The Kentucky Arts Council has partnered with four other southern state arts agencies to produce Thresholds: Expressions of Arts and Spiritual Life. The exhibition, which premiered in Charleston, South Carolina during the 2003 National Assembly of State Arts Agencies conference, includes more than 100 contemporary works of art by 53 artists (10 Kentuckians). It is a visual journey, in a wide range of media and techniques, into the spiritual inclinations of the people of North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky and explores the diversity of their religious traditions.
Thresholds: Expressions of Art and Spiritual Life opened at the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art in early June in conjunction with the reopening of two wings of the gallery that suffered considerable fire damage last year and will remain on display until July 11, 2004. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. and open 1:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Organizational support is provided by the Kentucky Arts Council for the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, located at the corner of 9th and Frederica Streets in Owensboro.
Kentucky artists represented in the exhibition include: Ronald Cooper, Flemingsburg; Matthew Stacy, Owingsville; Ben Mansur, Cynthiana; Mary Craik and Gaela Erwin, Louisville, Diane Kahlo, Christine Kuhn, Robert Morgan, Arturo Alonzo Sandoval and Lavon Van Williams, Lexington. Artists from the five participating states were invited by curators and gallery directors in their state to submit works for review by independent curator and art critic Eleanor Heartney, New York, NY.
The exhibition’s opening in Lexington on January 20, 2005 will break with many art traditions including a Thursday night opening, so those of the Jewish and Muslim faith, whose Sabbath begins Friday evening, may participate. Although the principal site for the exhibition will be the Morlan Gallery at Transylvania University, work by Kentucky artists will be shared among alternative spaces like Art-at-the-Cathedral, Temple Adath Israel, Second Street Christian Church, St. Peter/St. Paul Catholic Church, Second Presbyterian Church and the Mission House. Other programming inspired by the exhibition theme of art and spirituality will include a public forum at Christ Church Cathedral, and art classes at the Lexington Art League and other venues.
The Thresholds/Lexington Committee is coordinating the exhibition and programming to facilitate social interaction between diverse religious communities within a cultural context and to encourage broad participation in the arts. Partial funding for this project will be provided through an Arts Build Communities grant from the Kentucky Arts Council.
The Kentucky Arts Council is a state agency in the Commerce Cabinet. Working in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Arts Council invests in programs that develop vibrant communities, provide lifelong education in the arts and support arts participation. Every $1 in grant funds awarded by the Kentucky Arts Council helps grantees secure $20 in earned income and matching funds from individuals, philanthropic sources and other levels of government.