kentucky artist


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Looking for a place to observe Black History Month? The Brooklyn Museum galleries are ideal—in February or during any other month! Tune in all month as we spotlight African American artists from our collection American, Contemporary and Decorative art collections.

The career of Bob Thompson, the noted African American artist, was cut short by his early death at the age of twenty-eight. Thompson was born near Louisville, Kentucky, and studied at the University of Louisville and at Boston University. In the early and mid-1960s, he traveled throughout Europe and experienced many Renaissance paintings and other artworks firsthand. He fused the vigor and vibrancy of Expressionism with themes from Old Master compositions and the vivid palette of Fauve painting to create the original visual vocabulary exemplified by The Judgment. Recalling such time-honored Old Master subjects as the Last Judgment and the Judgment of Paris, here a nude male trio sits before faceless winged female angels while two figures (at left) await judgment. The planar, flattened figures and compositional contours in a gesturally applied background are all equally emphasized.

Bob Thompson (American, 1937-1966). The Judgement, 1963. Oil on canvas. Brooklyn Museum © artist or artist’s estate


Helen LaFrance is a self-taught African-American artist born in 1919 in Graves County, Kentucky, the second of four daughters to James Franklin Orr and Lillie May Ligon Orr. Though the terms are confining, Helen is often described as both an outsider artist due to her lack of formal training and existence outside the cultural mainstream and as a folk artist best known for her memory painting of the disappearing lifestyle of the rural South. She also painted powerful and intensely spiritual visionary interpretations of the Bible, in a style that differed radically from her memory paintings.

LaFrance grew up in a nurturing household under Jim Crow laws, which between 1876 and 1965 prescribed segregation and disadvantaged social, economic and educational conditions for African Americans in the United States. Her father owned and farmed his land, growing tobacco, corn, black-eyed peas, beans, peanuts and sorghum, in a time when share-croppingwas customary. Her parents bought school books to teach her at home and, after her chores were completed, she drew and carved in her spare time. Her artistic bent was encouraged from childhood and she always followed her mother’s wisdom to “paint what you know.” She went to school in fifth grade, but later left to work on the farm. When her mother died, she left home to take various jobs in a hospital, caring for children, cooking, working in the tobacco barns and a ceramic factory where she decorated brand-name whiskey bottles. In her 40s, she made enough money to buy art supplies at the grocery store and in 1986 she began painting full-time.

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Mod Britt

Hello! I’m one of the new moderators, Atomicbritt or just Britt. I’m a 25 year old, black, autistic, aroace  and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I’m an artist from Kentucky with a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communication Design.

I’ve known I was asexual for a good portion of my life, I think, because I remember telling my mom when I was 6 that I was never getting married. And as a young teenager I googled ‘I don’t like boys or girls’ several times without getting any real answers other than people on yahoo answers saying that people like that were ‘late bloomers’ or ‘needed their hormones checked’, ugh. It’s kind of funny that the first time I heard the word ‘asexual’ it was on an episode of ‘Family Guy’. It was a joke about Olympic diver Greg Louganis, whom I knew nothing about. However, that word ‘asexual’ sounded…right. Still I didn’t Google it until after my first (and last) kiss. I was 18 and came across AVEN online, and everything made sense. After that, I bought a black ace ring, then later added the white aro ring. :p

I love art, cartoons, and drawing and I draw my own webcomic that features an aroace story called ‘Cirque du Royale’

I also like writing, food, fashion, earrings, nail polish, true crime documentaries, and my dog, Nova! 

#24 The Pope Lick Monster

The Pope Lick Monster is a frightening creature reported to live beneath a Norfolk Southern Railway trestle over Pope Lick Creek, in the Fisherville area of Louisville, Kentucky. It is a half human, half goat, half sheep monster that lures victims to their deaths.

Numerous theories abound about its origins… A demon? A science experiment gone wrong? Nevertheless, there IS a very real danger posed to people that visit the Pope Lick Trestle bridge! Few people who go looking for the beast are aware that the railroad is still an active train area, and if you’re caught on the tracks when a train is barreling down at you, there’s little choice of escape.

There is an 8 foot fence around the bridge to discourage visitors, but many people have still died on it. Under no circumstance should anyone explore this bridge, Pope Lick Monster or not.