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what is kentuck?

the short answer:

kentuck is a heaven of a place.


the (slightly) longer answer:

Kentuck Art Center and Festival is an experiential arts and culture economic engine located in Historic Downtown Northport, Alabama. Rooted in 53-years of expertise, Kentuck touches the lives of tens of thousands of people from diverse walks of life in our local, regional, and national communities.


kentuck's mission:

kentuck's mission is to perpetuate the arts, engage the community, and empower the artist.

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what does kentuck do?

Kentuck Art Center provides year-round programming with the mission to perpetuate the arts, engage the community, and empower the artist. Kentuck's programming includes opportunities to interact with art and culture seven days a week for free. By offering a portion of Kentuck's programming for free, this expands access to art and culture to our local underserved communities. Kentuck firmly believes art should be for everyone, and we are constantly seeking ways to improve the quality and expand the reach of our programming. The Kentuck Festival of the Arts, held yearly in October, serves as Kentuck's largest revenue generator and informs the organization's budget for the following fiscal year. Scroll down to learn more about offered programs and latest initiatives.

program highlights

the festival

What began in 1971 as a celebration of the City of Northport Centennial and southern folkways, the Kentuck Festival of the Arts has grown into a highly celebrated, nationally recognized art festival that attracts more than 15,000 visitors and creates a $5.5 million economic impact on the surrounding community. 

The two-day festival has roots in folk art and features 270+ artists, live music, spoken word, activities for children, folk and contemporary craft demonstrations, food trucks, and local craft brews. ​Kentuck Festival of the Arts was most recently recognized by Alabama Department of Tourism as one of the top-ten events to attend in Alabama in 2018 and by Alabama Magazine as one of the “Best of Bama 2018.” Kentuck has also been featured in Smithsonian Magazine, Southern Living, American Style Magazine, and National Geographic Traveler. In 2018, the Festival was named 5th in the nation (based on artists' self-reported sales) in the category of Classic and Contemporary Craft Shows by Sunshine Artists Magazine. The 53rd Kentuck Festival of the Arts will be held October 19-20, 2024 at Snow Hinton Park in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. VIP Packages and Corporate Partnerships are available.   Learn More>

exhibitions, art nights, and saturday art markets

Kentuck Art Center curates four gallery spaces each year—the exhibits carefully chosen by Kentuck intentionally cross cultural boundaries and biases of age, race, gender, and socioeconomic background. The Museum Gallery and Kentuck's Gallery Shop at Hotel Indigo are open seven days a week and serve as a free platform for engagement, healing, and a feeling of belonging for our community. 

Museum Gallery

503 Main Avenue, Northport

Open 7 days a week, free admission

Ellis Teer Gallery

1922 5th Street, Northport

*Open by request, Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm; Open to the public 5-8pm during Art Nights, free admission

SoNo Gallery - Houses Kentuck's Permanent Collection and special exhibitions

1922 5th Street, Northport

*Open by request, Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm; Open to the public 5-8pm during Art Nights, free admission 

Kentuck's Gallery at Hotel Indigo - an extension of Kentuck's Gallery Shop 

111 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa

Open 7 days a week, free admission

Art Night is our monthly, FREE event that celebrates art, community, and artists. These events serve as the opening reception for our Museum Gallery exhibitions and often include educational Artist Talks, live music, open artists' studios, and more. 

Kentuck's Art Markets occur the third Saturday each month and is the community's chance to shop with some amazing local artists in Kentuck's Courtyard of Wonders or at 1901 Jack Warner Parkway Tuscaloosa, Alabama (across the street from the Tuscaloosa River Market). In addition to local artists selling their work, there's a craft station and drum cart for children. This event is free to attend, but we always encourage you to support our local artists. Check this page for this month's participating artists and location information.

make and learn: workshops and educational outreach


From Kids' Camps and After School Classes to Stained Glass and Wheel Throwing—Kentuck Art Center is proud to host educational art workshops for all ages. Each Saturday, you can join us for a la cARTe, which is a self-guided opportunity to create with acrylics, monotypes, collage, or drawing.

boxes of joy

Kentuck's Boxes of Joy provides art supply kits and additional arts instruction to youth in Tuscaloosa and Northport who are considered economically disadvantaged. Kentuck Art Center is partnering with several organizations throughout the community, including Northport Housing Authority, Tuscaloosa One Place Extended Day Program at Matthews Elementary, and the Tuscaloosa Housing Authority to bring craft kits to over 150 children, ages 5-12. In addition to quarterly craft kits to each of these organizations, artists will lead in-person activities that provide an opportunity for these children to express themselves in a healthy, safe, positive way. Kentuck's Boxes of Joy include information on Kentuck's current exhibition, step-by-step instructions for a related art activity, and all necessary art supplies. In addition to these art supplies, each box contains information about Kentuck and its current programming. For more information about this program, click here.

kentuck + benjamin barnes ymca

Kentuck partners with the Benjamin Barnes YMCA throughout the year to bring art supplies and art instruction to children participating in the day camp program at the Benjamin Barnes YMCA in Tuscaloosa's West End Community. This partnership, sponsored by University Lutheran Church, enables Kentuck to deliver more art opportunities that meet the needs of clients where they are, a crucial goal in Kentuck's strategic vision for growth.

field trips & group tours

Throughout the year, Kentuck welcomes groups of all ages to our campus. During these visits, groups have the opportunity to tour our 3 art galleries with a diverse collection of local, regional, and national art. After seeing the galleries, visitors participate in a guided artmaking activity that allows them to express creativity and imagination.

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our campus - find us by the red dog

Kentuck's campus consists of five repurposed buildings and is home to eight artists' studios, three gallery spaces, three classroom spaces, Kentuck's Permanent Collection, the Courtyard of Wonders, and the Gallery Shop.

museum building:

Kentuck's main building is over 100 years old (built 1815) and has undergone a community-funded $1.2 million renovation to make the building inhabitable. Located on the corner of Fifth Street and Main Avenue, this is now home to our offices, a rotating exhibition space, and The Gallery Shop.

red dog building:

While this isn't Kentuck's main building, it certainly is the most eye-catching one on our campus and is home to one of our studio artists. Rusty, by artist Larry Godwin, has become an iconic symbol for Kentuck and a favorite landmark in Downtown Northport.

georgine clarke building:

Once a vaccum cleaner repair shop and Northport's Post Office, this building now bears the name of Kentuck's beloved founder, Georgine Clarke. The Clarke Building houses the Teer Gallery, five artists' studios, and the SoNo Gallery. The SoNo Gallery holds Kentuck's Permanent Collection and serves as a multipurpose classroom and meeting space.

artists' studios:

On any given day in Kentuck’s Courtyard of Wonders you can watch a ceramic bowl emerge from a lump of clay, a folk artist at work, or a weathervane grow from hammered metal in our blacksmith’s forge. Kentuck Art Center rents nine studio spaces to local, full‑time artists for below market value to help them make a living doing what they love.

click to enlarge campus map

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Kentuck Tree mosaic Linda Munoz Rhys Greene

tree mosaic by linda muñoz and rhys greene:

This large mosaic mural is located on the side of our Museum Building and includes so many different elements, we can't list them all! If you look closely, you'll see all sorts of colors, shapes, and textures comprised of pieces of glass, ceramics, bottles, and jewelry. If you look long enough, you'll be able to see mini pieces of art from several Kentuck artists we know and love. This mosaic has become a popular photo spot!

Can you spot one of Glenn House's famous faces? (hint: look under the tree. Click photo to enlarge).

kentuck museum association is a proud member of

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