The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
Folks attending Saturday night’s “Magnetic Poetry Party” for the Lexington Tattoo Project learned about the latest artist to join the community art initiative. Lexington-based roots cellist Ben Sollee will write music for the video that will be the project’s finale and reveal the image formed by all the dots in the project’s tattoos.
Project co-founder and organizer Kremena Todorova says she was inspired to approach Sollee after seeing him perform a benefit concert for Institute 193 in December.
“He talked about his love for community and how much he loves Lexington,” Todorova says. “So, to me, it seemed obvious that here is this tremendous musician who loves community, who loves collaborating in Lexington.”
In the Tattoo Project, 247 area residents have had words and phrases from The _______ of the Universe, a Bianca Spriggs poem about Lexington, tattooed on their bodies. The tattoos are being photographed, and the pictures will be put together to reform the poem and reveal that secret image in a video that will likely premiere in the fall.
Sollee will write music for Spriggs’ poem.
“He pointed out something that should have been obvious to us, but wasn’t,” Todorova said of herself and co-organizer Kurt Gohde. “The form that Bianca used to write her poem, the contrapuntal, is a musical form. So Ben is thinking about composing the piece with the same kind of form.”
In the contrapuntal style, there are two parts to the work that can be read separately or together, and they will work either way. When Spriggs read the poem at Saturday’s event, she read each portion individually and then read them together.
“He is going to work with Bianca to understand how she hears the poem and the mood of the poem so that the music he composes will go along with that,” Todorova says.
Todorova and Gohde said the project will go quiet for a while as the photograph participants and prepare for the next public event, which will likely be a video shoot in the spring.
The Lexington Tattoo Project will take a poem about the city by area writer Bianca Spriggs, split it up and spread it across the bodies of more than 200 residents. At press time, Todorova said 227 participants had agreed to have a word or phrase from the poem tattooed on their bodies by Robert Alleyne of Charmed Life Tattoo. The tattoos will be designed by Gohde and Todorova, who will create a video work of the project featuring the overall design for the poem. They said the design will not be known to anyone but themselves and Alleyne until the video is complete.
Todorova said tattooing is scheduled to take place through January; the entire project will be complete in June.
Jul21Filed under: Balagula Theatre, ballet, Central Kentucky Arts News, Classical Music, dance, Film, LexArts, Lexington Art League, Lexington Children's Theatre, Lexington Philharmonic, Lexington Singers, Music, Opera, Photography, Theater, UK, Visual arts; Tagged as: allocations, Balagula Theatre, Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, Central Kentucky Concert Band, Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras, Chamber Music Festival of Lexington, grants, Kentucky Ballet Theatre, Kentucky Craft History and Education Association, Kentucky Women Writers Conference, Kremena Todorova, Kurt Gohde, LexArts, Lexington Art League, Lexington Bach Choir, Lexington Children's Theatre, Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, Lexington Singers, Living Arts and Science Center, The African American Forum, University of Kentucky Opera Theatre
LexArts has announced its recipients of general operating support and community arts grants.
The general operating support funds are unrestricted grants, generally to larger organizations in Lexington.
This year’s recipients are:
■ Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras, $20,000
■ Lexington Art League, $62,000
■ Lexington Children’s Theatre, $120,000
■ Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, $165,000
■ Lexington Singers, $9,000
■ Living Arts and Science Center, $102,000
Community Arts Grants are given at two levels: Program grants to groups for operating support and specific endeavors and project grants to groups or individuals for specific projects.
