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Put this on your Market to-do list

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Typical Market checklist

When you go to Kentucky Crafted: The Market – because you are going, right? – you will encounter some of the best Kentucky has to offer in visual art, craft, music, and more. Your schedule will be tight. You will be busy going from aisle to aisle, talking to artists whose work you like the most, sampling food, collecting books, doing fun art activities with kids, and hearing master musicians play fiddle, guitar, banjo, Chinese pipa, marching drums, dulcimer, and washboard.

Between doing all those things, take a few minutes to view the special exhibit sampler in Heritage Hall, near the Kentucky Stage. You will be glad you did. For the first time ever, the Kentucky Arts Council is bringing together a sampler of three of our prized exhibits: Uncommon Wealth, identity, and The Makings of a Master.

Each exhibit includes amazing art that offers you new perspectives on arts scenes across Kentucky:

  • Uncommon Wealth features Al Smith Fellowship recipients over the past 30 years, recognized for their creative excellence.
  • identity features work by artists who have disabilities of many different kinds, which may or may not influence their identities as artists.
  • The Makings of a Master: Kentucky Folk Art Apprenticeships presents examples of the wonderful folk art that is created during the critical and momentous times when a master tradition-bearer teaches an apprentice.

Not only will you see all this artwork in one place, you will get to meet some of the artists as they work:

On Saturday, March 8, master basket maker Paul Rich of Mammoth Cave, Ky., and his apprentice Tim Brewster will demonstrate their acclaimed white oak basket style that developed over generations along Highway 31W in south central Ky. To find out more, visit the Mammoth Cave basketmakers’ website.

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Dr. Jim Middleton and Paul Rich at the 2006 white oak basket contest in Hart County

On Sunday, March 9, master quilter Patricia Brennan of Fort Thomas, Ky., will display and work on her beautiful quilts with her apprentice Helen Bailey. Visit their blog to find out more.

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Log cabin square

A stop at the exhibit sampler will be well worth your while, and will help make this one of the best Markets yet. See you there!

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Top secret exhibit sampler floor-plan drawn on a marker board, photographed with a bowtie that’s really a camera

Mark Brown, folk and traditional arts program director

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2013 Governor’s Awards in the Arts: 21c Museum Hotel

From a personal perspective, the 21c Museum Hotel is one of my favorite arts-related venues to visit. From its interactive artworks that engage the visitor with the work, to its cutting-edge gallery exhibits that address the hottest topics of the day, every step taken on a visit through the 21c is compellingly art-driven. And, as you’ll read in my interview with 21c co-founder Steve Wilson, that was the intent from the start.

Pairing the desire to renovate existing structures in Louisville for a hotel property while making contemporary art a part of more peoples’ daily lives, philanthropists and contemporary art collectors Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson set out on a journey to create the 21c Museum Hotel.

Much more than just a place to spend the night, 21c is an innovative union of genuine Southern hospitality, thoughtful design, and culinary creativity — all anchored by world-class contemporary art by today’s emerging and internationally acclaimed artists (hence the name, paying homage to the 21st century).



21c Museum Hotel, Business Award

Kentucky Arts Council: What role do the arts, artists and artwork play in the 21c business model?

Steve Wilson: As I have said many times, we are first an art experience and second a hotel. Our architects understand that we design our spaces to better exhibit art, and we commission artists to collaborate with the architects to come up with unique elements that our guests have come to love and look forward to experiencing.

We say that the art brings people in, but the hospitality brings them back. It’s a simple, yet surprisingly unique model.

KAC: What role has the 21c played in creative placemaking as a community development tool in Louisville?

SW: I think this is a question that might better be asked of the mayor or some of the Convention and Visitors Bureau staff, but we are very proud of what we have done for the community.

21c has played an important role in the revitalization of our downtown, proving that art can be an economic driver. Four empty buildings at the corner of 7th and Main Street have turned out to be a cultural center with programming provided free and 24 hours a day. The foot traffic on our block is markedly increased and our parking garage is always full. Obviously, these two simple facts translate into more business for all our neighbors. Our red penguin has been adopted as an icon for the city as it appears in tourism and downtown development advertising, and city officials make reference to our success to visitors and potential prospects. Art invigorates, it stimulates and it illustrates the genesis of the creative mind. All these feelings, emotions or experiences enhance and energize the business community and draws more customers and clients to downtown.

We have 180 employees in Louisville alone, and those are all new jobs and new taxes being generated.

KAC: How has the community responded to the 21c since it opened, and were you surprised in any way to that response?

SW: Since the first day we opened seven years ago, we have been overwhelmed and humbled by our success. The readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine have voted 21c Louisville the No. 1 Hotel in the U.S. twice. This tells me that people are responding to our efforts and have embraced the experience of 21c. We never expected to be opening more than one property, but many people from lots of different cities have encouraged us to come to their hometowns and do this all over again. Our hotels compete against some of the best brands in the best cities in the U.S. and still come out on top. It’s truly inspiring to see that kind of reaction to contemporary art.

