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‘History Of Butchertown' Showcases Community's Past And Present

Courtesy Adam Horton Art Gallery

When gallery owner Adam Horton began organizing the “History of Butchertown” photography exhibition, he knew that he wanted to capture a complete picture of the neighborhood. 

"The vibe that I am getting and trying to present is the evolution of a neighborhood mixed with industry, and showing where it’s going based on where it’s been,” Horton says. “I’m also trying to show a little piece of everything that might be happening in the very near future.”

He says that Butchertown, a community with a nearly 200-year history, was once a thriving residential and industrial area. But then, following the Ohio River flood of 1937 which destroyed many of the homes and businesses, the neighborhood saw a sharp economic decline. However, in recent years a number of new homeowners and lifelong residents have teamed up to revitalize the community.

“Just from what I’m hearing in different meetings is that the neighborhood may be seeing different views from different business owners and builders,” Horton says. “It’s growing into what could be another NuLu experience.”  

Horton, who has lived and worked in Butchertown for two years, began reaching out to photographers over a year ago. He found many of them via social media--Facebook and Instagram, mostly.

“Presenting different perspectives of Butchertown is the key to this show, so I asked the individual photographers to shoot how they saw Butchertown,” Horton says. “From there I was able to put together the different collections, limit the choices from what they shot based on what everyone else shot so that we had an even balance.”

“History of Butchertown” includes photography by Adam Horton, Steve Grider, Devin Kelly, Paul Anthony Schuhmann and Lou Tingle, as well as historical items curated from St Joseph’s Church, An Roth Heating and Cooling--which has been in business since 1866--Vernon Club and Lanes, and The Pong Club.

Many of the inclusions are familiar, like a towering silhouette of the JBS Swift Building--a pork processing plant--by photographer Paul Anthony Schuhmann, yet are shot in a way that implores viewers to give the historic beauty of the neighborhood a second glance. Perhaps most indicative of this is a collection of 15 photographs of doors found throughout Butchertown by Lou Tingle.

“We wanted to capture the doors of the neighborhood, especially some of the older doors,” Tingle says. “Bring out the color, the wood grain, the beauty.”

Tingle began photographing the neighborhood years ago, but this is the first time he has exhibited his work. He and Horton became connected after Tingle began posting photos of the doors on the Butchertown Neighborhood Association’s Facebook page.

“That’s one of the things that I hope to do moving forward with my gallery,” Horton says. “I want to be able to help artists from within the Butchertown community to showcase their work, especially as the neighborhood continues to develop.”

‘History of Butchertown’ will be on view every Friday in May from 7-10 p.m. at the Adam Horton Art gallery. 

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