle them.  One such work is “Mishima” by Julie Warren Conn, a 50-inch tall column of Vermont Marble carved into stacked shapes that resemble an abstract warrior. 

Smaller work such as “”Peace” by Joseph Farmer and Jimmie Pennington’s simple animals are carved entirely with hand tools. Pennington sometimes finish sands his work with Emory boards, while artist Gary Dubois uses re-purposed stone counter top scraps to create new beauty from what was broken and rejected. His carved feathers appear soft and yet they are made of stone.  

Each of these artists have a unique style and way of working. Mike McCarthy’s work titled, “Society’s Decline” is both realistic and visceral, with the mask-like translucent alabaster face half gone. Karen Terhune’s sculptures are more organic and her free form carvings create a feeling of movement.

All of these artists are passionate about their material, seeing the act of creating as both exhilarating and necessary. Mike McCarthy states, “When I have to go out of town and don’t carve – my day is incomplete.”

Kentucky sculptors in this exhibit are: Julie Warren Conn, Lexington; Gary Dubois, Berea; William M. Duffy, Louisville; Joseph Farmer, Richmond; Don Lawler, Stephensport; Mike McCarthy, Louisville; Albert Nelson, Louisville; Jimmy Pennington, Flat Gap, and Karen Terhune, Shepherdsville, KY.

If you have any questions about the schedule or a specific event, please contact us.

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