Welcome to the premier exhibition of KY7, a regional survey of contemporary art produced in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and its seven contiguous states: Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. In January 2008 LAL made a call to artists to submit work to KY7; through a three-month process, the curators carefully selected 33 artists from seven states and a total of 144 portfolios. The result is a dynamic exhibition of 44 pieces representing a wide-range of media from painting, to video, to installation.
KY7 is more than just a survey of meaningful art. It is a vehicle to promote our region’s most forward-thinking artists. In the service of those artists and contemporary art, the selection goals were to choose artwork that is innovative in production and concept, culturally relative, and addresses important political and social issues. It is our hope that KY7 will grow to be an important exhibition where artists from Kentucky and the mid-Atlantic/Midwest/Southern regions will be recognized with increasing critical interest. As KY7 grows, we look forward to the conversations and debate about trends and answers to the question of what it means to be an artist from this region.
Art critic and author David Hickey recently stated in a 2007 interview, “I am not in favor of art—I’m in favor of the art I like.” 1 With similar candor, we, as curators, recognize that this biennial ultimately is a selection of our own biases. Recognizing the fallibility of this process, we invite the audience to “express their ideas by participating in the collective production of meaning”.2 Moreover, we invite you put your human faith in artistic magic and believe, just as we do, that art matters, today more than ever.
Mike Deetsch, LAL Exhibitions and Programs Director
Andrea Fisher, Director of the Morlan Gallery, Transylvania University
Kate Sprengnether, Director of the Tuska Center for Contemporary Art, University of Kentucky
1 Heti, Sheila. “An interview with David Hickey,” The Believer. November/December 2007: 11.Timothy McSweeney’s.
2 Brenson, Micheal. “The Curator’s Moment.” Theory in Contemporary Art Since 1985. Ed. by Zoya Kocur and Simon Leung. Published by Blackwell Publishing, 2005