As part of the Fresh Art Friday series, The Arts Company, in collaboration with the Kentucky Folk Art Center at Morehead State University, will present a special exhibition preview of Contemporary Urban Folk Art From Kentucky: End of the Agrarian Tradition; and a one-night-only art talk featuring well-known singer, songwriter, poet, and avid folk art collector Kevin Gordon (who will also be performing), Kentucky-based urban folk artist Joshua Huettig, and special guest curator Matt Collinsworth, director, Kentucky Folk Art Center at Morehead State University. The event is hosted by Nashville Arts Magazine and moderated by editor Paul Polycarpou.
Fresh Art Friday at The Arts Company is February 5, at 5:30pm-7:00PM. Admission is free, but RSVP required. To reserve space for the event., e-mail art@TheArtsCompany.com. The exhibition will officially open the next night during First Saturday Art Crawl Downtown on February 6, 6PM-9PM; continuing through February 24, during regular gallery hours, 11:00AM-5:00PM, Tuesday-Saturday.
Contemporary Urban Folk Art From Kentucky: End of the Agrarian Tradition presents the shift from agrarian folk art to contemporary art. While these artists range in age from their thirties to their sixties, they are all of a generation of folk artists in Kentucky, who not only exist on the cutting edge, but define it actively through their work.
About the Exhibition
Contemporary Urban Folk Art From Kentucky: End of the Agrarian Tradition presents the shift from agrarian folk art to contemporary art through the work of four urban artists: Tad DeSanto, Joshua Huettig, Robert Morgan, and Bruce New. While these artists range in age from their thirties to their sixties, they are all of a generation of folk artists in Kentucky, who not only exist on the cutting edge, but define it actively through their work.
“It is also important to note that none of these artists live in secluded, rural places. All four live in or very near the state’s urban centers of Lexington and Louisville.” stated Matt Collinsworth, Director of the Kentucky Folk Art Center at Morehead State University. “In an age when the line between folk art and fine art is increasingly blurred, these four artists stand to ask if it should exist at all. Their work is all carefully conceived, fully intentional, and gloriously crafted — resulting in fine American contemporary art.”
“American folk art of the 20th Century has been understood to be folksy art of the people — “untrained, rural, loner artists” living mostly in the south, usually in poverty, and generally untrained and uneducated as artists,” remarked The Arts Company Owner Anne Brown. “At the beginning of the 21st century, some of these artists are coming to be viewed as significant American artists whose contemporary artwork has helped shape our modern visual culture, artists who will have a lasting influence on other artists, collectors, and audiences for years to come.”
About the Artists
ABOUT THE GUEST CURATOR
Matt Collinsworth, Director of the Kentucky Folk Art Center at Morehead State University, is the guest curator for this exhibition. He earned his BA from Georgetown College and his MFA from Ohio State University. He received the 1995 Ruth Lilly Fellowship, and his poetry has appeared in journals such as Poetry, the Georgetown Review, and Appalachian Heritage Magazine, among other places. He is director of the Kentucky Folk Art Center and senior director of cultural outreach, preservation, and education at Morehead State University.
ABOUT KENTUCKY FOLK ART CENTER
The Kentucky Folk Art Center at Morehead State University, located in the historic Union Grocery, offers much more than a typical museum experience. KFAC houses a permanent collection of nearly 1,400 pieces of self-taught art. Dozens of works from the collection are displayed on a rotating basis in the center’s first floor gallery. Upon viewing folk art for the first time, many are attracted to its whimsical attributes, and take joy in these works as the artists intended. But in many instances, the art on the walls at KFAC was born out of hard times. The works displayed stand as a document of and a testament to the concerns, courage, and convictions of the common man.