Posts Tagged With: arts events

Celebrating the Role of the Arts in 2014

Arts Day in Kentucky, as proclaimed by Gov. Steve Beshear, saw a huge turnout on Jan. 28 in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort. Artists, representatives of arts organizations, supporters of the arts, members of the Kentucky General Assembly and the general public gathered for an afternoon reception to celebrate the many facets of the arts in the Commonwealth.

Kentucky Arts Partner organizations gathered in the morning at the Capitol Annex to have photos taken with their legislators and to receive their second round of funding from the arts council.

Afternoon participants were treated to live music and artist demonstrations from performers and artists in the arts council’s Performing Arts Directory and Kentucky Crafted program.

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In addition, the arts council officially announced its undertaking of a statewide Creative Industry Study that will take place in the coming year. For more information about the study, read the arts council’s press release.

Thanks to everyone who turned out to celebrate the arts on Arts Day in Kentucky. And a big thank you to the Kentucky General Assembly and Gov. Beshear for their continued support of the arts.

Emily Moses, Communications Director

Follow up: Hannah Ensign-George, a Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft intern from Centre College included a section about the value of Arts Day in her internship summary.

Categories: Arts Advocacy | Tags: , , , , , , ,

From Kentucky to the Capital: Kentucky’s contribution to the National Christmas Tree

Baker Hunt Art and Cultural Center staff members Rosemary Topie and Teresa McDannold were getting ready to travel to Washington, D.C., last week to attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, but ice and snow never make for good traveling conditions. Disappointed, they had to cancel their trip. Representing the state of Kentucky, 24 of the Christmas tree ornaments were created at Baker Hunt Art and Cultural Center.

Located in Covington, Baker Hunt is a unique arts center. Spread out across five buildings, the 3.5 acres were donated by Margaretta Baker Hunt in 1922 to “encourage the study of art, education and science and to promote the good works of religion in Covington.”

The Kentucky Arts Council connects artists and schools each year to create ornaments for the National Park Foundation’s Christmas Tree Project.  When asked who I thought would make a good arts partner, I immediately thought of Baker Hunt. I have spent many afternoons taking mosaic classes with my daughter, as well as going to meetings and attending arts and cultural events there.

Students, age 6 to 12, from two sections of the Lil Rembrandts class, created the ornaments under the direction of Chad Turner and Judy Sander. One class chose to study the state of Kentucky’s symbols. The other focused on making collages from photos of our national parks. The class that worked on the symbols, such as the state tree, bird and butterfly used Model Magic. The other class used acrylic paint.

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Photo used with permission of Baker Hunt Cultural Center.

While Rosemary and Teresa did not travel to the ceremony, they did get together with the group to celebrate the project. Here are a few of the photographs of the students and their ornaments now hanging on the National Christmas Tree.

Jean St. John, arts education director

Categories: Arts Education | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Give the gift of performance

The calendar couldn’t do it, but the snow last week has finally moved me into a state of elation over the possibility that Christmas will be here soon — Hooray! I’ll be watching my TV listings for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated version, of course), and my must-see, A Charlie Brown Christmas — it wasn’t such a bad little tree. And with the notes of those familiar theme songs, I have to admit that it’s time to do some shopping.

I love my family and friends, but we often don’t share the same taste and I anguish for weeks and months about what to get “Aunt So-And-So” or “Cousin What’sHisName.” No way I’m buying anyone a tie or a fruit cake. And Sue, my BFF in fourth grade, put the fear of god in me as far as paper dolls as an appropriate Christmas gift. (Does anyone still make paper dolls?) Even toy shopping is stressful.

Some experts say to give gifts that you like. That certainly makes it easier. And how about gifts that you like and your family and friends will love? Of course — gifts that keep giving, music and dance! One of my very favorite things in the world is live performance and the next best thing is a recorded performance. Tickets to shows or CDs and DVDs make excellent gifts for anyone, anywhere, anytime! If I’m on your Christmas list, I’ll take two of each.

The Kentucky Arts Council has put together a listing of live performances by some of the performers in its Performing Arts Directory. All Performing Arts Directory artists go through a rigorous panel process in order to be included in the directory and you can rest assured these artists are among the very best. I began doing my Snoopy dance as soon as I saw the range of live performances available this season. From classics like Lexington Children’s Theatre’s The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and Lexington Ballet Company’s The Nutcracker to the enchanting Yule Y’all, a Celtic celebration with Keltricity and the Chattering Magpies and the Louisville Orchestra’s Christmas Spectacular. And that just scratches the surface. With all the exciting performances on the list, your Christmas shopping can be done in a heartbeat and you can sit back and enjoy the show along with the applause from all your delighted friends. Ticket prices are excellent–some are even free. Have a look at the listing and take your favorite people out to enjoy a live performance, or two, or three!

