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    Oftentimes, the relationship between the art collector and the artist is forgotten, minimal, or even absent. However, Larry Shapin and Ladonna Nicholas have been collecting artwork over the years, as well as friendships. The Larry & Ladonna Was Here: The Artist-Collector Relationship exhibit emphasizes this aspect of the art world and is currently open at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft Brown-Forman Gallery, 3rd Floor (715 W. Main St. Louisville).

    This exhibit is free to the public, inviting anyone to come and enter a hidden world. Larry and Ladonna have collected over 600 works of art from various regional artists, many of whom are from Kentucky. There are photographs, paintings, fiber art, textiles and sculptural pieces in the exhibit. Each gives an explanation of how the collector and the artist began their relationship, patching together a story of friendship.  

    Each piece of art is vastly different from its neighbor, each has its own meaning. There is art displaying societal views on stereotypes, such as on women, next to art showcasing the city of Louisville and its landscapes. Though each is different, they are all connected by the relationship that was created through each purchase and the efforts of Larry and Ladonna. The first artwork that Larry collected, "Frilly Lillies," by Mary Ann Currier, is a part of this exhibit and was the beginning of his and Ladonna’s collection. Besides divulging the artwork, you can even sit down and watch video interviews of the featured artists; these are displayed on a constant loop. It expands on the artist-collector relationship and gives you, the audience, newly attainable insights.

    This exhibit will be open from March 6-April 12, on both weekdays and weekends until 5 p.m. It is organized by AEGIS, an association of U of L Hite Art Institute graduate students, in conjunction with the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft. Below is a list of the 13 participating artists. Find more information on the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft here.


    Mary Ann Currier/ Tiffany Embry 

    Bryce Hudson/ Hallie DeCatherine Jones 

    Sarah Lyon/ Julie Leidner 

    Thea Laura/ Ed Middleton

    Drura Parrish/ Jenna Richards 

    Scott Scarboro/ Matthew Weir/ J.B. Wilson

    Photo Courtesy of Irena Tran

    Irena Tran's picture

    About Irena Tran

    I studied Art at UofL and now physical therapy at Bellarmine University. I love art, sports, and good food. I'm always looking for something new to try and new concepts to photograph!

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