Paducah merchants and artists expanded the city’s Kentucky-crafted presence by participating in Kentucky Arts Council’s Kentucky Crafted: The Market 2013 in Lexington, March 2-3, 2013.

The purpose of the Kentucky Crafted Program is to support professional visual and craft artists and promote a diverse selection of high quality art in Kentucky. To encourage a stronger connection with the program in Paducah, the Paducah Visitors Bureau facilitated a trip for Kay Smart, BeBe’s Artisan Market and Josh White, Yeiser Art Center to participate as buyers at the Market.

“It was beneficial to work together as a community on this project – to offer more Kentucky Crafted products,” said White. “The relationships [Smart] and I built with artists from across the state are invaluable, and we returned to Paducah with two different but complementary product lines.”

On the other side of the table, Paducah artists Michael Terra and Tracey Buchanan were among more than 200 exhibitors.

Kristin Williams attended Kentucky Crafted with the primary goal of finding merchandise for Ephemera Paducah, opening this spring at the corner of Ninth & Madison in LowerTown.

“An added bonus was the ability to chat with incredibly talented Kentucky artists and inquire if they taught workshops in their mediums,” Williams said. “At least half a dozen expressed interest in teaching at Ephemera Paducah, and I am following up with them about bringing their talents to our community.“

These positive Market experiences have spurred talks with the Paducah Renaissance Alliance to involve more merchants and artists in the Kentucky Crafted program in the future. Kentucky Crafted products are available at various specialty and Museum gift shops throughout Paducah.