PRHBTN 2019: More Murals to Decorate Lexington

Once again, John and Jessica Winters and their PRHBTN organization has brought some amazing art into Lexington.  October and the first part of November saw four more unique artists into the city to colorize more walls in the city.

This year we got visits from Venezuelan artist Koz Dos,  New Yorker Elle, SNUB23 from Great Britain and Alexandrea Pangburn from the Denver area.  Each of them brought their own unique styles to add to the beauty of the city.

Detail of Koz Dos mural
KOZ DOS

The first one to get started was Koz Dos.  Born in 1986 in Caracas, Venezuela, he is a graffiti artist who made his first steps in the Caracas hood. Since then, he has become famous for his photorealistic and colorful portraits of people and frames, art, using geometric patterns.

 

Koz Dos was hard at it in his first couple of days, painting 5 stories up.

The Koz Dos mural was painted on the side of the large LexPark garage in downtown Lexington off of Short Street.  Originally, it was the home of a large HOW & NOSM mural (see my post about the 2014 PRHBTN murals to see the HOW & NOSM mural) that had lots of weather damage.  These artists come into this knowing that there is always the possibility that their art may disappear due to weather, new ownership of buildings, etc.  Such was this case.  But, it opened the wall for the massive and colorful work that Koz Dos laid upon it.  He used the nearly sixty foot wall to create a unique and crafty piece of art with a number of colorful characters on it.  Following are a few shots from beginning to complete.  Note, this is a difficult piece to get a complete photo of without wires getting in the way.    You can see more about Koz Doz on his Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/koz.dos/

First Day of work for Koz Dos
Detail of a polar bear on top of the Koz Dos mural

I am a big fan of herons, cranes and flamingos.  In this instance, I am not exactly sure what kind of bird he used, but it looks like some sort of heron.  I love his use of the birds.

Fish and herons on the Koz Dos mural
Detail of Fish on Koz Dos mural
This is the best shot I could get of the finished mural, the day it was completed. It is beautiful.
Alexandrea Pangburn

While Koz Dos was hard at work, a couple of miles away Alexandrea Pangburn was getting started on her piece near 8th Street and Jefferson.  Based in Golden, CO, Alexandrea specializes in animal portraits using acrylic paint, ink, watercolors and gouache on a variety of surfaces – from canvas to wood and bricks.

First day view of Alexandrea Pangburn mural
Detail of Day 1 of Pangburn mural

When I visited her work on her first day, I saw what looked like a paint by number painting and really couldn’t see what was going to come from it. After seeing the completed piece, I can see everything.  I did get to meet her and she is extremely friendly and personable.  Unfortunately, I never got by to see her actually working on it.  Visit and follow Alexandrea Pangburn on her Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/alexandrea_pang/

Detail of the Pangburn mural. Such a cute fox
This is the finished mural from Alexandrea Pangburn
This fox visited our neighborhood just a few days before the Pangburn mural was painted.
Another shot of the local fox

Just a few days later she had finished.  You can see the completed mural above. I was so delighted to see this foxy photo.  Ironically, just a few days earlier I was fortunate enough to capture some shots of a fox who had visited our neighborhood after being displaced from its nearby den due to home/apartment construction.  So, this mural had special meaning to me and I absolutely love it!

Street Artist in ELLE takes a moment to chat
ELLE

Next to roll into Lexington is Brooklyn, New York artist ELLE.  (See her website at http://ellestreetart.com/).   Over the years I have met many street artists through PRHBTN and others.  Most of them are rough cut, though personable, souls.  They all have that gypsy-like nature about them.  But not ELLE.  For lack of a better way to describe her after meeting and talking with her is that she is an exotically beautiful bad-ass artist.  She actually looks more like she belongs on a TV commercial.   According to her Website BIO:

ELLE considers her paintings to be poetry. She creates stories by collaging disparate images: powerful females, flora and fauna, classical paintings juxtaposed with pop-culture and high fashion imagery, revealing purposefully designed messages to the world.

