LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Several local artists with ties to Lexington's historic East End will have their work showcased at the new MET development at Midland Avenue and East Third Street.
The art pieces will honor the history of the neighborhood and the accomplishments of its residents throughout Community Ventures' new mix-used development that will include housing, a restaurant, art gallery and art studio space.
The pieces were commissioned thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, said Mark Johnson, president of Art Inc., Kentucky, a Community Ventures organization that works to support artists.
"As development comes to East End we want to make sure that we don't lose the history, we don't lose the story, we don't lose the significance," Johnson said.
The first piece, a poem by former Kentucky poet laureate Frank X Walker called Ode to the East End, was placed on the building Tuesday.
"I hope that, foremost, that the residents of the East End read it and feel proud," Walker said of his poem, "and acknowledge that they see themselves in the poem somewhere. And I hope that those that aren't in the East End are a little bit jealous and want their own poem."
The building will also feature a mural honoring Kentucky's African American jockeys, like Isaac Murphy, Johnson said, as well as photographs, wood and glass pieces honoring East End history.
"There's a lot of history here and a lot of heritage and very talented people," Johnson said.
Art Pieces to be featured at The MET:
-Two poems by Frank X Walker
-A mural honoring African American Jockeys by Keaton Young
-Black and White photographs of East End by Patrick J. Mitchell
-A large wooden panel featuring historical and current East End streets by LaVon Williams
-A bronze sculpture of Isaac Murphy by Stephen Johnson
-An East End community welcome sign by Denise Brown and Shauna M. Morgan
-A sculpture featuring historic East End women by Seth Tuska
-A glass bowl by Mark Lenn Johnson