Cecilia woman considered Kentucky craft luminary

Submitted Leona Waddell works on a basket at her home in Cecilia. Her craftsmanship is being exhibited as part of an upcoming statewide show by the Kentucky Craft History and Education Association.

A noted basket maker from Cecilia is exhibiting as part of the Kentucky Craft History and Education Association exhibit called “Kentucky Craft Luminaries: Sharing the Stories.”

Leona Waddell, a 2012 recipient of the Kentucky Governor’s Folk Heritage Award, will have some of her baskets in the display.

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She is also a 2016 NEA National Heritage Fellow and the recipient of the 2012 Kentucky Governor’s Award in the Arts Folk Heritage Award. Her work has been featured in the Smithsonian American Art Museum. She was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Basketry Organization.


I am so glad that Leona is getting the recognition she deserves. In 2004 I worked with the Kentucky Folklife Center to bring her to the college for a presentation. The now-defunct KFC hoped to bring attention to her work and to the important tradition of white oak basketweaving in this area, particularly in Hart County.

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