Abstract Exhibit Opens at Art Center

Published 3:12 pm Saturday, June 13, 2020


News release

Digital exhibit to run concurrently with in-person show

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The Art Center of the Bluegrass re-opened its doors for visitors on Tuesday, June 8, with an all-new exhibit. Open to Interpretation is an abstract invitational show featuring artwork by 14 artists from throughout Kentucky. 

When curating the show, Exhibition Director Brandon Long says he sought artists that are known for their work in non-objective abstract art. “Artwork in this style presents its own set of unique challenges,” explains Long. “Since the artists are usually improvising the painting as they work, there is no standard to measure against. It can be challenging to say whether or not the painting is complete, or even if it is a successful painting as the artist struggles to reach their own satisfaction. It may appear that there are no rules when it comes to abstraction, but the artist often comes up with their own set of self-imposed rules to help guide them through their process. Although he wasn’t associated with the type of abstract art that we’re featuring, the artist Edgar Degas summed it up well when he said, ‘Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.’”

In addition to the physical exhibit in the building, the Art Center has curated a digital version of the show which is available online at www.artcenterky.org. “We wanted to make this exhibit accessible to as many people as possible, given the realities of social distancing,” says Executive Director Niki Kinkade. “We recognize that many people are not yet ready to venture out socially — or are not ready to travel very far from home to visit a museum.” 

Kinkade says that, with the digital exhibit, art-lovers can enjoy the art on their own schedule and from their own homes. It also allows artists who are not from Danville to easily share the exhibit with friends and patrons in their own communities. 

This exhibit showcases non-objective abstract art, which means that the artist wasn’t specifically trying to recreate an image. Long says, “You might be tempted to look for trees, buildings, or people in these paintings, but for most of the artists in this exhibit — that is not the intent. The artist may be trying to capture a mood, a feeling, or exploring just what paint can do.”

But abstract art doesn’t always mean a total absence of recognizable forms. Artist Billy Hertz of Louisville explains that his “abstract” paintings are actually landscapes. 

He says that the images “have become far removed from any traditional definition of that genre, yet still maintain a slender but sustaining thread to the concept of representational image.” Viewers can imagine themselves looking down onto the earth from above, seeing the geometric patterns created by fields, roads, and terrain. 

Another Louisville artist, Steve Heine, works with laser-cut steel to create large architectural pieces. In describing his piece, “Sonnet”, Heine says, “The “infinite monkey theorem” states that a monkey striking keys at random on a typewriter for an infinite amount of time will almost certainly type out the complete works of William Shakespeare. With ‘Sonnet’, I’m interested in the iteration and abstraction of randomly-generated text to create a visual spell of line, light and shadow.”

The exhibit includes several three-dimensional pieces by Danville artist Elizabeth Haigh, including three pieces from her “Unusable Bags” series of mixed media fiber sculptures. 

Haigh says, “I’m privileged to come from a family of artists and educators, so I grew up with access and encouragement to the arts as creative outlets. What began as self-expression became a very personal discipline, which has recently evolved into a public share.” 

Haigh also collaborated on two pieces with her husband, Adam Haigh, who is a glass artist. Elizabeth etched abstract patterns and designs onto vases created by Adam.

The exhibit will be open through August 14. Visitors are asked to follow new public safety protocols when visiting the Art Center, including wearing a mask, limiting their contact with items in the gift shop, maintaining distance while browsing the exhibits, and using hand sanitizing stations. 

More information about the Art Center’s COVID19 “Health at Work” policies can be found at www.artcenterky.org/covid19


If You Go

Tuesday through Friday, 11am to 7pm

Saturdays, 10am to 5pm

Online exhibit: www.artcenterky.org


Coming Up:


Themed Art Crates

Ages 3-7 | $40 each

Spark your child’s creativity with art projects, games, creative activities and more. Each crate has a “theme” such as Ocean Friends, Art Garden, Piggy Power – and more! See the full lineup and place your order at www.artcenterky.org/camp 


Street Art for Kids (online class)

Ages 8 to 11

Tuesdays and Thursdays | 1:30pm to 3pm | June 16, 18, 23 & 25

$70 per student, supplies included

Get an introduction to the creative world of street art in this all-new online class with Brandon Long. In keeping with the realities of social distancing, we’ve designed this curriculum with a focus on your community. We will be creating art for your backyard, and your street, whether it be in the heart of the city or on a rural farm.  We will study the art of other great street artists and make our own versions that are safe and appropriate for your young artist and their neighborhood.  


Colored Pencil Drawing (online class)

Ages 14+

Mondays and Thursdays | 7pm to 8pm | June 15, 18, 23, and 25

$40 per student (must purchase own supplies)


In this four session class, instructor Brandon Long will teach you how to enrich your drawings with colored pencils as we learn to create realistic shading, blend colors, add texture, and more.