This used to be a wonderful organization. It is such a shame that they keep hiring directors who do not have the background, knowledge or understanding to keep things going.
There are so many wonderful things to say about Kentuck - and all well-deserved. From a non-profit perspective, what amazes me about Kentuck is that such a small organization can successfully execute an iconic, nationally recognized event.
Kentuck has put hosted a Nationally acclaimed art show for 41 years. From their small building, the Kentuck staff has consistently attracted some of the best outsider and folk artists in the nation, and some of the best collectors of art. Additionally , the Kentuck has actively sought out unrecognized talent.. Some of which had skyrocketed to the top, with the recognition of Kentuck.
In addition to identifying and promoting great art, they have educated the community: both local and those who travel from afar as patrons. It is an inclusive event which is attended by patrons who buy major works, as well as families simply coming to view art and participate in children's events.
I believe that Kentuck's commitment has truly played a part in not only recognizing, but also developing Southern Folk Art and, at the same time, educating and developing an educated art buyer.
I have been an invited artist for many years and attribute much of my children's keen eye to the years they have spent at Kentuck.
I have had the honor of being an invited artist at Kentuck Festival of the Arts for many years. I have been doing shows as a working artist for 20 plus years. It is without a doubt my favorite show that I do throughout the year.
Upon arrival I am greeted each year by the staff and volunteers as a member of the Kentuck family. These kind of special touches are a welcome change. I look forward all year to this show, as it is where I feel I am truly with my tribe. Kentuck has a great mix a folk/outsider art, contemporary art & outstanding craft. The music and demonstrating artists make this a well-rounded event. Even the activities for children have an unusual twist; my favorite is the musical instruments tent, where kids get a chance to try out an array of instruments.
In the past, when the park has encountered rain & flooding the staff was there coming up with solutions and working with the venue on long term solutions. The public is supportive of the event and the local newspapers to a great job with articles and spotlights on musicians and artists. They have a Patron Program that works wonderfully. The show hours are perfect, 9-5 Sat/Sun with load-in on Friday. What more can I say? I look forward to next year!
I have been participating in juried art festivals throughout the midwest and southwest for more than twenty years. Kentuck is indeed unique from my prospective.It is a wonderful mix of true folk art, pseudo folk art, semi folk, wanna be folk, contemporary work and just plain good art made by sincere craftsmen. It is a safe environment to brings kids and let them wander and wonder. It is the only art show about the art, craft and creativity, not about presentation . My first year the man across from us hung his work from a tree and leaned against a chicken wire fence. I was entranced as i watched throughout the day as he almost sold out. Its the only show I've gone to where a staff member stood in the path in front of my booth and said, "you need help? I'll get someone right over!" And did! Most of the artists I know come back year after year despite the mud, dust, pollen, floods, sunshine and cheer. It feels like an art show for artists though the public is a vital force- after all, we do need an audience!