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A Showcase for Kentucky’s Best Art

Wholesale buyers can find the next great thing at Kentucky Crafted Market
Artist Sara Gallimore of Gallery 123 in Berea discusses her work with a potential wholesale client at the 2018 Kentucky Crafted Market.

The Kentucky Crafted Market, slated for March 15-17 at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena in Lexington, will be a great opportunity for buyers to find unique Kentucky-made art and craft by the state’s best artists.

The designated day for buyers is March 15, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. It is open to retail business owners, corporate gift buyers, architects, interior designers and others who purchase art commercially. On that day, registered buyers can meet and place orders with any of the dozens of artists exhibiting at The Market.

Gallery on the Square in Franklin, Ky., is a frequent visitor to trade-only day. The gallery’s director, Lisa Deavers, uses that day to look at artwork and place orders for the gallery. Chris Cathers, the Kentucky Arts Council interim executive director, asked Deavers how trade day figured into Gallery on the Square’s buying practices, and what benefits it might have for other retail businesses.

Chris Cathers: How long has Gallery on the Square been a wholesale customer at The Kentucky Crafted Market?

Lisa Deavers: The Gallery on the Square has been a wholesale customer at The Kentucky Crafted Market since 2006, so it’s been 13 years.

CC: How many Kentucky Crafted artists are represented in your inventory at the gallery? About what percentage of your inventory do the Kentucky Crafted artists represent?

LD: Currently we represent 30 Kentucky Crafted artists in our inventory; this is 28 percent of our total inventory.

CC: Why is it advantageous for you to do your wholesale buying on The Market’s designated trade day? 

LD: Doing our buying on the designated trade day is beneficial for several reasons. We are able to meet with the artists one-on-one, not only to discuss their works and selling them in the Gallery but also to discuss opportunities for them to exhibit their works, participate in one of our festivals or demonstration days and invite them to teach classes.

CC: Are there other types of buyers you feel could benefit from attending trade day, such as realtors, homebuilders, distilleries, etc.?  

LD: It’s a very good environment for anyone who wants to draw in business offering Kentucky-made art and craft. There are a great variety of businesses that can find some wonderful work at The Market. Furniture retailers could highlight and sell one-of-a-kind accessories instead of mass-produced items. Distilleries, who already sell a distinct Kentucky-made product, can also highlight the uniqueness of an artist’s work in their retail areas. Parks can definitely put Kentucky’s best foot forward by offering Kentucky Crafted art and craft in their gift shops. And if you own a retail business and have never been to The Market, but you want to expand your inventory to include Kentucky art and craft, you’ll find the trade-only day to be a great opportunity to meet and talk with artists in a relaxed atmosphere.

CC: Why is it important for retailers who specialize in handmade gifts to consider adding work by Kentucky Crafted juried artists to their inventories?

LD: If a retailer specializes in handmade gifts, when they add work by a Kentucky Crafted juried artist to their inventory, they know they are receiving quality work and will be working with a professional artist.

CC: Why should retail business owners take advantage of the trade day at The Market?

LD: Trade day at The Market is perfect for retail business owners to discover Kentucky crafted items, meet and support local artists, learn how the works are created and experience what makes Kentucky Crafted a valuable program in our state.

For more information on the trade day, or to register as a buyer, go to artscouncil.ky.gov/KAC/Showcasing/2019Market-Buyers.htm.

The Market is open to the public 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 16 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 17. Admission both days is $8. Parking at the Horse Park is $5.

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