KAC: How important is community support of the museum-hotel, and why is that support important?

SW: Community support is the lifeblood of 21c! What makes 21c so unique as a hotel is that our properties are in many ways as much for local residents as they are for travelers. We offer artist lectures, yoga with art, film nights, poetry readings and other live performances. And most importantly, we collaborate with arts organizations around Louisville to help enrich the cultural life of the city.

KAC: Why do you feel it is important to exhibit contemporary art, specifically?

SW: Contemporary artists are usually dealing with the issues with which we as a society are struggling. This is our way of allowing people to talk about subjects that may be uncomfortable or to laugh together at a work that they find comical. It’s about shared experience. All art was at some time contemporary. Artists are often also history documentarians.

KAC: In its role as an art museum, what experiences and opportunities does the 21c provide to visitors they won’t find elsewhere, especially in Kentucky?

SW: Who can say what a person will experience or remember from a visit to a 21c? I know that photography can take you around the world while standing in one spot … painting can take you deep into rich color and often create a mood or emotion with color alone … video can elicit anger, awe, compassion and even tears.

One of our artist friends said that art is only the paper or paint or wood with which an object is made. The reaction to the work by people who are observing, be it elevating or even embarrassing, is really coming from within the person. So, we like to provoke and stand back and let the public determine what they choose to take away.

Emily B. Moses, communications director

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A fair to remember

One of my favorite summer memories comes around every August in Kentucky.  The Kentucky State Fair has been a tradition in the Commonwealth since 1902.  As a child, I remember competing in 4-H in my elementary school for the coveted honor of representing my school and community as a contestant at the state fair.  It didn’t matter what the competition area was, I signed up for it just to compete.  One year, it was a poster contest about “What Kentucky Means to Me.”  Another year, it was land judging and public demonstrations.  I even baked muffins and got an Honorable Mention for my recipe of lemon muffins.  Each time, my family would make the faithful pilgrimage to Louisville for me to compete against my fellow Kentuckians.  I always felt a sense of pride as I stood next to my creation when the judges would come by to see what I was capable of producing.  I learned a lot of valuable skills from those experiences including public speaking, demonstrations, presentation of product and cooking skills.

This year’s state fair is no exception with a host of competitions for Kentuckians to vie for the coveted title of State Fair Champion fashioned in the form of a colorful purple or blue ribbon.  In addition to the competitions, there are musical performances from some of the biggest names in music both local and national. There are rides for kids of all ages.  And there is food…glorious food in abundance.  All of the flavors of our great state can be found in a sea of food trucks and tents all over the grounds.  It truly makes one Kentucky Proud to sample the best products our state has to offer.  There’s even a Gourmet Garden to show off the best culinary arts in Kentucky.

At the Pride of the Counties section, you can take an exciting trip around the state without ever leaving the grounds as you pass through exhibits, seeing many of the wonderful things that the commonwealth has to offer. Every county has a different story to tell, revealing its unique culture and industry in displays of items ranging from historic objects and crafts to local treasures and commercial commodities. You can learn many interesting and historical facts about the Bluegrass State. Booths contain information on everything from the lakes of Kentucky to the floral clock in Frankfort, to the birthplace and boyhood home of Abraham Lincoln in Larue County.

The Main Street Kentucky section offers exhibits that represent the cultural heritage and diversity of the Bluegrass State. The exhibit’s creative displays provide numerous hands-on activities for people of all ages and interests. Main Street Kentucky’s exhibitors offer information on anything from education and government to the environment and arts.

The Young Adult Project (YAP) Tent is an initiative of the Kentucky State Fair, aimed at building a community of young adults, ages 14-20, who will plan, promote, and experience 11 days of music and special events including youth band performances, jam sessions and songwriter competitions.

The Kidz Biz stage features daily entertainment from dancers, musicians and crazy characters of all kinds.  Fairgoers are also sure to find regular visits from the Fairbears. This year’s exciting entertainment includes Steve the Pretty Good and The Scott Land Marionettes. Don’t miss any of the excitement and laughter found at the Kidz Biz stage during the Kentucky State Fair!

The Kentucky State Fair runs Thursday, Aug. 15 through Sunday, Aug. 25.  Gates open at 7 a.m.  Tickets for adults are $10 and tickets for children, ages 3-12, are $6.  Check out the full schedule at www.kystatefair.org.

