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 http://artscouncil.ky.gov/KentuckyArt/QTrails.htm 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: , , , , | Leave a comment

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: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/32340

Red Bird Petroglyphs, Manchester: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/39111


Alex Newby, Communications Assistant 

Categories: Other | Tags: , ,

A Summer Scavenger Hunt

Ready for summer arts fun? This July, we’ll be hosting a public art scavenger hunt through the Kentucky Arts Council’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Each Tuesday, we’ll post a clue or question pertaining to public art found in different regions of Kentucky. The first person to reply to our post with a picture of the piece, or the place where it can be found, will win a prize!


What is public art?

Public art comes in all shapes and sizes and can be found in many different places. A unique structure, a cool sidewalk, a colorful mural and even statues in a local cemetery can all be examples. Public art is accessible to everyone and is an expression of a community’s history, values or cultural perspective.

The Details:

In an effort to showcase the public art found throughout the entire state, questions and clues will be drawn from places found in eastern, western and northern Kentucky as well as in Lexington and Louisville. After solving the clue or guessing the piece’s location, you can submit any picture of the public art from a past, recent or current trip to the particular area. No Googling! We want these pictures to be from your own experience! The contest will officially begin next Tuesday, July 1.

Happy hunting!


 Alex Newby, Communications Assistant






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The 2014 Made in the South Contest

Garden and Gun Magazine’s fifth annual Made in the South contest is open and ready for applicants!

The contest, started in 2010, is in partnership with the Savannah College of Art and Design and features unique products in the categories of food, drink, outdoors, style and design and home. Each year, a panel of judges pick one winning entry and several honorable mentions in every category that best showcase the cultural tradition and craftsmanship found in the southern states. These artists, and the products they have contributed, are featured in the December/January issue of Garden and Gun that year. This year, the overall winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000.

I recently talked with Louisville woodworker Jason Cohen, owner of JC Woodartisan, whose bourbon barrel furniture won in the Home category in 2011, to see what suggestions he had for Kentucky artists wanting to apply.  His advice? Just do it!

Cohen, a juried participImageant of the Kentucky Crafted program, applied to Made in the South on a whim. A woodworker for more than 20 years, he spent most of his time crafting pieces on commission or repairing and restoring furniture. It wasn’t until his neighboring business, Bourbon Barrel Foods,  commissioned the unique furniture that Cohen broke into the bourbon barrel market. The stylish table and  stools he creates are what caught the attention of Garden and Gun judges.

Calling his win “one of the best things that has ever happened,” Cohen now specializes in the creation of his  unique furniture and his business has taken off in the years since.  Just recently, he completed commission of 100 stools for a new bar opening in Nashville.

To be eligible for the win, applicants must submit a specific product or related group of products that have  been designed and assembled in the south. Submissions are broad and last year’s winners included a  Florida creamery and a banjo-maker from North Carolina.

For official contest rules and to enter the Made in the South contest, visit https://www.madeinthesouthawards.com/

Good luck!  


 Alex Newby, Communications Assistant







Categories: Folk and Traditional Arts, Other | Tags: , ,

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