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The Story of Joe Downing: Select Works From the Collection

doorsoflife             detail

Left: Les Portes de la Vie/The Doors of Life (detail), ca. 1992-1992
Right: L'Eveil/The Awakening (detail), 1974

Selections from the museum's collection as well as private collections will give visitors a glimpse into the celebrated career of an internationally renowned artist from Horse Cave, Kentucky. Objects on exhibit represent a lifetime of creative work by Joseph Dudley Downing; a visual journey spanning from his humble beginnings in Horse Cave, Kentucky to his international recognition as an contemporary visual artist. Visitors will learn about the life of Joe Downing as well as the history of the Downing Museum and Baker Arboretum. 

Exhibit open year-round

Be sure to check out the Joe Downing section in Instruments of American Excellence at the Kentucky Museum. Click HERE for more information. 


Kristina Arnold: Liminal, April 4 - May 13, 2017

artifact            neuron cloud

Left: Artifact, Kristina Arnold; ink, gouache, gesso, cut paper, maps, stitching, 2015
Right: Portrait of the artist(s), beta: Neuron Cloud; Kristina Arnold and Austin Lundeby; flameworked borosilicate glass, LEDs, powered by Arduino board and custom printed circuit boards, 2015

This exhibition, containing a selection of glass installations and drawings created over the past four years, scratches at issues surrounding the (sometimes ‘deviant’) body and mind. Examining biological, sociological and, in some instances, political concerns, the aging and the female body are examined not as normal and natural, but as something to be corrected and controlled.

Concurrently, through both a wall-sized, abstracted depiction of the mind made from blown glass, and a series of specimen-based drawings, the exhibition additionally examines the ways in which we collect, store, parse, interpret, and ultimately understand information – both on the individual and the societal level.

Considered in total, the exhibition examines the way we societally formulate and create the “truth” of our bodies, and offers an alternative paradigm of understanding.

Join us on Thursday, May 4, 2017 from 6:00-8:00 for a gallery talk and reception. 


Art 373: Installation Art Class Projects, April 14 - April 29, 2017

art3731                 art3732

Left: Eleanor Davidson, Light Temple (detail), 2017
Right: Perri Kostecki, “Exodus: A Tale of Empathy”, Exodus, Exodus of the Chosen Toys, Farewell to Childhood (detail), 2017

The Downing Museum at the Baker Arboretum is featuring temporary art installations from Kristina Arnold’s Spring Art Installation class at WKU. Works range from process-based to environmental, and many include found objects from the 115-acre Baker Arboretum as well as pieces gathered and created offsite. These installations encourage visitors to explore and interact with the grounds in a new way, highlighting the juxtaposition of nature and art prevalent in the later works of Joe Downing.

The work of nine students will be featured, including Katie Adams, Eleanor Davidson, Hannah Johnston, Perri Kostecki, Roy D. Lewis, Jr., Mac Miller-Reeves, Malik Reece, Megan Valjien, Micheal Wheatley, & Kristina Arnold (Professor).  

Join us for an opening reception on April 15, 2017 from 5:00-7:00PM.



Gesture & Landscape by David Stratton, May 30 - July 1, 2017

Kim Jones Exhibition, July 18 - August 19, 2017

Jack Lunt Memorial Juried Art Exhibition, November 12 - December 16, 2017


Arctic Residues - Sightings by Yvonne Petkus, January 31 - March 18, 2017

24th Annual Jack Lunt Memorial Juried Art Exhibition, November 13 - December 17, 2016

Michael Nichols: Refresh, September 20 - October 29

Kathryn Waters: At Home and Abroad, July 26 - September 1, 2016

Gabriel Mo: Relics of Cairn B, May 31 - July 9, 2016

23rd Annual Jack Lunt Memorial Juried Art Exhibition




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 Last Modified 4/14/17