Staff & Board

Jessica Evans
Executive Director 
jessica.evans [at]

As Executive Director, Jessica provides administrative leadership for the Center including marketing, program development, and strengthening relationships with artists.  She works closely with artists and community partners to market the Center and its programming, curate exhibits for the gallery and museum, and plan arts-focused events.

Read Jessica's Bio

Jessica, a Boyd County, KY-native, earned her BFA in Ceramics from East Tennessee State University in 2006. Throughout her career, Jessica has held positions at ETSU’s Reece Museum and Slocumb Galleries and worked as Marketing and Exhibits Manager for the ETSU Natural History Museum at the Gray Fossil Site. Five years and nearly fifty exhibits later, she took time off to spend with her growing family. Prior to joining the staff at the AAC, she taught clay classes and hosted events at Jonesborough, TN’s McKinney Art Center.

Chris Boyd
Director of Fundraising and Development
chris.boyd [at]

As Director of Fundraising and Development, Chris advances and promotes Appalachian culture and traditions by building relationships with people and regional entities in an effort to develop the Creative Industry in Eastern Kentucky.

Read Chris's Bio

Chris, a Knott county native, received a Communication Degree from UVA Wise in Virginia.  It was there that she developed her love for Appalachian culture.  Chris served on the Artisan Center’s Board of Directors for 3 years, prior to being selected for this role.  She currently serves as Chamber of Commerce President in Knott County.  

Thelma Hall
Gallery Manager
thelma.hall [at]

As the Gallery Manager, Thelma is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the gallery including procuring and displaying art, maintaining inventory, and interacting with the thousands of guests that visit the Center each year.

Read Thelma's Bio

A lifelong resident of Knott County, KY, Thelma has years of experience interacting with the public and managing a retail environment. Before joining the staff at the Center in 2013, Thelma was a homemaker.

Doug Naselroad
Master Artist-In-Residence
info [at]

As the Master Artist-in-Residence, Doug oversees all aspects of the Center’s luthiery (stringed instrument) program. Additionally, he hosts our monthly radio show, the Knott Downtown Radio Hour.

Read Doug's Bio

Doug’s extensive experience in design and production of stringed musical instruments includes Lead Setup at Collings Guitars in Austin, TX.  He learned many of his techniques from Homer Ledford, the famous dulcimer maker. Doug is a juried member of the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program and a member of the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen.  In his role as MAR in Hindman, he founded the Luthiery Shop in AAC’s wood studio.

Dan Estep
Master Artist-In-Residence
info [at]

As Master Artist-In-Residence, Dan conducts specialy workshops in Blacksmithing in Hindman and mentors apprentices year-round in blade-smithing, forge welding and tool-making.

Read Dan's Bio

Dan Estep was born in Perry County and was raised in Norfolk , VA. He returned to Knott County in 1978. With 32 years experience as a blacksmith, Dan is now a Master of his Craft in his own right. He points out that it wasn’t planned. “I just turned out this way,” he says modestly. He is one of the original members of the Southeast Kentucky Blacksmith Association and of the Appalachian Artisan Center in Hindman, KY. He is also a member of the Southern Ohio Forge and Anvil Association, Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen, and a juried member of Kentucky Crafted.

Kris Patrick
Adjunct Assistant Instructor
info [at]

As Adjunct Assistant Instructor and seasoned luthiery apprentice, Kris assists with art workshops associated with the Culture of Recovery Program.  He also assists with luthiery workshops and guiding new apprentices in the craft of instrument making.

Read Kris's Bio

Kris Patrick, of Mousie, Ky, started as a luthiery apprentice in 2013 under Master Luthier, Doug Naselroad. Sparked by a love of music, he was inspired to create and repair his own instruments. Several dulcimers, ukuleles, and a mandolin later, he is still developing his skills at the Appalachian School of Luthiery and aspires to continue building guitars and other instruments in the future.  Kris and his mentor, Doug, were recipients of the 2017-2018 Folk Apprenticeship Grant awarded by the Kentucky Arts Council. 

Board of Directors

The Appalachian Artisan Center is governed by a volunteer board of directors with strong ties to the community and the arts.

Bill Weinberg, Chair
Clean Gas
Stephanie Damron, Vice Chair
Appalachian Regional Healthcare
Mary Reed, Secretary
Appalachian Crafts
Jerry Slone, Treasurer
Alice Lloyd College
Sonya Bergman
Appalachian Regional Healthcare
Lisa Cox
Knott Central High School
Lacy Hale
Appalachian Media Institute, Art by Lacy Hale
Doug Jones
Jones Insurance Agency
Dr. Jennifer Lindon
Hazard Comm. & Technical College
Jacob Mack-Boll
Kentuckians for the Commonwealth
Tracy Niece
City of Hindman Mayor
Josh Mullins
Hindman Settlement School
Fran Redmon
Redmon2 Marketing + Design
Tina Whitaker
Superior Printing
Bryan Swafford
Hazard Comm. & Technical College
Zach Weinberg
Knott County Judge/Executive
Malcolm J. Wilson
Pix and PR, Humans of Central Appalachia
Chris Amburgey, PROXY
Knott County Tourism
Appalachian Artisan Center of Kentucky, Inc. | Copyright © 2015. All rights reserved.