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KMAC Celebrates 40th Anniversary With New Exhibitions, Book

Courtesy Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft

Louisville’s KMAC Museum is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year with special exhibitions and a forthcoming book. 

The celebration of this milestone begins April 24 with the opening of an exhibition of 40 works by 40 artists. Featured artists include visual artist Ebony G. Patterson, Louisville chemist and ceramics artist Elmer Lucille Allen, the late Kentucky fiber artist Alma Lesch, local sculptor William Duffy, Louisville painter Vian Sora and late Louisville folk artist Marvin Finn

The 40 exhibiting artists have played an important role in the museum’s history or have made key contributions to the regional art scene in the last four decades, according to a news release from the museum. 

The group show will be followed later in the year by a series of solo exhibitions, including one featuring Louisville artist Kiah Celeste, who will show new photographic works as part of the museum’s offering toward the Louisville Photo Biennial.  

The solo-show lineup also includes James Benjamin Franklin. The Detroit-based artist will display “his sculptural paintings, reminiscent of Robert Rauschenberg and Thornton Dial in their use of found materials,” the release stated. 

And Ché Rhodes, a glass artist and head of the Studio Glass Department at the University of Louisville’s Hite Art Institute, will display his work at KMAC this year. Rhodes was a student of the late famed glass artist Stephen Rolfe Powell, who worked and lived in Danville, Ky. 

“The most vital way we can celebrate our 40th anniversary is by continuing to serve as the bridge that connects contemporary art’s biggest ideas to our local community,” KMAC board president Theresa Carpenter Beames said in the release.

There is also a commemorative book in the works, looking at the 40-year-history of the institution, starting in 1981, when former Kentucky First Lady Phyllis George established it as the Kentucky Art and Craft Foundation.

The organization became the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft in 2001, moving into its current home on Museum Row in downtown Louisville, and eventually rebranded as KMAC.

Presently, the museum has an exhibition on view called “Land Is: Parks, Culture, Stories,” featuring the work of Ramona Dallum Lindsey. The Louisville fiber and textile artist used voices from the community and the photographs of Abdul Sharif, Jonathan P. Cherry, Joshua Jean-Marie, Nubia Bennett and T. A. Yero to examine people’s relationships with and access to public spaces.

KMAC is also exhibiting the work of Jordan Nassar in a show called “The Field is Infinite.” 

Both exhibitions are up through April 4.