Fayette County

Lexington has no public monuments to women. This statue will change that.

Three views of a 14” tall model of Katsina, a 6-foot statue that will soon be unveiled at the Lexington Women’s Recognition Garden in Wellington Park.
Three views of a 14” tall model of Katsina, a 6-foot statue that will soon be unveiled at the Lexington Women’s Recognition Garden in Wellington Park. Photo provided

Within two years, the number of statues honoring women in Lexington’s public spaces may skyrocket — from zero to two.

There will soon be one at the Lexington Women’s Recognition Garden in Wellington Park. Katsina, a more than 6-foot wooden statue of a woman, will likely be unveiled on Mother’s Day.

There’s also a push to erect a monument honoring a woman of historical importance in a prominent place in downtown Lexington by 2020 — the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

Lexington-Fayette Urban County Councilwoman Jennifer Mossotti, who put the issue of the lack of statues and public art honoring women into a council committee, said the effort to erect a downtown monument by 2020 has received an overwhelmingly positive response.

The first meeting to discuss the effort will be 6 p.m. March 13 at LexArts on Mill Street.

“We envision a public-private partnership,” Mossotti said. “But there is grant money available.”

Mossotti said she has already been approached by businesses and individuals who want to contribute. Mossotti told members of the council’s Planning and Public Safety Committee Tuesday the effort was still in its infancy and she would return with more details once they have been worked out.

The location, cost and who the statue will honor have not been decided, she said.

Randolph Hollingsworth, an assistant provost at the University of Kentucky, told the committee Tuesday there is a nationwide-push to celebrate and raise money to honor the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment in 2020. That effort includes a national suffrage walk, as well as a push to honor the suffragists and highlight women’s history.

Less than 7 percent of the 5,193 monuments in the United States recognize a woman, according to one study.

The lack of statues and public art honoring women in Lexington tells visitors and young children that the community does not value the contributions of women, she said.

“From our public art, visitors would never know that Lexington has had so many notable women,” Hollingsworth said.

There are few statues of women throughout Kentucky, said Amanda Matthews, who started a nonprofit, The Artemis Initiative, to increase the number of women represented in public art.

Soon there will be a statue of a woman, ground-breaking educator Nettie Depp, in the state Capitol. Another statue of Alice Dunnigan, the first black woman to receive press credentials to cover the White House, has been commissioned for the city of Russellville and the West African American Heritage Museum, Matthews said.

Louisville also is pushing for a monument to honor women by 2020, Mossotti said.

Lexington sculptor Amanda Matthews, right, and state curator Leslie Nigels explain during a Dec. 15, 2017, interview at the Vest-Lindsey House in Frankfort why Nettie Depp was chosen to be the first woman to be honored with a life-size statue in t

Beth Musgrave: 859-231-3205, @HLCityhall

If you go

What: Meeting to discuss effort to build a statue honoring women in downtown Lexington

When: 6 p.m. March 13

Where: LexArts’ LexPlace, 161 North Mill Street

  Comments