Artist Exhibitions

Public Artwork honoring local mailman installed in Hindman, KY

[HINDMAN]—The creation and installation of a public sculpture in downtown Hindman took place this week, just a block from Hindman Post Office. The artwork stands as a memorial to a way of communicating which is quickly vanishing in the “instant age” of emails and automobiles. Our youngest generations may never understand the anticipation and excitement that a single piece of mail could bring to families long ago. Especially in remote areas, mail delivery could be a person’s only communication with the outside world. Delivery could also be a treacherous endeavor, but one that a few brave men dedicated themselves to.

The work is the first of 3 public sculptures that will be installed in Knott County in the coming months, which were funded by the National Endowment for the Arts’ Our Town Award to the Appalachian Artisan Center(AAC). The funded “SPARK” Project has re-established blacksmithing in Knott by funding a Master Blacksmith as well as public works that speak to the history of Blacksmithing in our region.

The work is inspired by the life of Irvine Pratt, one of the last horseback mail carriers, who was a Knott-Countian and also a blacksmith/farrier that made horseshoes for his companion horse, Bill. Mr. Pratt delivered mail on horseback on dirt roads from Pine Top to Holly Bush three days a week up late into the 1970s. He was 77 years old when he finally retired after falling from his horse and becoming injured. Irvine Pratt gained national acclaim in the 1970s when he was featured in a series of short videos that aired on Sesame Street. His story was also reported in National Geographic Magazine around the same time.

At a community meeting last January, 60 Knott County residents gathered to review the proposed model for the project, including Irvine Pratt’s granddaughters, who still live in the area. Although the original location identified for the work fell through, the work was well-received and permission for the sculpture in its current location in downtown Hindman was granted by KY Transportation Cabinet – Right of Way Division. An informational plaque will also be installed next to the sculpture, giving historical context.

Designed by former HCTC Kentucky School of Craft(KSOC) Fine Art Director, Michael Flynn, the work is a representation of a horse that contains aesthetic elements drawn from traditional blue domed USPS mailboxes. It stands over 10 foot high and has already been attracting the attention of passers-by. Terry Ratliff, a local multimedia artist, was also a collaborator on the project. The two also had assistance from ACC’s Master Blacksmith Dan Estep and a host of other community members.

Michael Flynn currently teaches art foundations at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). He is a sculptor with a M.F.A in Visual Art from Loyola University. Previously, he and his wife lived in Hindman for 4 years while he taught art courses in a variety of media at KSOC and Directed the Associate of Fine Arts Program for HCTC.

National Endowment for the Arts’ Our Town Projects fund Arts Engagement, Cultural Planning, and Design Projects in an effort to support Creative Placemaking. For more information on NEA projects, go to

For more information about the Appalachian Artisan Center or the SPARK Project, write them a good old-fashioned letter: PO Box 833, Hindman, KY 41822. Or for the less nostalgic, visit on the web at

“EpiCentre Exhibit”

Exhibit Dates:  Jan – Mar 2017

Reception Date:  Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 6pm

Regional artists from the Whitesburg arts collective EpiCentre Arts, Anita Bentley, Jeff Chapman-Crane, Elaine Conradi, Chris Day, Angelyn Debord, Lacy Hale, Pam Oldfield Meade, Jonathan Nickles, and Elizabeth Sanders contribute new work to an exhibit displayed at the Appalachian Artisan Center.

Ranging in style and technique, from traditional to fun and avant-garde, this exhibit takes viewers on a journey across our mountain landscapes, to explore the expansive imaginations of artists from Central Appalachia.

Appalachian Artisan Center hosts Kentucky Arts Council ‘Ways of Seeing’ exhibit

HINDMAN, Ky. — Appalachian Artisan Center (AAC) has been selected as the first of several venues across Kentucky to host the Kentucky Arts Council’s (KAC) traveling exhibit titled “Ways of Seeing.”

“Ways of Seeing” features artwork that depicts an alternate reality. The work is abstract, conceptual, fantasy-based and experimental. Each piece is by an artist who has been accepted into the Kentucky Crafted program or who has been awarded an Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship.