ELLE Working on her mural
Detail of ELLE mural

ELLE’s giant mural is located on the side of a building off of Church Street near Mill Street in downtown Lexington.  This work is just as exotic and colorful as she is.  I got there after she had already knocked out some of the first part of the work, which features three women’s faces collaged into each other.

An onlooker admires the work of ELLE as it sits in progress
Detail of ELLE painting

The element of surprise was the key to this beautiful mural.  And, this one was not without controversy as she added some “hidden” political commentary onto the mural, which, was painted over on the day after she completed it.  Though I do have a photo of the controversial content, I am choosing not to post it here.  But, I do want to note, that this is not unusual for graffiti artists.  In your face controversy follows them…  thus the name PRHBTN for Lexington’s now world famous art organization.  Following are more shots of her amazing work.

ELLE at Work
Detail of her nearly complete mural
This is a full-length shot of ELLE’s mural
Another view of ELLE’s mural
SNUB23

The final mural in Lexington was done by Brighton, UK artist SNUB23.  Like the others above, he has become a world-renown street artist and graphic artist for smaller projects.   His PRHBTN project is probably one of the more unique pieces and certainly very detailed on many levels. On his website BIO, the definition of his work style is as colorful as he is:

Coming into being in the 1990s, SNUB is the alter ego of a graphic designer, inspired by the fictional robot Hammerstein.

SNUB Logo
SNUB23 with his friend and helper

I got to speak to him a few times during his big project and he is as friendly as can be.  Many graffiti artists prefer to not be photographed, and I totally adhere to their requests.  Not so with SNUB, who was delighted to have his photo taken along with his female friend with her striking orange hair.

Though, as you can see on his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/snub23/, much of his work looks more like it comes from the comic book world. However, the work he did in Lexington is quite complex and was absolutely time consuming.  I watched as he used various size templates to create a visual illusion of 3D blocks of different sizes.  Quite the amazing work.

SNUB23 working on his wall.
SNUB23 used templates to make each block
SNUB’s friend works on a section
SNUB23 works on each cube separately.
Finished Corner view
Side view. When looked at in light it appears in 3D due to his detailed shadowing
More SNUB23

You can visit SNUB23 at his website at https://www.snub23.com/

Have you checked out my books?

John Winters, the founder and fearless leader of PRHBTN shows off his Less Beaten Paths books.

I write about back roads travel and quirky, unique sites along the way.  I have published three books so far, and am working on Book 4 now, which will be all about murals, graffiti art and wall art from all over the U.S. and Canada.  I have photos of nearly 2500 different works.  And, yes, I will have a unique chapter just on PRHBTN in Lexington!!!  You can see PRHBTN founder John Winters on the left with HIS copies of my books.

ORDER YOUR BOOKS TODAY!

Happy Holidays from Sumofalm

As the 2019 Holidays are upon us, its a good time to think about that unique gift.  My books are great fun for travelers.  Every place in my books was personally visited by me and these are my unique stories of these places.  All photography is also mine.  You can grab your copies of any of my books at Amazon in print or Kindle versions at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0784XVGSW

My newest book is also available at the fun gift shops at Carhenge in Nebraska, Paradise Point Marketplace in Scottsville, Kentucky, Bowlin’s The Thing in Arizona and the famed Uranus Fudge Factory on Route 66 in Missouri.

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Wall Art in Lexington: PRHBTN 2015 Projects and more

prhbtnOnce 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)

Some PRHBTN Art on a wall in the Distillery District
Some PRHBTN Art on a wall in the Distillery District
Detail of Louis Armstrong mural in Lexington's East Side
Detail of Louis Armstrong mural in Lexington’s East Side

The first week of November I made my rounds to grab shots of these murals. I have done similar posts in the past ( see 2014 2013a 2013b ) 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.

