News & Updates

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 www.arts.gov.

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 www.artisancenter.net.

AAC Project “Culture of Recovery” receives funding from ArtPlace America

Appalachian Artisan Center’s “Culture of Recovery”

receives funding from ArtPlace America’s 2017 National Creative Placemaking Fund

$8.7 million in funding invested in 23 projects

(December 5, 2017) Today, ArtPlace America announced that Appalachian Artisan Center’s “Culture of Recovery” has been chosen from nearly a thousand applications to receive funding through its 2017 National Creative Placemaking Fund.

ArtPlace received 987 applications in 2017, from which 70 finalists were selected and Appalachian Artisan Center’s “Culture of Recovery” is one of only 23 projects that will receive funding this year.  ArtPlace has a deep commitment to investing in rural America, with almost 52% of this year’s funded projects working in rural communities.

ArtPlace’s National Creative Placemaking Fund is a highly competitive national program, which invests money in community development projects where artists, arts organizations, and arts and culture activity work to strengthen communities across 10 sectors of community planning and development.

The Appalachian Artisan Center (AAC) in Hindman, KY is taking a novel approach to combat Eastern Kentucky’s addiction crisis by partnering with Hickory Hill Recovery Center, Knott County Drug Court, and Eastern Kentucky Certified Employment Program (EKCEP) to offer art and entrepreneurial workshops to participants with substance use disorders.  The initiative seeks to provide holistic recovery through arts such as painting, journal-making, and songwriting – as well as apprenticeships in craft trades such as blacksmithing, luthiery and ceramics.   This mentorship will promote creative expression, skill- building, and economic opportunity for those struggling to overcome addiction. Situated in hard-hit Knott County, which ranks 5th nationwide for opioid hospitalizations, AAC and its partners are seeking innovative solutions to address this unprecedented epidemic.

AAC’s Executive Director, Jessica Evans, says, “We have seen evidence that building connections and expression through art can give a struggling individual a sense of purpose, direction, and achievement.  The Culture of Recovery is all about serving this need and hoping to mend our community in a creative way.”

“This year’s investments highlight critical dimensions of creative placemaking strategy that can provide great inspiration to communities across the country.” said F. Javier Torres, Director of National Grantmaking at ArtPlace. “We are deeply excited to announce these 23 new investments as our seventh cohort of funded projects through the National Creative Placemaking Fund.”

 “Creative Placemaking seeks the full and robust integration of art and culture into the decisions that define the ebb and flow of community life. These projects embody what this looks like at its most effective,” said Rip Rapson, president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation and Chair of the ArtPlace President’s Council. “We were overwhelmed by the extraordinary commitment demonstrated in these projects – contributing to the growing understanding of creative placemaking efforts throughout the nation.”

Meet all of the 2017 funded projects here.

About Appalachian Artisan Center

The Appalachian Artisan Center works to develop the economy of eastern Kentucky through it’s art, culture, and heritage.  The Center supports artists by helping them create and grow successful businesses via training and continuing education opportunities, studio space, and a venue to sell and exhibit their work.  For more information about AAC, it’s programs, or the Culture of Recovery, call: 606-785-9855, email: [email protected], or visit online at www.artisancenter.net.

About ArtPlace America

ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) is a ten-year collaboration among 16 partner foundations, along with 8 federal agencies and 6 financial institutions, that works to position arts and culture as a core sector of comprehensive community planning and development in order to help strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities.

ArtPlace focuses its work on creative placemaking, projects in which art plays an intentional and integrated role in place-based community planning and development. This brings artists, arts organizations, and artistic activity into the suite of placemaking strategies pioneered by Jane Jacobs and her colleagues, who believed that community development must be locally informed, human-centric, and holistic.

 

EKV-TV Covers this Story

 

AAC named Finalist for ArtPlaceAmerica Grant Award!

Appalachian Artisan Center’s Culture of Recovery Project

is a finalist for ArtPlace America’s 2017 National Creative Placemaking Fund

 

Extremely competitive national grant program will consider 70 projects  

 

(June 6, 2017) Today, ArtPlace America announced thatAppalachian Artisan Center’s Culture of Recovery Project is one of 70 finalists for the 2017 National Creative Placemaking Fund (NCPF).  ArtPlace selected these 70 proposals from 987 applications, making AAC’s project one of just 7% of the projects across the country to make this cut.

 

ArtPlace’s National Creative Placemaking Fund is a highly competitive national program, receiving 987 applications this year. Investing money in communities across the country in which artists, arts organizations, and arts and culture activity help drive community development change across 10 sectors of community planning and development: agriculture and food; economic development; education and youth; environment and energy; health; housing; immigration; public safety; transportation; or workforce development.

The Appalachian Artisan Center’s proposed Culture of Recovery Project seeks to utilize the arts in the battle against substance abuse in Appalachia.
The drug addiction epidemic, now of concern nationally, began in eastern Kentucky well over a decade ago
with unprecedented abuse of prescription pain killers. Out-migration is gutting the local economy, and
residents who are in recovery face barriers to employment. This project will marry two cultures of recovery:
that of those combatting addiction, and that of those working to reclaim the traditional arts and crafts of the
area. This project will begin by incorporating art- and craft-based therapies as part of recovery programs and
link them with apprenticeships and ongoing workforce and small business development opportunities.

