Sometimes there can be a treasure trove in your own backyard. In the past few months Lexington, Kentucky has been the recipient of some new and amazing wall art…all fairly large projects, including an amazing HUGE piece on the back of the Kentucky Theatre. And there will be more on the way — all part of the PRHBTN Project in Lexington. According to it’s Website, “PRHBTN is an annual celebration of art forms that have been criminalized, marginalized, and under-appreciated in the mainstream, featuring an exhibition of these works in a space that complements the raw, powerful nature of the message and the artistry of each piece.”
In September 2012 German artists Jasmin Siddiqui and Falk Lehman (jointly known as HERAKUT) came to Lexington on commission to fill their canvas (an entire building) with their unique form of urban art. This piece, known as “Lily and the Silly Monkeys” took only two days to complete.
A few days later they completed another massive painting on the side of another building. Not sure what this is titled, so I will call it “Where Dreams Come From.”
For the 2013 version of PRHBTN another world reknowned artist, Eduardo Kobra from Brazil has come in and is currently working on a massive mural of Abraham Lincoln, depicting the iconic Lincoln Memorial in a mesmerizingly colorful depiction that just wows the senses!!
I first saw this partial work above when I was going through downtown last week. The colors were amazing. So, I drove by again today to see the progress….
This piece of art is 60 feet tall and has been contracted to be on this building for at least the next ten years. This piece was completed on November 12, 2013.
Another group in Lexington, the LexArts Mural Project has also had a few murals added, including the one on the side of Al’s Bar in Lexington entitled “A Tradition of Music from North Limestone” by Lexington artist Michael Burrell. Michael also painted “In the Market for Music” for the Southland Farmer’s Market painting shown below:
Another unique downtown mural is “Mind Body Soul” which can be seen along the High Street side of the YMCA building. This was created by Kansas City artist Waseem Touma, who was commissioned to provide something representing the YMCA in Oct. 2008.
There are a couple more great murals to be seen on Short Street. One is fully of whimsy and fun and was the winning entry of the Thomas and King Competition in Lexington in 2005. Artist Britt Spencer was only 21 at the time he painted this creation.
Just a couple of blocks away is a newer mural on the side of the Hurst Office Supplies building. This horse theme work, across the street from Thoroughbred Park, was painted by Paducah, Kentucky artist Char Downs. This mural is about 100 feet in length and fourteen feet tall and was completed in 2011 as part of the LexArts Mural Project.
Another artist was commissioned to paint a set of murals at the Whittaker Bank ballpark, home of the Lexington Legends baseball team. Portland artist Esteban Camacho Steffensen painted four different pieces that reflect the history of Lexington baseball as well as the depiction of Lexington culture.
Another recent addition as part of the LexArts program was the large mural on the side of East End market on 3rd Street and Race. Entitled “Know Your History. Then Make History,” this mural was designed to tell the story of the neighborhood it was painted in, even down to featuring some of the neighborhood children on portraits in the mural and inviting them to write their names and aspirations on the blades of grass. The artist, Sundiata Rashid, who actually resides in the East End neighborhood, tried to tie the past and present together while also including significant buildings. Half of the mural is black and white…depicting the past…and the other half is in color and represents the future.
Around the town there are a few more murals and more are in the planning stages. This local art always inspires me. I hope that those that visit Lexington will take time to enjoy these great pieces of art!!