Arts & Culture

Fall into the arts with UK


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 8, 2023) — Time to pull out those calendars and pencil in some entertainment for the year ahead. University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts is excited to return this fall with a wealth of arts events. UK’s music, dance, theatre and visual artists all have offerings on tap sure to thrill arts enthusiasts of all kinds.

As part of the College of Fine Arts, the Department of Theatre and Dance, School of Art and Visual Studies and School of Music is presenting a diverse selection of concerts, exhibits, theatre and dance programming. Here's a sample of what you should look forward to in the coming year.


The Department of Theatre and Dance announces a 2023-24 Main Stage Season featuring a Pulitzer Prize-winning contemporary drama, a beloved classic with a modern spin, the annual dance concert with works by faculty and student artists, along with a hit musical with some ‘80s beats that will keep you dancing. 

“We have curated a fantastic collection of theatre and dance experiences to stimulate the mind, soul and warm the heart. Our season asks questions about how and why we live and the values we bring. The pieces combine laughter, nostalgia, politics, song, and dance and are brought to life by the amazing talents of faculty, staff, and students in the Department of Theatre and Dance,” said Stephen Wrentmore, producer.

The following five productions will be presented as part of this year’s Main Stage Season:

  • "Good,” by C.P. Taylor, Nov. 9-11, Guignol Theatre;
  • “Little Women,” by Kate Hamill, adapted from the novel by Louisa May Alcott, Nov.16-19, Guignol Theatre;
  • “Home” Dance Concert, Feb. 2-4, Guignol Theatre;
  • “Fairview,” by Jackie Sibblies Drury, Feb. 29-March 3, Briggs Theatre; and
  • "Footloose,” stage adaptation by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie, music by Tom Snow and lyrics by Dean Pitchford, April 11-14, Guignol Theatre.

For more information on each show and specific times and dates, visit UK Theatre and Dance online at

Tickets to all of UK Theatre and Dance’s Main Stage shows are available now through the Singletary Center for the Arts Box Office at or by calling 859-257-4929. Student tickets are $13 with a valid student ID and $20 for the general public, except for “Footloose,” which is $19 with a valid student ID and $25 for the general public.


UK faculty are in the spotlight as the UK School of Art and Visual Studies (SA/VS) presents its first exhibition of the year. “Faculty Series: Vol. VI,” which is free and open to the public, runs through Sept. 23, at Bolivar Art Gallery.

The “Faculty Series” occurs annually and showcases only a portion of the faculty, with different artists exhibiting each year. This installment includes work in a variety of media by eight artists: Mia Cinelli, associate professor of digital media design; Jeremy Colbert, senior lecturer of sculpture; Rae Goodwin, professor of installation and performance, and College of Fine Arts associate dean; Doreen Maloney, professor of new media and intermedia; Paul Masterson, wood shop coordinator; Jessica Page, visiting lecturer of new media and intermedia and photography; Bobby Scroggins, professor of ceramics; and Brandon Clay Smith, senior lecturer of drawing and painting. With only eight artists featured, the exhibition offers viewers an opportunity to get a more in-depth, intimate view of each faculty member’s work.

An opening reception and two gallery talks will be presented in conjunction with “Faculty Series; VOL. VI” for those interested in learning more about the artists and their work. The opening reception will be held 4-6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15. The talks with artists in the show will take place noon today (Friday), Sept. 8, and noon Friday, Sept. 22.

