As Lexington puts its best foot forward for the Breeder’s Cup, the Lexington Art League is doing its part with Here and Now: Selections from the Artist Archive. The exhibition, part of the Breeder’s Cup Festival, is on view at the Loudoun House until November 8. It is intended to promote the Art League’s Artist Archive Project, an online database of nearly 200 artists working in Central Kentucky.
The breadth and quality of the exhibition is a testament to the current strength of Lexington’s contemporary art scene. The pieces range from the traditional and familiar, such as Bill Fletcher and Dan McGrath’s bucolic Kentucky landscape paintings, to the abstract and politically topical—two inkjet prints from Garrett Hansen’s “Void” series are blown-up visuals of bullet holes, questioning the role and effect of America’s gun culture on society.
Though Erin Eldred’s fiber piece, intricate and colorful, is one of the smallest on display, the fact that this young artist is being shown next to such well-established colleagues, and that her first solo show is simultaneously on display at Institute 193, is a nod to her enormous potential.
One of the most impressive works, and certainly the most imposing, is Daniel Graham’s “The Cleaving of Two Brothers in a Foreign Land (Boats).” The work, inspired by a story in Genesis, is made up of two canoes levitating over the floor of the main gallery, with tin pails full of water hovering above the canoes, all suspended from the ceiling by a sturdy rope and pulley system. The sophistication of the piece, both in construction and inspiration, will challenge and excite viewers, and have them wanting for more—this is the second piece in a series, with another coming in early 2016.
Here and Now provides something for everyone to get excited about in the Lexington art scene. For Breeder’s Cup visitors, and locals who have not been involved with the Art League previously, they’ll be delighted to find such a strong stable of artists working and living in Central Kentucky. Seasoned veterans and frequent visitors to the Loudoun House will be rewarded, knowing that their patronage has helped build a thriving contemporary art environment in Lexington.