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Heath and Molly’s three CD holiday gift pack, a perennial favorite.

If you can’t get everyone together to go to the show, have a look at our listing of Performing Arts Directory artists CDs and DVDs. Each has been recently released and will provide hours of entertainment value to the lucky so-and-so who gets them. From Latin-mountain fusion artists’ Appalatin to rock-and-rooters Heath and Molly, the Lexington Ballet Company to the Louisville Chorus, gypsy jazz by Stirfry Musette to Lexington Vintage Dance–oh my, so much to enjoy! And there’s still more — cowgirl fun by Raison D’Etre, folk music by LaMay & Reese, good ol’ country music by Dale Pyatt and the Chickengrease Band and wait, we aren’t done yet…There’s too much to capture in one short blog post. With so much music and dance to choose from, every Who in Who-ville will be thrilled and even the Grinch will rejoice!

Tamara Coffey, individual artists director

Categories: Performing Arts | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Uncommon Wealth

Kentucky is home to talented artists of all kinds, and the best part of my job is working with them. I have worked in arts administration for several years. My favorite thing is interacting with artists and helping them with their careers — whether that is by including their work in an exhibit; introducing them to other like-minded artists; talking or writing about their work; or helping them to find funding, get commissions or sell work. This is a generalized statement, but one that I feel is also true: Artists are a wonderful group of people to work with. They are, by and large, down-to-earth, kind and friendly people. They are hard workers and are vastly appreciative of any help they receive. They are modest when praised and untrusting of false compliments. They are interesting people to talk with and a pleasure to work with. It is very satisfying and fulfilling to know that I was able to assist an artist, because in an indirect way, that means more art will be added to the world. To this artist and arts administrator, that is always a good thing.

In 2006, I worked for the Lexington Art League as visual art director. We partnered with the Kentucky Arts Council to present an exhibit of work by recipients of the arts council’s Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowships. Uncommon Wealth, the exhibit, was on view at the Loudoun House in Lexington in the summer of 2006. It featured work by 73 artists who were past recipients of fellowships, and I was fortunate enough to personally meet many of them. The exhibit later traveled to venues around the state. Fast forward seven years later. Now, I work for the arts council and I am honored and pleased to have the opportunity to work with the same group of artists, plus the ones added to the list since 2006, on a new version of Uncommon Wealth, on view now through Jan. 11, 2014, at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center.

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In 2013, the arts council celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship Program. The fellowship program was established in 1983 to recognize creative excellence and to assist in the professional development of Kentucky artists. Since then, the arts council has awarded more than $2.5 million in funding to individual artists. This is hugely significant at a time when many other state arts agencies have cut funding to individual artists due to tight budgets. The arts council truly supports the work of artists.  But more than monetary support, the fellowship serves as a seal of approval of sorts, a validation of the work that artists do, which inspires and encourages artists. This program is all about assisting artists, so that they can continue to do what they do best: Add more art to the world.

Uncommon Wealth is a perfect example of the range of work that you find in Kentucky, from traditional crafts to conceptual work. The exhibit has painting, photography, prints and drawings. There are sculptures and furniture, ceramics and jewelry. Furthermore, the gallery at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center is a beautiful venue, with expansive walls and an abundance of natural light. It is an underused treasure of the Lexington art scene. To be able to feature 62 artists in this exhibit, in such a beautiful venue, is a joy.

Please join us Friday night during Gallery Hop, 5 to 8 p.m., to see the exhibit, admire the gallery space, and support the work of some exceptional Kentucky artists. Help us add more art to the world!

Gallery Hop at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center; Friday, Nov. 15, 5-8 p.m. The Lyric is located at 300 E. Third St., Lexington. Light refreshments will be served. Uncommon Wealth will be on view at the Lyric through Jan. 11, 2014.

