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‘Our Kentucky Home’ exhibition shines the spotlight on the state’s Hispanic and Latino artists

"Three Dancers," a paper mosaic by Sebastian Duverge.
Courtesy Sebastian Duverge
"Three Dancers," a paper mosaic by Sebastian Duverge.

Sebastian Duverge makes art to express himself.

“Many people get to know me through my art,” he said.

Duverge is one of 20 visual artists exhibiting work in “Our Kentucky Home: Hispanic/Latin American Visual Art in the Commonwealth.”

For the show, Duverge submitted one of his paper mosaics: a colorful work featuring three dancers swaying as the sun shines down on them. The Louisville visual artist said he’s always looking for opportunities to exhibit his work, but “this one is special because the focus is on my community.”

Sebastian Duverge poses in front of some of his artwork in his Louisville studio on Feb. 2, 2022.
Stephanie Wolf
Sebastian Duverge poses in front of some of his artwork in his Louisville studio on Feb. 2, 2022.

The exhibition, organized by the Kentucky Arts Council, opened in Paducah in November, and will tour the state over the next year. 

“The goals of this traveling exhibit are to share Hispanic/Latin American/Latinx experiences in Kentucky, demonstrate diversity through various media, styles and themes, and recognize the dynamic expressions these Kentuckians contribute to the cultural landscape,” a Kentucky Arts Council news release said.

It heads to Cynthiana, Ky. next, opening at Boyd's Station Gallery Friday, where it will stay through March 12. It will be up in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort during Hispanic Heritage Month in the fall. The arts council hopes to bring the exhibition to Louisville as well, and is working on securing a venue and dates.

The idea of a traveling exhibition appealed to Duverge because it gives opportunity for Kentuckians around the Bluegrass State to see the artwork. 

He says Latin American, Latino and Hispanic artists are “just artists.” 

“Like many others we get inspiration from our background, our family experiences and our culture,” he said. “It makes me proud to have been chosen alongside so many great artists.”

Louisville photographic artist Leandro Lozada said it’s “a great pleasure” to be a part of this show, alongside other Latin American and Latino artists.

“I'm very thankful for the opportunity to join these other number of artists, and I'm very thankful for the opportunity to cultivate beauty, which is what I care the most about,” he said.

He has a work in the show titled “Milk.” The photo is a portrait of a friend of Lozada’s. Milk is streaming down her face.

“Milk, to me, is something very common… And at the same time, I think of it as something miraculous or something wonderful, if you have the eyes to see it,” Lozada said. “As we get older, and get jobs and have toddlers and have our phones, it becomes difficult to see the beautiful things that are right in front of us.”

Louisville graphic designer Rachel Nuñez has two artworks in the exhibition.

“I thought it was a great way to show other people outside of the immigration community, like who lives in Kentucky and who lives in Louisville,” Nuñez said. “I feel like it would be a great way for people to get other viewpoints in the world.”

For 23-year-old Nuñez, this exhibition is also particularly special because it's her first. But she was also interested in its title. Nuñez grew up in Louisville and grew up surrounded by her family’s Peruvian culture, music and food. 

“My art is mainly showing my Peruvian side. But I feel like by having the exhibition be called ‘Our Kentucky Home,’ it also shows that Kentucky is still my home,” Nuñez said.

Support for this story was provided in part by the Great Meadows Foundation.