november 25, 2017

posted in: art, photography | 0

“I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade… And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.” ~ Ron White

 

Happy Chihulmas

 

I’d been waiting months to see the Chihuly exhibit at Maker’s Mark Distillery with Marcie Christensen and Annie Bassoni. Our night finally arrived, and off we went into an absolutely beautiful, albeit chilly, evening. You might recall that I’d seen the exhibit last month, but that just meant I could be their tour guide tonight. It also meant I could be a bit more prepared for photos since I knew what to expect. And, as a bonus, the distillery had decorated for Christmas. Very pretty.

 

wonderment

 

As Marcie pointed out, photographs of Chihuly’s work don’t do it justice – none of it. Doesn’t matter what piece it is. I’ve yet to see a photo that’s even close to the experience of actually standing before a piece. The wow factor defies description. The work is so intricate and fluid that no two elements, no two angles look the same. There’s always something new to discover. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Marcie and Annie take it all in. I imagine I looked very similar when I first saw the exhibit.

 

always look up

 

On top of all this, during our ride to Loretto (where Maker’s Mark is located), we had great conversations about spirituality and books and travel. Marcie told us all about her upcoming trips. She’s leaving soon for Africa, then Hawaii, then Scotland with a little Texas and California thrown in for domestic pleasure. Annie and I, and her many other friends, will live vicariously though her travel adventures, but one thing’s for sure: we three won’t be forgetting Chihuly night at Maker’s Mark anytime soon. This was a gift!

november 22, 2017

posted in: photography | 0

“Your happiness isn’t dependent on where you live, how much you weigh, or what you do for work. The key to happiness is appreciating what you have at this moment.” ~ Jessica Blanchard

 

history halls (snapseed)

 

Young Library has a nice exhibit of photos lining the entrance walls. They depict student protests from 1960 to the present. I was struck by the majority of photos depicting protests just in the last 10-15 years. Struck by the variety of issues being addressed, but more impressed by the fact that so many students took enough interest in the respective issue to do something about it. Protesting, peacefully in particular, is a hallmark of democracy. Besides exercising our rights at the ballot box, it is one of the most significant ways people can make a substantial difference in government, locally and nationally. The student protester’s willingness to publicly support their views gives me hope that these same students will one day be in positions of power, and use those powers for the greater good. 

march 9, 2016

posted in: photography | 0

“Despite my everyday grumblings and bewilderment, I have never been more appreciative of how indescribably wonderful this life can be.” ~ Walter Tunis

 

listen (snapseed)
listen (snapseed)

 

There’s a great exhibit in Special Collections right now called The Immigrant Experience and Contribution in Appalachian Coalfields. It was put together in partnership with the Appalachian Center. We provided audio clips for the listening kiosk. Pretty cool stuff, and I really liked it sitting beside the old instruments. What a nice juxtaposition between the old and the new. You may recall that last week we welcomed Alessandro Portelli. His talk was also sponsored in part by the Appalachian Center. I think they’re cookin’ with gas over in the Appalachian Center. I’m darned proud of ’em, and even prouder to be Appalachian (as if you couldn’t tell).

october 7, 2015

posted in: photography | 1

“Buddha kindness should become the natural way of life, not the exception.”
~ Gautama Buddha

 

coming together
coming together

 

Details for the exhibit have finally come together. Late this afternoon, the date of the reception and the postcards (above, front and back) were finalized. I posted the postcard image on Facebook and was blown away by the response. The support of the church, my friends, my family, my co-workers, acquaintances, even friends on facebook whom I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting in person: they’re all showing such great support for the work, and for me personally, that I’m speechless. What a blessing this life has been.

october 4, 2015

posted in: photography | 3

“Consider becoming the type of energy that, no matter where you go,
you always add value to the spaces and lives of those around you.”
~ Unknown

 

agent 007
agent 007

 

