Arts & Culture

You're Invited, But Forget the Birthday Gifts


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 1, 2011) − Seems to be a bit of confusion if there is a celebration or not as the Little/Gaines Artist Series presents "It's Not My Birthday, That's Not My Cake" featuring work by poet Carrie Green and painter Lori Larusso. The duo's free public presentation for the popular collaborative artists series will begin 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, at the Niles Gallery, located in University of Kentucky's Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center. In addition, the series sponsors, Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center and the Gaines Center for the Humanities, announce an open call for the spring semester.

As part of the Little/Gaines Artists Series, Kentucky artists team up with one or two collaborators in visual, literary, musical or dramatic arts to stage unique exhibitions. The 12 paintings and poems that make up "It's Not My Birthday, That's Not My Cake" celebrate birthday cakes and their makers. Lori Larusso's paintings focus on the cakes and their immediate surroundings, conveying the artistry of humble and anonymous home bakers. Carrie Green's poems interpret and inhabit the paintings, in some cases imagining the people and stories behind the cakes and in others allowing the cakes themselves to speak.

Green and Larusso hoped this project on such a popular topic as cake will bring new audiences to poetry and painting. "We hope to reach a variety of readers, art appreciators, and pop culture seekers, as well as cake lovers, and really, anyone who has any interest in reading poetry or looking at artwork, or exploring cultural constructs, feminism, women’s personal lives, Americana, or domesticity, to name a few," said Larusso in a recent newspaper article in North of Center.

"It's Not My Birthday, That's Not My Cake" has been published as a chapbook made possible in part by a grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women. For more information, visit

The Little/Gaines presentation of "It's Not My Birthday, That's Not My Cake" on Dec. 6 will be followed by a special reception featuring birthday cake and punch, as well as a book sale and signing. Larusso's artwork will remain on display at Little Library in the second floor exhibition space through mid-December.

Green earned her master's degree at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La., and has received grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, Kentucky Arts Council and Louisiana Division of the Arts. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, DIAGRAM, Kestrel, Gulf Stream, Georgetown Review and other journals. Originally from DeLand, Fla., Green lives in Lexington and works as a reference librarian in a public library.

Larusso earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Cincinnatiʼs College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, with a minor in womenʼs studies. She also holds a master's degree from the Maryland Institute College of Artʼs graduate interdisciplinary program, the Mount Royal School of Art. Larusso maintains a solid studio practice, exhibiting her work locally, nationally and internationally. She has been awarded a Visual Artist Fellowship from the MacDowell Colony, Kentucky Arts Council's Al Smith Fellowship, and is a Milton and Sally Avery Fellow for 2010-2011. Larusso currently resides in Lexington and is a part time painting/drawing instructor at UK Department of Art.

Series sponsors have issued an open call for applications for one additional Little/Gaines Artist to appear in the spring semester bringing the total number of featured artists to five.

The artist must be a student. Applicants should submit a coversheet providing contact information and specifics on the student's major, a brief résumé, no more than three examples of creative work, and a brief description of the theme or concept they would present as a Little/Gaines Artist. Submissions for the series should be sent to or in hard copy form (2 copies) to Director Gail Kennedy, Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library. The student selected as a Little/Gaines Artist will give their presentation on April 3. For more information, visit the series on Facebook at

For more information on the Little/Gaines Artist Series or on Carrie Green and Lori Larusso's presentation, contact Gail Kennedy, director of Little Fine Arts Library, at (859) 257-4631, or Lisa Broome-Price, associate director of the Gaines Center, at (859) 257-1537, or visit the series on Facebook at

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, (859) 257-8716 or