LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Art Museum will present the pop-up exhibition "Peoples Portal" Nov. 14-15, at the popular Peoples Bank structure on 343 South Broadway, in support of the preservation and move of the building.
Curated by Stuart Horodner, director of the UK Art Museum, "Peoples Portal" features emerging and established artists from Lexington, Atlanta, Chicago and London, including several current UK talents, including Brian Frye, assistant professor of law; Rae Goodwin, director of Studio Foundations at UK School of Art and Visual Studies; Mike McKay, assistant professor of architecture; Ebony G. Patterson, associate professor of painting; and Alan Rideout, preparator at UK Art Museum.
Installed in the Peoples Bank, "Peoples Portal" was conceived by Horodner as a way of drawing attention to the history of the structure and the recent effort to relocate it. Other non-UK artists featured in the exhibition are Louis Zoellar Bickett, Matt Bryans, Katrina Dixon, Sandra Erbacher, Georgia Henkel, Scott Ingram, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Didier Morelli, Robert Morgan, Kristina Rideout and Aaron Skolnick.
The two-day event was developed in partnership with Lucy Jones, organizer of the Facebook campaign People for the Peoples; Laurel Catto, board chair of the Warwick Foundation; and Langley Properties Company, owner of the building who is donating it to the Warwick Foundation.
The free public pop-up exhibition will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15. Several events are scheduled in conjunction with the show, including:
· dining available from Commonwealth Canteen food truck, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14;
·a reading by Wayne Koestenbaum, 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14; and
· a closing reception, 4-6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15.
The closing reception will include food by local "MasterChef" contestant, culinary evangelist and UK alumnus Dan Wu; drinks by Wine + Market; music by LeeRoy; and a reading by poet Frank X Walker, professor of English at UK. The reception is $30 per person with limited availability. To purchase tickets, visit www.warwickfoundation.org/peoplesportal/. Ticket sales will benefit People for the Peoples and UK Art Museum.
"When I walked through the space a few months ago, I was struck by the state of glorious decay and formal elegance — the blue glazed brick on the outside and angular concrete ceiling inside, the rooms with peeling paint, and sunlight streaming through the windows. It seemed like a perfect readymade gallery for works that engage issues of architecture, history, time, accumulation, and transformation," Horodner said. "And the idea of a bank — where transactions happen, and emotional and financial resources are protected — quickly brought artists to mind. They were thrilled with the opportunity. I’m so excited to see great art, performances and readings in there."
Asked about the Peoples Bank, Lucy Jones added, "The building is not only one of the finest remaining examples of Googie commercial architecture in Kentucky, it is one of the finest examples in the nation. As a community, we are responsible for the architectural stewardship of our city. We are incredibly fortunate that this building has endured the changing trends of the last 50 years and still retains the defining characteristics that architect Charles Bayless envisioned. It is a time capsule which evokes the optimism of the late 1950s and early 1960s. To lose it would have been to lose a piece of our past."
When asked about the future of the building, Laurel Catto said, "A grassroots coalition fueled by social media — @People for the Peoples (P4P) — united the community in a race against the clock to save the building from imminent demolition. Since May, P4P has raised $250,000 to relocate the building to government land directly across from Rupp Arena. The Warwick Foundation will transform the Peoples Bank into the Peoples Portal, a public commons that engages Lexington in the global compassionate city movement and promotes respect, understanding and inclusion. We will transform the Peoples Bank and the Peoples Portal will transform us."
The UK Art Museum, part of the UK College of Fine Arts, promotes the understanding and appreciation of art to enhance the quality of life for people of Kentucky through collecting, exhibiting, preserving and interpreting outstanding works of visual art from all cultures.
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