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News briefs on cultural events around Kentucky

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Millionth Visitor at Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
On July 9, Phil Powless and his family from London, Ontario, Canada, became the millionth guest to visit and enjoy the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea. The Powless family was presented with a Kentucky gift basket by Lindy Casebier, deputy secretary of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet.

Since opening July 31, 2003, the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea has not only welcomed more than 1 million visitors, it has hosted more than 523 artisan events, including demonstrations, musical performances and book signings, and featured 24 special exhibitions in the center’s gallery and lobby.

Dedicated to showcasing the work of Kentucky’s many outstanding artisans, the center features works created by more than 650 vendors representing more than 100 Kentucky counties, and has sold more than $6 million worth of Kentucky-made products. The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is located alongside I-75 at Exit 77.

Gwen Heffner Recipient of Annual Rude Osolnik Award
The Kentucky Arts Council and the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft recently honored Gwen Heffner, information specialist, resource coordinator, professional artist, regional arts educator and exhibition director, with the Rude Osolnik Award for 2008. The award honors its namesake, Rude Osolnik, the nationally acclaimed wood turner from Berea who devoted his life to the development of his craft and teaching. The award recognizes artists for their contributions to the craft community, preservation of craft traditions through teaching and sharing, and exemplary workmanship. Previous recipients are Wayne Ferguson, Alma Lesch, Emily Wolfson, Arturo Alonzo Sandoval, Homer Ledford, Joseph Molinaro, Stephen Rolfe Powell, Bryon Temple (posthumously), Tim Glotzbach, Lysbeth Wallace, Marie Emlen Hochstrasser and Sarah Frederick.

Heffner received a BFA in printmaking and ceramics from Luther College in Iowa and had a graduate assistantship with Tom Marsh at the University of Louisville, where she received her master’s degree in ceramics. Heffner built and operated a pottery studio for 13 years outside Irvine and exhibited her work at wholesale and retail shows and galleries across the country before taking her position with the Kentucky Artisan Center in Berea.

UK Art Museum Presents Master Works by Kentucky Painters: 1819-1935
More than a century of Kentucky’s heritage will be on view Sept. 14 through Nov. 30 in an exhibition of works by artists who lived or worked in Kentucky. The exhibit features portraits, landscapes, still lifes and historical subjects by artists including Harvey Joiner, Paul Sawyier, John Thomas Bauscher and Carl Christian Brenner. Portraits in the exhibition range from 1820s oils by Matthew Jouett and Aaron Houghton Corwine to early 19th-century paintings like Patty Thum’s “Lady of the Lilies” and James Roy Hopkins’s “Lady in Blue.” Other featured artists include: Stephen Alke, Oliver Frazier, Hattie Hutchcraft Hill, Matthew Jouett, Magdalene Harvey McDowell, Paul Plaschke, Samuel Woodson Price, Dixie Selden and Edward Troye.

Guest-curated by art historian and scholar Estill Curtis Pennington, Master Works will be the museum’s first exhibition of Kentucky paintings in 30 years and brings to light three decades of new research, new scholarship and newly discovered artwork.