Chris Cathers, branch manager

Categories: Other

A summer adventure tie-dye for

At the arts council and among arts organizations, we are always pondering the question: what configurations of people (families, groups of friends, individuals) decide to go to an arts event, and at what point do they make that decision (three weeks before, last minute)? We have noticed a trend in the past 15 to 20 years of people not committing until the very last minute. They don’t want to pre-register unless space is limited; they want to get up that morning and only commit when their feet touch the threshold. This was strange to me; I liked a planned weekend. If I wanted to do something and it fit my calendar, I wrote it down, registered and showed up five minutes early. That was me…until I had a two-year-old.

Having a two-year-old is fun, but it is messy. You want to give him or her a lot of hands-on opportunities to practice any of life’s necessities and experiences like bathing, eating and art projects. However, each requires plenty of prep time and a good amount of clean up in order to preserve your furniture and sanity. Furthermore, toddlers do not keep day planners. If they wake up in an ice cream mood; you’re going for ice cream if good behavior permits. If they wake up in a finger painting mood, then finger painting it is.

My two-year-old is not a homebody either. He likes to go out, be around nature and see something new (and just about everything is new at this point). When I found out that  his grandparents were coming to visit on May 25, I knew he was not going to be satisfied with being cooped up in a house with a bunch of adults or eating a nice meal at a restaurant. (He feels flatware is inefficient and overrated.) More importantly, I also knew that with his grandparents living several hours away, we should be making memories.

Luckily, I “like” many of our Kentucky Arts Partners on Facebook, so I get regular updates about their activities for families. I had seen the Headley-Whitney’s announcement of a tie-dying program for at least a month. I looked at the details several times. I weighed the wills and whims of all the potential family participants. I still wasn’t sure. A week prior to their visit, my in-laws voiced an interest in eating at Wallace Station, which is right up the road from the museum. I hemmed and hawed, “Do we eat before or after? When will my son take a nap? What do we have to tie-dye? Will everyone else think this is a stupid idea?

I finally decided to go the night before, and it was as though the stars had to align perfectly to make it happen. I gathered up everything white or light colored in the house (blood donor t-shirts, shoes, an apron, socks, whatever). When my in-laws arrived the next morning, I announced my plans, and they were game. They knew the baby would like it, and it was a nice day to be doing something outdoors.

We arrived at the museum grounds, and all the materials were ready as advertised. The fun atmosphere was amplified by 1960s music, and staff and volunteers helped us band our shirts and such to create fun designs. The best part: we all came away with a little souvenir from a beautiful day. The second best part: when we were finished, they cleaned up the complicated mess my son made.

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We brought our creations home and dried them on the front porch.

Since doing “Groovy Threads” I have been more deliberate about making decisions to go out and “do art” sooner and more often. I rarely ever regret the things I determine to do; if nothing else, I learn a valuable lesson. I have plenty of “would haves” and “wished I hads” about the things I opt not to do. Pay attention to those requests and posts on Facebook for the rest of the summer.

If you want to have your own tie-dye adventure, Headley-Whitney is doing  “Groovy Threads Tie-Dye” again on Wednesday, July 31, 2013, at 1 p.m. If you’re looking for a way to entertain a two-year-old, they will host Mini Monet, an art class for toddlers (two to five years old) on August 3 from 1-2 p.m.  And don’t forget about the Kentucky Arts Partner offering  programs in your area. Create some art, and create some memories.

Sarah Schmitt, arts access director

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Participate in national arts standards public review

National Coalition for Core Arts Standards logoInterested in the future of arts education in Kentucky and across the nation? You should be. You currently have the opportunity to give feedback on proposed changes and updates made to the national core arts standards.

The national standards are available — in draft form — online. The standards haven’t been updated since the 1990’s and public input is being sought. You can make comments through July 15 as part of the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) public review.

The coalition of national arts and education organizations and media arts representatives developing the 2014 National Core Arts Standards recently released the PreK-8 standards.

The new, voluntary grade-by-grade web-based standards are intended to affirm the place of arts education in a balanced core curriculum, support the 21st-century needs of students and teachers, and help ensure that all students are college and career ready.

The Kentucky General Assembly, as part of Senate Bill 1 (2009), mandated new academic standards in all subjects including arts and humanities. The legislature directed the Kentucky Department of Education, in cooperation with the Council on Postsecondary Education, to consider standards that have been adopted by national content advisory groups and professional education consortia.

Anyone with an interest is welcome to participate in the public review of one or more of the discipline drafts in dance, media arts, music, theater and visual arts.

For instructions, visit the NCCAS website.

For more information about the project, visit http://nccas.wikispaces.com, or the NCCAS Facebook page.

Don’t miss this opportunity to make your voice heard on this important subject, and consider sharing this information with others in the arts and education communities.

Emily B. Moses, communications director

Categories: Arts Advocacy, Arts Education, Literary Arts, Other, Performing Arts, Visual Arts | Tags: , , , ,

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