In 2018 I will feature a random (yet alphabetical) selection of photos I have taken from my nearly 20 years of back roads travel in the United States and Canada. I may even throw in a few random shots from other trips to Japan, Mexico and the Philippines. My theme is called America’s Back Roads: A Grab Bag of Places in Pictures.
Possum Trot Supper Club – Oakwood, Illinois
Pierre Part, Louisiana
Pound Gap, Virginia
Prairie Dogs – Browning, Montana; Cactus Flat, South Dakota
And then there is the Pink Elephant Car Wash – Seattle, Washington
Poutine – A Canadian Favorite – Paris, Ontario
Portsmouth Murals – Portsmouth, Ohio
Portland Head Light – Portland, Maine
Just down the road from Hell – Pinckney, Michigan
Planet Damon Water Tower – Damon, Texas
Presti’s Bakery – Little Italy – Cleveland, Ohio
Pain Reliever Bar – Nekoma, North Dakota
PRHBTN Murals (there are more than 20 – here are a couple) – Lexington, Kentucky
Papa Joe’s – Crescent Junction, Utah
P’Maws Bait Shack – Pierre Part, Louisiana
Pat’s King of Steaks – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Puget Sound – Seattle, Washington
Perry Como Statues – Canonsburg, Pennsylvania
Fun Stuff in Portland, Oregon
Pheasant Bar – Winner, South Dakota
Petrified Forest National Park – Holbrook, Arizona
Pinto McBean – Bow Island, Alberta, Canada
A few Paul Bunyan guys here and there – Bemidji, Minnesota; Nitro, West Virginia; Minocqua, Wisconsin; Wentzville, Missouri
Price Less Foods – Irvine, Kentucky
Popeye Statue – Alma, Arkansas
Port Gibson First Presbyterian Church – Port Gibson, Mississippi
Powder River, Wyoming
Paradise Point – Scottsville, Kentucky
Scenes from Paris – or four or five of them – Paris, Ontario; Paris, Kentucky; Paris, Texas; Paris, Tennessee
Point Defiance Zoo – Tacoma, Washington
Paul’s Hamburgers – Kansas City, Kansas
Peaks to Craters Scenic Highway – Idaho
Pelicans – Lake Andes, South Dakota; Galveston, Texas; Lexington, Kentucky
Plaza Theatres – Glasgow, Kentucky & Wharton, Texas
Playhouse Square – Cleveland, Ohio
Pea Meal Breakfast Anyone? – Woodstock, Ontario
PPG Glass Castle – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Professor Market – Tremont District – Cleveland, Ohio
Pike Place Market – Seattle, Washington
Penn’s Store – Gravel Switch, Kentucky
Penguins – Omaha, Nebraska; Tacoma, Washington
Pheasants on the Prairie – Enchanted Highway – Regent, North Dakota
Pickle’s Place – Arco, Idaho
Pete the Curler – Bemidji, Minnesota
Pork Chop Sandwiches (as seen on Andy Griffith) – Mt. Airy, North Carolina
Old Prairie School House – Frisno, Montana
Giant Prairie Dog Statue – Cactus Flat, South Dakota
Pelo’s Sundries – LeClaire, Iowa
If you like what you see, you may want to check out my book: Less Beaten Paths of America: Unique Town Names, available on Amazon. My second book, Less Beaten Paths of America: Quirky and Offbeat Roadside Attractions, will be available in late April or early May 2018. Click on the photo below for more details or to get a copy of the book.
Once again the great team at PRHBTN and all of its supporters have brought 4 great artists into Lexington to add 4 more lovely wall murals around Lexington. These artists from New York, Italy and Portugal all visited Lexington and left with their art work colorizing more of town. (See updated map of all murals in Lexington embedded below)
The first week of November I made my rounds to grab shots of these murals. I have done similar posts in the past ( see 20142013a2013b ) and this is the 2015 version.
Unlike the art the past couple of years, we actually have a piece that is probably closer to conventional wall art rather than the street art influences, especially in Portuguese artist ODIETH‘s marvelous Louis Armstrong mural that sits alongside the Lighthouse Ministries Church on Elm Tree Lane across from the Lyric Theatre.