This was a big, nervous day for me. If you’ve been following the outhouse, then you know I’ve been working on a series of photos called Sacred Spaces. The first exhibit of the work was scheduled to hang today at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Lexington. Because God and the Universe love me, it just happened to coincide with Sandy Davis’ first return to Lexington since moving to Boston. Sandy has been a big supporter of my work and she always had my back when it comes to all the things I’m horrible with, like marketing myself. I’ve leaned on her artistic senses to put this exhibit together, so it was only right that she should be there when it went up. I trust her eye, and I trust Marlon Hurst, so I stepped aside and let them hang the show. It was a huge load off my shoulders, frankly. I get too close to the work sometimes to know what’s best. I’m indebted to them forever for helping me. And while they did the heavy lifting, Harriette Swart and Stacy Yelton talked to me at length about the work itself. Their conversations were so cathartic, so soothing, that my nerves calmed and I felt more confident about the work, and most importantly, the impact of the work. It was a truly special time that I will never forget (Sandy insisted on the Kopana style selfie, and Sandy gets what she wants!).

 

best team ever
best team ever

 

Kentucky Tribe
Kentucky Tribe

 

My day wasn’t done. No, this great day was meant to be a spectacular day! We left the exhibit and met our Happiness gal pals at National Provisions for a late brunch. This was the first time we’ve all been together since Erin had moved before Sandy, Annie, and Jeanne Marie joined us. Plus, we’ve added Harriette Swart and Marcie Christensen because they are meant to be here. We’ve all had a big year, but most of us have undergone big life changes; from moving homes to changing careers to adult responsibilities, and so on. I just can’t believe how lucky I’ve gotten to find these friends. It’s mostly thanks to Deb Chenault for putting her Happiness Project out there and letting us be part of it. Every one of these women is talented, unique, big-hearted, and smart. I’m just happy and in love with all of them. And Marlon, too, because he’s cool enough to be a gal pal… if he was a gal. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

 

photographing the photographer
photographing the photographer

september 8, 2015

posted in: photography | 0

“Heaven on Earth is a choice you must make, not a place you must find.” ~ Wayne W. Dyer

 

old friends
old friends

 

The new School of Art and Visual Studies at UK had an open house this evening to celebrate their new building. The first person we ran into was, of course, Arturo Alonzo Sandoval. The funniest line of the night came when he said to Crystal, “And what about you and your first marriage?” “She backed out,” I said quietly. “I’m not married,” Crystal said, holding up her ring finger. “No, no, your first marriage,” Arturo repeated. “She backed out,” I said louder. “I’ve never been married,” Crystal said with a hint of consternation. And then it just sort of spiraled into hilarity from there.

 

art
art

 

It’s a big deal that UK finally put its art students in a decent space. When Crystal and I went through the program we were in the Reynolds Building, an old tobacco warehouse. The bathrooms didn’t have stall doors. Cockroaches the size of whales would drop from the ceiling. Floors were so flimsy only God kept some poor art student from falling through. Back then there was talk of doing away with the fine arts program all together. Let’s face it, art students don’t generally go on to become CEOs or heads of Fortune 500 companies. That’s money that will never come back into UK’s coffers. If we’re lucky, art grads will make enough money to survive, though only just. The rest of us get real jobs and do art on the side. There’s not a lot of financing to come back. Our wealth lies in something other than money. So, it was a happy day to be able to tour this fantastic space and celebrate UK’s recommitment to the arts.

 

gotcha
gotcha

 

Perhaps my favorite part of the event was the pseudo photo booth they had set up in the lighting studio. Crystal and I walk in with our matching Canon 6D’s, whip ’em out, and the guy just sort of looks at us. Then we point them at each other and he got it immediately. It was a hoot.

 

love and pride
love and pride (bottom photo by Stacy Yelton)

 

Seeing artwork from our classmates, and other alumni from all over the country was heartwarming, and I just adore Crystal and Arturo. They made my experience at UK exceptionally rich. And look at us all these years later, still fun and frisky and happy to see one another. I wouldn’t take anything in the world for their friendship, and I’m so proud that UK stepped up to the plate and gave quality faculty like Arturo someplace decent to teach new artists. It’s been a long time coming, and what a great space it is. Well done.