Transcendent beauty: The Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption

For public art adventurers keeping up with our summer scavenger hunt, we featured The Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington in this week’s clue.  Built in 1895, the church features more than 80 stained-glass windows, stone carvings by the famous American sculptor Clement Barnhorn and 26 gargoyles perched atop the tall spires. Visitors to the landmark can also see special touches including severCathedral-Basilica_HR[1]al murals, a porcelain-tile piece, and a fountain created by liturgical artist William Schickel. The church has been described as appearing like a smaller version of the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Guided tours are offered daily at the church and self-guided tours are available at the Greeter’s Desk near the north side entrance.

In addition to the cathedral, if you’re continuing north towards the Ohio River and city of Cincinnati, you’ll want to take a moment to stop and find the World Peace Bell in Newport.  Weighing 66,000 pounds, the 12-by-12-foot bell is the world’s largest swinging bell and was cast in Nantes, France, in 1998 to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. After a long journey across the sea and up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, the bell arrived in Newport on Aug. 1, 1999, after stopping in 14 cities along the way.  While it’s possible to view the bell at any time, it rings every day at noon.  Visitors can pay $1 for a guided tour Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Congratulations to our Facebook friend, Emily Elizabeth Evans, for winning this week’s prize! Emily joins  Kremena Todorova, Fran Redmon, Lauren Smith and Lisa Bourque on the list of scavenger hunt winners that will receive a prize in the next few days! Thanks to everyone that played along and helped make the public arts scavenger hunt a success!


Alex Newby, Communications Assistant

Categories: Other

The forest where it all comes together

In the second-to-last installment of this summer’s scavenger hunt, we ventured outside the city of Louisville to find this week’s unique public art destination. Located about 20 minutes south of Louisville, the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is a regional attraction that encompasses a café, arboretum, educational center, trails and more and is situated on more than 14,000 acres.

Established in 1929, Bernheim is a place where nature, science and art meet, and was dedicated “for the people of Kentucky, and their friends, as a place to further their love of the beautiful in nature and in art…” Among other things, the research forest is home to four different arts initiatives that help bring local and international artists into the park to create work. The forest’s Arts in Nature programs include the Artist in Residence Program, Sited @ Bernheim, Local Use by Local Artists and CONNECT, an annual night celebrating art, music, science and nature around Lake Nevin. This year’s event will be Aug. 23rd, from 6:24 p.m. to 10:24 p.m., the two hours before and after sunset, and will feature food and drink vendors along with the night’s festivities. New last year was CONNECTglow, an art competition challenging artists to make light sculptures without the use of electricity. The competition is back this year and the winning artist will receive a monetary prize for their project!  

Earth Measure, one of Bernheim's latest sculptures, was created by Kentucky artist Matt Weir.

Earth Measure, one of Bernheim’s latest sculptures, was created by Kentucky artist Matt Weir.

Whether you’re coming for CONNECT, or just visiting for the day, guests can see more than 30 years of art on display created through the residencies and local art programs at Bernheim.

For a list of the sculptures found in the arboretum, you can visit For more information on CONNECT and the CONNECTglow art competition, visit 

Already visited Bernheim? As an added bonus, near Louisville, the Yew Dell Botanical Gardens also offer creative garden sculptures and statues within an hour of the city. For information on group tours or the gardens, you can visit

Happy exploring!

Alex Newby, communications assistant

Categories: Other

Exploring quilt trails in western Kentucky


This colorful barn quilt with the flying geese pattern can be found in Trigg County

This colorful barn quilt with the flying geese pattern can be found in Trigg County

Congratulations to Fran Redmon, the winner of our third week scavenger hunt prize! This week’s clue featured the quilt trails of western Kentucky.

Started in Ohio by Donna Sue Groves, a field representative for the Ohio Arts Council, quilt trails are a way for communities to recognize and honor their heritage and town cultures. The tradition first sprung up in Kentucky in Carter County, in the eastern region of the state, when local volunteers, with support from the Gateway Resource Conservation and Development Council, painted and hung the first Kentucky quilt on a local barn. Since then, the grassroots movement has spread to communities small and large in Kentucky and local organizations have coordinated scenic driving routes to view the colorful and unique “quilts.” Below are a few trails to follow that will take you through the winding roads of more than nine western Kentucky counties.

Calloway County Quilt Trail

Kentucky Quilt Line

Ballard County Quilt Trail  

Hickman County Quilt Trail  

Daviess County Quilt Trail

In addition to the quilt trails in western Kentucky, other trails have popped up in different regions of the state. To plan your Kentucky Quilt Trail adventure, through western Kentucky and beyond, visit for more resources. 