“We are thrilled to be hosting the newest exhibit from the Kentucky Arts Council,” says AAC Director of Programs, Jessica Evans.  “Visitors will experience something completely out of the norm from a group of talented artists from all over the state. We want to get people talking about art again!”

A reception for “Ways of Seeing” will be held in conjunction with the Grand Re-Opening Celebration at the newly renovated Cody Building in Historic Downtown Hindman, KY.  The event will begin at 6pm and include music, Studio and Gallery Tours, and refreshments.

“‘Ways of Seeing’ transports the viewer to a different time and place and gives them a sense of otherworldliness,” said Lori Meadows, Kentucky Arts Council Executive Director. “We’re glad to have The Appalachian Artisan Center on board as one of our partner venues for this fascinating exhibit.”

The Appalachian Artisan Center is headquartered at 30 West Main Street and is open 10am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, and 10am to 4pm on Saturdays. The “Ways of Seeing” exhibit will run from October 3 to December 22, 2016.

Artists participating in “Ways of Seeing” are:

  •       Trent Altman, Louisville
  •       Lisa Austin, Louisville
  •       Pat Banks, Richmond
  •       Patricia Brock, Louisville
  •       Geoff Carr, Louisville
  •       Bruce Frank, Georgetown
  •       Linda Fugate-Blumer, Lexington
  •       Timothy Gold, Independence
  •       Ellen Guyer, Lexington
  •       Michael McCardwell, Shelbyville
  •       Gary Mesa-Gaido, Morehead
  •       Yvonne Petkus, Bowling Green
  •       Patricia Ritter, Burkesville
  •       Arturo Alonzo Sandoval, Lexington
  •       Sandy Sasso, Almo
  •       Karen Spears Springate, Lexington
  •       Deborah Stratford, Louisville
  •       Jenny Zeller, Louisville

“Ways of Seeing” will also travel to the following Kentucky venues:

  •       January – February 2017: Eastern Kentucky University Center for the Arts, Richmond
  •       March – April 2017: Whitley County Fine Arts, Williamsburg
  •       May – August 2017: Center for Rural Development, Somerset
  •       September – December 2017: Glema Mahr Center for the Arts, Madisonville Community College, Madisonville

For more information on “Ways of Seeing,” contact Jessica Evans, Director of Programs, by phone: 606-785-9855 or by email: [email protected]

The Appalachian Artisan Center is dedicated to developing the economy of eastern Kentucky through our arts, culture, and heritage.  The Center provides assistance to artists who wish to create and grow successful businesses.

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, fosters environments for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.


“Vessels” Exhibit

Exhibit dates:  November 2016- March 2017

Reception:  February 16, 2017, 6-7pm

Jim Harrison’s polychromatic, segmented, wood-turned vessels dazzle viewers with their intricate details.  Drawing inspiration from the forms and banded decorative details of Native American pottery, Harrison’s simple vessel shapes belie the sophistication behind their creation.  Each piece is inscribed with the number of individual pieces that comprise the whole.


“into the woods” by Natasha Raichel

Reception:  May 26, 2016, 6:00pm

Appalachian Artisan Center

16 West Main St., Hindman, KY


Natasha has always been a traditional artist. From the moment she was able to grasp a pencil or hold a brush, Natasha has spent countless hours honing her craft, until she turned thirteen and found her true passion: photography. Whether she is working in digital art or photography, Natasha’s work is all-consuming, as she devotes every second of the day to either creating or envisioning what she will do next.

Not only is Natasha a proven artist and photographer, but she is emboldened with an entrepreneurial spirit, having turned her love for photography into a business at the age of fourteen, and she has not slowed down since. Natasha is fond of doing fashion and editorial work, but is even more zealous when it comes to her ardor for artistic, conceptual portraits.

Many consider Natasha’s style to be fairytale like, presumably due to its unearthly qualities. However, Natasha’s work weighs in favor of neither the dark nor the light, choosing instead to create not only the princess or the villain, but both, simultaneously. For Natasha, capitalizing on themes of ethereal fantasy grants her as much delight as compiling images that are more dark and mischievous. Longing to live in both of those conflicting, yet coexisting worlds, Natasha craves the whole story and will never be satisfied with just one side of the narrative.

into the woods” will be on display at the Appalachian Artisan Center through June 30, 2016.


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