INSIDE THE FRENCH LICK RESORT HOTEL
Open 10 – 6 daily, the Indiana Artisan store offers
work by more than 100 Artisans recognized by the State for
exceptional art, fine craft and foods.
(July 4, 2016) Metalsmithed jewelry, handmade wood instruments and hand-turned wood bowls, both quirky and stately pottery, elegant and whimsical glasswork, hand-stitched leather notebooks, hand-painted silk scarves, handwoven rugs, and handmade furniture join small batch barbecue sauces, mustards, a wide variety of cookies made by the Sisters of St. Benedict’s Monastery Bakery, turtles as big as your hand, thick and thin noodles, a great variety of hand-ground pastas, apple butter and applesauce, honey, wine truffles, and more inside Indiana Artisan, the store inside the French Lick Resort Hotel.
Simply called “Indiana Artisan,” to reinforce the state’s brand representing the highest-quality art and food coming from Indiana today, the store is one of seven inside the French Lick Resort Hotel, 8670 West State Road 56, in French Lick, Ind. One of the Promenade Shoppes, located along the promenade between the hotel and casino, Indiana Artisan is open 10 – 6 every day, year-round with a selection that expands monthly and includes work by more than 100 Indiana Artisans — artists, fine craftsmen and food producers recognized by the state as being at the top of their craft.
Since 2011, the annual Indiana Artisan Marketplace, has showcased the art, fine craft and foods created by the Artisans. In 2014, the Indiana Artisan Holiday Marketplace launched in downtown Fort Wayne’s Grand Wayne Convention Center, a similar showcase targeted to holiday shoppers seeking unique, Indiana-made gifts for themselves and others. Both events give guests the opportunity to meet the makers of the art, fine craft and foods and to see and purchase exceptional work coming from today’s Hoosier artists and food producers. Indiana Artisan, the store, provides year-round access to their work.The store carries art and foods ranging from $4 to nearly $2,000, made by Artisans from all over Indiana, whose work has juried into the organization.
Foods, such as dessert sauces from Wayne Shive’s Best Boy & Co., barbecue sauces from Lathay Pegues’ JohnTom’s Barbecue, apple butter and applesauce from Ruth Ann Roney’s Tuttle Orchards, and chocolates and caramels from Jayne Hoadley’s J. Evelyn Confections, Julie Bolejack’s Chocolate for the Spirit, Linda Armes’ Peacetree Mountain Truffles, and Jay Noel’s Abbott’s Candies round-out a corner cupboard filled with other appetizing Hoosier products.
Indiana Artisan defines “art” broadly, and the store defines the best in art and fine craft coming from Indiana today. A handmade Adirondack-style willow bench from Willow by Greg Adams and a stunning five-shelf, four-wood display unit by Darin Caldwell Designs complement a Shaker-style rocker by Pete Baxter Woodworks that is home to one of several leather pillows by Anita Hopper’s ReFind Originals. Megan Winn’s leather-bound journals, photo albums, notebooks and more are alongside the beautiful handmade-paper journals by Alice Jane Smith’s Birdsong Book Arts.Original watercolors and acrylics by Gabriel Lehman, Craig Whitten, Cindy Cradler, and other 2D artists join photographs by Al Knight, John Bower and Tom Duffy. The store’s large display window opens onto the hotel’s promenade, and a lighted exhibit window allows the work of an Artisan, or Artisans, to be showcased. Tom Duffy’s photo series on limestone carvers in Lawrence County in on exhibit, and for sale, now.
Jewelry by Amy Greely, Heidi Mandich, Dawn Middleton, Janet Webb, Michell Mathis, and Joe Krutulis highlights the breadth and depth coming from Indiana jewelry makers.
Several weavers offer decorative, functional and wearable fiber, and weaving of a different kind – basket making by Pete Baxter, Connie Moolenaar and Roland Rein – is represented by Shaker-style baskets, long-leaf pine needle baskets and sturdy, usable baskets guaranteed to carry anything put in them.
The store carries three-dimensional work from potters, glassmakers, woodworkers, and unique arts such as mosaics, gourd sculpture and stones covered in Asian papers and gold/silver leaf. And the paper arts are represented through several different kinds of greeting, birthday, thank you, and other cards, as well as quilted paper bookmarks and both matted and framed original wall art.
Visitors to the store also may take the 2016 Indiana Artisan Viewbook, listing and illustrating the work of all 196 Artisans in 57 counties – including French Lick Winery and Bear Hollow Wood Carvers, which both have stores walkable from the Resort.The store opened April 26, with former Indiana Lt. Governor Becky Skillman cutting the ribbon. Lt. Gov. Skillman oversaw the launch of Indiana Artisan in 2008, an economic development program with a mission to help the state’s art and food artisans expand their businesses and, through that, expand their local economies and create a brand that defines Indiana by the expansive arts and foods created here. With a Resolution from the State Legislature that mandates that ongoing mission, Indiana Artisan became a stand-alone corporation in 2011.
When launching the program, Lt. Gov. Skillman described Indiana’s art and food artisans as “place-based assets,” indicating the value the state placed on them and their work, and especially on the economic vitality of the areas where they live. Her goal was for Indiana Artisan to help expand the state’s economy through initiatives that would help each Artisan expand their business and, in turn, their local economy – through hiring apprentices and employees, expanding their studios, workshops and kitchens, creating Artisan Trails that would encourage tourism to meet the Artisans and purchase their work, and perhaps most importantly: increase sales.
The work in the store is always different – as seasons change, as foods and art sell and as new Artisans are named. Visit often!