“We tend to think of age only in time, but I don’t think it has much to do with time at all; there’s a whole load of other things. I’ve met 16-year-olds who are old and 90-year-olds who are young.” ~ Roger Daltrey
Stacy and I were near the Man-O-War/Blazer Parkway area when we simultaneously saw this sight, saying a subtle “wow” in unison, vowing to return when our business was complete. And so we did. At least one of the horses looks as if it was part of the Horses Mania project years ago (the first was in 2000, the sequel in 2010), but it’s possible both horses came from that project. I have no idea what the buffalo is about. I noticed that the buffalo and one of the horses both have yellow eyes. I don’t know what that’s about either. If anybody in the Lexington area knows more about this unusual statuary triptych, tell me. It’s bound to be a good story.
“What you tell yourself every day will either lift you up or tear you down.” ~ Unknown
All of the newly minted Book Benches were in Gratz Park yesterday and today. Tomorrow, they’ll be distributed to their new locations around town where they’ll remain through November. The project was spearheaded by Kate Savage of Art Connects. (Really proud that I’ve sold work through their Mobile Gallery) The project paired Kentucky authors with Kentucky artists. Stacy and I made a point to go see them while they were all together. I was really impressed with the quality of work. I wasn’t familiar with most of the artists. They were, quite deservedly, chosen from 92 proposals submitted to paint the 37 benches. I don’t know who the judges were, but well done indeed. I can’t wait to see these around town. As much as I liked the similar horse project several years ago, I really love this project. It shows off the incredible number of stunning writers and artists we have in this state, which we aren’t necessarily known for. The outside world knows us more for horses, bourbon, and basketball (and worse) rather than the literary hub we’ve always been. Hopefully, this project will help change that a little. Even if it doesn’t, folks in downtown Lexington will have 37 beautiful benches to sit on for a while. Everybody wins. By the way, Kiya Heartwood’s nickname for Stacy is Max (taken from Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are). Though this is a different Max, it was fitting that I caught Stacy beside it.
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
I did some Christmas shopping at the Bread Box. It’s a section of the old Rainbow Bread factory where artists now have studios. The other section is West Sixth Brewery. A couple of weeks before Christmas the Bread Box held an artist’s market and invited artists who don’t have studios in the building to join in. It was a gorgeous day, so I took pictures outside the building instead. I don’t know the artist of this piece, but I really love its fluidity. I especially appreciate the scale. And, of course, I love the Little Free Library at the corner. It was a very successful shopping day; brewery, artist studios, art, and free books. What’s not to love?
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
As I mentioned earlier this week, I crossed paths with a few new murals. First, let’s look at this surprise art I found by Two Keys Tavern. I love to see folks sculpt their dead tree stumps instead of grinding them to nothing. They can be great art pieces, or at the very least wonderful conversation starters. Take this wildcat for example. I think the artist could have used a drink or four from Two Keys because the wildcat looks pretty depressed. Nobody likes a depressed wildcat, least of all depressed Wildcat fans that hang out at Two Keys. Maybe he was carved after this year’s NCAA loss, or the NBA Draft announcements by most of the team. They’ve both become yearly depression events. In any case, I think the sculpture is fun and I tip my hat to Two Keys for adding a little art to their backdoor entrance.
Now, about those murals. This long piece (top) sits across from Lowell’s where I took the car for repairs. I really enjoy bright colors and abstract work, but this mural doesn’t really have either, and it’s a bit too Disney-esque for my taste. If it was near, say, a school or daycare I could see it as a good fit, but it faces a car repair shop and not much else. Maybe if I had kids I’d understand it, if in fact these characters are based on a Disney show like I suspect. The mural below faces the parking lot of Joe Bologna’s Italian Restaurant. While more aesthetically engaging, I admit to not understanding one bit of it either. It feels like a Ren-&-Stimpy-meets-Godzilla-on-the-basketball-court video game or something. It has great colors even if I don’t understand the imagery. All in all, I’ve concluded that just because you have a wall doesn’t mean you need to put a mural on it. Sometimes a plain wall just needs to stay plain. I may be showing my age with these critiques. Next thing you know I’ll be screaming at the kids to get off my lawn. Then, I’ll come into the house and laugh myself silly. Still, I whole-heartedly applaud these mural artists. These things aren’t easy to do, and I’m really pleased they get out there and get their feet wet. That’s how great art gets made.
“Life’s as kind as you let it be.” ~ Charles Bukowski
Friday night, after seeing Absolutely Fabulous, I had to see one more thing before I went home. I wanted to see the art installation on the Oliver Lewis Way Bridge called Origins(bottom photos). It has been up for several months but I’d yet to see it after dark, and with the last of the sunset to add a touch of light to the sky, I was going. As usual, I got more than I bargained for.
While I was photographing the bridge (which, in person, isn’t nearly as impressive as I’d expected), I heard cheers. They weren’t for me, but for Stacy who’d gotten out of the car some time after me to photograph the bridge. I turned to see this pedal-powered vehicle cheering and waving at Stacy as it made it’s way up the hill and through the intersection. I’d never seen anything like it. A little digging turned up ‘Big Blue Pedaler‘. From their website: “It’s a 13-person pedal powered trolley on wheels (sometimes referred to as a party bike or cyclepub) with a certified BigBluePedaler conductor in the captain’s seat. Perfect for pub crawls, birthday celebrations, bachelor/bachelorette parties, shopping/brunch outings, company outings, brewery tours, sightseeing, themed nights out…We have shade, music, bass, lights, cupholders, storage, and even a motor to help us up those pesky hills or when you get super tired.” What a brilliant idea for a city like Lexington that’s brimming with history at every turn. You can take distillery tours, history tours, general tours, and pick a variety of routes for each. If Sharon Shearman comes to visit again from New Zealand we’re getting a 13-person party and taking a ride on the Big Blue Pedaler. And since Sharon loves Budweiser beer, I think she’ll appreciate the art on the bridge. As Stacy pointed out, it looks more like the Bud crown logo than a bourbon barrel abstract. Still, everything’s beautiful in the sodium light of a city in summer. I was not disappointed.
“May your troubles be less and your blessings more,
and nothing but happiness come through your door.” ~ Irish Proverb
It was about 8:30 when I left Lexington Cemetery after my sunrise service hopping extravaganza. I passed over the Oliver Lewis Way bridge which is really just the remodeled Cox Street connector of Newtown Pike and Pine Street…because, you know, Lexington. I digress. Anyway, I’m going over the bridge and notice these new adornments. So, I did a little digging about them. They’re a public arts work called “Origins” commissioned by a few groups in the city and LexArts. The artist is from Colorado and this is his abstract interpretation of the charring of bourbon barrels that help give the bourbon its unique flavor. They’re supposed to light up, but they weren’t lit when I passed them on the way to the cemetery in the dark. They were also supposed to be installed in time for the Breeder’s Cup last October. Evidently, they were installed just recently, and this might be why they weren’t lit. In any case, I rather like them. I’d like them more if they were lit like they’re supposed to be. I’m sure they make the nigh time skyline cool.
“There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.” ~ Leo Tolstoy
I had the strangest day. I worked an event at the Lexington Public Library with the Nunn Center. Thank God I came home to dear friends Catherine Brereton, Susan Stewart, Annie Bassoni, and Stacy Yelton. There’s nothing that a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity can’t fix. They helped me shake off the weird vibes and laugh until I cried. I am the luckiest woman on the planet.