Head to downtown Lexington and the Victorian Square Parking Garage on Main and Broadway and there is now a third mural decorating the walls. This time it is on the wall facing Main Street and the mural can be seen from the corner of Main and Broadway. This mural was for the Audubon Society and is of a wild turkey. The art was done by Italian mural artist hiTNES.
The most unusual of all of the paintings comes from New York artists Sheryo and the Yok. I am not sure what this one is all about, but I am thinking there is some basketball involved. It is located on the side of the Oneness Boutique on Jersey St., near the corner with Maxwell.
And finally, the most retro and perhaps most colorful of all the paintings was the one done by Portuguese street artist MrDHEO. This three section mural titled “What Goes Around Comes Around” on the side of Chase Brewing on Third Street and Jefferson is classy and intricate.
I really enjoyed looking at all of the detail that went into this. And to think it was all done with spray paint is amazing to me.
Here are a few shots of this one.
Another tradition that seems to be associated with each annual PRHBTN gathering is the unscheduled and probably unplanned smaller pieces of art that find there way into the Lexington Distillery District, especially by the area where Ethereal Brewing is located on Manchester Dr. in Lexington. This year some large cement cubes appeared and art has been added to them. Among the artists that I could actually track down, one was Louisville’s Brrr. Brrr is known for his popular bug-eyed character which you can see below. A visit to Louisville will likely have an appearance of Brrr’s art show up.
Of course, besides the PRHBTN group’s great work, there has been other lovely and unique wall art popping up in Lexington since my last post in 2014. Three really nice works that I have come across include the following:
I tried to research the artist for this outstanding sunface, but I may have to call Mellow Mushroom to find out.
The front of Mellow Mushroom also includes some Native American art in the form of Kokopelli as seen on old petroglyphs in Arizona and New Mexico. As a former tour guide on the Navajo and Hopi Indian Reservations and an enthusiast of the old Native American cultures of the Sinagua and the Anasazi, I immediately recognized Kokopelli,
In another part of town, along Southland Drive, there is a Tattoo Shop called Horseshoe Tattoo which has a large mural on its side wall. Done in the tradition of street art, it is both colorful and indicative of tattoo stylings. I think it has been around for a couple of years, but I had only really noticed it in the past year. So, I am including it in this year’s version of Lexington’s Wall art.
NO LONGER WITH US…..
Then there is the sad news of two lovely works that are no longer around. The first is the Distillery District wall, which was done in 2013 by Lexington Street Artists Dronex, Inc. I noticed that this wall had been torn down to expand the parking lot. (You can see my write up about this one ON THIS BLOG POST from 2014).
A second lovely mural was painted over by new owners of the old Hurst Office Building at the end of Short Street in Lexington. I read that there was some controversy over this one. It is sad that someone would just paint over a wall that was painstakingly painted. You can see more about this one on THIS BLOG POST.
Lexington again has new art covering some of its formerly barren walls around town as the Street Art promoting organization PRHBTN brought in four new world renown street artists to enhance the growing collection of unique murals that dot the town.
The contributing artists this year included How and Nosm (twin brothers Raoul & Davide Perre originally from Spain), ROA (from Ghent, Belgium), Andrew Hem (a Cambodian immigrant currently from Los Angeles) and MTO (a French born graffiti artist currently from Berlin). Each of these four artists have very unique styles and techniques as can be seen from their photos in this post.
Perhaps the most amazing (and controversial) is the behemoth 75 foot tall by 270 feet wide mural by MTO on the side of the Pepper Distillery Warehouse on Manchester. Titled “My Name is MO,” this piece of Street Art is stunning in its accuracy and complexity. Though MTO is more well known for painting giant murals of famous celebrities, this particular character is not one. Rather, he created a complex story that explains the creation and it is artistically presented in a video that MTO produced.
This particular massive mural has been accused of using gang symbolism. The neighboring garden center has complained that they don’t like being stared down at be this monster mural. But, ultimately was painted on private property and went through the appropriate approvals before a drop of paint made its way onto the brick and mortar canvas.
