Arts & Culture

Lewis Honors College Celebrates Knowledge With New Painting

photo of Lewis Honors College painting
The Lewis Honors College commissioned a painting by artist Lennon Michalski (left) and Lewis Honors College Dean Christian Brady (right) worked closely with Michalski on the project.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 27, 2018) As the University of Kentucky Lewis Honors College welcomes its newest class of UK Honors College students, a new painting hangs in the front lobby of Lewis Hall. The Lewis Honors College commissioned the painting by Lennon Michalski and Lewis Honors College Dean Christian Brady worked closely with Michalski on this project.

"The painting represents the importance of discovery, exploration, and a well-rounded academic experience, with all of these ideas culminating in a cohesive Tree of Knowledge," Michalski said. "In the middle of the painting is a book with three prominent words of motivation — purpose, intellect, and integrity — and on both sides of the painting are open hands that represent guidance, understanding, and direction, with 'Tree of Knowledge' written in Hebrew on the trunk of the tree." 

Michalski previously worked with Brady on a medallion design for the inaugural graduating class of the Lewis Honors College. Each graduating Lewis Honors College Scholar receives this medallion during a ceremony prior to graduation.  

"The message of the medallion with the Tree of Knowledge and the words 'Purpose, Intellect, Integrity' from our mission statement are a reminder of what being a Lewis Honors College scholar means and the weight of the medallion is a reminder of the honorable burden to be 'people of honor,'" Brady said.

The painting mimics the design of the medallion and includes the same image of the Tree of Knowledge. It celebrates knowledge within the Lewis Honors College.

"In the painting, I had the opportunity to more concretely define the idea of knowledge, and education through the incorporation of various academic, historic and artistic symbols," Michalski said.

Michalski is a Lexington artist and his work has been exhibited locally, nationally and internationally. His work is included in the collections at UK, UK HealthCare and the Churchill Downs Executive Office among other locations. He serves on the board of directors for Creative Alliance for Art Education and is involved with several other nonprofit art organizations in the Lexington area including the Lexington Art League, Lex Arts and the Living Arts and Science Center.

The Lewis Honors College provides an alternative course of instruction for outstanding, highly motivated students from all programs of study. The mission of the Lewis Honors College is to better the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the world by helping students to explore their purpose, develop intellectually, and lead with integrity. The Lewis Honors College nurtures an inquisitive attitude toward a wide range of ideas and intellectual concepts among honors students at UK.

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