An App for Art: Lexington Takes it Artside

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Gallery Hoppers got a preview of Lexington’s new public art app, “Take it Artside,” on Friday night at Lexington’s Downtown Arts Center.

The app is an initiative from Central Kentucky’s Museum Without Walls project, and involved collaboration between UK’s Art Department and the Gaines Center for the Humanities, with input and involvement from UK and Georgetown College students.

Dr. Nick Kouns, a past president of Lexington Art League and a founder of the Side by Side project, says, “projects like these which fuse technology with public art are an important part of  Lexington’s cultural and economic future.” He adds “art and technology will be cornerstones of Lexington’s new economy, because while the economy flexes and relaxes, new industries rise and fall as drivers. We have always relied on art, and emerging technology is being harnessed as an incredible tool that allows us to tell that story instantly. More importantly, it provides artists and audiences with both intimacy and immediacy. They can now share their stories instantly, in a way that cuts across age, gender, and economic divides. Equity and equal access are a vital part of this equation for Lexington.”

“As a physician,” he points out, “I suspect I am like most professionals — we are never far from our iPhones and iPads.”

Kouns, who has served on the national arts legislative action group of the NEA and currently serves on the board of the Kentucky Arts Council, says he is particularly encouraged when educational institutions work together on these kinds of initiatives. He adds, “I believe Lexington is approaching some sort of critical mass. The ‘tell it to me’ ethos is giving way to the ‘show it to me’ paradigm.”

The free app will be live for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch on November 30. A droid version is in the works.

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