Arts and Entertaiment

I would admire the photographs of the artists seated in their garrets, dressed in tattered smocks and frowning in the direction of their beefy nude models. To spend your days in the company of naked men-that was the life for me. 'Turn a bit to the left, Jean-Claude. I long to capture the playful quality of your buttocks.'

-David Sedaris

Mmm... buttocks. And what a pertinent image to start out a list of the best arts and culture of Lexington. For, of course, it was the pictures of the nekkid people, the ever-popular Nude 2000 Show, that really drew out the art consumers of Lexington -or at least the gawkers. And there was no shortage of people voting for the favorite place to see live asses in the best adult entertainment category.

But according to the copious reader essays on the dearth of arts and entertainment in Lexington, a picture of some nice, taut buttocks sort of sums up the scene.

This is not to say that Lexington has no art gems. Certainly this year's winners are not merely the top of the heap but also excellent in their fields, no matter how much they rely on buttocks.

But what do you say about a town that votes a park full of horses the best outdoor sculpture? While risking the ire of the angry art mob (as Terry Allen would say), is this the best, or just the most familiar?

There have been plenty of great shows at home and hereabouts that remained unmentioned in the voting process.

Still, we got REAMS of essays about "what Lexington needs is a thriving arts and culture scene," but people aren't even going out to see what we've got.

This problem is best illustrated by the fact that people keep voting for long-gone candidates for these categories. People are not looking for anything new in town.

Instead, they simply rest assured that 100 Proof is still best Lexington film for the year 2000, even though it came out in 97.

Chris Offutt's The Good Third Cousin Twice Removed, as it was popularly bastardized by the readers, won the best book category in 98. Barbara Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible won in 99. They are still great books, but they didn't come out "in the last year," as the category clearly specified.

Does anyone who voted for songwriter Paul K and artist Rodney Hatfield even realize that both those guys moved to Louisville? How 'bout savin' a little of that lovin' for the talent that actually lives here?

Lexington does have some of the best artists, musicians and buttocks in the land. But also some of the least appreciated.

While this is the best you picked, there's even more great stuff you might still be missing, hidden behind the hooves of the horses or those perky wildcat ears over at the sports museum.

Best Artist Due For National Attention

Gordon Gildersleeve

Steve Armstrong

Rodney Hatfield*/Arturo Sandoval

*Hatfield lives in Louisville

Best Art Gallery


UK Art Museum

Loudoun House

Best Outdoor Sculpture

Thoroughbred Park

Gratz Park

Frisch's Big Boy

Best Art Exhibit

Nude 2000

Chinese horses

Minds Open

Best Photographer

Forrest Payne

Guy Mendes

Mary Rezny


What it needs every year. A better nightlife. A more lively downtown. A bar or club large enough to host bands that are too big for Lynagh's and too small for Rupp. Lexington needs a reason NOT to go to the mall. Better shops, better restaurants, better parking, a new downtown.

-reader essay

Best Book by a Kentucky Author

Creeker by Linda Scott DeRosier

Loss of Innocence by Cara Richards

Best Local Theater

Shakespeare in the Park

Billie Holiday at Actors' Guild

Best Kentucky Made Film

American Hollow

*100 Proof was years ago. Stop voting for it.

Best Place for Live Music



Kentucky Theatre

Lexington needs to realize that not every resident loves horses, God, the Wildcats, weather broadcasts, country music, the Backstreet Boys, or the Kentucky Derby.

-reader essay

Best Adult Entertainment

Camelot East

Solid Platinum

Best Local CD


Frank & Mary Schaap


Best Local Band Due for National Attention



The Hub

Best Largely Undiscovered Band

Mother Jane

Rockstars of Soul


Best Local Songwriter

Paul K*

Kiya Heartwood

Otto Helmuth

*Paul K moved... a long time ago

Sexiest Local Band