Located at the centre of Main Street in downtown, Ann Tower Gallery is one of the few galleries in Lexington that exhibits folk art alongside a primary fare of painting, with some photography added for good measure. Folk artist Minnie Adkins’ wood animals can be seen alongside Chris Segre-Lewis’s paintings of the English countryside and equestrian photographs by nationally recognised Elena Dorfman. Tower, a painter herself, exhibits artists that are either local or have a connection to Kentucky in one way or another. The overall curatorial result is an eclectic mix that creates dialogues across mediums and serves as a microcosm of the diversity of Central Kentucky’s arts scene.
Cross Gate Gallery is a much more traditional gallery that specialises in sporting art and has been a staple in Lexington for forty years. Catering to the local equestrian elite, the gallery specialises in 19th and 20th century equine painting, prints and sculpture. Cross Gate also features a limited selection of non-sporting and contemporary works, primarily from British artists. Selected artists include Sir Alfred Munnings, Andre Pater, and Thomas Coates. Housed in a Greek Revival mansion in close proximity to Henry Clay’s Ashland Estate, Cross Gate Gallery is well-established and very much the esteemed older gentleman of the Lexington galleries.
Mary Rezny has been a part of the Lexington photography scene for over 25 years, specialising in object photography for regional and even international museums, but also continuously experimenting with enchanting photograms of flowers and plants. Rezny exhibits primarily local artists, such as Lucinda A. Chapman and Marco Logsdon, and often organises shows around ‘earthy’ themes with work depicting elements of the natural world. Her artists tend to experiment with photographic and other artistic processes; ‘mixed media’ is a popular descriptor on the wall text. Located in the heart of the burgeoning Distillery District, MS Rezny Studio and Gallery provides a refreshing interpretation of nature among the ageing post-industrial landscape labouring to be reborn.
Based primarily in its main space in nearby Versailles, Kentucky, Heike Pickett Gallery also curates a satellite space in Lexington at the CMW Architects Building. With over thirty years in business, Heike Pickett is another veteran gallery and tends to represent more established artists, including local sculptor Steve Armstrong and Yale School of Art alumnus Thomas Germano. The commercial gallery offers mainly contemporary painting, sculpture and works on paper. Shows are either solo showcases or group selections designed to appeal to a wide variety of tastes. While owners Heike and Irwin Pickett do not limit themselves to genre expertise, the high quality of their collective eye has made the gallery a long-time tastemaker.