Lexington Arts and Books News for August 2020
Chalk it Up!
Sidewalk Art in the neighborhoods
Ashley James is the woman behind the elaborate sidewalk chalk art seen around Cramer Avenue. A Kentucky native, James grew up in Lexington and graduated from SCAPA, but now lives in Los Angeles and Atlanta.
Her first piece was inspired by a worldwide team-based scavenger hunt charity event where she had to recreate a Renaissance painting but make it pandemic-themed. James chose Artemesia Gentileschi’s “Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting” and had her gazing at a roll of toilet paper.
Since then her inspiration has come from Matisse’s “Cat with Red Fish” and the imagination of her two daughters, Lily and Alice.
“Everyone feels the monotony of this situation, but we’ve gotten lots of smiles and compliments and people stopping to take photos, so we know that it’s adding joy to the neighborhood.”
James adds, “I especially love that my kids are seeing the value of public art and that they feel proud to be part of Team Kentucky. I hope that one day they will remember these art projects as something special we did for ourselves and the community.”
She’s learning as she goes, starting with a layer of crayola sidewalk chalk then using a piece of foam to smear the chalk, with help from her daughters, before adding more color using artist pastels. Her designs have taken about two hours, except for the Matisse Cat which took between five and six hours.
The ephemeral nature is half the charm. “I’m not bothered by the fact that each piece only lasts until the next rain — it’s nice to have a clean slate every few days, to be able to take what I learned from the last experience and apply it to the next one, and to surprise the neighbors with something new.”
Be on the lookout for her next illustration from the children’s book “The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet”.
The sidewalk chalk art can be found on Cramer Avenue, between Mentelle Park and Hanover, when the weather and her inspiration cooperate.
UK Grad’s new book
Lamar Smith’s experience as a student at the University of Kentucky inspired him to write his first book, Jack of All Trades: Rise of the Party Promoter. His book is loosely based on his UK experiences as a party promoter.
Smith says, “It is realistic fiction, but I think my book will challenge concepts people have about college and it will teach the importance of embracing individuality.” His book is scheduled to come out later this year.
New novel recounts the murder of Marion Miley in Lexington
In 1941, the well known 27-year-old golf champion Marion Miley was murdered at Lexington Country Club. Beverly Bell, a featured consultant in KET’s documentary Forgotten Fame: The Marion Miley Story, has written a new book, The Murder of Marion Miley. Based on a true story and lots of research, the new true crime-esque novel is inspired by actual events, but with a fictionalized fleshing in of emotion and dialogue. Bell is an award-winning magazine and crime writer whose work has appeared in Arizona Highways, Indianapolis Monthly, Keeneland Magazine, and Kentucky Monthly.
Cincinnati’s Lytle Park Hotel
W road trips proving to be the safest form of short-term travel when done right, we’ve spent the summer exploring everything within a day’s drive of Lexington.
Just an hour north in Cinci, two historic buildings have transformed into the city’s newest boutique luxury hotel, The Lytle Park Hotel.
As part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, The Lytle Park Hotel’s unique tagline is “Exactly Like Nothing Else.” It’s home to Cincinnati’s only four-season rooftop venue, an Italian restaurant, and classic hotel amenities.
“It’s a remarkable little getaway only an hour away from Lexington,” says Julie Kowalewski, Regional Director of Sales. “Lytle Park Hotel is the vision of bringing two buildings to life again and making the hotel a destination for not only travelers to the area, but also people who live in Cincinnati who want to experience their city in a unique way.”
Guests are welcomed into the grand atrium which features a vaulted glass ceiling, a crown shaped pendant bar, and the open kitchen of Subito, the hotel’s modern Italian restaurant.
The hotel’s most notable feature is Vista at Lytle Park, the indoor and outdoor four-season rooftop venue with views of Lytle Park, downtown Cincinnati and the Ohio River.
Intertwined within the historic Lytle Park, the hotel is within walking distance of Great American Ball Park, and only a couple of blocks from Fountain Square and downtown.
Initially planned for a Spring launch, the hotel opened in June with enhanced cleanliness procedures, contact-free guest check-in, and social distancing adjustments, to meet the standard for new hospitality protocols.
The Lytle Park Hotel is located at 311 Pike Street, Cincinnati, Ohio.
This article also appears on page 14 of the August 2020 print edition of Ace Weekly.
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