Finance and Administration Cabinet
Kentucky artist displays unique work at state Capitol featuring Appalachian Coal, Kentucky River Sand
FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 20, 2011) — Visitors to the state’s Capitol building have the opportunity to view a unique collection of art by Lexington artist Darrell L. Ishmael that uses natural Kentucky elements, primarily Appalachian coal and Kentucky River sand, to create works of striking beauty and unique texture. Ishmael’s art will be on display in the Capitol through the end of May 2011.
“We often have work by Kentucky artists on display in the Capitol, but this particular collection is especially appropriate and appealing because it really showcases the beauty of our state’s natural resources,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “We appreciate Mr. Ishmael sharing his talent with us and our visitors, especially during Derby season, when Kentucky’s beauty and heritage is showcased on a world stage.”
The seven pieces of art, most of which are available for purchase, are currently located in two display cases just outside of the Capitol Rotunda. Another piece hangs in the reception area outside of Gov. Beshear’s office. Ishmael’s work is abstract and often depicts Kentucky landscapes or horses.
“Most of my work depicts scenes or reflects my interpretations of my native Kentucky,” said Ishmael. “The texture of coal gives the work tremendous definition and allows light to reflect in dynamic ways bringing energy, which is synonymous with coal, to the painting.”
Ishmael graduated from the University of Kentucky and studied at the University of Hawaii and Kentucky State University. Largely self-taught as an artist, he participates in frequent workshops and studio sessions with fellow artists and explores the creative process in a variety of mediums including metal work and clay sculpture.
In addition to the work on display at the Capitol, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has 11 pieces of Ishmael’s work in their office building in Frankfort. He was also the featured artist at the Alltech Experience Pavilion during the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games last fall. His work is included in private and corporate collections nationwide.
To learn more about the artist, visit his website at www.iamishmael.com/portfolio_darrell.html.
Ishmael is also well known in Lexington for his charitable work. He is a founding board member of the Lexington Dream Factory with his wife, Kathy, and the Toyota Bluegrass Miracle League. He has been president of the Lexington Rotary Club and has served on the boards of Commerce Lexington, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and Leadership Kentucky.