EastEnd Smart 07.28.2009

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Click here to View PDF: Art in Motion Dedicates Shelter, Sculpture by Professor Garry Bibbs

EAST END SMART

Art in Motion to Dedicate Second Shelter

by Kim Thomas

A static hero is a public liability. Progress grows out of motion.

–Richard E. Byrd

Keeping in mind Lexington’s efforts to spruce up for the World Equestrian Games, Art in Motion (AIM), the grassroots organization that brings art to bus shelters on Lexington’s corridors, is moving right along. Scott Diamond, Chairman of the Board of AIM, is looking forward to the completion of AIM’s second shelter’s dedication on August 2, and points out that the new East End smART shelter will be surrounded by an outdoor art gallery. “This outdoor gallery space celebrates the connection between art and transit, function and inspiration. The mission of this exhibit space is to display artwork that celebrates the rich history and culture of the East End while embracing change in the neighborhood and exploring its future. The art shown here will
speak to the East End’s unique sense of place while exploring local artists. We hope to have the first commissioned murals up by next spring.” A project like this could only be realized through the vast partnership, and Diamond says, “ Bibbs, a renowned African-American sculptor and UK Fine Arts faculty member, designed the sculpture and the initial murals were designed by Joseph Tiu at no cost, as a donation to our project and to feature colorful graphics. AIM, in partnership its connection to the wider community and the world. This
gallery is dedicated to the people of the East End.”

The new shelter and outdoor art gallery will be dedicated
on Sunday, August 2, at 3pm, and includes a sculpture by
Garry Bibbs. Bibbs is an Associate Professor of Art, Head of
Sculpture Department and Director of Art Studio Graduate
Studies at the University of Kentucky. He explains he wanted
to participate in this project, “mainly because the Third &
Elm and Midland areas are being historically restored, and I
want to be a part of this process. Third and Elm Street is the
Lyric Theatre area, and close to Deweese Street. All of these
areas are where great Lexington African-Americans once
lived and performed history-making
achievements. Although this project is small in scale and
scope, I find it as a project that can play a key role in
rebirthing this important historical area.” His concept is
based on images and forms with a musical theme. “With this
in mind, I versioned a very colorful, 16-foot metal sculpture
with active, abstract forms coming together to depict two
dancers gestured in a musical rhyme.”
Bibbs’ sculpture is named Lyrical Movement. He
explains, “Lyrical Movement” is the title (a Lyric means relating
to poetry that often has a musical quality and expresses
personal emotions of thoughts. A Movement is an act of
changing location or position; a collective effort by a large
number of people to try to achieve something, especially as
political or social reform). These meanings help to define the
objectives of the sculpture and how it captures the spirit of
this historical area. Music and dance have always played a
big part of the African-American heritage. Both were used
then and today to tell stories, give direction and restore a
sense of hope and faith for a better day.”

Celebrating the East End through art
Diamond, an adjunct professor at UK, explains, “The
shelter that is itself art will host murals by neighborhood and local artists. We hope to have the first commissioned murals
up by next spring.” A project like this could only be realized
through the vast partnership, and Diamond says, “ Bibbs, a
renowned African-American sculptor and UK Fine Arts faculty
member, designed the sculpture and the initial murals
were designed by Joseph Tiu at no cost, as a donation to our
project and to feature colorful graphics. AIM, in partnership with First District Councilperson Andrea James, formed a
committee to review the shelter design and sculpture design
during the preliminary stage. That group included East End
neighborhood representatives Thomas Tolliver and Joan
Brannon, Roots and Heritage festival committee representative
Scherer Boyd and the Urban League’s David Cozart.”
AIM has also formed a committee to help develop the
first ‘call for artists’ to commission the initial art murals and
to help find a local program to serve as curator for the East
End art gallery in perpetuity (because AIM is a volunteer
organization.) Diamond says, “AIM will coordinate the art
panels for the first year, but is hoping to find a local group
to sponsor additional artist competitions so that the gallery
can exhibit new artwork every 6 months or so.” This committee
included local artists Joan Brannon, Justin Fox and
Pat Gerhard, Martin-Luther King Neighborhood
Association President Sherry Maddock, as well as
Lexington Art League Director Allison Kaiser. LexArt’s Jim
Clark has also provided advice and assistance.
Diamond explains how many people working together
helped this vision become a reality. “Andrea James and
LexTran general manager Rocky Burke and his staff have also
been instrumental in helping this project happen. Andrea and
I have been developing this project and raising money for
almost a year and a half. In developing this project, Andrea
and (Lexington attorney and founder of Art in Motion) Yvette
Hurt looked to the feedback received during the East End
Neighborhood Association’s Visioning Session held as part of
the East End small area plan development. If you check those
comments on the EastEndLex website, you’ll find that residents
asked for more public art and better public transit
infrastructure.This project fulfills both. EOP is the design
firm that designed the shelter and has coordinated construction
of all aspects. EOP is doing this project below cost, and
they have donated in excess of $3,000 worth of their time and
the project is just starting construction.”
The East End smART shelter project was also funded by
the Neighborhood Development Bond Fund (bonds are
issued by Urban County Council). In addition, LexTran paid
for the pad and retaining wall. According to Diamond,
“LexTran pledged to this
project the amount that
would have been spent to
place a prefab shelter and
pad at this bus stop, and
the contractor is doing this
job at cost, i.e., no customary
mark-up for profit. The
rest of the funding for shelter,
sculpture and design is
coming from privately
raised funds and a Knight
Foundation grant, but a
number of Committee
members (who reviewed
shelter/sculpture plans
and have been helping prepare
the call for artists) also
donated their time.”
All funds donated or allocated to Art in Motion are held
in an account at the Bluegrass Community Foundation and
has 501(c)(3) standing so that cash donations are
deductible. BGCF pays vendors on AIM’s behalf.
The East End smART Shelter is the second artistic bus
shelter that Art in Motion has completed, and one other is in
the planning stage. The first AIM bus shelter, “Bottlestop,” is
made primarily of Ale-8 bottles is on Versailles Road; the
newest shelter is to be called “ArtStop.” It will hold space for
the East End Neighborhood to display art murals that will
change from time to time.
AIM also two more bus shelters in process, one in the
Aylesford neighborhood near UK, and near the social services
agencies’ campus off Red Mile Road. When asked how
many bus shelters are planned, Diamond enthusiastically
replied, “We have no intention of stopping until every bus
stop in Lexington has a shelter!” ■
The new shelter and outdoor art gallery will be dedicated on
Sunday, August 2, 2009 at 3pm

Kim’s first cover story for Ace Weekly was about riding the
bus in late June of 2007 (go to aceweekly.com archives). She
says, “In that piece, I wrote about ‘my’ bus stop, where the plain,
puritanical wooden bench I used to rest my Croc-clad but weary
feet had been destroyed by an errant driver, and people were
using an overturned grocery cart for makeshift seating. That next
Monday, as I walked to the bus stop, imagine my surprise to see
a shiny new bus shelter, with not just a seat, but shade and shelter
as well, in place of my erstwhile bench. In speaking with
Scott Diamond, I learned that a number of shelters went up
shortly thereafter.”



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