The Illustrious Horse: Kentucky Artists Respond to the Clara Peck Collection
September 15 – October 15, 2010
Lexington Gallery Hop: Sept. 17, 5-8 p.m.
SPECIAL HOURS FOR THE WORLD EQUESTRIAN GAMES: From Sept. 25-Oct. 10 the Morlan Gallery is open weekdays noon-8 p.m. and weekends noon-5 p.m.
featuring the work of 12 distinguished contemporary Kentucky artists
Steve Armstrong . Gaela Erwin . Valerie Fuchs . Kurt Gohde with Kremena Todorova
Michael Goodlett . Guy Mendes . Lennon Michalski . Arturo Alonzo Sandoval . Zoé Strecker
Lawrence Tarpey . Travis Townsend . Lavon Van Williams Jr. and poet Richard Taylor
Appearing for the first time on American soil, the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games created quite a stir in Lexington, when Central Kentucky was selected as the site of the major international championships for equestrianism. The World Equestrian Games, or the now familiar acronym “WEG,” is administered by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) and is considered by many horsemen to be more important than the Olympics. In celebration of the games, Kentucky’s oldest educational institution, Transylvania University, and its Morlan Gallery proudly present The Illustrious Horse: Kentucky Artists Respond to the Clara Peck Collection. Residing in Transylvania University’s Special Collections Library, the Clara Peck Collection, is a treasure trove of over 500 exceedingly rare books, paintings, and art objects that demonstrate Peck’s interest in all things flora and fauna, and especially her love of horses. Original etchings from the pre-eminent horse artist George Stubbs; the personal sketch book of the famous animaliére, artist, and sculptor Rosa Bonheur; and numerous works by Edward Troye are just a few of the many priceless artifacts found on the shelves and in the cupboards of the Rare Book Room. For this exhibition, 12 prominent Kentucky artists and one poet were asked to respond to equine images gleaned from the Peck Collection. The two-dimensional visual images from which they chose were varied: photographs, books plates, illuminated manuscripts, paintings, and etchings. The artists were asked to respond in any manner, free to choose literal or abstract interpretations of the original imagery. Former Kentucky poet laureate and author Richard Taylor chose to respond Edward Troye’s esteemed painting of the famous thoroughbred Lexington, resulting in an intriguing essay appearing for the first time in the exhibition catalog. Lexington, known as the Horse Capitol of the World, has been home to Transylvania University for 230 years, it should come to no surprise there is a unique connection between the university and horse. Colorfully woven together in the best Kentucky craft tradition, you will find in this exhibition—and the catalog—a storied tapestry of America’s greatest thoroughbred, a Transylvania graduate and professor who had a hand in racing history, and hidden treasures from the pages of equine art and antiquity. The Illustrious Horse distinctively shares this rich history as interpreted in new and fresh ways by contemporary Kentucky artists.
The Morlan Gallery will have extended exhibition hours during the World Equestrian Games (Sept. 25 -Oct. 11): Starting on Sunday, Sept. 26 through Saturday, Oct. 9 the gallery will be open weekdays from noon - 8 p.m. and weekends noon -5 p.m.
JOIN US for our special Illustrious Horse Speaker Series! All events are in the gallery (unless noted), free, and open to the public.
Children's author Patsi Trollinger will read Perfect Timing: How Isaac Murphy Became One of the World's Greatest Jockeys, Saturday, Oct. 2, 12:30-1:30 p.m. Books available for purchase, cash or check only please.
Middle School author Heather Henson will read Dream of Night, where three lives and three story lines merge as readers get to know a former racehorse, a 12-year-old girl, and a middle-aged woman. Saturday, Oct. 9, 12:30-1:30 p.m. Books available for purchase, cash or check only please.
Author Genevieve Baird Lacer, will lecture on the famous painter Edward Troye on Monday, October 18, 6-7:30 p.m. in the Transylvania University Library. Lacer is the author of Edward Troye, Painter of Thoroughbred Stories. This lecture is followed by a reception at the Morlan Gallery, where Troye's Lexington hangs as part of the Illustrious Horse exhibition. Although free and open to the public, RSVPs are strongly suggested, please call Bobbi Silver at (859) 233-8738 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Artists’ Talk Thursdays: In the Morlan Gallery for three consecutive Thursdays from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m., various artists from The Illustrious Horse exhibition will informally discuss process, conceptual approach, and execution of the artwork made for this unique exhibition. Talks start Sept. 30 and run through Oct. 14.
Thursday, Sept. 30, 12:15-1 p.m.---Kurt Gohde/Kremena Todorova, sculptors from The Illustrious Horse exhibition discuss their work, Morlan Gallery
Thursday, Oct. 7, 12:15-1 p.m.---Valerie Fuchs/Lennon Michalski, a video artist and a poet from The Illustrious Horse exhibition discuss their work, Morlan Gallery
Thursday, Oct. 14, 12:15-1 p.m.---Guy Mendes/Lawrence Tarpey, a photographer and illustrator/painter from The Illustrious Horse exhibition discuss their work, Morlan Gallery