Arts Center Prepares to Sell Wilkinson Collection

Published 8:20 am Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Portions of a large collection of artwork by Danville artist Louise Wilkinson will be made available to the public later this month


Community Arts Center

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For many longtime Danville residents, the name Louise Wilkinson immediately conjures images of gorgeous country landscapes and scenes of farm life. Born in 1898 in Harrodsburg, Wilkinson was a lifelong resident of the area, spending the majority of her life in Danville. She was a prolific and respected painter, working from a cozy home studio on Third Street.

In 2010, the Community Arts Center received a large collection of Wilkinson’s paintings via an estate gift made by her daughter, Marion Settlemayer. 

“We were honored that the family entrusted her artwork to us,” says Arts Center Creative Director Brandon Long. “Her work plays an important role in Danville’s arts history.” 

Unfortunately, the artwork was too badly deteriorated to be displayed publicly and the collection was placed in storage.

Now, the CAC Board of Directors has made the decision to sell a portion of the Wilkinson collection. 

“We don’t have space to display a large permanent collection,” says Executive Director Niki Kinkade. “We want to make Ms. Wilkinson’s artwork available to the public so it can be enjoyed and appreciated, rather than keeping it in storage forever.”

The Arts Center will restore and retain several pieces from the collection and sell others via a silent auction Oct. 24-27. 

“I’m glad to think that the paintings might find a good home,” says Wilkinson’s grandson, Dennis Carpenter of Lexington. “(The sale) is good for the pieces and good for the Arts Center.” 

Additional pieces may be made available at a future time, pending conservation decisions.

Art conservator and Danville historian Mary Girard has assessed the entire collection. 

She says, “Many of these works have ‘the patina of age.’ Some have had harder lives than others, but with conservation treatment can be returned to their original beauty.” 

Because the estimated cost to restore the entire collection was over $10,000, the Arts Center will sell the artwork in its current condition, accompanied by information about what treatment is needed to restore the pieces.

Wilkinson graduated from Centre College and studied at the Chicago Art Academy. She worked for many years at an antique store, performing restoration work and other design projects, before leaving to become a full-time artist in the early 1950s. Wilkinson was accepted as a member of the exclusive Brown County art colony in Indiana and directed much of her creative energy toward producing paintings for sale through their galleries. She was also an active participant in Danville’s Wilderness Trace Art League.

Dubbed “Danville’s first lady of painting” by former Centre College art professor Jack Kellam, Wilkinson’s favorite subjects were country scenes, horses and chickens. Her paintings of animals are noted for their exactness and anatomical precision. She invested careful attention in capturing the details of her subjects and landscapes with careful use of light and shading. Wilkinson passed away on Sept. 15, 1984, leaving behind a rich legacy of art.

The sale of Wilkinson’s artwork will take place via silent auction from Oct. 24 to 27. Bids will be accepted both online and in person. Online bidding will close at noon on Oct. 27, with a closing reception and final in-person bidding from 6 to 7 that evening.


Wilkinson Art Sale

Online bidding (via Facebook) – 9am October 24 to 12pm October 27

In-Person bidding (at the Arts Center) – 11am to 7pm daily October 24 to October 27

Closing Reception – 6pm to 7pm, October 27


September 5 through November 10. Exhibit Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 11am to 7pm. Saturdays 10am to 5pm. Suggested donation $5.

Horizon: Contemporary Landscape (Grand Hall)– the 8th annual national, juried landscape exhibition. This show features artwork by 23 artists from across the country, each of whom challenges traditional interpretation of landscape art.

Infinity (Farmers National Bank Gallery)– a collaboration by the Gathering Artists, Danville’s longest-standing artist society.


Art Trip to Speed Art Museum

Saturday, October 7 | 9:45am to 5:00pm

Pre-Trip Talk: Tuesday, October 3 | 6:30pm to 7:30pm

Led by Dr. Jay Bloom | $88 per person

The Community Arts Center is sponsoring a guided trip to the Speed Museum. The trip includes a preparatory talk, transportation, museum entry and tour, lunch at the Wiltshire Café, and all gratuities. Register online at

Who Owns Culture?: Looting & Destruction of Art and Antiquities

Tuesday, October 10 | 12pm to 1pm | $10 per person

Dr. Amy Frederick will explore the international ramifications of the looting & destruction, and consequent sale, of cultural artifacts and discuss the question of “who owns culture?”

Starry Night Studio: Market Bounty

Sunday, October 8 | 2pm to 4pm

$28 per person

Celebrate the harvest with this beautiful painting inspired by the Danville farmers market. Artist Amanda Hendershot created this painting exclusively for the Community Arts Center. Register online at

Fall Break Drama Camp

October 9 to 13 | 9am to 4pm | $150

Grades 2-6

This improv-based acting camp will inspire students to unleash their creative potential through a variety of fun theatre games and activities. Sibling discount available. Register online at

Fall Break Mini Camp

October 9 to 13 | 9am to 12pm

Grades PK4 to 3rd

$100 per camper

Throughout the week, we’ll introduce campers to a range of artistic styles and mediums. They’ll enjoy painting, drawing, collage and much more in a fun and messy week of exploration and discovery. Register online at

Fall Fun Kids Art Workshop

Wednesday, October 11 | 1pm to 3pm

Grades K-5 | $22 per student

Drop your kiddos off for an afternoon of fall-themed art projects at the Community Arts Center. We’ll be breaking out the “good stuff” as we create mixed media artwork to celebrate the season. Register online at

Starry Night Studio: Quilt Barn

Thursday, October 12 | 6pm to 9pm

$35 per person

Join us in celebrating Homemakers Week at the Boyle County Extension Office (99 Corporate Drive). We’ll be painting this lovely country scene featuring a rustic barn, complete with quilt square! Register online at