Take a stroll around downtown Lexington, Kentucky and you’ll notice the intricately preserved historic architecture, pedestrians flocking on every corner, sounds of local music, larger than life murals, and find no shortage of events at Keeneland and the Kentucky Horse Park. All of these one-of-a-kind characteristics combine to shape Lexington’s own vibrant, unique culture that extends to every corner of the city.
At the center of this rich, lively culture is the Lexington Art League, fostering its mission to “educate, engage, and enhance the community through visual art and the advancement of local artists” for over 50 years. Over the past half-century, LAL has hosted a colorful assortment of events and programs for the community centered on visual arts. One of these events, The Nude, was an annual exhibition that was favored by the people of Lexington. This year, LAL has revamped the exhibition and re-introduced it as Artist: Body, which is curated by Julien Robson, former curator of Contemporary Art at The Speed Museum in Louisville. Artist: Body still includes former elements of The Nude, but there are also exciting new additions to this exhibition. The exhibition officially opens to the public on February 26th; but for those who couldn’t wait that long, LAL hosted a private preview party on February 19th.
This cocktail-attire event was for artists, art lovers, and Lexington socialites alike. LAL offered an intimate setting at the historic Loudoun House with music provided by DJ LeeRoy and delicious appetizers and libations provided by one of our very own Lexington eateries. The official catering sponsor for this exhibition, Bella Notte, served tasty hors d’oeuvres to satisfy guests’ appetites while they quenched their thirst with wine and brews from West Sixth Brewery.
Throughout the night, guests explored the gallery and immersed themselves in the work of brilliant artists including Louis Zoellar Bickett, John Coplans, Julius Deutschbauer, Bryce Hudson, Thaniel Ion Lee, Gabriel Martinez, Cynthia Norton, Cindy Sherman, Xaviera Simmons, Kiki Smith, Annie Sprinkle, Hannah Wilke, and Sam Taylor Wood among others. Each piece featured in this exhibition showcases the artist’s own version of contemporary self-portraiture. Art connoisseurs discovered a connection to the pieces centered on the artists’ most vulnerable and intimate subject: their own bodies.
The exhibition officially opens to the public this Friday, February 26th, at the Loudoun House. The event is free to LAL members and $5 to non-members. The exhibition will run from February 27th until March 27th with gallery hours throughout the week Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am-4pm, Fridays 10am-8pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 1pm-4pm.
Written by Caitlin Robinson, LAL intern, Eastern Kentucky University Recreation and Park Administration student