Alex Newby, Communications Assistant 

Categories: Other

Making the Most of Murals in Lexington

In the second installment of our summer public arts scavenger hunt, we feature the city of Lexington and one of its newest murals, a colorful depiction of Abraham Lincoln created as part of last year’s PRHBTN street art festival. The mural, located on the back of the historic Kentucky Theater building on Water Street, is 60 feet tall and was painted by Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra and his team.

PRHBTN is a celebration of art forms that have been criminalized, marginalized, and underappreciated in the mainstream. The festival was started in Lexington by John and Jessica Winters and will celebrate its fourth incarnation this October.

Lexington's Abraham Lincoln mural was completed in November 2013 by Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra and his team.

Lexington’s Abraham Lincoln mural was completed in November 2013 by Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra and his team.te its fourth incarnation this October.

In addition to Kobra, three other well-known artists visited Lexington during PRHBTN who left a lasting mark on the city’s walls and buildings.

On the corner of West 6th Street and Bellaire Avenue, art seekers can find a large mural of horses created by street artist Gaia. Known for his use of animals in various forms, Gaia is a Brooklyn native but creates art in public spaces around the world.

Portuguese artist Odeith, another internationally recognized artist who created work during the PRHBTN festival, also left his mark using horses. In a scene that’s familiar to Kentuckians, Odeith depicts racing horses and their colorfully-dressed jockeys. The mural, dedicated to “the amazing people of Lexington,” is located on the back of the Lexington Rescue Mission building that faces Loudon Avenue. The art itself faces the railroad tracks and is visible from North Limestone.

Across town, on Manchester Street, residents can find the third mural painted during the festival on the back of the Barrel House Distillery building. British street artist Phlegm painted a towering pyramid of figures holding up a dinner for two at the top. Nearby, one can also spot the work he did on the old water tower on the property.

In addition to the murals created during PRHBTN last year, numerous other creations have popped over the last several years in Lexington.

On the corner of East Sixth Street and North Limestone, on the old Spalding Bakery building is The Little Giants and the Goddess of Dreams, a mural by German street art duo Herakut. The same team painted “Lilly and the Silly Monkeys” at 156 Market St., as part of their Giant Storybook Project.

Want more?

Lexington is a city filled with murals and these are just a few. Get a list and continue your hunt for great murals and other public artworks by checking out Lexarts’ public art page!

Alex Newby, Communications Assistant

Categories: Arts Education, Other, Visual Arts | Tags: , , , ,

Tiny Doors and a Mother Goose House: A Day Trip to Eastern Kentucky

If you were playing along with our summer scavenger hunt Tuesday on Facebook, you saw the Mother Goose house featured in our first clue! Located in Hazard, the Mother Goose House has been a local landmark since its completion in 1940. The oddly shaped structure has been used as a dairy bar, gas station, private home and even an inn.

While places like the Mother Goose House and the House Made of Coal below have been around for generations, new arts activities and attractions are always developing throughout the eastern region of Kentucky. In Hazard, the Pathfinders of Perry County recently received a grant from ArtPlace America,a national collaboration among 14 foundations dedicated to strengthening the field of creative placemaking, to develop temporary installations, performance spaces and more in the city’s downtown district.

With such a unique heritage in public art, eastern Kentucky is the perfect place for a summer day trip. Below, we’ve suggested a few places to start.

The Mysterious Tiny Doors – In March, residents of Hazard were delighted when mysterious tiny doors started appearing overnight on buildings around downtown. The first, a tiny white door with windows and columns, appeared on the side of the Hollon and Collins law office building and is an exact replica of the office’s front door. In the months since, doors resembling a hobbit hole, a small radio station and even a small courthouse entrance have popped up. While the original artist is a mystery to the public, the community of Hazard has embraced the idea and local artists have joined in on the fun. To date, there are more than 16 tiny doors to be found with the number growing!

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 The House Made of Coal – The House Made of Coal was built in 1926 using 42 tons of bituminous coal. Despite being damaged in a 1988 storm, it stands today and is home to the Bell County Chamber of Commerce in Murfreesboro. Next door, visitors can learn more about the area’s mining heritage through the outdoor Bell County Coal Mining Museum that features mining equipment from the 1960s.

 Jenny Wiley’s Grave – The heroine who escaped Native American captors in pioneer days used the River Creek, now named Jenny’s Creek, in Johnson County to find her way back home. Her final resting place is located in River, Ky., and sits behind the River volunteer fire department.

World’s Second Largest Seated Lincoln – In addition to the other unique arts offerings that eastern Kentucky boasts, the region is home to the world’s second largest seated Abraham Lincoln statue. The statue, commissioned by a local lawyer, is located in Stanville and is slightly smaller than the seated Lincoln statue in the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.


Other roadside attractions in Eastern Ky:

Tiny working post office, Sawyer:

Red Bird Petroglyphs, Manchester:


Alex Newby, Communications Assistant 

Categories: Other | Tags: , ,

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