For six nights each year, hundreds descend upon downtown Lexington with one thing in mind — art, and lots of it. Sponsored by LexArts, the downtown Lexington Gallery Hop allows all who are interested to spend a completely free evening enjoying original art in unique venues throughout the city. With nearly fifty separate gallery displays during each Hop, there’s sure to be something for everyone to enjoy. The next Hop is coming up on Friday, March 20, so be sure to mark your calendars for a fun evening! For today’s post, I’ll share a few highlights of my visit to the January Hop and what’s scheduled for March.
My personal favorite Gallery Hop location is the Bodley-Bullock House at the corner of Market and Second Streets in Gratz Park. The Bodley-Bullock House celebrated its 200th birthday in 2014, and it has been home to the Junior League of Lexington since 1984. The BBH is a work of art by itself, with one of the only three-story cantilevered elliptical staircases in Kentucky welcoming visitors into the foyer, a parlor featuring Minnie Bullock’s collection of intricate snuff bottles, and living areas full of antique furnishings, paintings, and books. As part of the League’s mission to preserve this piece of history for the Lexington community, League members regularly open the house for tours and host a stop on the Gallery Hop. The March Gallery Hop at the BBH will showcase the acrylic paintings, mixed media, and printmaking of Marta Elam Dorton, along with an array of homemade refreshments.
Gratz Park features two more stops on the Gallery Hop at The Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning and the Hunt-Morgan House, just across the street from the Bodley-Bullock House. The Carnegie Center is housed in the original Lexington Public Library, a gorgeous Greek Revival building dating back to 1902. During the March 20 Hop, the Center will celebrate the work of Lexington Catholic High School’s most talented art students. The Hunt-Morgan House is a Federal-style residence turned house museum maintained by the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation that has been anchoring one of Gratz Park’s four corners since 1814.
Taking a turn back down Second Street towards Limestone, Mulberry & Lime in the historic Matthew Kennedy House is another great stop on the Hop. Store owner Mary Ginocchio grew up in the Kennedy House that her great grandfather built in 1887, and she transformed it into a home furnishings and gift shop in 2001. During the January Hop, Mulberry & Lime featured unique painted bones by artist Jason Borders nestled into vignettes of the shop’s regular merchandise collection.
Walking a few blocks down Limestone, you’ll find many more Hop locations. The Ann Tower Gallery and the Lexington Public Library top my list of favorite gallery spots on Main Street. For the January Hop, the Ann Tower Gallery had an exhibit that was right up my alley titled “The Dog Show and Other Animals,” and you can enjoy a few images from that collection below. At the March Hop, the Gallery will host “Delights: Bathing in Another World,” including paintings and sculpture by Elissa Morley. The Central Library Gallery presented a colorful array of printmaking art in January and will exhibit photographs of “Lexington’s Greatest Generation: World War II” for its March show.
Of course, this is only a fractional sampling of the stops on the Gallery Hop. Click here for a full list of Hop stops and start planning your route for next Friday night, March 20, from 5-8 p.m. While you’re at it, go ahead and mark the dates for the rest of the 2015 Hops as well: May 15, July 17, September 18, and November 20. Most stops offer small refreshments to their guests, and I’d recommend making a reservation at one of downtown’s many inventive local restaurants for dinner or drinks after the Hop. For under $50, you can have a great night on the town complete with one-of-a-kind art, drinks, and dinner in one of Lexington’s most historic and walkable neighborhoods. With temperatures finally warming up, I encourage you to indulge the creative part of your brain and make a date with your artsy side on March 20. One word of advice though — don’t be this guy when you visit any of the Hop galleries:
© Copyright 2015 – Amelia Adams