Thursday, April 7, 2022

University of Kentucky, Lexington KY


Lexington, Kentucky, is a great city to visit if you enjoy walking. It has many interesting areas to explore, and it is relatively flat. The Historic South Hill neighborhood offers a great walk, and connects downtown Lexington to the University of Kentucky campus.

South Hill was developed mostly after the Civil War, and many of the houses there today were built during the late 1800’s. It has been home to many middle-class families including a large African-American population, Today, a lot of the houses have been converted into apartments for students. I walked south along S. Limestone. While some of the houses are beautiful, and some are more work-a-day, they were all well cared for, and pretty to look at.

This trip was not a random wandering. I had a goal - the campus of the University of Kentucky. The university was founded in 1865, as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky. Construction of the current campus began in the 1800’s. Like many state schools, it has gone through many changes, and in 1916, it achieved ‘university’ status.

Main Building

Baker Hall

Gillis Building

Gillis Building

Memorial Hall

TH Morgan Building

As the decades passed, the university continued to grow, offering new degrees and building the infrastructure to support them. While new buildings were added during the 1960’s and 70’s, there was an explosion of construction beginning in the 1990’s. A new complex for its engineering schools, a biotechnology laboratory that is the largest academic complex in the state, and a large library were all new additions to the campus.

Jacobs Science Building

W. T. Young Library

Young Library

These droids carry out on campus delivery of food and supplies

Of course, no major university is complete without a state of the art performance center and art museum. At the University of Kentucky that is the Singletary Center for the Arts. The center opened in 1979 and is home to U of K’s Schools of Music, Theater and Dance, and Fine Arts. Its performance spaces host around 400 events each year. It is also home to the University of Kentucky Art Museum.

Singletary Center for the Arts

When I visited in March of 2022 there were 4 exhibits on display. One was Todd Hido: The Poetry of Darkness. This is a show of photographs by American Photographer Todd Hido, who has created haunting scenes, mostly while driving through neighborhoods near his west coast home.

From the series Homes at Night

From the series Homes at Night

From the series Homes at Night

Another show was Brilliant Illusions: Crafted Forms by Li Hongwei. Li is a Chinese ceramic artist, who currently works at Alfred University in New York. He has created beautiful pieces that play with space and nightlines.

Winter Melon Vase

Illusion #4

Allegory of Balance #24 (foreground)

A third exhibit is After. These are works from the museums own collection that shows art by artists that is created in the style of, or in response to art created previously by others.

Ay-O (Japan) after Edward Hicks

The Poultry Seller by Albert Henry Payne, after Gabriel Metsu

Drunken Silenus by Christoffel Jehger, after Peter Paul Reubens

Finally, photographer Sally Davies is given a show of collection titled New Yorkers. These are portraits of people who make The Big Apple their home. They are set in their apartments, among the objects that make up their lives.

Suzanne Mallouck

Sylvia Parker Maier

Later that evening, The Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team hosted their final home game of the season. I had the opportunity to head over to the Rupp Arena and take some photos of Wildcat fans heading in to watch the big game.

Nuts and Bolts:

  • The University of Kentucky is an open campus, so it easy, and free to walk around. The museum is also free to visit. It is located at 405 Rose Street. Lexington, KY.
  • The campus stretches south along S. Limestone from Ave. of Champions to Hueguelet Drive

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