The Bluegrass State

Now that the bulk of the Gravity set is up in Kentucky I have been able to get outside long enough to see Kentucky! Yay! First off, everyone is polite. I get the most stunned by the niceness when I go to a hardware store and multiple people want to help me. I feel like how our bandmate Drew felt when we were in Chicago and his comfort with New York invisibility made him say "Why was that guy talking at me?" completely astounded by someone genuinely wanting to have a conversation!


The arts in Louisville are a massive enterprise. A lot of (very lucrative) businesses are at the center of this town so arts funding is a common luxury (in the same way I found in Houston Texas). But, unlike Texas, it seems like a lot of local mini-art cliques have formed down here...judging by conversation they seem to be working together a bit more as of late though which is at least a step in the right direction! Our show, for instance, is being sponsored by Art Without Walls, a non-profit arts organization that specializes in bringing art from outside the city into, around and all over this city, and our show is being constructed at LOT (Land Of Tomorrow), a relatively new, huge gallery space in Louisville (with a thriving space in Lexington as well) that supports a large network of (mostly local and Southern) artists with intense contemporary styles. Joey, the Gallery Director at LOT Louisville is a wonderful person whose curatorial ideas and wide ranging background are going to benefit this space A TON! Not to mention he is a super nice guy, I hope he is fully appreciated by this organization!


Another artist we met while here, Aron, was telling us about a lot of other local community arts initiatives he is involved with that sound great. Nelligan Hall was a vaudeville theater back in the 30s, a democratic headquarters in another era and currently houses an art collective complete with studio spaces, the new incarnation spearheaded by Aron & his wife. Their next artspace project is called The Mammoth and, judging by the building, it is just that! Aron's wife also is a part of The Center for Neighborhoods whose mission statement is a beautiful, utopic vision of how a town should run and how "The vitality of any community depends on the engagement of its residents." P.A.I.N.T seeks to "put art in neighborhoods together," another program focuses on neighborhood beautification through community gardening & landscaping and the next project on their agenda is trying to grow more food resources in areas that are lacking. Programs like this are, of course, important to any community and I hope all of the arts communities in Louisville can find a common ground to work on more of these vital projects together! Back inside for a bit hopefully to emerge from the barely lit set into this beautifully lit Kentucky day, a thing that has been a rarity given these recent days of beautiful (yet deadly) Kentucky storms (pictured)!



 

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