Kate Sprengnether,administrative associate

Categories: Visual Arts | Tags: , , , , , ,

2013 Governor’s Awards in the Arts: Oakley and Eva Farris

This is the ninth and final entry in our 2013 Governor’s Awards in the Arts blog series. I hope you have enjoyed reading these interviews as much as I enjoyed conducting them. Thank you for your shares, comments, re-blogs, Tweets and Facebook posts. Each of the nine recipients — whether a business, arts organization or individual — offers a unique perspective on participating in the arts in Kentucky. I am proud to have met each and every one of the individuals who will receive awards during today’s ceremony.

Our final interview is with the 2013 Governor’s Awards in the Arts Milner Award recipients. You’ll notice the plural there as this year’s recipients are a married couple, Oakley and Eva Farris of Covington.

The Milner Award is considered the most prestigious of the nine Governor’s Awards. It was established in 1977 in honor of B. Hudson Milner, a Louisville utility executive and civic leader, whose contributions to the arts in Kentucky remain important to this day. The Milner Award is presented to Kentucky residents or organizations located in Kentucky for outstanding philanthropic, artistic or other contributions to the arts.

I have to tell you, sitting down with the Farrises made for a delightful afternoon. Oakley and Eva Farris spent their lives together as business partners. Mr. Farris is a native of Kentucky. Mrs. Farris is from Cuba. They met in Florida and married thereafter. I asked how long they had been together. Mr. Farris would only say, “We’ve been married several years. Honestly, we have been.”

Mr. Farris spent his professional life as a traveling salesman — one who never took up driving, I might add. Mrs. Farris, who has a degree in business, supported Mr. Farris as his partner every step of the way. “She gives me a suggestion and I jump,” he said of their professional life together.

Schools, arts organizations, civic organizations, museums and libraries are just a few of the types of institutions supported by the Farrises. They have generously invested in Northern Kentucky University, The Carnegie Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, and the Behringer-Crawford Museum, to name a few. And isn’t “invested” an interesting way to describe giving? I thought so, too. You’ll not have to read far to learn why.

Again, congratulations to all nine recipients of the 2013 Governor’s Awards in the Arts. The awards will be televised on KET and KETKY in the coming month. You can find a schedule at the bottom of this post.

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How did you come to be philanthropists for the arts?

Oakley Farris: We’re not philanthropists. Period. We don’t give money away. We invest in our community, and we expect a return. In my mind’s eye that word denotes some big shot giving his money away and that’s not for us.

Tell me about your support for the arts.

Oakley Farris: How do you describe art? I dare say the majority of people would think of art like behind you, that beautiful picture. But you know, art comes in many forms. Art can be a book. It can be a good-looking woman with beautiful lines. Or a beat up Coca-Cola bottle or a can. It’s true. That’s part of art. And I’ve said for years art is an integral part of our education system. Unfortunately art has been taken out of many of our schools. Correct me if I’m wrong. Bad news. Bad news.

Why do you personally feel making gifts to the arts is important?

Eva Farris: I think it’s very important, especially, it’s part of living. You don’t just need material things. You have to look farther. Especially kids, so they grow with some sense of vision. You see the difference in these children when they draw, you see the art in there, the feeling there just to find it, promote it. It’s very important.

Is education the most important thing for you to invest in?

Oakley Farris: I tell you what, I was such a lousy student. It was the grace of God I got that diploma. It’s just like yesterday, I go up to get the diploma, and the principal was a big tall gentleman. He looked down at me, and I could read his mind, “How did you get up here?” It’s extremely important to me. Personally, I feel like our entire nation is being dumbed down. There are jobs in this country they can’t fill, because they don’t have the citizens well-educated enough to fill those jobs. And that all has to do with art when you think about it.

Eva Farris: It makes character in a person, too. …If you don’t have art in an education, for me it’s worthless. It produces more imagination.

Oakley Farris: Art unleashes the brain. It stimulates the brain.

Viewing schedule for the 2013 Governor’s Awards in the Arts (all times Eastern)

KET Sunday, Nov. 3 – 2 p.m.

KET Monday, Nov. 4 – 4 a.m.

KETKY Sunday, Nov. 3 – 11 a.m., 7 p.m., midnight

KETKY Monday, Nov. 4, 7 a.m., 11 p.m.

KETKY Friday, Nov. 8 – 6 a.m., 9 p.m.

KETKY Saturday, Nov. 9 – 8 a.m.

KETKY Wednesday, Nov. 20 – 2 p.m. EST

KETKY Monday, Nov. 25 – 4 p.m.

KETKY Thursday, Dec. 5 – 1 a.m.

Emily B. Moses, communications director

Categories: Arts Advocacy | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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