Arts & Culture

SKyPAC Wins Auction for Historic Church

Aug 9, 2013

A Bowling Green church building that first opened in the late 1800s has a new owner. But the future of the structure remains unclear.

The red-brick building that once housed Taylor’s Chapel AME church is surrounded on three sides by property owned by the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center.  In an auction Thursday afternoon, SKyPAC submitted a winning, $250,000 bid for the 141-year-old building on E. Seventh Avenue. 

The development director with SKyPAC tells the Daily News, they have no plans to tear down the building. In fact, the organization wants to restore it, but is awaiting an architect’s report on how much that will cost, before looking for someone to fund the restoration.

How do you fix a neighborhood? What do you do about crime and drugs and the once-lovely old houses that are falling down? The answer in Paducah, Ky., was to turn it into a special place for artists to live, work and sell.

Paducah, already home to the National Quilt Museum, is far west on the edge of Kentucky, on the Ohio River. Lowertown, so-named for being downriver from downtown Paducah, was once quite elegant — 25 square blocks. But in time it became a difficult place to admire.

The ex-wife of a former Kentucky lawmaker serving life without parole for murdering another woman is launching her book Wednesday.

Tracey L. Damron was married to former Rep. Steve Nunn, the son of the late former governor Louie B. Nunn, while he served in state government. A news release says the book, "Trail of Feathers," covers "love, death, murder, political power, deception, the supernatural and ultimately spiritual consciousness."

Nunn pleaded guilty to the 2009 death of his ex-fiancee.

The release says Damron, who lives part-time in Pikeville, now practices as a medicine woman, conducts spiritual retreats and attends spiritual workshops.

She is announcing the book's launch Wednesday morning on the steps of the Capitol in Frankfort and will attend book signings at bookstores in Frankfort and Glasgow on Wednesday and Thursday.

Carnegie Hall's Barnstorming Youth Movement

Jul 18, 2013

This is the kind of opportunity most classical musicians can only dream about: to be invited to spend part of the summer with an orchestra touring the world — Washington, Moscow, St. Petersburg and London — with two of the biggest names in classical music, conductor Valery Gergiev and violinist Joshua Bell.

Joe Corcoran, WKU Public Radio

The estate manager of the Baker Arboretum in Bowling Green says more will be known within the next two weeks about paintings damaged during a recent fire.

The fire broke out the morning of June 27 in the building housing the world’s largest collection of paintings by the late artist and Hart County native Joe Downing.

Estate manager Craig Cunningham told WKU Public Radio Tuesday that a group of art restoration experts from different parts of the country will arrive within the next two weeks to assess what can be done to salvage paintings that suffered smoke and water damage.

Nobody was injured during the fire. Estate employees raced into the burning building to rescue the paintings from the flames.

All over the country on Thursday, fireworks will light up the sky. In many places, those fireworks will come with a patriotic soundtrack — one that wouldn't be complete without "The Star-Spangled Banner." The song officially became America's national anthem in 1931, but it's been around since the early 19th century.

Owensboro-Daviess County Convention and Visitor's Bureau

The retiring head of the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau won’t be retired for long.  Karen Miller Porter has been named executive director of the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra. 

She tells the Messenger-Inquirer she wasn’t looking for another job when she decided to leave the CVB, but the opportunity was “too good to pass up.”  Porter says the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra is one of the best-run symphonies at a time when other symphonies are struggling. 

Porter will start work for the OSO August 1, the same date as her official retirement from the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

A former chairman of the International Bluegrass Music Museum’s board believes attendance to last week’s River of Music Party will approach 25,000. That would be up from last year’s ROMP attendance of 21,000.

Terry Woodward told the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer that he didn’t hear a single negative comment about the bluegrass music festival at Yellow Creek Park, adding that he couldn’t “imagine it being any better than this.”

ROMP was named the event of the year for 2012 by the International Bluegrass Music Association.

The job of determining how many paintings can be saved following a fire at a Bowling Green art museum continues.

An estimated 90 percent of the Joe Downing paintings housed at the estate of Jerry Baker are not seriously damaged. But WKU President Gary Ransdell told faculty and staff in an email this morning that nearly all of the paintings sustained smoke damage.

Dr. Ransdell said WKU Planning, Design, and Construction staff members are working with restoration experts and insurance professionals to start the recovery process for the museum building and the art.

Downing is a Hart County native who is one of only a few Americans that have an exhibit shown at the Louvre in Paris, France. He lived most of his adult life in France and was inspired by the natural beauty of the French countryside. He died in 2007 at his country home in the town of Menerbes.

WKU Art Department Head Brent Oglesbee says Downing’s work stands out because of its unique style, and use of color and pattern.

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