In a nutshell, this MTO mural epitomizes what PRHBTN is all about. PRHBTN is short for Prohibition, which is what many graffiti and street artists face. PRHBTN was started by John and Jessica Winters in 2011 to encourage the growth of street art in Lexington. They have invited well-known international artists to town to create new mural works on vacant downtown walls, getting support from private donors, local business and community organizations (including me through Kickstarter). They work with property owners to secure the brick and mortar “canvases.” Their goal to highlight this new genre of art is turning Lexington into a living street art gallery, as more than 25 large murals and a number of minor ones adorn many of the formerly bare walls of the community. Indeed, one of last year’s pieces, “Abraham Lincoln” by Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra, has drawn national attention and is a new drawing card for tourism downtown.
Adding to the collection this year is the huge mural entitled “Moonshine” by Twin brothers How and Nosm. They are known for their black, white, red and pink color schemes as well as their whimsical work. This mural does not disappoint. Painted on the four story side of the LexPark parking structure in Short Street, it is sure to be missed by those driving down the street. But, for those walking to the garage from Mill St., it is difficult to miss. Try as I might, I have not been able to track down the story behind this giant masterpiece of whimsy.
Just down Short Street, about three blocks from “Moonshine,” is another new work on the side of a building, this one by Los Angeles artist Andrew Hem. Titled “The Night Watchers,” it is the latest creation by Hem, a 2006 graduate of Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, CA), and an internationally recognized muralist. Andrew has created public artworks most recently in the Arctic, as well as Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, New York and London and now Lexington.
The fourth artist, ROA, was commissioned to do his mural on the side of building just off of North Limestone in his trademark monochromatic style. His dying bison is about three stories tall and is well worth a ponderous peek.
And, while in Lexington, ROA added a second piece in the Lexington Distillery District on the side of an old water tank. This giant bee appears as if it had rolled over and died.
The annual PRHBTN commissions and party typically happen in October. Apparently, another well-known Chicago-based street artist with a defined style, named Left Handed Wave, just happened to sneak into town and left his mark on the front of the same building that 2013 PRHBTN artist Odeith had painted horses on the side of. His iconic style is a signature in and of itself.
But PRHBTN was not the only group commissioning work this year. LexPark, in conjunction with the Saul Good Restaurants and a couple of other companies, brought in Appalachian artist Lacy Hale, with her brother Seth, painted a wonderfully colorful Tulip Poplar mural at the stairwell entrance to the LexPark garage near the corner of Main St. and Broadway (118 North Broadway). The Tulip Poplar is the state tree of Kentucky.
While on my quest to discover more art work in town, I came across two 2013 pieces by Dronex, Inc., a collaborative of artists headed by Myke Dronez, of Lexington, perhaps the most well known street artist from Kentucky. They have two wonderfully whimsical pieces in town (and perhaps more). The first is of a train hauling bourbon barrels and can be found in the Lexington Distillery District by Buster’s. The other is on the side of a building on Lisle Industrial Ave and is called “Stockyard Commons.” Both have the Dronex drones dotting the work.
Another fun discovery was just off North Broadway past Loudon Ave., on Washington St., which is home to the BroCoLoco Agency. They have painted a flock of migratory origami titled “Origami Tsunami” on the side of a building., apparently completed in early July 2014.
UPDATED DEC. 1, 2014
I heard a rumor that there were a couple of murals I missed in my recent whirlwind tour of Lexington. The one above is at 600 N. Limestone on the side of Progress Market. No idea who painted it and can’t locate any info. Here are a couple more pics.
Just down the street a couple of blocks is a small shop called Vintage Creations on Lime. The BroCoLoco Agency recently completed the wall art on the side (facing True Alley). I really like this one!
In fact, on that coolish day in November I actually made a whirlwind trip around Lexington to do a selfie at as many of these as I could find and get to. I managed most of them. I have created a slideshow of my “Selfie Tour” and posted it HERE. You can also see my posts from last year PART I and PART II for more details.
Custom map of locations for all of the murals and street art works in Lexington is below: