June 1-2, 2018
Our Grand Opening!


All Images Copyright Kay Anne Peake

As Ann, our founder, moved toward retiring from her career as a Public Health Service Officer and nurse scientist she was looking for opportunities to create connections and share her love of the traditional arts. The result is this collaborative endeavor – Traditional Arts Today. She hopes you’ll get involved by teaching or taking classes at our studio, selling your art or purchasing unique traditional arts at our shop. 

The connections that form the core of Traditional Arts Today include Ann’s sister Joan, her husband Ed and dear friends Patti, Julie, Kathy, and Kay Anne. Joan is our treasurer and the person who makes our website possible. Ed is our vice president and voice of reason. Patti is our secretary and program director. Julie is our artistic director. Kay Anne is our resident multimedia guru and Kathy is our consultant. Patti brings her incredible skills to planning a broad range of classes that will be held in our studio. Julie brings to our organization an incredible eye for unique art and is our main contact with the artists who sell their creations in our shop. We hope to see you in the near future at Traditional Arts Today at 314 W. 9th St. in Ferdinand, IN.

Read more about
Ann and Joan 

Ann and Joan are daughters of an expert quilter who “encouraged” them to learn the traditional arts as children. One example was a summer project to embroider state birds and flowers on blocks for a quilt.

Bird Quilt.jpg

Note that mom stitched quilts completely by hand with 10 - 12 stitches per inch. Over time Ann continued to learn the traditional arts, but Joan moved into the direction of computers. Ann remains a novice in a broad range of traditional arts including knitting, crocheting, needle point, basket weaving and of course embroidery. During her senior year of college Ann took an elective course in weaving and fell in love with this art form. She took classes through the Harmony Spinning and Weaving Guild (which no longer exists) and bought a 4-harness loom. She has continued to weave off and on for the last 40 years with some projects taking almost that long to complete. Ann and Joan attended high school at the Academy Immaculate Conception, later Marian Heights Academy, in Ferdinand where our non-profit is located. While the boarding school no longer exists, the Benedictine sisters who ran the school still reside in the Monastery on the Hill. 

Read more about

Even though our mother tried to encourage Joan in the direction of the traditional arts, Joan moved into the direction of computers and now maintains our website. Patti, our program director, has been successful in enticing Joan to try knitting and she might even be enjoying it a little bit.

Read more about
Ann and Patti

For several weaving projects, Ann collaborated with Patti who is an expert seamstress as well as knitter. Ann would weave the cloth, but couldn’t bring herself to cut the fabric and Patti, who loved to work with handwoven fabrics, would make the cloth into clothing. This picture shows Ann wearing one of the jackets on which she and Patti collaborated.


Read more about

Kathy, in addition to being the editor of the local newspaper, has extensive experience working with boards of various types and she has been instrumental in helping us get our organization up and running. Patti has tried to entice Kathy to return to her knitting roots (she learned to knit as a child), but she prefers reading to knitting.

Kathy T at Carol's.jpg

Read more about

Julie, our artistic director, and Kathy, our consultant, were classmates of Joan’s at “the Academy”. Julie has a degree in fine arts and has managed retail businesses.

Julie approved.jpg

Read more about

Ed, an engineer and our vice president, is Ann’s long-suffering husband who is trying his hand with furniture making, maintaining the looms in our studio and being our voice of reason.


Ed is a native of California who sacrificed living in the state he and Ann loved to move east when she got her dream job working as a nurse scientist at the National Institutes of Health. A lifelong “tinker” Ed can fix just about anything. He started his career as an electronics technician and later completed an electrical engineering degree. He appreciates the discoveries that spurred technical advances that are sometimes underappreciated in our society. An example is Bakelite, one of the first plastics that was useful because it didn’t conduct electricity. This meant that it could be used in electrical insulators, radio and telephone casings, and other diverse products such as kitchenware. Other examples of technical advances that interest him include the use of tubes in early radios, which was the start of making the world a smaller place, and the first battery operated wrist watch that included a tuning fork that hums. When not fixing things Ed loves movies (especially classic ones), music and the outdoors where he hikes and does long distance bicycling. He recently completed a 350 mile ride! Stop by Traditional Arts Today to see his collection of antique appliances and radios and his bicycles.

Read more about

Patti is from Ferdinand and has been friends with Kathy, Julie, Kay Anne, Joan and Ann for too many years to count. In addition to being an expert in many traditional arts, she hosts a weekly knit night that is a gathering place for learning and sharing. She is well connected to the traditional arts community in the tri-state area and is our program director. In addition to being a tirelessly patient teacher she was instrumental in creating the Winter Wooly Weekend program that has been going on for the past 5 years. 

Patti's woven scarf.jpg

Read more about
Kay Anne

Kay Anne Peake is our resident photographer and videographer. She is a retired art teacher with extensive experience with a broad range of media. Since her retirement she has learned to knit and is part of Patti’s knit night group.

Kay Anne is a multi-talented artist with a broad range of skills from photography, videography and Photoshop to drawing, painting and design. She taught art at McCullough Jr High School in Marion IN, Marian Heights Academy in Ferdinand IN, and Heritage Hills Jr and Sr High Schools in Lincoln City IN, where one of the experiences she offered her students was to create electronic portfolios of their work. Her ability to incorporate art into websites makes her a perfect partner for Joan in keeping our website current with the many programs we offer and the art we sell. Kay Anne is a master at telling stories through pictures and video. As a member of Patti’s knit night group she has told the story of this group through photos and she is now applying her abilities to help us at Traditional Arts Today to tell our story.

Kay Anne at work - Copy.jpg

Joining Traditional Arts Today in 2018 has proven to be where my life’s journey as a photographer, nurse, and community relations staff member with a local business have directed me.  Immersing myself into this 80-plus artist community as Operations Director has been an incredible experience. 

In addition to managing the day-to-day running of our non-profit organization, my goal is to provide the ultimate customer experience while visiting Traditional Arts Today.  Whether you plan to explore our gift shop or participate in a class led by top-notch artists who share their passion to nurture your creative soul, I am there with you to make sure you have an exceptional experience.

Fascination with the arts, most specifically photography, began quite early in my life when my grandmother gave me a photo album as a gift. My interest grew over the years along with the gratification of being able to permanently record people, landscapes and special events with a camera. 

Although my primary profession was in the medical field as a nurse, being a freelance photographer and then owner of a photography business played a prominent role in my work life.  The quest to fine tune photography led me to Indiana University where I completed courses that improved my understanding of the camera itself and using it for the utmost creative experiences and expression. In addition to offering photography services to both individuals and businesses, my work has sold as wall art, greeting cards, and has been published in poetry books and calendars. 

Recently, I was nominated to run for office in our organization and after voting by our board of directors, I became the President of Traditional Arts Today.  I am extremely honored to assume that role and am blessed to be surrounded by amazing people within this organization who possess the same passion for the traditional arts. We share common goals and together strive to make a positive contribution to the community. 

I look forward to continue the mission of our organization’s founder, Ann Knebel, to connect artisans and their creations with the community and offer classes in the traditional arts.  I will continue to support the local and regional art community and create connections with other businesses and organizations to enhance and build on our mutual strengths. 

Kathi Mathies.jpg

Our Vision

To increase appreciation for unique and practical hand crafted items.

Our Mission

Connect artisans and their creations with the community by:

   Providing a venue for artisans to sell their creations

   Offering classes in

the traditional arts

As a 501(c)(3), grants and donations help us realize our mission. Please support us with a purchase or donation.