LexArts: Artist Selected for Bridge Public Art Project

Artwork Will Create Visual Landmark for Major City Corridor 

Lexington, KY – Artist Christopher Weed has been chosen and commissioned to create public art that will soon adorn the Oliver Lewis Way Bridge, located just south of the intersection of Main Street and Newtown Pike, and bordering the Lexington Distillery District. Weed’s proposal, Origins, is a series of six illuminated, abstract sculptures,symbolically representing the charring of oak barrels, used in the aging of bourbon.

These sculptures will stand the test of time and serve as a distinguished reminder of Lexington’s storied past, present and bright future.

In September of last year, LexArts Inc., in association with 2nd District Council Member Shevawn Akers and the LFUCG Corridors Commission, issued a call to artists for the project, resulting in over 100 submissions from across the United States, Canada and Europe. An initial round narrowed the field to three finalists. After a visit to Lexington, each created site-specific proposals and presented them to the public and to a selection committee comprised of artists, arts professionals and community leaders. After significant public input and a thorough review by the committee, Weed was unanimously chosen for the project.

Said juror Andrea Fisher of Transylvania University, speaking on behalf of the committee, “All three artists were extremely well qualified, had thought carefully about their submissions, and offered aesthetically pleasing designs. However, it was the work of Coloradoan Christopher Weed that captured the history and aspirations of Lexington most profoundly. His abstracted interpretation of burning bourbon barrels is a perfect gateway into the Distillery District and the classical element of flame is an appropriate counterpoint to the waters of Town Branch running below the Oliver Lewis Way Bridge. Furthermore, the light sculptures resemble glowing torches, emblematic of hope, energy, and passion, wonderful descriptors of Lexington’s current zeitgeist.”

“Christopher Weed’s Origins will transform the Newtown corridor and become an iconic landmark for our downtown and the Distillery District,” continued Council Member Akers. “This project is the culmination of intentional design, a grand idea and a terrific collaboration between LFUCG, LexArts and the citizens of Lexington. I am so proud to be part of it. ”

“LexArts is honored to have a role in the creation of this defining work of public art for Lexington and her visitors,” explained Nan Plummer, LexArts President & CEO. “Working with the artists, the selection committee and Council Member Akers has been both a pleasure and a privilege. The unveiling of Chris Weed’s executed design this fall will be an exciting moment for everyone in the community.”

Weed will begin work immediately and will complete the project in time for dedication and unveiling during Breeder’s Cup Festival Week, a week long series of events to be held October 24-31 that will celebrate the first time the Breeder’s Cup World Championships will be held at Lexington’s historic Keeneland Race Course.