Louis Armstrong Mural by Sergio Odeith from Portugal, for PRHBTN 2015
Louis Armstrong Mural by Sergio Odeith from Portugal, for PRHBTN 2015

 

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.

Wild Turkey by hiTNES for PRHBTN 2015 located on parking garage.
Wild Turkey by hiTNES for PRHBTN 2015 located on parking garage across from Victorian Square

12190491_10153699287852090_838511630_oThe 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.

Mural near UK campus by Sheryo and the Yok from New York.
Mural near UK campus by Sheryo and the Yok from New York.

12210924_10153711481137090_87531403_oAnd 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.

Portuguese artist MrDHEO's fine piece by Chase Brewing
Portuguese artist MrDHEO’s fine piece “What Goes Around Comes Around” by Chase Brewing
Sumoflam at MrDHEO's painting
Sumoflam at MrDHEO’s painting
A painted tattoo
A painted tattoo
A MrDHO version of a Lucky Strike package...vintage
A MrDHO version of a Lucky Strike package…vintage
Sumoflam
Sumoflam and Master Dheo’s mural

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.

Signature work of Louisville Street Artist BRRR
Signature work of Louisville Street Artist BRRR
Art on Cement Blocks in the Distillery District - artist unknown
Art on Cement Blocks in the Distillery District – artist unknown (well, I can’t read the tag anyway)
Unique bird using two sides and meeting in the corner - artist unknown
Unique bird using two sides and meeting in the corner – artist unknown
More unique art on blocks
More unique art on blocks – The Hot Dog King
Spacey Art
Spacey Art
A lovely Graffiti Panel rests on the water tank in the Distillery District - artist unknown
A lovely Graffiti Panel rests on the water tank in the Distillery District – artist unknown

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:

Sunburst Wall at Mellow Mushroom Pizza in Lexington
Sunburst Wall at Mellow Mushroom Pizza in Lexington

I tried to research the artist for this outstanding sunface, but I may have to call Mellow Mushroom to find out.

MellowMush3

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,

Mellow Mushroom front
Mellow Mushroom front features renditions of 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.

Tattoo Wall at Horseshoe Tattoo on Southland Drive in Lexington.
Tattoo Wall at Horseshoe Tattoo on Southland Drive in Lexington.
Opposite View
Opposite View
Detail of Tattoo
Detail of Tattoo Art

NO LONGER WITH US…..

2013 Lexington Distillery District mural, by Dronex Inc.
2013 Lexington Distillery District mural, by Dronex Inc. – 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).

Char Downs mural on Hurst Office Building in downtown Lexington
Char Downs mural on Hurst Office Building in downtown Lexington – NO LONGER WITH US

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.

UPDATED MURAL MAP

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I’ve Been Everywhere – Part II: Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

Sumoflam's Signs
Sumoflam’s Signs

One of the norms of driving the back roads of America are the town signs.  Anyone that drives any roads typically sees hundreds of them.  Of course, some are pretty typical town names, but, there are many that aren’t typical.   Here are a few “descriptive” town name signs that I have picked up along the less beaten paths of America.  I have written about some of these places, but now we can “compare.”

I would like to say I have made it to all of the strange and wacky town places, but indeed I have not.  Here is one non-definitive list from infoplease.com.  Here are a couple more links to the topic – Top 10 Worst Named Cities, Bad Names for Towns, Interesting Town Names.

As my photo above shows, there are quite a few adjective towns….

Uncertain, TX
Uncertain, TX

Uncertain is a small town in Texas on the shores of the mysterious Caddo Lake, which is the only naturally formed lake in the state of Texas. Uncertain derives its name from surveyors who were attempting to delineate the border between Texas and Louisiana and discovered that they were “uncertain” as to which side of the line they were on as they began surveying that particular part of Caddo Lake.