“These seventy finalists are extraordinary examples of the ways that artists, arts organizations, and communities are thinking about working together,” said ArtPlace Director of National Grantmaking F. Javier Torres. “We look forward to learning more about all of them, as we visit with them this summer.”

“Each of these projects has proposed something extraordinary and important,” added ArtPlace Executive Director Jamie Bennett. “We would love to be able to invest in all of them, and know that choices ahead of us will be extraordinarily difficult.”

 

The complete list of the 2017 finalists for ArtPlace’s National Creative Placemaking Fund may be found here.

The Appalachian Artisan Center aims to develop the economy of eastern Kentucky through arts, culture, and heritage.

AAC is dedicated to supporting artists by helping them create and grow successful businesses. The Center provides assistance to artists in many ways including business plan development, training and continuing education opportunities, studio space, and a venue to sell and exhibit their work.

 

About ArtPlace America

ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) is a ten-year collaboration among 16 partner foundations, along with 8 federal agencies and 6 financial institutions, that works to position arts and culture as a core sector of comprehensive community planning and development in order to help strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities.

 

ArtPlace focuses its work on creative placemaking, projects in which art plays an intentional and integrated role in place-based community planning and development. This brings artists, arts organizations, and artistic activity into the suite of placemaking strategies pioneered by Jane Jacobs and her colleagues, who believed that community development must be locally informed, human-centric, and holistic.

Appalachian Artisan Center featured in NEA Arts Magazine!

The Appalachian Artisan Center was featured in the Summer 2017 issue of NEA Arts Magazine.

Click the link below to read more!

“Creative Approaches to Problem-Solving: Embracing Kentucky’s Traditions at the Appalachian Artisan Center” by Rebecca Sutton

 

 

Kentucky Master Artists Awarded Arts Council Grants

HINDMAN, KY – Seven Kentucky master artists have been awarded Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grants from the Kentucky Arts Council.

The Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant provides $3,000 to a Kentucky master folk or traditional artist to teach skills, practices and culture to less experienced artists from the same community during the course of a year.

The seven recipients are folk or traditional artists who are considered masters within their community and who have identified an apprentice from the same community who has potential to become a master. Both master and apprentice must be Kentucky residents.

Douglas Naselroad, a Master Luthier from Winchester, KY, has worked to establish the Appalachian School of Luthiery in Hindman, KY, for the past four years.  A previous awardee of the Folk Apprenticeship grant, in recent years, Naselroad received the 2016 Kentucky Governor’s Award in the Arts in the Folk Tradition Category on behalf of the Appalachian Artisan Center’s Hindman Dulcimer Project and in 2017, was awarded the Homer Ledford Award in Luthiery.  He and his apprentice, Kris Patrick, have committed to make at least two instruments in the coming year from Appalachian hardwoods such as Kentucky Black Locust, Black Walnut, and Red Spruce.  The use of sustainable Appalachian hardwoods in instruments made at the Appalachian School of Luthiery is a defining feature of the Troublesome Creek Stringed Instruments label.

Kris Patrick, from Mousie, KY, in Knott County has apprenticed at the Luthiery in Hindman since 2014,  and has already built several “Uncle Ed Thomas” style dulcimers, a tenor ukulele, and a flat iron style mandolin.  With the assistance provided this year by the Kentucky Arts Council Folk Apprenticeship Grant, he hopes to add guitars to his ever-growing list of instrument achievements.

“The folk and Apprenticeship Grant has been key to developing new talent in Luthiery.  It is not only a help, but represents an incredible encouragement and validation to emerging artists,” said Naselroad.

The masters and apprentices who will receive funding include:

  • Cynthia Sue Massek (Willisburg), who will teach Appalachian women’s music to Melody Youngblood (Berea);
  • Lakshmi Sriraman (Lexington), who will teach Bharatanatyam (Indian dance style) to Vasundhara Parameswaran (Lexington);
  • Justin Bonar-Bridges (Ft. Thomas), who will teach traditional Irish music and Clare style fiddling to Emmanuel Gray (Covington);
  • Hong Shao (Nicholasville), who will teach pipa (traditional Chinese stringed instrument) to Leah Werking(Carlisle);
  • Douglas Naselroad (Winchester/Hindman), who will teach guitar making to Kris Patrick (Mousie);
  • Gary Cornett (Louisville), who will teach old time Kentucky fiddling and luthiery to Walter Lay (Louisville); and
  • John Harrod (Owenton), who will teach eastern Kentucky old time fiddle tunes and style to James Webb(Frankfort).

Visit the Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant page of the arts council’s website for more information or contact Mark Brown, arts council folk and traditional arts director, at[email protected] or 502-892-3115.

Information about the Appalachian School of Luthiery at the Appalachian Artisan Center in Hindman can be found online at www.artisancenter.net .

 

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