Gallery 123 host the Berea Tourism Artist Accelerator Program. Emerging artists were selected to receive business training, studio space, and other assistance while working in the gallery for 16 months. This program works to continue the arts and crafts legacy of Berea, and prepare artists for starting their own businesses upon completion. Several different artists can be found in Gallery 123, and you never know what piece of art you will fall in love with! Be sure to stop in, and see the artists at work!

Berea Tourism is requesting applications for the Berea Tourism Artist Accelerator Program.

The Artist Accelerator Program promotes arts in Berea by:

  • Working as active artist’s in a dynamic studio
  • Interfacing with the community
  • Working in outreach
  • Educating community through gallery sales

Accelerator residents are expected to work in the studio and gallery. They are provided a studio for production of work, shared gallery space for sale of artwork, and a generous stipend. In addition, the residents are provided courses in entrepreneurship so, that they are able to see a successful life in art making. Materials and development grants are also available.

Interested candidates should apply now. Applications must be received by April 26, 2017.

Calendar of events:

  • March 28, 2017 – Meet and Greet (location at Gallery 123 N. Broadway; at 5:30pm)
  • April 26, 2017 – Review of Applications
  • May 23, 2017 – Notification of accepted fellows
  • July 1, 2017 – Start of Accelerator program for new residents

Interested applicants should complete the attached application, provide a cover letter, artist’s statement, 5 – 10 images of current work (see formatting instructions below,) image identification sheet including media, dimensions, date of production, and three letters of recommendation (at least one of which must be from a Berea College faculty or labor supervisor, when applicable.) Please email completed document to AND mail hard copy documents (include images on a cd) to:

Berea Tourism: Artist Accelerator 2017
#3 Artist Circle Berea, KY 40403

*images should not exceed 2MB per image (1024 x 768 preferable) and should be titled: LastName_Title.jpg


Tim Wade

I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, but moved to Kentucky when I was very young. So, I consider myself a Kentuckian. I was raised in Somerset, Kentucky, a town about an hour south of Berea. That is where I grew to love the outdoors and all the beauty of nature. The Daniel Boone National Forest and Lake Cumberland was my playground.

All that I have become in life, I account to my parents. They instilled high standards and expectations for me. That being said, not being successful was not an option. I graduated college with a Medical Technology Degree, becoming a Laboratory Technologist. I had a long career working in a hospital for over 25 years. I eventually became a Laboratory Supervisor.

This is where my woodworking passion evolved. I had always enjoyed working with wood. But, now it was how I would deal with the stresses of everyday life. Building on this woodworking passion, I started Wood-Phoria Wood Turning and Design. I create pieces from the heart, with all the beauty created by nature.

Dazo’s Clay Studio

Jonathan Dazo

Making pottery is an adventure. Waiting for pots to become leather hard. Trimming that custom foot. Decorate the surface of the vessel. Imagining what glaze makes stamps and etchings appear best is my favorite part. Then to have all of that work be out of your control during the last kiln fire is like waiting for the resolution of a good story. In the end that is what pottery is to me. It is all about the experience.

I make my vessels primarily using white stoneware and porcelain with a palette of vibrant glaze colors. My texture designs and stamp work are inspired by the finer details found in nature. Using polymer clay, I create stamps, marbled colors, and bead canes to bring a different perspective to ceramics as an art form. Polymer clay is my means of creating stamps without having to use ceramics or a kiln to create new designs; it is fast to make and is limited only by my own perceptions and creativity. My idea of art is remaining perceptive of the details of surroundings, while also being open to new means to an end when it comes to invention.

My vessels reinforce my views on perception by creating work that has no set interpretation. Stamping work with fish skeletons show details when glazed, but can also act as a reminder of how ocean life is dying. The ginkgo leaves on bowls and cups are a reminder of autumn, while also paying homage to an annual display of leaves falling all at once. Themes of nature appear often in my art because it is based on my perception of the world. Sometimes people move too fast to focus on what is around them. My view of life is seen through enjoying the journey instead of the destination. And when the journey is over, you share the experience.

Monstrous Illustrations

Gina Dittmeier

My love for painting started with my artistically inclined mother. I felt the need to pick up her art supplies where I found them, and she only encouraged my curiosity buying me my own set of paint brushes and canvases as I got older. I went through art classes in middle and high school, mesmerized by the bright colors and images I was able to bring to life that had previously existed only in my head. My love for books began with my mother as well, reading Harry Potter to me every night before bed. I became fascinated with the idea that a magical world could exist beside our own, and from there became an avid reader.

During my years at Berea College, I majored in Studio Art with minors in English and Art History. I was taught to use oil paints to carefully render still lives and the human figure. I quickly became dissatisfied, however, because in these painting classes I was discouraged from bringing to life the magical world that had fascinated me so much in the books I read. I learned to use bright, somewhat surreal colors, and a bit of distortion to make my carefully rendered figures look more fantastical. This, along with my discovery of watercolors, began to shape my identity as an artist.

The Broom House

Justin Burton

I grew up in Russell County on the edge of Appalachia. My family has made this area home for hundreds of years. I attended Berea College and received a Bachelors in December of 2015. During my time at the College, my labor position was in Broomcraft. I have been creating brooms since August 2013 under the guidance by Berea College’s Master Broom Maker Christopher Robbins. By the time I graduated in 2015, I had risen to the position of student manager and helped produce over 5000 brooms for the College. Since then I have designed multiple brooms for production, meet many of the broom makers, and began to find ways to make broom making more sustainable.

I have two essential goals that will guide my broom making. Firstly, I endeavor to elevate broom-making from being perceived as a folksy-craft to an art and begin producing highly decorative, original pieces. The image many of the people I have spoken to about broom making have is that it is just a folksy craft, not a legitimate art-form. Now that I have mastered traditional forms of broom-making, I plan to produce highly decorative and original pieces designed to provoke thought and admiration.

The second goal I have for my broom-making is to preserve the craft. Since the 1970s, broom making has been on a steep decline in the United States. Currently there are less than 200 craft broom makers in the United States. Most of these artisans are older and not passing a great deal of their craft on to people outside their families. I want to change this. A lot of what I want to do is to teach broom making in workshops, and help spread the notions that a broom can be an expression of an individual person’s identity and inner world. Nearly every item in the modern household has become more individualized by the number of choices available today. So why not the broom?