Arts & Culture

Legacy Trail Plan Outlines Future Outdoor Museum


LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 12, 2010) – Are you ready to see how the public and University of Kentucky art students' input has been interwoven to create a tangible Lexingtonian legacy? The time has come. The Legacy Trail’s master planning team, Stacy Levy and Todd Bressi, will present on the project from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 13, on the second floor of the Downtown Arts Center, located at 141 E. Main Street.

The Legacy Trail master plan will reveal the manner in which public art will be included along the trail, which was determined after three years of gathering public input, planning and determination on the part of the Legacy Trail Public Art Consortium (LTPAC) and their financial contributors, the Legacy Center at the Blue Grass Community Foundation and LexArts.

The LTPAC is made up of volunteers from the Legacy Center, Lexington Art League, LexArts, UK Department of Art and members of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. These members worked to unify the many diverse narratives of Lexington, through art, into a holistic amenity for public enjoyment.

The proposed nine-mile Legacy Trail will run from Third Street, along Loudoun Avenue, out Newtown Pike, and connect to the Kentucky Horse Park. It will provide both an urban and rural setting for citizens to walk and bike while enjoying Kentucky’s unique landscape and the vision of its local artists.

The Legacy Trail Public Art Master Plan will set the stage for the initial installation of art along the trail, and is prescribed in three phases. Phase one will include a series of blazes, or flags; tapis or surface paintings; and applied crossings at the intersections of the trail with existing roadways. All will be designed by local and regional artists for the express purpose of providing a visual infrastructure to guide residents and visitors along the trail's corridor.

Subsequent phases will consist of temporary and permanent large-scale artworks, which emphasize Lexington’s geological, ecological, historical and cultural uniqueness, as well as the inclusion of revolving temporary exhibitions in an effort to provide a continuously evolving, re-engaging experience as Legacy Trail matures.  

Since its inception, the Legacy Trail has been a product of public process. In the fall of 2009, 11 students enrolled in UK's museum studies course, an upper-level art history course under the direction of Christine Huskisson, worked to secure funding from the Legacy Center at the Blue Grass Community Foundation for a project termed 'a museum without walls.'

The students were asked to compose and issue a national request for qualifications for the Legacy Trail's master planner. The goal, according to the students, was to recruit a planner that would communicate precisely how the trail could be a natural next step toward embracing 21st century art, science and even children’s museums. Community support covered the costs of formulating a master plan for what is thought to be the world’s only nine-mile museum.

"This is an example of the tangible and lasting impact that a strong visual arts program at UK can have for Lexington and the Bluegrass region as a whole," said Benjamin C. Withers, chair of the UK Department of Art.

For more information on the Legacy Trail, contact the Bluegrass Community Foundation at (859) 225-3343 or