It’s great to have big-name artists come to town, but frankly, there’s nothing better than savoring supreme homegrown talent.
And we get to do that in concert halls and galleries this coming season.
The Lexington Philharmonic will roll out the red carpet for hometown hero Tessa Lark, whose star is rising in the violin world after growing up in the Bluegrass and going through the ranks of Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras and other groups. She’ll have a chance to wow us in the Phil’s season opener Sept. 16 with the iconic violin concerto by Samuel Barber.
Lexington galleries will be looking at an artist on the other end of his career with five venues devoting exhibits to Lexington artist Louis Bickett, starting with the University of Kentucky Art Museum this weekend. (Read more about Bickett next Sunday, when this section returns to its usual form.)
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The Art Museum continues to grow as a vital institution, leading the visual arts community with the Bickett exhibit being part of a group of shows including “POTUS,” which looks at images of presidents or aspiring presidents from the museum’s collection and on loan.
Photos by another Lexington icon, James Baker Hall, are also a part of the fall programming. Also this fall we get a photo exhibit from the seemingly disparate talents of Doris Ulmann, known for her dignified portraits of Appalachia, and pop icon Andy Warhol.
This is the first year we have a 21c Museum Hotel in our midst, and it will be interesting to see the impact its exhibits have on the community with its Main Street space.
If you are inclined to take a short trip, Louisville’s Speed Art Museum is back in business, with a stunning new campus, and you could pair a day of museum crawling with an evening hearing what hotshot young conductor Teddy Abrams is doing with the Louisville orchestra. A cool date to visit could be Oct. 30, when cello superstar Yo-Yo Ma comes to play.
In addition to close proximity to cultural capitals such as Louisville and Cincinnati, another great thing for arts fans in the Bluegrass is the plethora of college programs putting on — usually free — concerts. A date to circle on your calendar might be the UK Symphony Orchestra’s annual concert by its concerto competition winners, or some of the many other collegiate concerts in the offing.
Who knows, you might see the next Yo-Yo Ma ... or Tessa Lark.