The Owensboro Museum of Fine Art will celebrate its first four decades of educational services to the community, state and region with four special exhibitions, three galas and innovative programming for adults and children May through December.
Recognized as a regional center for the visual arts, the museum is the second largest art museum in the Commonwealth and has become known for its important collection of art documenting the cultural history of Kentucky and the region.
The four exhibitions will showcase treasures of the Permanent Collection beginning with “Forty Years of Great Art” showcasing the collection of early Kentucky art dating from the mid to late 19th century. Complementing that historic collection are selected works representing some of Kentucky’s leading artists of the 20th century.
A highlight of the exhibition is the June 10, 40th ANNIVERSARY GALA featuring artists and actors who will bring the collection to life with impersonations of the subjects of the paintings and sculpture and “Art by the Stars” created by more than two dozen community leaders under the mentorship of local artists. Their works of art will be auctioned during the gala as a benefit for the art museum. Both the exhibition and gala are being sponsored by Jack Wells Ventures and co-sponsored by O.Z. Tyler Distillery and Greenwell Chisholm Printing Company.
A historical documentary on the economic origins of the region, WAY OF THE LAND: THE FARM STORY is scheduled July 29 to October 22. It is being presented in honor of Owensboro’s bicentennial year and is an invitational exhibition designed to chronicle the region’s agrarian culture. It will feature works of art inspired by the economy and lifestyles of the farming industry complemented by vintage farming artifacts on loan from Daviess County collections. The exhibition, accompanied by a publication on farming as seen through the lens of art, is sponsored by Owensboro Health and Ann Murphy Kincheloe, and is cosponsored by Joanne Fore-Masters and Mark and Jackie Scholl.
A special series of educational opportunities will highlight this exhibition including a 10 day camp where children ages 6 to 16 will design, construct and “raise” a barn complete with colorful murals of farm animals. The barn raising is being sponsored by Owensboro Grain Company and will remain on display in the museum’s Ryan Park throughout the remainder of the year.
The Bronze Buffalo Festival and Gala, scheduled September 21, 22 and 23, hosting dozens of out of town artists during the three day festival will result in an exhibition of paintings depicting the “sense of place” of Owensboro and Daviess County. The exhibition is displayed for one night only and is the principal feature of the BRONZE BUFFALO GALA, where artists will receive $5,000 in purchase awards. The event is sponsored by Atmos Energy Company.
DISTINCTIVELY APPALACHIAN, November 11 to January 31, sponsored by a group of local businesses comprising the Public Program Fund, will feature the museum’s extensive collection of 20th century Folk Art by America’s most prominent naïve artists. This collection, one of the largest public holdings of art by untrained artists and craftsmen living in the Appalachian region is the visual arts equivalent of Bluegrass Music.
The 41st annual Holiday Forest Festival of Trees will interpret this naïve art with 15 monumental trees designed and decorated by some of the artists represented in the museum’s folk art collection of more than 2000 objects.
ARTLAND, the museum’s FREE interactive art studio for children will feature a 6 month series of special programs designed to complement the exhibitions of the anniversary season. July and August will be presented as an exploration of Kentucky art history; September and October will feature art projects based on regional farming; November and December will teach children about the traditions of Appalachian Folk Art.
ARTLAND is a studio designated for FREE art instruction for children of all ages during regular museum hours. Art instruction and materials are provided through the sponsorship of the Michael E. Horn Family Foundation.
The museum is FREE and open to the public Tuesday through Friday from Noon to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Voluntary admission of $3 for adults and $2 for children under 12 is encouraged. For more information on the 40th Anniversary Celebration and its events visit omfa.us, email [email protected], phone 270-685-3181 or follow us on Facebook.