Lovely Louisville

The first time I went to 21c I was greeted by smokestacks blowing perfect smokey rings into the air, a large projection of a couple comfortably sleeping on a wooden lobby floor, a team of people hanging photographs by one of my favorite photographers (Loretta Lux) and a plate of fresh beet salad that was mouth watering perfection! Almost every time we've been to Louisville we've been lucky enough to stay in this magical land of 21c! Part museum, part hotel, part bar/fancy restaurant 21c has been around Louisville for a few years now and is the perfect synasthetic experience. The fact that it is a hotel lessens the pretention of it being a museum and I have sat in the lobby often watching scores of locals and tourists alike stream through the galleries, unafraid of speaking too loudly and unhurried by the stuffiness of most museum atmospheres. I really love the openess that this space has while still managing to remain an extremely decadent hotel/dining/art experience, it is unlike any place I have ever been and I really wish this kind of model of accessible art was more popular in other places!

This last time we were there an exhibit called "Cuba Now" was on display that featured the work of Cuban artists and artists dealing with Cuban issues- antique car art symbolizing the stasis of Cubas imports, a boat sculpture made of refridgerated pipe that is slowly gathering frost over time as ties with the country are as well, tiny wooden houses made from the remnants of torn shanty homes, the seasons portrayed by trees of fabric by Guerra de la paz (a duo of Cuban born American artists I have been following for years and whose sculptural use of recyled cloth and issues of political unrest and the future of industry/nature/history are both strong and poetic in a way I have never seen so intense in the craft culture of contemporary art) are just a few of the pieces that stuck out to me in this wide ranging exhibit.

We've been too busy to really revel in the scope of comfort at 21c but, after staying there through these installs, I must say I have become a conessuier of their perfect grits, luxurious soaps (which I love seeing in other artists houses as a sign of the 21c cult!) and pillow chocolates, yes, you heard me, chocolates on your pillow!  The only thing I regret not doing while here was have a julep!? Can you believe that!? I was in the best place to get a julep for days and did not have one?! Well obviously we have to go back..! (dreams of lovely lovely Louisville)



Donna K. is a recent transplant to the Midwest where she can be found exploring culture at large through film programming, writing and her general interest in the world- both on and offline.