Odd, West Virginia
Odd, West Virginia

Odd is an unincorporated town in Raleigh County, West Virgina. According to one story, a group of people gathered at the post office to name the town. Several names were suggested, and to one suggestion, someone in the group responded “That’s odd.” And so the name of Odd was adopted for the town.  Odd is basically south of some other towns – Hurricane, Tornado and Comfort…all on the same road in West Virginia.  Odd is home to the Odd Elementary School, which was apparently the last remaining wooden school house in West Virginia.

Oddville, Kentucky
Oddville, Kentucky

Travel west from West Virginia into the Lexington, KY area and you can work your way to Oddville, Kentucky. Oddville is located on U.S. Route 62 5.4 miles (8.7 km) north-northeast of Cynthiana. Settlement began in 1799. The name was apparently an attempt to satisfy the postal authorities with a unique name for the post office, which opened in 1851.

Peculiar, Missouri
Peculiar, Missouri

Further west into Missouri is the town of Peculiar, easily reached from Interstate 64 just east of Kansas City.  On July 29, 1868, the county surveyor, Robert Cass, platted Peculiar and was filed as “The Town of Peculiar”. Apparently, the community’s first postmaster, Edgar Thomson is attributed to the name. His his first choice for a town name, Excelsior, was rejected because it already existed in Atchison County, Missouri. Several other choices were also rejected. The story goes that the annoyed Thomson wrote to the Postmaster General himself to complain saying, among other things, “We don’t care what name you give us so long as it is sort of ‘peculiar’.” Thomson submitted the name “Peculiar” and the name was approved. The post office was established on June 22, 1868.

Normal, IL
Normal, Illinois

Unlike the Odd and Peculiar and Uncertain names, Normal, Illinois got its name from the Normal School located in the town.  Of all of the strangely named towns I have come across, Normal is by far the largest, with well over 50,000 people and a college.

Okay, Oklahoma
Okay, OklahomaOkay, Oklahoma sign

Heading further west into Oklahoma you can come to the town of Okay. The town is located in the southeastern corner of Wagoner County on State Highway 16. The community lies on the east bank of the Verdigris River in the Three Forks area about fifty miles southeast of Tulsa.  Formerly known as Rex, North Muskogee and Falls City, the name was changed in the early twentieth century the settlement was became Okay in 1919, honoring the O. K. 3-Ton Truck and Trailer manufactured there by the Oklahoma Auto Manufacturing Company.

Boring, Oregon
Boring, Oregon

Head way west into Oregon and you can get to Boring. The townspeople call it an “exciting place to live and work.”  It actually got its name from 1n 1903 whenthe unincorporated area was named after one of its first residents, W.H Boring. The town is very close to Portland and really is not boring.  There is a new restaurant that just opened there and was not there on my last trip.  Called “The Not So Boring Bar and Grill“.

Cool, Texas
Cool, Texas

If the other names were not so interesting, then try out Cool, Texas. It is a very small incorporated town on U.S. Highway 180 eleven miles west of Weatherford in western Parker County, Texas. Cool was incorporated after 1960 and was first shown on county maps in the mid-1960s.  I have not been able to find out how it got its name, but it was likely after someone named Cool.  There is a Cool Cafe there is they are open when you go though.

Coolville, Ohio
Coolville, Ohio

And then there is Coolville, OH. This town is located in the extreme southeast corner of Ohio. In 1818 Coolville was platted by Ashel Cooley, for whom it is named, and incorporated in 1835. I believe that Ashel Cooley is actually a distant cousin of my wife, whose grandmother was a Cooley. Coolville is located close to a couple more “hot/cold” communities: Torch and Frost.

Torch, Ohio
Torch, Ohio

Speaking of Torch, I might as well add it and warm things up.   Not sure how it got its name, but, since we are getting warm here, let’s take the real jump….