Each year, SA/VS hosts a series of free, public talks with scholars and artists concerned with contemporary visual culture. The Fall 2023 Visiting Artist Series features lectures, exhibitions and workshops. This fall's artists and presentations for the Visiting Artist Series below:

  • Joshua Y'barbo, an expert in participatory art and design, 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept.13, Room 242 of the Art and Visual Studies Building;
  • ‘Disordered Creatures’ Artist Panel, featuring contemporary artists Crimson Duvall, Laurie Hogan and Kelli Scott Kelley, noon Friday, Sept. 29, Bolivar Art Gallery;
  • Time McClendon, international artist and jewelry designer, noon Friday, Oct. 6, Room 136 of the Art and Visual Studies Building;
  • “Still” Artists Panel, featuring Lina Tharsing and Lori Larusso, noon Friday, Oct. 13, Bolivar Art Gallery;
  • Pete Lee, photographer and director, 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, Room 222 of the Art and Visual Studies Building;
  • Lisa Wicka, printmaker, 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1, Room 222 of the Art and Visual Studies Building;
  • Paulina Camacho Valencia, interdisciplinary artis and educator, 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 13, Bolivar Art Gallery; and
  • Melissa Vandenberg, multidisciplinary artist and Carey Ellis Juror, 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, Bolivar Art Gallery.

All lectures are free and open to the public.

UK’s most popular student exhibition — the Carey Ellis Juried Student Show — will return this holiday season. The show, held in conjunction with the DMD (digital media design) exhibitions, will run Dec. 1-7, at Bolivar Art Gallery. An opening reception for the shows will be held 5-7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1. The shows and reception are free and open to the public.

For more information on specific exhibitions and a list of these and other future events and exhibitions at Bolivar Art Gallery, visit


With a large selection of recitals, concerts and operas each year, UK’s School of Music alone could fill your weekly calendar with a rich selection of music offerings that range from the classical to the contemporary.

The “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” concert series returned earlier this month celebrating old-time roots of American folk music. There are 11 different performances by noted soloists, duos and groups from Appalachia sponsored by the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music and the UK College of Fine Arts. 

The upcoming “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” artists and their performance dates are: 

“Appalachia in the Bluegrass” free public concerts will be presented at noon on Fridays, in the Niles Gallery of the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music, located at UK's Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library

The students and faculty of University of Kentucky School of Music will kick off their 2023-24 season while showcasing the vast array of talents on campus at the third School of Music On Parade, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, at the Singletary Center for the Arts.  

School of Music On Parade will feature a program that showcases performances by a variety of the School of Music’s large ensembles, including UK's Wind Symphony, Choirs, Symphony Orchestra and Percussion Ensemble; UK JazzCats and UK Opera Theatre; a cappella favorites Paws and Listen and the acoUstiKats; Wildcat Marching Band; and members of its distinguished faculty including the UK Faculty Brass Quintet.  

Several UK ensembles opening season concerts will follow, including:

  • UK Jazz Ensemble and Lab Band Concert on Sept. 28;
  • UK Wind Symphony Concert on Oct. 15;
  • UK Symphony Band and Concert Band on Oct.15;
  • UK Choristers Concert on Oct. 17;
  • UK Percussion Ensemble on Oct. 29; and
  • UK Men's Chorus Fall Extravaganza on Nov. 4.

The school's critically acclaimed UK Opera Theatre program will make its return with Carlisle Floyd’s powerful opera, “Susannah,” Oct. 6-8, at the Lexington Opera House. Tickets for this production are available through the Lexington Opera House ticket office online at For information on other opera productions in the coming school year, including 2024’s “It’s a Grand Night for Singing,” visit

Now in its 105th year, UK Symphony Orchestra has slated its concerts for the fall opening with Ottorino Respighi’s “Pines of Rome” 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22. The Dvorak Cello Concerto will follow Oct. 27. UK Symphony Orchestra will finish out the semester with another concert Nov. 30. All UK Symphony Orchestra concerts will be presented in Singletary Center. Additional concert program details and times will be posted here as it becomes available:

These concerts are just a sampling of what the more than 25 UK School of Music ensembles will present this fall. And mark your calendars now for UK Choirs' beloved holiday concert "Collage" on Dec. 2-3.

For more information on ticket prices for UK School of Music major ensemble concerts visit the UK School of Music website at and Singletary Center's website at

To see a full listing of all UK School of Music concerts, recitals and masterclasses, visit

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

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