From LowerTown to Austria

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Five Kentucky artists have been invited to exhibit their work at the Imperial Palace at Innsbruck, Austria as part of Project WIDE WEST. WIDE WEST is an art project for cultural exchange between foreign and local artists in cooperation with the Burghauptmannschaft of Austria, the ceramic association IKSIT and schools in Innsbruck.

 

During Project WIDE WEST, the Paducah artists will exhibit their works in three galleries at the Imperial Palace in Innsbruck for 14 days in April. The artists whose work will be on display are printmaker Freda Fairchild , ceramist John Hasegawa, ceramist/fiber artist Lily Liu, abstract artist Paul Lorenz, 2D multimedia artist Teri Moore (all of Paducah) and May Wong of Florida. Fairchild, Liu, Lorenz and Moore will travel to Austria to conduct workshops in the fields of painting, graphics, graphic prints, textile arts and ceramics for pupils in several schools. The resulting works of the students will be shown the second half of April 2013 in the Foyer of the Imperial Palace.

 

Paducah’s cultural connection and exchange with Innsbruck, a city deep in the alpine mountains, is a direct result of Paducah’s Artist-in-Residence Program. Paul Lorenz met Elisabeth Melkonyan, fiber artists and curator at the Imperial Palace, at an international art event in Innsbruck in 2010 where Lorenz was exhibiting. Their meeting resulted in Melkonyan’s participation in Paducah Arts Alliance (PAA) artist-in-residence program in 2011. Melkonyan was enthralled with Paducah and the quality of artists she encountered during her residency. Upon her return to Austria, she maintained contact with her American creative cohorts and facilitated the inclusion of select artists in the WIDE WEST exhibit.

 

Paducah Arts Alliance (PAA) initiated the artist-in-residence program in 2008 with funds provided by the City of Paducah through Paducah Renaissance Alliance. The program was established to promote the growth of individual artists through education and outreach programs and to enhance Paducah’s identity as an art community. Since January 2009, PAA has hosted more than 34 visiting American and international artists and connected them with local/regional networks. Visiting artists have come from 4 countries and 13 states, with California and Texas the most represented. Artists have conducted 19 workshops, 11 lectures, 9 exhibitions, 5 performances and 3 installations, for a total of 47 events. In 2011, PAA (in conjunction with Yeiser Art Center and Paducah Renaissance Alliance) was awarded a $10,000 matching grant from the Kentucky Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts to continue to grow this collaborative program. While in Innsbruck, accommodations for the 14 days of exhibits and workshops, as well as some meals, will be provided by the host organization.

 

The Paducah artists are creating new works for this international exhibit. “Preparing for the exhibition has really inspired me,” said Freda Fairchild. “I have so many ideas for new work that I’m anxious to complete. We all have a shared sense of heightened creativity.”

 

A preview show of the work that is going to Austria will be held on March 2 at STUDIOmars, 418 North 7th Street in LowerTown. The gallery will be open for viewing at noon with a reception from 6-8 PM that evening.

 

For more information or an interview about Paducah’s participation in this cultural exchange at the Imperial Palace in Austria, contact Teri Moore at teachridelearn@gmail.com or 314.210.9494.

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