Hell, Michigan
Hell, Michigan
Direction to Hell from Pickney, MI
Direction to Hell from Gregory, MI

Hell, Michigan is probably one of the more famous wacky town names in the United States (along with Intercourse, Pennsylvania).  The story of Hell starts out around a sawmill, gristmill, distillery and tavern. All four were operated by George Reeves. Reeves moved to the area in the 1830s from the Catskill Mountains in New York.  Apparently, soon after Michigan gained statehood, George Reeves was asked what he thought the town he helped settle should be called and replied, “I don’t care, you can name it Hell for all I care.” The name became official on October 13, 1841.  The town has a bar, an ice cream shop and a tourist shop.  That’s about it.  But, it is a beautiful drive from Pinckney, through Gregory, which is the gateway to Hell.

Ponder, Texas
Ponder, Texas

So, these names make me want to ponder what other places I can visit.  Ponder, Texas.  Ponder is located about 10 miles from Denton, Texas.  Not sure how it got its name. But how about these next few places?

Talent, Oregon
Talent, Oregon

Looking for Talent?  You can find it in the far southwestern part of Oregon.  Like its counterpart Oregon town of Boring, Talent was actually named after a person. In 1889, A.P. Talent platted a town-site and named it “Talent.” On November 2, 1910, Talent became an incorporated town.

Wisdom, Kentucky
Wisdom, Kentucky

Seeking Wisdom? Well, it is a dot on the map in Metcalfe County, Kentucky.  There is not much from here, but the country rock band Kentucky Headhunters, famous for their cover of Bill Monroe’s “Walk Softly on This Heart of Mine” hail from Wisdom.  As for the name, I have not found out how it got the name yet.

Success, Missouri direction
Success, Missouri direction
Success, Missouri
Success, Missouri

Looking for Success? It is a small town about 17 miles northwest of Houston, Missouri. The road to Success from Houston is lined with old doublewides and rusted out cars.  No joke!!  And once you find Success, you will see that there is not much there.  At least you can say you found it.

Romance, Missouri
Romance, Missouri

Maybe you are looking for Romance instead?  Well, good luck.  Romance is down in the Ozarks, about 9 miles north of Gainesville, MO.  I took the partially paved and partially dirt road to Romance and found nothing but a couple of houses.  There apparently used to be a church there.  But, take it from me, the road to Romance is a dead end.

Friendship, Arkansas
Friendship, Arkansas
Friendship, Arkansas
Friendship, Arkansas

Perhaps you are looking for Friendship instead.  It is located in north of Arkadelphia off of Interstate 30 in Hot Spring County and has a population of just over 200. It is a quaint little town.

Comfort, West Virginia
Comfort, West Virginia

Or maybe you just want some Comfort. You can find it on the windy Coal River Road (Hwy 3).  If you go to Hurricane, WV off of Interstate 64 and then head southeast on US 60 through Tornado and get on Coal River Road you will eventually find Comfort.  Yes, you must go through a Hurricane and a Tornado to get to Comfort.  By the way, keep going south and you will get to Odd.

Charm, Ohio
Charm, Ohio

Or, maybe you just want some Charm. This small town on Hwy 557 in the heart of Ohio Amish Country got its name in 1885. If you like cheese, there is plenty of cheese in the area. Other Amish goods are available.  Honestly, this little burg really lives up to its name!!

Flippin, Arkansas
Flippin, Arkansas
Flippin, Kentucky
Flippin, Kentucky

There are two Flippin places that I have been to.  The larger Flippin is in Arkansas.  It is close to some great recreational areas in the Ozarks and is the home to ranger Boats.  There is a Flippin Police Department, a Flippin High School and a few Flippin Churches.  There are about 1500 residents in Flippin, Arkansas.  The name of Flippin comes from Thomas J. Flippin, who left Hopkins County, Kentucky in 1821. There is a nice history of the town here. Flippin, Kentucky, on the other hand, is very small.  It is located in southern Kentucky in Monroe County.

Part III will cover some of the more unique place names I have visited.  Enjoy the Ride!!

 

 

 

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