A Whitesburg woman is one of five artists featured on a flyer for Kentucky’s wholesale trade show and retail marketplace which takes place in Louisville this week.
Luann Vermillion’s verbenaembedded bowl will be one of many botanical items she will be showcasing at “Kentucky Crafted: The Market,” which begins February 19 at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center. The event is open for wholesale the first two days and will be available to the public beginning February 21.
The event, which is produced by the Kentucky Arts Council, consists of 300 exhibitors of contemporary and traditional fine art and crafts in addition to film, musical recordings, books, and Kentucky Proud food products. In conjunction with this year’s theme, “Kentucky Crafted: Naturally!,” several artisans will sell art and craft work made of organic and natural materials.
Vermillion is also one of five artists who will be at Kentucky Crafted: The Market who have been selected for the Kentucky Artisan Center exhibition “Shaping Nature: Kentucky Artisans Work with Natural Materials.” Her art will be on display at the Berea center through May 31.
Vermillion has been making paper objects with botanical inclusions full-time for 10 years. She creates magnets, bookmarks, paperweights, cards, bowls, baskets and rose scrolls.
Her bookmarks and magnets have been selected for the Kentucky Arts Council’s Kentucky Collection and she received the Platinum 10 Award in 2007.
“I make a unique style of handmade paper with native wildflowers imbedded in the paper,” said Vermillion. “I create my art using several techniques and mediums. By combining handmade paper, botanicals, and glass, I make an assortment of functional and decorative pieces.”
Vermillion said her fascination with wildflowers began when she was a young child.
“I see the beauty in the wildflowers and weeds,” she said.
Vermillion incorporates more than 30 different varieties of flowers into her artwork including ironweed, goldenrod, lobelia, field daisies and blue phlox. She also works with cosmos, forget-menots, poison hemlock and Queen Anne’s lace.
“I love delicate wildflowers but many only bloom for a couple of weeks a year,” said Vermillion. “I have found a way to lengthen the time we can enjoy the beauty of these flowers by preserving them together with my handmade paper.”
Vermillion uses scrap computer paper, junk mail, Christmas cards and other paper that would normally be thrown away to make new paper.
“The paper I make from recycled fiber has a rough, natural look that accentuates the muted colors of the plants,” she said. “I love recycling paper to create new pieces that highlight Mother Nature’s beautiful colors.”
Vermillion works year-round on her art, whether it be collecting scrap paper to shred, growing and picking flowers or making art. She recently began researching the characteristics and folklore of her favorite species of flowers and has created a line of products that she calls her Spectacular Nature Series.
Vermillion’s work is for sale in 20 stores in Kentucky and about 15 other stores throughout the nation. Each December she has a show at the home of her mother, Judith Vermillion, in Solomon.
“My vision is to capture and preserve the natural beauty of Kentucky’s wildflowers so that they can be enjoyed for years,” said Vermillion. “I create my art so that other nature lovers, like myself, can have a little bit of spring with them year round.”
Those interested in purchasing items made by Vermillion can call her at 633-8849.