Program grants go to:
■ Balagula Theatre Company, $8,600 – for its 2011-12 theater season
■ Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, $8,600 – for the Kentucky Great Writers Series, which brings 12 Kentucky authors to the center to work with writers
■ Chamber Music Festival of Lexington, $4,000 – for the 2011 festival
■ Kentucky Ballet Theatre, $8,400 – for the 2011-2012 season of performances
■ Kentucky Craft History and Education Association, $3,000 – for Stringed Instruments, The Art of the Luthier, a documentary film about stringed instrument-making in Kentucky
■ Kentucky Women Writers Conference, Inc., $7,500 – for the 2011 event
■ University of Kentucky Opera Theatre, $5,000 -for the Academy for Creative Excellence, which provides theater and music training for first through eight graders
Project grants go to:
■ The African American Forum, $1,500 – for The Smooth Jazz Fest
■ Artists Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova, $2,500 – for 1000 Dolls, a project to create and install 1000 local-designed dolls along Limestone
■ Central Kentucky Concert Band, $1,750 – for the closing concert of the 2011-2012 season
■ Lexington Bach Choir, $1,000 – for the 2nd Annual Lexington Bach Choir Vocal Competition in which students age 30 or younger compete for cash and a solo opportunity with the Bach Choir
Jun4Filed under: dance, Downtown Arts Center, Film, Photography, Visual arts; Tagged as: Amy San Pedro, Casey Gregory, Contemporary Dance Collective, Downtown Arts Center, Emily Hagihara, Jason Thompson, Kurt Gohde, Marcel Cabrera, Mary Carothers, Matt Dooley, Robin Burke, Stephanie Pevec, Theo Edmonds, Lennon Michalski
When Stephanie Pevec arrived in Lexington, she saw a glaring hole in its arts offerings: modern dance.
It wasn’t a complete surprise to her; she says the form is much more prevalent in big cities.
“You go to Chicago, and you can find a modern class just about anywhere, and you can take an amazing class,” Pevec says. “One and a half to two hours of technique, which is mostly what you’ll find in a professional college program. But when you graduate with a performance degree, and you go to a city the size of Lexington, there isn’t an outlet. There isn’t a system set up to study technique in a way that you know you need to. So you find ways to adapt.”
Some dancers take hip-hop, yoga or other forms of dance and physical training, even adult ballet. Pevec and other modern dancers in the area have done all of those.
But she’s now involved in a much more overt form of adaptation. Pevec has formed the Contemporary Dance Collective, which will have its second performance Friday and Saturday at the Downtown Arts Center. She had worked on the project for the past couple of years while devoting herself to her day job as executive director of the Lexington Art League.
And the word dance is in the group’s name, but like Pevec’s life, the collective is a multidisciplinary presentation.
“It was the perfect compliment to this process of talking to artists that I know and respect about their work and saying, do you want to make something original together?” Pevec says. “So, there’s a variety of visual artists working on this concert. … Over the last four weeks, we’ve brought in our musician, Emily Hagihara, who plays with Chico Fellini and studied percussion at UK, and she’s been in with her percussion set. She wrote three pieces for this concert.
“Really, honestly, every work in this show is a combination of several artists working together.”
Part of my get together with Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova to talk about Discarded, which opens tonight at the L.O.T. Gallery, was taking a photo of them on a discarded chair they had found on Third Street. In one of the variations on the shot that ran in Weekender today, Kurt pulled out his camera to shoot a self-portrait of himself and Kremna. I asked Kurt if he could send me one of those pics, so here it is, the self-portrait and the portrait of the portrait – did I get that straight?
The Lexington Art League‘s current exhibit, Passing: Fashioning Drag, is the latest manifestation of documentarians Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova’s three-year (thus far) project documenting drag culture in Lexington, Ky. Previously they have exhibited and lectured on their work in the United States and Europe. Future plans include a book and monologue play modeled after The Laramie Project.
This weekend, Passing comes to life on the stage of Buster’s Billiards and Backroom with a show featuring many of the performers pictured on the Loudon House’s walls and costumes by Patryq Howell, whose work is also featured in the exhibit. Click play, above, to see some of Gohde and Todorova’s images and hear them and Howell talk about the project.
About Rich Copley & Copious Notes
Raised by opera-loving parents in a rock ’n’ roll world, Rich Copley has parlayed his broad interests into his career writing about arts and entertainment. Since 1998, he has covered performing arts, film and faith-based popular culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader, the daily newspaper in Lexington, Ky. MORE | E-mail Rich