Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet
Kentucky Arts Council

  Kentucky Arts Council
Tom Musgrave


Artists can apply for Kentucky Crafted through Aug. 17

Distinction recognizes best of Kentucky visual, craft artists

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 13, 2021) — Since being admitted to the Kentucky Crafted program, Lakshmi Sriraman of Lexington has flourished as a visual artist. She has participated in the Kentucky Arts Council’s annual Kentucky Crafted Market, taken advantage of education opportunities for arts entrepreneurs and networked with her fellow Kentucky Crafted artists.

“It’s opened a lot of doors and allowed me to connect with a lot of people I would not have,” she said.

Kentucky Crafted is an arts marketing program that provides assistance to visual and craft artists through networking, promotional and sales opportunities and business training. The Kentucky Arts Council is hoping to add more artists like Sriraman to the program and is accepting applications for Kentucky Crafted through Aug. 17.

“Kentucky Crafted artists enjoy more than just the right to use the Kentucky Crafted brand on their work,” said Dave Blevins, arts marketing director for the Kentucky Arts Council. “By adding the Kentucky Crafted brand to their own work, artists like Lakshmi have broadened the reach of their own brand through the recognition that comes with being Kentucky Crafted.”

Carrying the Kentucky Crafted brand is a symbol of artistic excellence in the commonwealth. Artists who use the brand have been adjudicated by an independent panel of professional artists and leaders within the arts and craft community. Among many other benefits and privileges, Kentucky Crafted artists become eligible to exhibit at the annual Kentucky Crafted Market.

Sriraman is a longtime performing artist as well, having juried into the arts council’s Performing Artists Directory under her discipline of Bharatanatyam, one of the oldest classical dance forms in India. She began painting acrylics on canvas in 2017 and, at the urging of some visual arts mentors who had seen her work, applied for Kentucky Crafted.

“What I heard in the feedback was that I got juried in because my art was different and original,” she said.

In addition to exhibiting at The Kentucky Crafted Market, artists are eligible to apply for consultancies from the Kentucky Peer Advisory Network (KPAN). Artists may also use the Kentucky Crafted logo, will be included in the online directory of artists and can take advantage of cooperative advertising and exhibit opportunities.

Sriraman applied for and received a KPAN consultancy from fellow Kentucky Crafted artist Dan Neil Barnes.

“I got tons of information from Dan about how to do shows and practical information about how to create booths – what works and doesn’t work,” Sriraman said. “That’s the nitty gritty stuff that, if I did it all by myself, would take years to figure out. That helped me a lot.”

In addition to the educational and networking opportunities available to her, Sriraman said the honor of being a brand ambassador for Kentucky Crafted is of immeasurable value, which she learned on a recent visit to a large gallery in Carmel, Ind.

“I was talking to them about my art and I introduced myself as a Kentucky Crafted artist,” she said. “They recognized the brand right away. With that brand comes distinction, and it was nice to hear that from them.”

She encouraged artists not yet in Kentucky Crafted to consider applying for the program.

“I think Kentucky has such rich artistry. The more diverse artists we can get in the program, the richer we are for it, as a state, artist community and community at large.”

For more information about the Kentucky Crafted program, contact David Blevins at or 502-892-3120.

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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.